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Organ concert sells out quickly

If you have never had the opportunity to hear a historic theatre pipe organ, here is your chance.

On June 13 and 14, accomplished theatre and classical concert organist, James Welch, will play three performances at Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley National Park.

The concert is sponsored by the Death Valley Natural History Association (DVNHA) in cooperation with the National Park Service.

The concert is held annually in the Upper Music Room of Scotty’s Castle. Event proceeds help fund the annual maintenance and tuning of the Scotty’s Castle Organ and its associated instruments.

This unique concert venue is available only one weekend each year, after the organ maintenance work has been completed and during the curatorial preservation work of the historic house itself.

This work is completed by interns enrolled in curatorial, museum studies, or other artifact preservation programs from universities across the country. This internship is provided by DVNHA annually, to assist in preserving the entire collection housed at Scotty’s Castle.

The Welte-Mignon theater pipe organ located in Scotty’s Castle’s Upper Music Room was originally purchased by the owners to accompany silent films.

It is estimated that $50,000 was spent by the Johnsons to purchase the organ and have it delivered and installed in 1928 — just in time for film sound synchronization to be perfected and become the new standard for talking films in the 1930’s.

There are 40 seats for each concert and performances usually sell out well in advance. Concert times are 5 p.m. Friday, June 13 and 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday, June 14.

The concert price is $45 per person. Seats are now available for purchase. Reservations are required. All proceeds benefit the Scotty’s Castle Theatre Organ and Chimes Tower Maintenance Fund.

To make reservations or to make a direct donation please call the Death Valley Natural History Association at 800-478-8564 ext 10.

For information about Scotty’s Castle, visit the Death Valley National Park website at www.nps.gov/deva. For more information about organist James Welch, please visit http://www.welchorganist.com/pages/artist.html for his online biography.

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