Area pipe organs will be featured on this weekend’s Organ Crawl. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/
Area pipe organs will be featured on this weekend’s Organ Crawl. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/
Historic Madison Inc. will sponsor the first Organ Crawl through downtown to observe tracker organs that are about 150 years old.

The tracker organ is unique, according to Rhonda Deeg, director of programs at HMI, because it has a series of keys and stops to pull and press which control the organ's pipes.

The organ crawl will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at four locations. The group will go from one location to the next to hear the organs play and get a brief background.

The idea for the organ crawl came from Cincinnati, where they've been running a similar program for a few years.

"We had been talking about it a couple of years ago, highlighting the organs in town," Deeg said.

The crawl will start at St. John's United Church of Christ at 406 East St. and go to St. Michael the Archangel at 521 E. Third St. The tour will then move to the Windle Auditorium at 101 E. Third St. and finish at First Baptist Church at 416 Vine St.

Deeg said visitors will get a quick history of each location followed by two performances on the organ. Each location will have a unique song and one song that will be used at every spot so visitors can compare acoustics.

Organists will be Jonathan Stanley, Peggy Hans and Linda Roaks. This is the first year for the event, but Deeg said depending on the outcome, they could expand it for next year.

The tour is free, but donations will be accepted at each location. People can walk to the locations if they want, but parking will also be available at St. Michael's Church, the parking lot across from the old emergency room and the First Christian Church on Vine Street. There will be a reception at the end of the tour.

The Southern Indiana American Guild of Organists has a list on its website of the organs throughout the southern portion of the state. They also have pictures and sound clips of the organs. They can be see and heard at