Organ by Night

with 2 Comments

This favorite late-night musical event has now returned: post-Compline organ music!

The return of in-person Compline services also marks the return of another favorite late-night musical event: post-Compline organ music! These informal mini-concerts have introduced generations of Seattleites to the power and beauty of a real pipe organ. All are welcome to listen in the nave, or join the organist in the loft to see what playing an instrument of this size is really like. (The radio program The Organ Loft, which airs on KING-FM immediately following Compline each week, was inspired by this tradition.) A Q&A in the loft usually follows the performance.

The new iteration of this offering, called "Organ by Night," will be offered once a month, on the third Sunday of each month.

Note: The decision to include these informal presentations on the Compline livestream is left to the discretion of the organist. Some prefer not to, for a variety or reasons. The choice to livestream Organ by Night or not will typically not be announced in advance.

  • AUGUST 20, 2023: Alan Lynch
  • SEPTEMBER 17: Canon Michael Kleinschmidt
  • OCTOBER 15: Amiel Elfert
  • NOVEMBER 19: Michael Plagerman
  • DECEMBER 17: John Stuntebeck
  • JANUARY 21, 2024: Alan Lynch
  • FEBRUARY 18: Susanna Valleau
  • MARCH 17: Kyle Haugen
  • APRIL 21: Chris Stroh
  • MAY 19: Wyatt Smith
  • JUNE 16: Julian Petrallia
  • JULY 21: James Walton
  • AUGUST 18: Mark McDonald


SUNDAY, JULY 16, 2023:

By Michael Kleinschmidt, Canon for Cathedral Music at Saint Mark's Cathedral playing Metamorphosis II by Philip Glass, Variation IX (Adagio) "Nimrod" from Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 (The Enigma Variations) by Edward Elgar, and Annum per annum by Arvo Pärt.

SUNDAY, JUNE 18, 2023:

By Susanna Valleau, music director of St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in Shoreline playing Five Sacred Dances (III., IV., & V.) by Margaret Vardell Sandresky and Happiness by Ad Wammes.

SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2023:

By Christopher Stroh, Assistant Director of Music and Organist at St. James Cathedral playing Postlude pour l'Office de Complies by Jehan Alain, Chorale Prelude on "Slane" (At the close of the day) by Healey Willan, Florete, flores! (Bloom, flowers!) by Mary Elizabeth Downey, and Variations on Jesu dulcis memoria by Jessica French.

SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2023:

By Wyatt Smith, Instructor of Organ & Harpsichord, Epiphany Music Academy and Affiliate Artist in Organ & Harpsichord, University of Puget Sound, Psalm Sonata No. 1 by Brenda Portman, (II. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)), Prelude in C, BWV 547 by J. S. Bach, Salem Seasons by Margaret Sandresky (I. Spring - “Apple Blossoms and Imaginary Birds”), and The Seven Last Words and Triumph of Christ by Pamela Decker, (VIII. Passacaglia: Procession to the Tomb & IX. Toccata: The Resurrection).

SUNDAY, MARCH 19, 2023:

By Mark McDonald, Assistant Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC playing Klagelied BuxWV 76 by Dieterich Buxtehude, Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, BWV Anh. 78 by J. S. Bach, Récit de Nazard by Bengt Hambraeus, and Firebird: Berceus and Final by Igor Stravansky, arranged by Maurice Besly.


By Associate Organist John Stuntebeck playing A Little More Faith in Jesus by John W. Work III, Nigerian Suite No. 2 by Godwin Sadoh, Andante by Florence Price, and Fanfare and Chorale by Calvin Fuller.


By Canon Kleinschmidt, playing Adoration by Florence Price, Praeludium in D by Buxtehude, Prelude and Fugue in B by Saint-Saëns, and Toccata on “Lift every voice and sing” by Mark Miller.


By Canon Kleinschmidt


By Canon Kleinschmidt, playing music by Faure, Hina Sakamoto, and J.S. Bach that echo themes of All Saints- and All Souls-tide, and look ahead to the celebration of Thanksgiving.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER  16, 2022:

By Andrew Koch, with works of Felix Mendelssohn, Dieterich Buxtehude, and J.S. Bach.


By Canon Kleinschmidt, with works by Jehan Alain, Dieterich Buxtehude, David N. Johnson, and Eugene Gigout

SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2022:


SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2022:

By Associate Organist John Stuntebeck

SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2022:

By David Boekh, the newly appointed Associate Organist of Saint James Episcopal Cathedral, Chicago, playing music of Rolande Falcinelli, Gerre Hancock, and Charles Tournemire.

SUNDAY, MAY 15, 2022:

By Canon Michael Kleinschmidt, playing two brief pieces by Jehan Alain, along with Maurice Duruflé's Prelude & Fugue on the name of Alain

SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2022:

On Easter Sunday, Canon Michael Kleinschmidt played J.S. Bach's beloved Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, and the Toccata from Widor's Fifth Symphony.

SUNDAY, MARCH 20, 2022:

Cancelled due to illness.


By Canon Michael Kleinschmidt, with music by Bach and Bruhns and, in honor of Black History Month, music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and a rousing Toccata on Lift every voice and sing by Mark A. Miller.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 16, 2022: 

By Cathedral Music Intern Lucas Jindra


For this December iteration of Organ by Night, Compline Choir Director Jason Anderson offered works by Near, Rippen, Walcha, Pachelbel, and Diemer.


In anticipation of the season, Associate Organist John Stuntebeck improvised and played compositions on Advent themes by Marcel Dupré, Rebecca Groom te Velde, and Dieterich Buxtehude.


Canon Kleinschmidt joined in celebrating the 65th anniversary of The Compline Choir by offering Messiaen's Vision of the Eternal Church. Then, in anticipation of Halloween, he played two brief pieces associated with phantoms: Alain's Fantasmagorie, and Bach's famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor.


For the first Organ by Night on Sunday, August 22, Canon Michael Kleinschmidt offered music on the Flentrop organ from Suites by G.F. Handel, Louis-Nicholas Clerambault, and Florence Price.

2 Responses

  1. Gerry Burnett
    | Reply

    I enjoy listening to your wonderful organ. Will you be having concerts after the Compline Service on Jan.15, Feb. and March on the 19th. When will I know and if possible, what will be played?
    Are there any other organ events scheduled for early 2023.
    Thanks, Gerry

    • Saint Mark's Cathedral

      The repertoire for the informal post-Compline recitals are typically not settled until just before the date of the event, but I can confirm that YES, there will be recitals on both January 15 and February 19, 2023. The next major organ concert will be on Friday, May 5, 2023. But you may be interested in the 30-minute organ improvisations offered at 6 p.m. before Cathedral Yoga on the first Monday of the each month (except April 3).

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