Weekly Photo Challenge: Big

The Wanamaker Organ – The World’s Largest Playing Pipe Organ
Macy’s Department Store, Philadelphia
View of Organ Pipes from the Second Floor
Keyboard and Stops
Check Out The Foot Pedals!

On my summer trip to New York City, I stopped in Philadelphia to hear the Saturday noontime concert of the Wanamaker Organ at Macy’s. With 28,500 pipes, it is the largest playing pipe organ in the world.

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13 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Big

    1. Amazingly, it was a music grad student from the Curtis Institute who had only the normal number of hands and feet. I can’t imagine keeping track of all that the organ can do. I definitely do not have enough brain cells for that!

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    1. I can barely deal with all my harp strings. I cannot imagine having to keep track of what all the switches and pedals do!

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  1. They have a light show overlaid on this organ and all the way up to the third floor for the holiday season. They clear out the displays on the floor so people can sit with blankets and watch the show above. I think Julie Andrews is the main narrator 🙂 I’ve seen the show several times (the first time as a young child), but I never realized the backdrop was in fact a working pipe organ. All of the accompanying music for the light show is prerecorded and played on speakers. It would have been interesting to incorporate the sounds of the organ into the show, but then you would need someone to play it and they run the light show almost every hour during the holiday season from Thankgiving until New Year’s I believe!

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    1. The light show must be spectacular! The organist who played the day I was there said that there are only 7 people approved to play the organ for the twice-daily concerts. Not nearly enough people to play for the light shows, i suspect.

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  2. I would love to see this organ in person. It is very impressive. I assume that you had to get permission to take the photos?

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    1. No permission needed. The pipes make up one wall of a seven storey atrium, and the console is in the ladies’ department. People are going about doing their shopping while the organist is playing. They have regular concerts twice each shopping day, as well as special performances.

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