Whitney to play refurbished organ at Alna’s Head Tide Church

Posted:  Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 7:00am

The Friends of the Head Tide Church welcome all to attend a demonstration of the recently refurbished 1894 Estey pump organ that has been part of the Alna church’s history for over 100 years. The demonstration is at 2 p.m.  Sunday, July 15 at the church just off Head Tide Road, which connects Routes 218 and 194.

This organ is a six-octave instrument, with more musical versatility than the standard five octaves for the vast majority of reed organs. 

At the keyboard will be Alna’s Roger Whitney, longtime music instructor for local schools. Whitney grew up in Manchester, graduated from Cony High School, spent five years in the Air Force Band System, graduated from Crane School of Music and taught music for 36 years.  He grew up with old fashioned pump organs.  His family owned an Estey cottage organ, a Packard parlor organ and an ancient portable melodian used by a traveling minister. At an early age, he was fascinated by the pump organ. There are family pictures of him pumping the pedals while his father played the keys. 

Although the 1838 church has not had an active year-round congregation for many years, it still serves Midcoast Maine as a unique venue for weddings, memorial services, lectures and musical events and, perhaps most importantly, as a perpetual and inspiring connection to our country’s earliest history. For more information, call 882-7744.