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organ music

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Organist Tom Fielding says both the renovation of St. Augustine Cathedral, where he is music director, and the COVID-19 pandemic both got in the way of consistent practicing last year. 


Cindy Hunter

Cindy Hunter, director of music at First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo, and organist Michael Montgomery join Cara Lieurance to announce the upcoming events of the 50th Anniversary year of the Casavant Frères Pipe Organ, an instrument that debuted in 1970 after the destruction by fire of the previous organ.

Hunter and Montgomery discuss the special qualities of this treasured instrument, one of several notable pipe organs in Kalamazoo. The first event is a Choral Evensong with Organ Rededication, at 4 pm Sunday January 26. Follow upcoming events at the First Presbyterian Church's facebook page.

 

50th Anniversary Organ Events 

Casavant Frères Pipe Organ, op. 3067

First Presbyterian Church, Kalamazoo Michigan

 

  • Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, 4 pm  - Choral Evensong with Organ Rededication 

  • Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, 7 pm  - American Guild of Organists - SW Michigan Chapter members recital

  • Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, 4 pm  - “Vox Humana” - concert featuring voices with WMU Choral Scholars 

  • Sunday March 15, 2020, 4 pm and 10:00 morning worship - Guest Recitalist Dr. Norah Duncan - Wayne State University, Blessed Sacrament Church, Detroit 

  • Sunday, April 26 following morning service - Organ Petting Zoo

  • Friday, May 1, 2020 - Doors open to church during Art Hop, area organists playing organ

  • Sunday, May 17, 2020, 4 pm  - Guest Recitalist Marilyn Ossentjuk, with her WMU organ students 

  • Monday, June 1, 2020, 7 pm  - Bach Festival Week “Bach Around the Block” Friday/Saturday, June 5 & 6, 2020  Doors open to church during KIA Art Fair, area organists playing organ

  • Friday, July 10, 2020 - Doors open to church during Art Hop, area organists playing organ

  • Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, 7 pm - HymnFest featuring former organist Elizabeth Bruce, Doors open to church during Art Hop

  • September 13, 2020, 4 pm and 10:00 morning service  - Guest Recitalist Dr. John Sherer (Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago) in collaboration with Gilmore Keyboard Festival

  • Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, 4 pm - Recitalist Michael Montgomery Halloween themed event, with Trunk or Treat in Gathering Place following recital. Invite all to wear costumes

  • Sunday, All Saints Day, Nov. 1, 2020 4 pm - Choir/organ/orchestra presentation of large choral masterwork Faure Requiem (performed at organ dedication 50 years in 1970)

  • Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, 4 pm - Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday - Brass and organ, solo instruments with organ - in collaboration with Michigan Festival of Sacred Music

  • Sunday, Dec 13, 2020, 6 pm - Advent Vespers Service. John Rutter’s “Gloria.”

Timothy Jansen, director of music and organist for St. Anthony of Padua Church in St. Louis, MO, visited with Cara Lieurance to preview his Sep 30 concert. Jansen and Tom Fielding, the founder of the Sacred Music at the Cathedral Series and organist at St. Augustine Cathedral in Kalamazoo, shared their thoughts about the works on the program and the unusual "above and beyond" requirements of being an organist. 


Edition Peters

Graeme Shields, co-founder of the Vital Organ Project, will offer a free public performance of Organ²/ASLAP (As Slow As Possible) at First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo on Saturday, Jul 27, beginning at 1 pm. (The public is free to come and go at will during the performance.) Shields has trained himself to stretch out the four-page piece into an 8-hour performance, which, he tells Cara Lieurance, isn't the longest performance that has been attempted. There is an on-going performance in Halberstadt, Germany at St. Burchardi Church that began in 2001, and is expected to last 639 years.

Shields talks about John Cage's groundbreaking, visionary works which changed our perception of music, and about how he has learned to hold the sonorities of As Slow As Possible for durations of 15 and 20 minutes before changing to the following notes. When changes happen that far apart, they become extremely potent. He suggests that people drop in as they can, and listen for at least one sonority change to see what it's like.


Organist Jay Yau, of Ss. Peter And Paul Catholic Church in Naperville, IL, recently visited Kalamazoo to perform a solo recital at Saint Augustine Cathedral. Yau, joined by St. Augustine organist Tom Fielding, talked about his experience on a scholarship at the Chapelle Royale at Versailles, France. He gained an appreciation for a neglected area of organ music, that of the French Baroque period. A pianist who switched to organ in his late teens, Yau also talks about the organ-rich environment at the Oberlin Conservatory, where he continued his education.