Lenten Recital Series

Last Friday, I went to an organ recital at the First Congregational Church in downtown Ann Arbor. Each Friday, during Lent there is an organ recital at noon presented by the Ann Arbor chapter of the American Guild of Organists. This church is a short distance from my work place which means I can easily attend when my work schedule allows.

The First Congregational Church was built in the 1800’s. I enjoy visiting these older churches and appreciated the architecture. The pipe organ is from 1985. There are not many pictures of it on the church’s website. If permitted, I will take a few pictures of the console at next Friday’s recital.

The recital was preformed by the Men’s Schola Cantorum, and organists Thomas Strode and Naki Sung Kripfgans. The Men’s Schola Cantorum began the program with Lent Prose. Thomas Strode than played 3 selections from The Stations of the Cross, Op. 29 composed by Marcel Dupré. He continued with Prelude and Fugue in A minor (BWV 543) – J.S. Bach.

Next, the Men’s Schola Cantorum, which consisted of 2 men, sang Audi benigne Conditor. Naki then played a piece with the same name, by Marcel Dupré, on the pipe organ. Naki ended the program with Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor (BWV 582) – J.S. Bach. Watching this piece performed was a marvel as Thomas Strode changed the stops many times throughout the performance. It was dance like how he switched from one side of the console to other to pull stops. On many organs the organist can change which stops are pulled with the push of a button, but this organ did not seem to have those features.

Which stops are pulled determine how the organ will sound. Check out the organ terminology here.  I have so much more to learn myself, not only in how various pipe organs function but also about the music and composers.

I am very much looking forward to next Friday’s recital. I hope to see you there!

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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.

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