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Diocese of Orange and Christ Cathedral celebrate newly restored Hazel Wright Organ with year-long concert series

September 01, 2022 at 3:45 pm
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GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (Sept. 1, 2022) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, The Orange Catholic Foundation and music ministry of Christ Cathedral are pleased to announce that the cathedral’s 2022-23 concert season will be the Year of Hazel. The series will highlight the cathedral’s newly restored Hazel Wright Organ and culminate in June 2023 with a grand performance featuring the Pacific Symphony, Pacific Chorale and Grammy-winning organist Paul Jacobs.

The iconic pipe organ, blessed by Bishop Kevin Vann during a special ceremony in June, will also be front and center for solo recitals and an interfaith choral festival.

“Now that Bishop Vann has blessed Hazel, we are tremendously excited and proud to demonstrate her sheer breadth and beauty,” said David Ball, the cathedral’s music ministry director and principal organist. “While the organ regularly plays at Mass, our Year of Hazel series will give music lovers everywhere a better chance to hear more of what this amazing instrument is truly capable of.”

The Year of Hazel begins on Sept. 30, 2022, with a screening of a new full-length documentary on the history of the organ; a Q&A session with the Fratelli Ruffatti organ-building company and Hazel’s current players; and a dedication concert featuring Hector Olivera.

Michael Barone, host of American Public Media’s “Pipedreams,” will lead the Q&A.

Other Year of Hazel highlights include the Dec. 16, 2022, “Christmas at the Cathedral” concert and the May 31, 2023, Cathedral Organ Scholars concert that shows off the future generation of organists.

The series concludes on June 20, 2023, with a grand performance of the Pacific Symphony and Pacific Chorale — two Orange County icons — alongside Paul Jacobs, the first organist to win a Grammy.

To keep Hazel fully playing in perpetuity, The Orange Catholic Foundation is also raising $3 million toward a special sustainability endowment fund.

For a complete listing of concerts, ticket information, underwriting and partnership opportunities, visit HazelWrightOrgan.com.

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About the Hazel Wright Organ

The Hazel Wright Organ is the world’s fifth largest pipe organ. Located inside Christ Cathedral (formerly known as the Crystal Cathedral), the instrument contains more than 17,000 pipes, more than 300 stops and nearly 300 ranks. Hazel plays from all four corners of the cathedral, giving listeners a unique “surround sound” listening experience. In 2022, the Diocese of Orange completed a full restoration of the instrument. The organ, named after Chicago-area donor Hazel C. Wright, was first built in 1982. Hazel is arguably the most widely heard pipe organ in the world, thanks to the popularity of the Rev. Robert Schuller’s “Hour of Power” broadcasts from the Crystal Cathedral that millions tuned in for each week. For more information, visit HazelWrightOrgan.com.

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About the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange

With 1.3 million Catholics, 57 parishes, five Catholic centers and 35 schools, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is one of the largest and most diverse faith communities in the United States. The Diocese empowers Catholics across Orange County to have an active life of faith that is integrated and woven into the fabric of their daily lives through the community and sacramental life of the Church. Under the leadership of Bishop Kevin Vann, the Diocese works to establish and support dynamic, vibrant parishes and schools welcoming all to live the Gospel with faith, joy, charity and unity. Christ Cathedral, the spiritual home of the Bishop of Orange, was dedicated in July 2019. Learn more about the Diocese of Orange at www.www.rcbo.org.

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About The Orange Catholic Foundation

The Orange Catholic Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation that serves the Catholic community of Orange County. As a foundation for Catholics, we assist families and individuals to leave a legacy uniquely aligned with their Catholic values and beliefs. The Foundation’s primary function is to raise, grow, and steward funds and endowments. The Foundation works with donors to customize their charitable intentions for Catholic organizations throughout Orange County.