Three Days – Three pipe organ concerts

In the past 52 hours I have attended 3 organ concerts!

First, last Friday during my lunch break, I went back to First Congregational Church for their Lenten organ recital. The parking garage near the church was full so parked in another garage which was about a 10 minute walk from the church.  I arrived at the church after the performance started and also there were not any programs left. Therefore,  I do not know the name of any of the pieces played or the performers. I did snap a few pictures of the organ. This picture shows the organ pipes and the console. There are many more pipes which are not visible.

Pipe organ at First Congregational Church, Ann Arbor, MI

On Friday evening, I attended an organ concert at Pease Auditorium on the campus of Eastern Michigan University with organist Bruce Neswick.  The program was titled “American Music on an American Organ”. Bruce is an excellent organist masterfully played through the program.  I didn’t take any pictures but if you follow the link to Pease Auditorium you will be able to see the stage and pipes. My impression is that the organ could be lowered through the stage floor when not in use.

My favorite piece of the performance was improvisations of the hymn All Creatures of Our God and King. This hymn is amazing! Bruce played it through several times changing the key and also playing the melody on the pedals. It was indeed wonderful to hear performed live. I was familiar with the hymn tune but not the words. Yesterday, I found this hymn in my hymnal and the words themselves are also fantastic.

Today, I was present at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Tecumseh, MI for an organ concert with organists from the University of Michigan. This program was “Happy Birthday, Dear Johann” and all pieces were composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750).  Professor James Kibbie introduced each piece and the organist playing the piece (he played a few of the pieces himself). James Kibbie has recorded every work of Bach which can be downloaded for free.

I learned today that Bach titled two pieces Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 and BWV 538. (BWV is the cataloging system for Bach’s pieces). BWV 565 is the famous piece that most will recognize. Professor Kibbie’s performance of it was impressive. The concert ended with another organist playing the BWV 538 piece.

The pipe organ at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is in the balcony.
View of pipe organ in balcony from the main level

The console (not visible from the main level)
Lenten Recital Series
Friday's Lenten recital
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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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