Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in rural Summit will play host to an organ concert, featuring organ expert John Miller, on July 12 at 1 PM.
It took less than an hour for young John Miller to make life-long friends of the congregation at Saint John’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Summit this past April. Some of them were won over within the first verse of the first hymn. Everyone was a friend by the time he explained some history and mechanics of the beloved organ after the worship service.
John has been studying for ministry at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN, for the last several years. The same general course of study is how he got to know Pastor Nathan Zastrow of Peace Lutheran Church (Milbank) and St. John’s (Mazeppa Township). Pastor Zastrow used to work alongside John’s father for several years on the south side of Milwaukee. But there was another reason for John’s presence at Mazeppa that morning – namely, Vogelpohl & Spaeth.
John has been interested in organs since he was little kid, but a consuming interest in the now-defunct Vogelpohl & Spaeth organ building company of New Ulm took over when he moved to the Minnesota city. You could say that he’s become quite an expert on the company in the meantime, which he is apt to do. And it just so happens that the congregation of Saint John’s owns a very nice condition, highly untouched version of one of their organs.
“In all this time, I have never heard the organ sound like that before,” said Darlis Heuer, the congregation’s current organist, in response to John’s Sunday morning worship service. “I didn’t know it could do that!” And Darlis is a life-long member of Saint John’s!
She has good reason, though. John has been playing organs since the age of twelve, and later this summer he will be packing for Europe, where he will begin a long apprenticeship to become a master organ-builder in the European tradition.
“It was good of John to visit us this past April, to inspect our organ, and play for Sunday service. Now we’re even more happy to have him back for a concert on July 12th,” said Pastor Nathan Zastrow of Saint John’s. “Everyone is invited to join us – neighbors, music-lovers, country-church lovers, anyone!”
Saint John’s location can be found by clicking here.