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From: LeliaLoban
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2002 16:51:38 EDT
Subject: [CB] Washington DC?

Grant Green writes,
>Family trip to Washington DC in the near future.  We'll definitely be
>seeing the Smithsonian, the "Contrabass of museums", but does anyone have
>other suggestions?  Contrabassoon ensembles in concert, tubax duets,
>purveyors of heavy metal [instruments]?

You don't mention a date, but when you know, be sure to check for concert schedules in the Washington Post's "Weekend" section, which comes out on Fridays and is available online at:

The Smithsonian 's musical instrument collection display has been undergoing renovation and I'm not sure whether it's fully reopened yet.  If you're up on Capitol Hill, check the small but good display of instruments in the Library of Congress , across the street from the Capitol (in the modern, Madison building, which is cattycorner from the Northeast corner of the Capitol).  The Library in general is well worth touring, if you have time.  The instrument exhibit, which includes Gerry Mulligan's baritone sax, is in the foyer of the Performing Arts library.  The foyer is open to the public.

If you happen to be around on any of the following dates and if you count pipe organs as bass wind instruments, St. Ann's Church (RC, phone 202-966-6288) at 4400 Wisconsin Ave., NW (Tenleytown Metro stop) has a fine new 1999 Letourneau pipe organ and will be hosting recitals:

For details, the church has a web site:

For more organ playing, also see what's happening at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Ave., NE (Brookland Metro stop; phone 202-526-8300). The Basilica is a fine, historic building (among the 10 largest basilicas in the world), with at least 3 organs, including a pair of Mollers recently refurbished and enlarged by Goulding & Wood.  Web site:

Last but hardly least, the National Cathedral, corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin, NW (phone 202-537-8980), a fabulous Gothic-style building with gargoyles,  crypt, etc., has a huge pipe organ by Aeolian-Skinner.  This brute has more than 10,000 pipes, including basses you can feel through the soles of your shoes.  I think it's either the largest or second-largest *functional* pipe organ in the USA, either just ahead of or just behind the A-S at the Mormon Tabernacle in Utah.  (The Midmer-Losch in Atlantic City is far larger, with a 64' bass, but it's being restored; a lot of it has never worked; and I think a lot of it still doesn't work.  The A-S at the National Cathedral works!)  The Cathedral did a Verdi Requiem last weekend and hosts organ recitals often, although I don't have this summer's schedule yet. 
National Cathedral web site:

Hope you enjoy visiting here!
Lelia Loban
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