The People

Opus 54 features interviews and commentary from several key figures from the history of the organ, as well as the talented musicians who make the instrument sing. Read on for an overview of all the main people you’ll see in Opus 54.

Martin Ott

Martin Ott

Martin Ott is the Orgelbaumeister who built the chapel organ at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Ott runs the Martin Ott Pipe Organ Company in St. Louis, MO. The title of the film comes from the chapel organ’s opus number on Ott’s list of work. Ott’s opus list now contains more than 100 organs. Born in Germany, Ott has earned an outstanding reputation as a quality organ builder in the United States.

James Tiefel

James Tiefel is professor of worship and homiletics at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Tiefel also serves as the Dean of Chapel and the director of the Seminary Chorus, a touring ensemble of male singers. Tiefel was on the faculty during the chapel organ project and served as the organ committee chairman. Tiefel also served on the chapel renovation committee that coordinated the remodeling of the chapel in 2005.

Edward Meyer

Edward Meyer

Dr. Ed Meyer is a professor emeritus at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. Meyer has served as an organ consultant for several decades and has assisted in completing 68 instruments. Meyer served as the organ consultant for the chapel organ project at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. In retirement he lives in beautiful Stillwater, MN.

Richard Murphy

Richard Murphy is originally from upstate New York, but has spent most of his career in the St. Louis area. During is years with Ott, Murphy’s primary responsibility was building wood pipes and constructing and voicing finished organs at their final destination. He is currently employed as head piano technician at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Richard Murphy

Earl Naylor

Earl Naylor

Earl Naylor has spent much of his career in the St. Louis area. During his years with Martin Ott Pipe Organ Company he worked designing the interior workings of each organ. His primary responsibility was designing the inner workings of each instrument. Naylor now serves as head organist and choir director at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Webster Groves, MO.

Aaron Christie

Rev. Aaron Christie is pastor at Faith Ev. Lutheran Church in Antioch, IL. A 1997 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Christie earned a Master of Church Music degree with an emphasis in organ from Concordia University, Mequon, Wisconsin in 2004. Christie played on Opus 54 as a student at WLS. Christie is a leader in WELS on the topic of worship and music and serves with the WELS Commission on Worship.

Pastor Aaron Christie

Jacob Behnken portrait

Jacob Behnken

Jacob Behnken is a middler (second year student) at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Behnken has played the organ for thirteen years and frequently accompanies chapel worship at the seminary. God-willing, Jacob will graduate from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 2012 and receive an assignment to serve a WELS parish.