A concert by Wichita’s ARISE Ensemble is always a treat, but add in accompaniment by Brett Valliant on Wichita’s Grand Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, and you’ve got a can’t-miss event.
The concert, billed as “Instruments of Peace,” will be held on Thurs., March 21, 7:30 p.m. in Century II Exhibition Hall. The event is sponsored by Wichita Wurlitzer, an organization of fans of the Wichita Wurlitzer who raise funds to help maintain the organ.
The Wichita Wurlitzer is a one of a kind and one of the best ever made. It was originally installed in 1926 in the Times Square New York Paramount Theatre, where it was played with silent movies and as a featured musical attraction, until it was removed in 1964 when the theater closed. Thanks to forward-thinking individuals, the Wurlitzer was brought to Wichita in early 1968 and installed in Century II. After refurbishment and installation, the Wurlitzer premiered in Wichita in December 1972.
The organ’s large keyboard sits on the stage with the performers, but the organ’s thousands of pipes are installed at the back of the stage behind a screen.
ARISE Ensemble is one of Kansas’ best choirs. For 30 years, the group has breathed life into spiritual music at events such as the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at the Kansas Capitol and the Wichita River Festival.
The “Instruments of Peace” concert’s goal is to foster unity using music, a medium that transcends the barriers of culture, language, and geography. The program will feature music rooted in our nation’s history providing a common foundation to move forward in peace.
This concert is a fundraiser for Wichita Wurlitzer so admission is not free, but the tickets are affordable.
General admission tickets are $20, seniors (65 and older) $17, students (5-18) $10. Tickets can be purchased at Wichitatix.com.