(Left) The three organists (l.-r.), Jeffrey Radford, Gratian MacRae Nugent and Robert Schneider, in front of the Bedient "tracker" organ. Radford (above) performs in the Amistad Chapel at the Hammond Model 962 during the March 8 organ dedication ceremony. W. Evan Golder photos.
Northeast Ohio residents received a treat on the evening of March 8, when three organists performed on two new organs dedicated earlier that afternoon in the Amistad Chapel at the UCC's national Church House in Cleveland.
The music ranged from J.S. Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor," played by Gratian MacRae Nugent, and Charles Callahan's "Suite in D," played by Robert Schneider, to "The Name of Jesus," played by Jeffrey Radford and sung by Lillie Adams, both of Trinity UCC in Chicago.
The two organs were a Bedient "tracker" pipe organ, donated by Ruth Parker of Sandusky, Ohio, and the Ruth Frost Parker Foundation, and a digitally equipped Hammond Model 926, a gift of Trinity UCC in Chicago. The Rev. Melbalenia Evans represented Trinity at the dedication. Parker also was present, as was Gene Bedient, who designed and built the tracker organ.
During the afternoon dedication service, the Rev. Jos? (Joe) A. Malayang, Executive Minister of Local Church Ministries in the UCC's national setting, paid special tribute to the role of the Rev. Thomas E. Dipko regarding both the organs and the chapel. The former executive vice president of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries not only arranged for the gifts of the two organs, Malayang said, but also provided the vision that led to the presence of the Amistad Chapel itself as an important sacred space in the UCC's national Church House.