Two magnificent organs!
The University of Chicago is home to two glorious pipe organs, the famed E.M. Skinner Opus 634 at Rockefeller Chapel, and the Reneker Organ at Bond Chapel.
The Rockefeller organ
You can hear the E.M. Skinner organ played in recital every Wednesday from late September to early June, at 12:30 pm. It is also played daily for academic and ceremonial events, or for practice, and for Sunday services.
It’s a massive romantic organ, considered one of the best in America. You can find its specifications here.
Bond Chapel’s Reneker organ
The Reneker organ, built for the former home of the Chicago Theological Seminary, was relocated to Bond Chapel in 2012. A lovely Baroque tracker organ, built by Quebec’s Karl Wilhelm in 1983, it has already won a major award for “divine design” in its new home. You can download the program (including the specifications) from its dedication concert, which took place on February 2, 2013. This date was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Betty Reneker, who commissioned the organ in memory of her husband, Robert Reneker, former chair of the board of trustees of the University of Chicago, and of their son, David. You can find its specifications here.
The Reneker organ can be heard in recital each Tuesday at 4:30 pm until June 4, 2014. Following that date, there will be exterior construction occurring in the vicinity of Bond Chapel, and the Chapel will be closed until partway through the autumn quarter.
Learning to play?
Students at the University of Chicago are invited to audition on the piano for organ lessons (advanced piano performance skills and general musicianship being prerequisites), and we offer two competitive organ scholarships per year. We are also delighted to have partnerships with major Chicago-area churches and cathedrals where students serve as organ scholars, and where students may practice.