Heidi Bender - Page 44 of 45 - Inspiration and stories from the organ bench (with cats)
February 13, 2012

Organ Recital at Rosary Cathedral

Today, my husband (Ted) and I attended an organ recital at the Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo, OH. The organist was Paul Monachino, who is the Director of Music / Organist for the Cathedral. The Cathedral is beautiful with a painted ceiling and intricate architecture. I recommended taking the Virtual Tour.

I was very much looking forward to this concert. Ted took the day off to attend with me. It was his first time to hear a pipe organ live. We arrived early and choose a pew towards in the middle and sat on the right, so that we could see Paul at the organ console.  The organ pipes are not visible.

We both enjoyed the concert. Paul started with Chaconne by Francois Couperin, which I recognized as Michael has provided me with his recordings of this piece. Next was Prelude and Fugue in C Major; BWV 547 by Bach followed by Three Early American Hymn Tunes: Woundrous Love, Simple Gifts, and Amazing Grace. The last piece before intermission was Prelude and Trumpetings (1961) by Myron Roberts.

For the second half of the program, Paul performed Charles-Marie Widor’s Symphony No 4. in F Minor. This symphony has 6 movements: Tocatta, Fugue, Dolce, Scherzo, Adagio,  Finale. The Finale definitely sounded like a finale!

One of my goals is to eventually be able to describe the actual music (not just list the titles of pieces) so that others can be inspired to give organ music a chance.

February 4, 2012

Sunny Afternoon Nap

Pictured below is my cat, Buster. He was sleeping on the organ bench one sunny afternoon until I came along with my camera!

Sometimes I like to take a nap on a sunny afternoon too especially on Sundays after lunch at my parents. The warmth of the sun coming through the window puts me to sleep.

Do you like to take naps in the sun?

January 29, 2012

January 2012 organ lesson

Yesterday morning, I went to Toledo for an organ lesson with Michael Gartz at Trinity Episcopal Church. This was my first lesson at Trinity as St. Mark’s Episcopal recently merged with Trinity.  There are a few pictures from when the organ was installed in 2005 here. I had planned to take my camera along but in my anxiety of driving in snow (which turned out to not be problematic) I forgot it. I will take some pictures at my next lesson.

When we first arrived, I had the pleasure of listening to Michael practice a few of his pieces.  The organ is in the balcony so I walked around the nave while he played.  (In protestant churches this is usually considered the sanctuary). The sound of this organ is amazing.

I have heard it said that sometimes the organist has the worst seat in the house. This was apparent to me yesterday when I comparing how the organ sounded while standing in the balcony to hearing it while in the nave. The music sounded much more complete and how you would expect to hear a piece in the nave. In the balcony, the distance to the organ pipes is short so the full affect of the sound combining cannot be realized.

My actual lesson started off well. I did not need much coaching on the first piece as I am aware of when I slow down on harder parts and I’m still learning the end. From there, I needed much more help. Michael pointed out areas where I still need work and gave advice on techniques I can do at home. Overall, it was a great lesson and I am slowly making progress. I hope to be able to successfully play “O Come, All Ye Faithful” by next Christmas!