Please do post details of concerts, courses and other events into the Calendar
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Does that poor organ ever get switched off?! I bet it's got to be pretty much the busiest organ in the country, if not the world...
A new generation has discovered the centuries-old tradition of pipe organ music, that intoning and imposing beautiful sound usually associated with chapels, cathedrals and classic movie palaces of the past showcasing the silent film era.College students are among the loyal audience following of the Twin Cities Organ Concert Series, a nonprofit organization that provides frequent organ performances in Saint Joseph, Benton Harbor and surrounding communities.The Twin Cities Organ Concert Series Committee is a group of organists and local community enthusiasts that endeavor to "increase the level of appreciation for the organ as an instrument and its repertoire."According to Jenifer Milnikel, a member of the Twin Cities Organ Concert Series Committee, through this teamwork, they are able to present guest organists, provide scholarships to young aspiring organists and promote collegiality among area musicians.
With concern, they notethat the European organ culture risks losing attention and appreciation,that the familiarity of the music-loving public with organ music has dwindled over the last decades due to decreasing church attendance,that in church services the organ is not sufficiently recognized as an instrument that can be innovative and open to various musical genres and is ever more being replaced by other instruments or even recorded music,that the organ has very little presence in non-ecclesiastical concert programming, nor in broadcasting or the print media,that the interest in organ teaching, especially at a professional in conservatories, is falling sharply,that in some European countries resources for the maintenance and the preservation of valuable historic or new organs are scarce,that due to the change of use of some facilities or lack of interest, church and concert hall organs are no longer used and thus neglected – or even being disposed of.[/l][/l]
Auckland donates organ to ChristchurchSun, 18 Sep 2011 6:26p.m.By Jessica RoweOnly four of Christchurch’s 79 pipe organs survived the city's earthquakes.With the city's town hall out of action, its magnificent Reiger organ has been temporarily silenced.But Auckland has come up with the answer.It is the ceremonial sound of royalty, pomp and celebration.The Aotea Ali, as it is affectionately named, is one of the largest pipe-less organs in New Zealand and now it is in Christchurch.The organ was previously housed in Auckland’s Aotea Centre but now it is on loan to Christchurch and local organist Martin Setchell says the city has a musical heart again.“They have loaned this magnificent Allen electronic organ for as long as we need it, to use for our concerts, so it is a life saver for the city.”Many churches suffered significant damage in the earthquakes and Mr Setchell says only about four of the 79 large pipe organs in Christchurch survived, or are accessible after the earthquakes.In February, this Methodist church collapsed crushing its pipe organ and the three people who were trying to remove it.And with the city's town hall still out of action, its beautiful Reiger pipe organ is also unavailable for an unknown period of time.So its temporary replacement, the Aotea Ali has moved to he city's CBS arena, Christchurch’s only remaining venue for big public gatherings.The council says it will help bring the city together again.Christchurch deputy mayor Ngaire Button says it means they can have some of their iconic events that we look forward every year.The Aotea Ali is expected to be in Christchurch for several years while the town hall is being restored, playing at many of the city's large public gatherings, including graduations and concerts.3 NewsRead more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Auckland-donates-organ-to-Christchurch/tabid/423/articleID/226280/Default.aspx#ixzz1YSGyfIjk
Young players sustain old pipe organs
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 12/10/2011 12:45 PMThe popular Christmas carol “Angels We Have Heard on High” can be heard anywhere in Jakarta in the days leading up to the Christmas holiday.But to enjoy it played live on a pipe organ in this capital city, one needs to visit old churches, and hope that the instruments are in good condition, and more importantly to find available players.Vicky Andreani, 29, was one of the rare pipe organists who made one of Jakarta’s only five existing organs come to life.“Playing a pipe organ requires coordination from many parts of our body: our eyes, our two hands and our feet,” Vicky said. “It takes time and continuous practice before your body is familiar with the organ.”Playing the Christmas carol for The Jakarta Post with the 75-year-old pipe organ of the GPIB Paulus church, Central Jakarta, on Friday, Vicky said that performing on the instrument so that the music rose and fell rhythmically was never easy.However, Vicky found that all of her efforts and the challenges she faced were worth it, equal to the splendid sensation she gets from hearing the beautiful sounds of the instrument, which was developed by Europeans in the 17th century.