Providence, RI – The Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) is pleased to announce today, on Flag Day, that the theatre will host a FREE virtual Wonders of the Wurlitzer concert with PPAC House Organist Peter Edwin Krasinski on Independence Day (July 4, 2021). PPAC has offered the popular virtual series for FREE this past season so that a wider audience can enjoy the Mighty Wurlitzer. The Independence Day concert can be viewed via PPAC’s YouTube Channel or by visiting ppacri.org/Wurlitzer
Mr. Krasinski’s concert “Salute to America – Celebrating Independence Day” opens with “The National Anthem” and “The Star Spangled Banner” and includes a “Our History in Song” medley (“America The Beautiful,” “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”), “Sounds of Struggle and Hope” (“We Shall Overcome,” “This Land is Your Land”), and a salute to America’s brave and selfless military. The concert closes with the stirring anthem “The Battle Hymn of The Republic,” written by Julia Ward Howe.
“The selections performed on the Wurlitzer for our Independence Day concert are a microcosm of the vast array of American patriotic songs. I hope that this concert will inspire others to learn more about American music that celebrates the history and diversity of our nation,” Mr. Krasinski said.
Peter Edwin Krasinski has been PPAC’s House Organist since the fall of 2020. Previously, he was a regular performer at PPAC’s Wonders of the Wurlitzer concert series. PPAC and Mr. Krasinski began the virtual Wurlitzer concert series in October 2020, when PPAC recorded him performing his own unique, improvised accompaniment on the Mighty Wurlitzer to the 1925 silent film The Phantom of The Opera. PPAC has also recorded Mr. Krasinski performing a holiday season concert and Valentine’s Day concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer; these videos remain free to view and can be accessed at any time on PPAC’s YouTube Channel. He also recorded a virtual Wurlitzer concert for PPAC’s Arts Showcase this season.
Mr. Krasinski is broadly recognized as a conductor, organist, and music educator, whose imaginative and energetic performances elevate and inform audiences. Along with regular concert appearances, he specializes in live improvised silent film accompaniment, worldwide. He has premiered the art in major venues in North America, Europe, and Asia. He is the recipient of several prizes, including the First Prize in Improvisation from the American Guild of Organists (AGO) National Competition.
Built in 1927, PPAC’s Mighty Wurlitzer is one of only three five-manual keyboard consoles built by Wurlitzer. It has five keyboards, twenty-one ranks, and percussion that can produce a range of orchestral sounds, as well as sound effects that can be utilized when accompanying silent films. Lincoln W.N. Pratt assisted a small team of PPAC Trustees in finding the 5/21 Wurlitzer organ which was privately owned; the organ was purchased by PPAC in 1982 and has held a special place of honor at the theatre ever since.