WINGS: Silent Film with organ accompaniment by Peter Krasinski


Friday, April 22, 2016, 7:00pm


The Memorial Church

Presented by: Harvard Organ Society
Tickets: Admission Free: No Tickets Required
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Step into a 1920s movie palace at Harvard's Memorial Church on the evening of April 22 as HOS screens the 1927 Academy Award-winning silent film "Wings." Live, improvised soundtrack will be provided by organist Peter Krasinski, hailed as "one of the world’s finest—if not the leading—silent film live improvisational accompanists." This will be an epic experience not to be missed!


I have had a vision which I imagine would get the support and attention within and beyond the Harvard Community: to remember those souls of Harvard that served their country in times of War by presenting what has been called by many the best film ever made about War. We are within the centennial years of World War I – WINGS (1927), the first Academy Award-winning movie for best picture, has been speaking to audiences for years regarding the mission of Peace and the futility of War. The organs of Memorial Church are relevant instruments of spiritual, intellectual and emotional illumination capable of narrating this film.

A personal note: ever since I was a child I have been fascinated by the names on the walls in Memorial Church and been particularly drawn to the memorial for the Great War within the walls of the Church – perhaps the presence of this memorial makes all the more poignant the presentation of WINGS at Harvard… a most appropriate remembrance of the members of Harvard that lost their lives during that War and the others to follow.

(Historical note-April 2, 1917 was the date of America entered World War I)


WINGS, (1927)

Winner of the First Academy Award for Best Picture

Wings, the silent 1927 American action film about World War I directed by William A. Wellman tells the story of Jack Powell (Charles “Buddy’ Rogers) and David Armstrong (Richard Arlen), two fighter pilots involved with the same woman. Growing up as rivals in the same small American town, both men competed for the attentions of the beautiful Sylvia Lewis. However, Jack fails to realize that “the girl next door”, Mary Preston, (Clara Bow) is desperately in love with him. The two young men both enlist to become pilots in the War and shortly after, Mary joins the war effort by becoming an ambulance driver. The climax of the story comes with the epic Battle of Saint-Mihiel.

International sonic artist and pipe organ improviser Peter Krasinski has played WINGS most recently for the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, The British Soldiers Fund, Westford Academy and the Chevalier Theater Organ Society.