POPs for KIDs is the Children’s Pipe Organ Project of the Wichita Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Since it began in 1991, it has grown by leaps and bounds, in one record season alone introducing nearly 1,300 children to the King of Instruments. POPs for KIDs has organized Pipe Organ Field Trips and Organ Demonstrations for school children, Organ Crawls for families, and Children’s Recitals presented by nationally known organ recitalists.
The Project has been featured at national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists, and its classroom teaching materials have been used all around the United States. It can furnish teachers with materials to include a unit on the pipe organ in their classes, and many teachers have supplemented this study with field trips to POPs events. POPs has also produced an Organ Crawl DVD, and in 2012 has released its new Internet Teaching Aid for classroom and in-home use.
A few of the highlights since POPs for KIDs’ founding:
1993: POPs for KIDs commissioned John Leavitt’s Scenes of Childhood.
1997: Wichita Chapter AGO initialed Organ Scholarship Fund, prompted by POPs extraordinary success.
2000: POPs added demonstrations for college music appreciation classes.
2000: Sponsored Pipe Organ Festival with C.J. Sambach to high acclaim.
2002: Began annual organ demonstrations for Camp Allegro.
2002: Wichita Chapter AGO began awarding Organ Study Scholarships to young keyboard players.
2003: POPs for KIDs commissioned Robert Leaf’s “An Instrument of Thy Peace.”
2008: In AGO “International Year of the Organ,” POPs mounted a full series of events for children.
2009: Sponsored Family Pipe Organ Fair as part of Wichita’s ten-state Region VI AGO Convention.
2011: The Children’s Pipe Organ Project celebrated its Banner 20th Anniversary Year
2012: POPs for KIDs introduced its new online teaching unit. (See link in ribbon above.)
2012: Wichita Chapter commissioned a new solo organ work, Prelude, Recitative, & Fugue by Bernard Wayne Sanders, in honor of Irene Shaw’s 20 years’ service as POPs for KIDs Director.
2013: The public premier of this commissioned work was given by organist Christopher Shaw at Plymouth Congregational Church in Wichita on October 6, 2013.