Dallas Symphony Orchestra Celebrates 25 Years With Lay Family Concert Organ

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is celebrating 25 years with the Lay Family Concert Organ.

It’s a massive pipe organ that was designed and built into the Meyerson Symphony Center. It has 4,535 pipes and only a fraction of them can be seen by the audience.

Photojournalist Peter Hull and organist Bradley Hunter Welch take us inside the Lay Family Concert Organ.

Organist Bradley Hunter Welch performs 'Flight of the Bumblebee' on the Lay Family Concert Organ and shows us what it takes for such a challenging piece.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Concert Information: Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 214-TIX-4DSO.

We also took a look in the NBC 5 archives and found a special program produced by NBC 5 about the organ from 1992.

In this video, we go back into the NBC 5 archive to 1992 when we produced a special show after the Dallas Symphony Orchestra installed a new organ.

Organ Fun Facts:

• 2017-2018 Dallas Symphony season celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Lay Family Concert Organ

• There are 4,535 pipes that make up the organ. Only a fraction of those can be seen by the audience.

• The instrument’s 4,535 pipes are dispersed over six divisions, which are played from four manuals and pedal.

• The Great, Positive, and Swell divisions and certain stops of the Pedal division form the classical core of the organ.

• The organ draws its tonal inspiration from many different styles and periods of organ building, enabling it to effectively showcase both organ solo and symphonic literature.

• The Resonance, played on either manual or pedal keyboards, is a powerful division of French romantic influence.

• An English-inspired Tuba division, voiced on 20" wind pressure, is especially suited for climaxes in music for organ and orchestra.

• The lowest note is performed by a pipe that’s 32’ long. You can’t really hear it as much as feel it.

• There are 32 notes/pedals you can play with your feet.

• It took three years to build. (1989-1992.) The inaugural performance took place on September 2, 1992.

• The first piece ever played on it: Organist Michael Murray and the Dallas Symphony under Maestro Eduardo Mata inaugurated Opus 100 on 2 September 1992. The program included Richard Strauss’s Festival Prelude for Orchestra and Organ, Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, String Orchestra, and Timpani, and Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3, ‘Organ Symphony.’

For more information about the Dallas Symphony Orchestra:


• @dallassymphony

• Tickets available at

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