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Earlier this month, 21 teens had a chance to play and see the inner workings of several organs. It was part of the Pipe Organ Encounter held at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Pipe Organ Encounters are organized by the American Guild of Organists (AGO) to help introduce students ages 13 to 18 to the organ, long known as the “king of instruments.”

John MacInnis is assistant professor of music at Dordt College. He said that David Roossien, a member of the local community, gave a donation to Dordt to host this event for the South Dakota chapter of the AGO.

Students toured area Christian Reformed churches to play the organs, heard guest lecturers, and visited local businesses related to organs. They also toured the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota and the J.F. Nordlie Company in Sioux Falls, where they saw how organs are planned and built.

Instructors gave recitals in the evenings and students gave a recital on the last day of the event.

MacInnis has great enthusiasm for this year’s Pipe Organ Encounter as well as for future events. “Our hope is that our students, the next generation of organists, will gain new skills, inspiration, and new friendships,” he said. “We want them to walk away with a deep appreciation for the creative potential offered by the organ as they begin lifetimes of ministry in music and musical enjoyment.”

He continued, “The organ has supported and inspired Christian worship for over 1,000 years. The organ has well served the church all these years, and it will continue to serve us well for years to come.”

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