King me: Organist Strony offers live accompaniment to a DeMille masterpiece |

King me: Organist Strony offers live accompaniment to a DeMille masterpiece

Jacqueline Logan portays Mary Magdalene in The King Of Kings, showing Sunday at Peace Lutheran Church. This is a free event, with donations to the church's organ fund accepted.
Submitted Photo

WHAT: The King of Kings - Cecil B. DeMille’s 1928 silent film classic with live accompaniment by nationally renowned theater organist Walt Strony.

WHEN: Sunday, March 24, 4 p.m. Run time 112 minutes. Free reception follows.

WHERE: Peace Lutheran Church, 828 West Main Street, Grass Valley, in the sanctuary.

TICKETS: Free admission. Any donations benefit the Peace Organ Fund.

Nationally acclaimed organist Walt Strony will perform live musical accompaniment to “The King of Kings,” Cecil B. DeMille’s silent classic, at 4 p.m. Sunday at Peace Lutheran Church’s Peace sanctuary in Grass Valley.

This 1928 general release edition is more carefully edited than the 1927 premiere edition. Strony plans to play works by Handel, Wagner and more. Admission is free, and a free wine and cheese reception follows the movie.

Arts @ PEACE, the church’s program of high-quality cultural events, presents this event. Any donations received will be gratefully received; they are tax-deductible and will benefit Peace’s Organ Fund. The church is raising money to replace its aging digital instrument with a new organ capable of using real pipes, adding to the excitement of the sound.

The combination of live music, a live audience and DeMille’s spectacular yet sensitive portrayal of the ministry, passion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth remains uplifting 90 years after its release, Strony said.

Screenwriter Jeanie Macpherson worked 16 hour days and was devoted to “precise detail” in following Scripture, according to Daniel A. Lord, S.J., the film’s official advisor from the Catholic Church.

Strony selects music that forms a bridge between the film and the audience. “My job is to underscore the emotions the actors are trying to evoke,” Strony explained. The emotional impact leads audiences to tears, he promised.

For more background on The King of Kings, including speculation about a relationship between Mary Magdalene and Judas Iscariot, visit

Trina Kleist is youth and outreach coordinator for Peace Lutheran Church, 828 West Main Street, Grass Valley. Visit or call 530-273-9631.

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