A somewhat hidden treasure in Delafield will be the instrument of beautiful music in a free concert by Dr. John Behnke of Concordia University in Mequon, Wednesday, June 25, at 7 p.m., at Delafield’s Christ the King Lutheran Church. The instrument is the church’s magnificent, historic, three-chamber Radanovich pipe organ.
Dr. Behnke is the Professor of Music at Concordia University in Mequon, where he teaches organ, graduate-handbell courses, and directs the Alleluia Ringers, Concordia’s touring handbell choir and the Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble. The concert is free and open to the public.
The storied history of this musical Delafield treasure includes that rather than being a single purchase, this amazing organ really evolved into its present size and strength. It started out as a purchase from the Hunt Organ Company of Minneapolis in 1967, then in 1996, the church received a much larger Wangerin pipe organ (that actually consisted of three organs combined into one) from Covenant Presbyterian Church of Madison that could increase the overall capacity of the church’s existing pipe organ with the aid of $40,000 donated to pay for modifications and associated costs that eventually would cost $80,000-$120,000.
The final development of the huge and powerful organ was handled through the technical and musical skills of Joseph Radanovich of Radanovich and Associates Pipe Organs of Milwaukee. It took 3-1/2 years and about 1,900 hours then to complete the final Christ the King pipe organ that in organ nomenclature is now a robust 33 rank, three manual, 56 stop, 2,060 pipe organ with an Artisan computerized combination action, 16-foot, 8-foot, and 4-foot pipes, including trumpet pipes, a 21-note chime set, and numerous other sound and melody effects.
Dr. Behnke said that he is looking forward to playing the Christ the King major pipe organ and hopes that many come to hear this musical treasure in action.
An ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) church, Christ the King, located at 1600 N. Genesee Street, Delafield, continually welcomes new members. Weekly worship is on Sundays at 9 a.m. For more information, call the church office at (262) 646-2343 or visit www.ctkdelafield.org.