RAGBRAI ORGANIST: Joining Two Passions

It was hard to decide what was more impressive.

The sight of St. Paul’s in the evening or the sound of its carillon ringing into the street.

The sound of a handmade organ filling the cathedral as the sun streamed in or the sight of the man making all the music in his… cycling shirt?

“I started riding RAGBRAI in 1985,” says organist, David Raymond, “and I’ve ridden 26.”

It isn’t often David Raymond can mix his two passions.

“Occasionally on RAGBRAI I would find a lovely country church and an organ at a country church.”

There was the time he played St. Wenceslaus in Spillville but this was even better after all, this is Raymond’s church.

“We thought this would be a nice opportunity to showcase something different,” he says. “Showcase the organ and show people one of Des Moines’ oldest churches.”

The audience just loved it.  Alright, this is a church, after all.

“We know there’s a number people in the RAGBRAI ridership that very much enjoy classical music.”

Rock and Roll riders had their fun down by the river, and these had theirs in front of an artist in his medium inside stone and glass set 128 years ago on a fine night on the trail.