The Kent Grand Organ: A Kent Downtown Destination

Friends of the Kent Grand Organ invite you to join an exciting musical journey – the installation of a Grand Organ in downtown Kent.

What makes this organ project unique? What will it do? This organ was originally built in 1878. The unique combination of possible musical sounds from flutes and oboes, fanfare trumpets, lots of strings, noble organ sounds, to the possibility for electronic sounds is something rarely found in an instrument of this size, especially in the Pacific Northwest. When completed the organ will have 54 ranks (sets of pipes), and 3,303 pipes. A detailed description can be viewed at www.kentgrandorgan.org An instrument, that for over a century served the community of Salem, Massachusetts, will now be restored and upgraded to provide incredible musical depth for the next century in Kent, Washington.

What are the benefits to Kent, its downtown and the South King County region?

The Kent Grand Organ will be located in the heart of the city at Kent Lutheran Church on Second Avenue and Saar. Having a landmark instrument and an excellent location is conducive to making the city an attractive place for the arts. Because of the versatility of the instrument’s design, excellent classical-oriented and modern music programming will be offered. Civic uses for an instrument of this caliber can include solo organ recitals and concerts for the public, use of the organ with other performing groups (instrumental and choral), and even events such as silent movies that involve organ accompaniment. Such musical offerings will add to downtown Kent as a destination place.

Who is leading the Kent Grand Organ effort?

As its own non-profit organization the “Kent Grand Organ” has a Board of Directors. Its membership consists of 60% members of Kent Lutheran Church and 40% members of the community at large. A larger group serves as the KGO Team helping to plan events, fundraise and guide the plans. Additional team members are always welcome. All of us – including you – will help communicate this venture to more in our community.

Cost, Timeline and Fundraising

The quote to complete the Kent Grand organ is $495,825. The family of Bob and Betty Whalen made a generous offer to the Kent Grand Organ of $100,000 if matched. In 2016 donations and pledges were received that satisfy this gift. So having achieved the down payment of 30%, Marceau Pipe Organs, Inc. of Seattle will begin the installation in 2018 and complete it in 18-24 months. The value of the organ, when completed, is estimated at $1.3 million. During 2017-18, Friends of the Kent Grand Organ will plan opportunities to raise funds to cover the full cost.

Ways to Give:

To bring the Kent Grand Organ to downtown Kent gifts of financial support are needed. Gifts are tax deductible. Ways to give to the Kent Grand Organ project include:

  • Write a check made payable to the Kent Downtown Partnership (earmarked “Kent Grand Organ”) and mail to: Kent Grand Organ ℅ Claudia Otey, 9506 S. 241 St., Kent, WA 98030
  • Write a check, made payable to Kent Lutheran Church, (earmarked “Organ Fund or “KGO”) and mail to: Kent Grand Organ at Kent Lutheran, 336 Second Ave S, Kent, WA 98032 or come by the Church Office
  • Use the secure online donations button on the Kent Lutheran Church website:
  • kentlutheran.org Enter into the “organ fund” line item.
  • Attend fundraisers and benefit concerts and bring friends.