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At Grace Church, A Melodious Legacy

Since the early 19th century, locals and visitors alike have gazed at the striking Gothic architecture of Grace Church, located on Broadway and 10th Street. However, if visitors were to venture through the church’s doors, they are also likely to encounter a rich crescendo of organ music.

Grace Church’s artist-in-residence and concert organist, Stephen Tharp, helps to maintain Grace’s musical legacy alongside its master of choristers, Patrick Allen.

Today, Grace Church is undergoing a massive restoration process. In addition to stained glass windows and ornate woodwork, Grace will fit the colossal building with a world-class organ by 2012. Besides Mr. Tharp’s career accomplishments as an organist (touring around the world, composing his own music, and performing for the pope), he is eager to fortify Grace’s musical legacy on its brand new organ.

The Local speaks with Mr. Tharp about his current position as artist-in-residence at a church that is evolving both architecturally and musically.

NYU Journalism’s Stephanie Buck and Kristin Buettner report.