Organist Kraig Windschitl will perform organ chorales of Bach on the Gabriel Kney pipe organ at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, located on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

He will be joined by St. Thomas’ Schola Cantorum, directed by Aaron Brown.

Kraig Windschitl

The program, free and open to the public, is the second in a series of five recitals and concerts marking the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Kney organ. The Sunday afternoon recitals are co-sponsored by St. Thomas’ Music Department and Campus Ministry. A reception will follow.

The program will include settings by Bach of the chorales “Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland” (three settings), “Meine Seele erhebet den Herren” (two settings) and “Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit.” The Schola will sing the Latin chants upon which the chorales are based.

Windschitl earned his bachelor’s from St. John’s University in Collegeville with majors in organ performance and theology. His graduate study was at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he earned a master’s in organ performance with a cognate in sacred music.

He currently serves as co-principal organist at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis and Victoria. With more than 13,000 members, Mount Olivet is the largest Lutheran congregation in North America. Most recently, Windschitl accepted the position of chapel organist and carillonneur at Breck School in Minneapolis. He is a member of the North American Guild of Carillonneurs and serves on the Program Committee of the Twin Cities chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Brown is director of liturgy and chapel music in St. Thomas’ Campus Ministry Department and directs the university’s Liturgical Choir and Schola Cantorum. His graduate degree is in liturgical music from St. John’s University.

The Gabriel Kney pipe organ in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.

St. Thomas’ chapel organ was installed in 1987 thanks to a donation from alumnus Robert Asmuth. Built by Gabriel Kney of London, Ontario, the organ is a three-manual instrument with 41 stops of 56 ranks, with a total of 2,787 pipes. It is used for worship, teaching and concerts. Its dedicatory recital was played by Swedish organist Hans Fagius on Sept. 20, 1987.

Since then, the university’s Organ Artist Recital Series has become one of the premier pipe-organ concert series in the Twin Cities.

The list of recitalists includes international artists Ulrich Böhme, Marie-Bernadette Dufourcet, László Fassang, Jean Gillou, Martin Haselböck, Nicholas Kynaston, Olivier Latry, Peter Planyovsky and Dong-il Shin. American artists in the series have included Diane Bish, James David Christie, Robert Glasgow, Gerre Hancock, David Hurd and Joan Lippincott.

These concert performances have been featured many times on the “Pipedreams” radio program from American Public Media, and the instrument has been showcased at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists.

Remaining programs in the 25th anniversary series include:

  • 3 p.m. Sunday, March 17, 2013, French organist Michel Bouvard, professor of organ at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Music in Paris, will perform a solo recital.
  • 3 p.m. Sunday April 28, 2013, St. Thomas organists will present a concert with the university’s Liturgical Choir, directed by Aaron Brown.

For more information about the Gabriel Kney instrument, visit here. For more information about the series, call (651) 962-5050.