“I have a big interest in music, including violin and piano. But the classical pipe organ is more fascinating,” she said.Vicky has been playing piano since she was a child but started to learn the pipe organ six years ago.Pipe organs, which once were the most complex man-made devices, is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through pipes.Each organ may have anywhere from a dozen pipes and one keyboard to more than 20,000 pipes and seven keyboards.Having a skill on piano is not the most important thing, strong will is.“I am lucky that I was a pianist when I became interested in the pipe organ,” Vicky said. “At least I didn’t have to learn the basic musical skill, only the technical know-how.”Another young organist, Ariwandira Pratama Siagian, said that he needed three to four months to get himself used to the device.“Like Vicky, I was a classical pianist before I was an organist,” said the-21-year old, who likes being called Ari. The student of the Jakarta Theological Seminary said that the most difficult part was toadapt to the additional tools in the instrument, such as stop knobs to control the different timbre, pitch and volume.Ari said that continuous practice with the instrument would quickly improve the organists’ skill.Due to the complicated design of the organ, with all the pipes and stop knobs and multiple-layer keyboards, the organs are only available in few churches in Jakarta.“To practice, we have to go to churches where the instrument is available,” Ari said. “So, playing this thing also requires strong dedication.”Both Ari and Vicky believed that the existence of such instruments relied on the sustainability of organists. “There should be a good regeneration to maintain the number of organists,” said Vicky.“Otherwise, the organs will be abandoned in years ahead.”Calvin Eko Saputro, an advanced organist and teacher to the younger players, said that the instrument was not too popular among the youth.“It is not about how many young people are eager to play it. It is about how many of them know it,” he said. “Sadly, many of them don’t even know what the pipe organ is.”Eko, the organ teacher at the GPIB Immanuel church in Central Jakarta, said that there were about 16 organists in the church alone.“Most of them are young organists,” he said.He said that the instrument, due to its beauty and long history, deserved better attention. “The organ can be performed for many occasions other than religious events.”However, Eko acknowledged that the organs available for playing in Jakarta were too limited.“Classical pipe organs can only be found in three Protestant churches and two Catholic churches,” he said. “Even if there are more people who are willing to play it, there are not enough places,” he said.Suwandi, the only mechanic and organ maker in the city, said that expensive production cost and maintenance had dissuaded people from having more organs.Cheap organs, with pipes of bamboo or metal, can cost Rp 500 million (US$55,500) whereas expensive ones can cost up to Rp 1.5 billion.“The maintenance costs range from Rp 8 million to more than Rp 20 million,” he said.Suwandi, who has been an organ maker and technician for more than 20 years, said that restoration costs were also pricey. “If an organ is badly broken, it can take more than Rp 500 million and more than one month restoration time.”He regretted that several people, including the church officials, did not show enough concern about pipe organs.“I have seen many organs broken because of neglect by church administrations,” he said. (lfr)
Hirten speaks about pipe organ in filmThe Ventura Chapter of the American Guild of Organists invites the public to “Image is Everything — The Pipe Organ in Film” on at 7:30 p.m. today at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3290 Loma Vista Road in Ventura.American composer and organist, John Karl Hirten, is the guest speaker at the free event.From the “Phantom of the Opera” to “Minority Report,” the organ has a distinguished history in film, not only in musical scores but on the screen itself.Using film clips and background materials, this presentation looks at the various ways that Hollywood views the pipe organ, and how those views may affect how the organ and organists are viewed.The evening begins with movie-time refreshments in Kahler Hall. The audience will then be ushered into the sanctuary to hear Hirten play some illustrative selections on the Hedgel organ followed by the video presentation.For more information, call Sara Edwards at 701-6970.Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/05/hirten-speaks-about-pipe-organ-film/#ixzz290nsxsdO- vcstar.com