I love hymns and the pipe organ! Yesterday, my mom and and I enjoyed A Festival of Hymns at Pease Auditorium at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
A Festival of Hymns
The festival was the first event for the 2015-2016 season for the Ann Arbor chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The theme of the concert was “Singing the Psalms of the Life”. There was also a choir assembled from volunteer participants that rehearsed a couple of hours before the concert began. Michael Burkhardt was the organist.
This was the first time I was able to go to the Hymn Festival as in past years its conflicted with a vacation. Also, for the first time for my mom traveled to an organ presentation with. We had fun getting there as well. The drive took longer than expected as we were forced to take a scenic route around a parade. Thankfully, we left early and arrived in time to use the bathroom before taking our seats.
The program included hymns and a few readings. Each Hymn was a Psalm or based on Psalm. In total the program was about a hour. The organ sounded magnificent from the first note.
The combination of a well played organ with the choir gave me goosebumps several times during the performance. Mom and I were familiar with some of the hymns and we enjoyed those that were new to us. Mr. Burkhardt is an excellent organist. There was also a young man playing the trumpet for a few of the hymns and a young lady played the oboe with the organ for 1 hymn.
LASST UNS ERFREUEN
One of the hymns was “From All That Dwell Below the Skies” played to the tune LASST UNS ERFREUEN. I felt proud to be able to lean over and tell my mom that I could play this one! I have learned to play “All Creatures of Our God and King” which is played to the same tune (and in a difference key in my hymnal). Mr. Burkhardt played a more complicated version than what is in my hymnal, but I still felt accomplished knowing I had played this hymn successfully in the past.
I was inspired to practice because of the concert, knowing that some day I will be playing the organ and leading the signing of the choir and congregation. However, my run through of “All Creatures of Our God and King” at home last night did not go well. In the past I was able to play it from memory. Too much time has elapsed and my muscle memory forgotten. I struggled to play it through. I will spend some time remembering it and relearning as I love this tune!
A few weeks ago, Katherine Crosier featured me in her article about Adult Beginners. Read it here.