Lenten Organ Recital at FCC of Ann Arbor – 2/15/2013

The first recital in the 2013 Lenten organ recital series presented by the Ann Arbor chapter of the American Guild of Organists was last Friday. The recitals are at noon every Friday from Ash Wednesday until Easter at the First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor.
First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor
I arrived about 10 minutes early. Much to my surprise there were only about 10 in the audience, excluding the organists and organizers. However, by the end of the concert there were closer to 20 in attendance.
There was a sign on the front sidewalk advertising for the free concert. I wondered if any of those coming in late stopped in because they heard the organ music and the sign on the sidewalk advertising the free concert or if they planned to come and were late.
Morgan Byrd, a third year undergraduate student at the University of Michigan studying organ, started the recital with Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in D Major (BWV 532). This exciting piece is about 10 lengths in length and Morgan played it all from memory! An impressive feat given the intricacies of this piece which includes some fancy footwork.
The remainder of the concert was performed by Renate McLaughlin. She is a Master of Music (Church Music) student at the University of Michigan. Renate explained a little bit about the pieces she would play. She started with “Kryie” composed by Jean Langlais. Then she played 4 chorale preludes back to back before introducing the last piece, “Duo” from Messe pour les couvents  by Francois Couperin.
I am looking forward to the remaining recitals and encourage you to attend organ recitals in your area! The Prelude and Fugue in D Major was amazing to hear live. Take 10 minutes and watch Diane Bish’s performance.
Facing anxiety (February 2013 Lesson)
Music from Sainte-Clotilde, Ypsilanti Pipe Organ Festival
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Heidi Bender writes about her experiences of learning to play the organ. She started on the adventure in 2009.

She also writes on her website Tons of Thanks, which helps people write thank-you notes. Heidi is also a cat lady who writes at The Joy of Cats.

6 thoughts on “Lenten Organ Recital at FCC of Ann Arbor – 2/15/2013”

  1. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after going through some of the posts I realized it’s
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    • It seems that there are more recitals in larger cities. The majority of programs I have been to have been about a hour from my home. Working in Ann Arbor makes it convenient to attend the programs during the week!

      One of my goals of this blog is to encourage people to attend organ recitals.

  2. Hi Heidi,

    IF you didn’t work in Ann Arbor you would miss out on these concerts so consider it a perk! I never did like it when I had to be in a piano recital and have my music memorized. Organ by memory would be even harder. Morgan Byrd has a speicial talent.


  3. WOW!!!! you’d better start checking into taking some classes at UM!! you are in Ann Arbor everyday so it’s not impossible. just think you could be a Diane Bish someday. I used to always watch her play every Sunday at that Presbyterian Church. She is fantastic….You could be a millionaire someday and dress in beaded dresses too…how long would it take for you to play like her?

    • Hi Mary Jane,

      I do not meet the audition requirements for U of M. It will be years (if ever) before I can play like Diane Bish! They still show her Joy of Music show on the Church Channel.



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