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.
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
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!
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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