St. Tim's Discovers - Michael Gartz Organ Concert at St. Rose
January 29, 2015

St. Tim’s Discovers – Michael Gartz Organ Concert at St. Rose

Michael Gartz plays the organ at St. Rose Catholic Church, Perrysburg, OH

Michael Gartz plays the organ at St. Rose Catholic Church, Perrysburg, OH

Last Saturday evening (for date night) my husband, Ted, and I enjoyed dinner out and then a delightful organ concert at St. Rose Catholic Church.

This concert was part the St. Tim’s Discovers series which is a program of Saint Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Perrysburg, OH.

Their mission is Bringing Classical Music to the Community Through the Church. The organist was my teacher, Michael Gartz. Also performing were soprano Cheryl Babb and trombonist Phil Smith.

The St. Rose Pipe Organ

St. Rose organ manuals

The St. Rose organ

The pipe organ at St. Rose is the only pipe organ in Perrysburg, OH. And it was built in 1873! I was not able to locate a stop list or pictures of the organ on the St. Rose website.

There does not seem to be much information available about this historic instrument. The organ was extensively refurbished in 1975-76 by D. F. Pilzecker & Company, Organ Builders of Toledo.

What to look at?

We arrived at the church early and discovered the organ is in the balcony. This made for interesting discussion on the drive home as what do you look at when the organist and other performers are behind you?

I looked at the details in the ceiling and Jesus on the cross. I could see His ribs. My church doesn’t have Jesus on the cross, so I tend to check Him out when at a church that does have Him on the cross.

I was also tempted to close my eyes and focus only on the music but I didn’t want anyone to think I was sleeping!

The Program

Michael Gartz St. Rose Organ ConcertThe program was about a hour in length without intermission. The time flew by which I feel is a sign of how much I enjoyed the music.

What I really liked about the program was the variety. I love solo organ but I also love hearing it accompany voice and along with other instruments.

This may have been the first time I heard “Let the Bright Seraphim” by G. F. Handel (definitely first time in a live performance). This was my favorite piece of the evening. Cheryl Babb has an amazing voice. Phil Smith also played the trombone.

If you are not familiar with this piece I found a recording of it on YouTube here. This is NOT a recording from Saturday’s concert.

The final piece – “Sonata No. 3 in C minor” by Alexandre Guilmant was a treat. I felt like a could feel the music going through me. I encourage everyone to attend live organ concerts for this very reason. Feeling the vibrations from the organ is not something that can be replicated when listening to a recording or watching a video!

Overall, it was a an entertaining program. Others in the audience seemed to enjoy it as well and Michael is an outstanding organist!

Do you enjoy live organ concerts? If you’ve never been to a live concert I encourage you to do so. It could give you a new appreciation for the instrument and those that play it.

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January 2015 Lesson: Forgetting about the singers and the easy way out
Keeping the kittens out of the organ!

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Alexander López - January 31, 2015 Reply

The first pipe organ concert I attended was at a Methodist church here in Caracas, Venezuela. There’s nothing like hearing the real thing. It is a powerful spiritual experience that has to be experienced. I know atheists who agree the experience is unlike anything else.

However, I have also seen people sleeping while attending a classical concert. I don’t feel bad about it as long as they don’t snore. Instrumental music might be boring for some people, but the fact that they are attending is enough for me. Who knows?, it might be their only chance in weeks to sit in a calm enviroment all by themselves.

And it might be worse. Like the ever present cellphone, or the crying child, or the scarce but fearsome people who can’t stop talking while the music is being played… compared to that, someone enjoying a sweet moment of sleep is fine with me.

    Heidi Bender - February 1, 2015 Reply

    Excellent points on sleeping vs. things that could be worse!

Animadura@yahoo.com - January 30, 2015 Reply

Thanks for this, Heidi. A pleasure to read your blog. The second half of the programme is unfamiliar to me, can younsay a bit more about it?

    Heidi Bender - January 31, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for reading!

    The only piece I was familiar with before the concert was Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor.

    It’s been a week, but I still remember the Sonata (the last piece) have some nice full chords that I could feel.

Mom - January 29, 2015 Reply

I have been to several organ concerts and enjoyed them. I may be someone who may
actually fall asleep if my eyes were closed. I think if you know the organist then a person may pay
closer attention. Do you ever see anyone reading a book while listening to the music?
I can see “what to look at” could be an issue for some people. The set is the same at Grandma’s church.
Organ and musicians are in the balcony.

Mom

    Heidi Bender - January 29, 2015 Reply

    Hi Mom,

    I have seen people knitting at concerts and some with books! I have also seen people that are sleeping. We sat near the front at this concert so I didn’t observe what people were doing during this concert.

    Heidi

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