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Upcoming Performances

October 1, 4:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, First Presbyterian Church, Gainesville, Ga.

October 15, 4:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, First United Methodist Church, Gastonia, N.C.

November 12, 3:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, Charles Town Presbyterian Church, Charles Town, W.V.

February 11
Inaugural recitalist, Casavant organ, Forest Lake Presbyterian Church, Columbia, S.C.

March 9, 2018, 12:15 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, National City Christian Church, Washington, D.C.

March 11, 2018
Guest recitalist, Waldensian Presbyterian Church, Valdese, N.C.

May 13, 2018, 5:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, First Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, N.C.

Wednesday
Sep132017

So, what did you do this summer?

 

Honestly, I can't remember it all. Better write it down:

May 12: Played for Commencement

-- Continued to serve on the Board for the Friends of Music at St. Mary’s Church in Blowing Rock, N.C.

May 27: Played for a wedding, which is rare for me

June 4: Watched my students perform a splendid studio recital at the chapel at The Citadel, on the 2017 Piccolo Spoleto l’Organo series

June 7: Played a recital in the Hall of Philosophy in Mt. Gretna, Penn.

June 11: Played a recital and Evensong at St. Mary’s Church in Blowing Rock, N.C.

June 12-15: Recorded two more Widor Symphonies at First Presbyterian Church, Houston

June 25-29: Served on the faculty and performed for the Pipe Organ Encounter (Advanced) at the University of Alabama

June 29-August 3: ate, hiked, and performed my way across the south of France. The Pyrenees are breathtaking at 8000 feet.

August 5-11: Attended the Organ Historical Society convention in St. Paul and environs.

August 12: Played for the Salem Presbytery meeting in Statesville, N.C.

August 17-20: Performed on two Viscount organs in the Dothan/Enterprise, Ala., area

August 22: Classes began

Meanwhile, the Widor series continues to chug along. Symphonies II and III and the Suite Latine are up in October on the E.M. Skinner at First Presbyterian in Wilmington, N.C. From there, it’s on to the Aeolian-Skinner in the Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence, Missouri, in January. Then on to a TBD venue in the Spring, and we’ll be DONE.

Then may I go on summer vacation?

Saturday
May272017

The Theory of Evolution

I now find myself in the middle of a recording project of the complete Widor Symphonies, plus his Suite Latine, Trois Nouvelles Pièces, and Bachs Memento. I am having the time of my life. Recording is an expensive habit, but it works for me.

My recording process is evolutionary. I think, "Gee that's a wonderful piece. I should record it." Or I think, "Gee, that's a wonderful organ. I should record on it." Once I get those two ideas into the same sentence and have rep matched to an instrument, then I call my producer, and we start looking into it. He and I and the recording engineers he calls "the secret weapon" have already recorded three times together. Our first was the Widor Sixth and Romane Symphonies on the landmark Aeolian-Skinner at St. Mark's Cathedral in Shreveport, detailed here. That organ needed recording, and the Romane needed to be recorded on it. A few months later, the four of us met in Houston and recorded Jongen, Brahms, and Reubke on the Fritts organ at St. Philip Presbyterian, detailed here. That recording is done and on the Centaur label, entitled "Sonatas and Variations." Our third project was an all-British program recorded on the landmark Aeolian-Skinner at First Baptist in Longview, Texas.

It wasn't long after that that we just HAD to get our hands on my beloved Aeolian-Skinner at First Presbyterian in Houston, where I "presided" from 1997-2005. Our first thought was all-Howells, but then the idea of doing two more Widor Symphonies presented itself, and then Evolution took over, and the complete Widor project was officially born.

This post appears in the "News" tab of this website, and so the news is that I'll be heading to Houston on June 12 to record Widor Symphonies I and V. That will leave only six Symphonies to go, plus the three extra pieces. We have already received clearance to record on the E. M. Skinner at First Presbyterian in Wilmington, N.C., and we have received clearance to record on another landmark Aeolian-Skinner in the Midwest.

Evolution also struck in the selection of instruments to record Widor on. As it turns out, Aeolian-Skinners, E. M. Skinners, and maybe even an Aeolian have become our instruments of choice. At first, that was coincidental. Now it's deliberate. Now I'm on a mission. And I believe in evolution.

Monday
Mar062017

Birthday gigs

My 49th birthday was this past weekend, on March 4. As usual, I was working. But also as usual, I was working on MUSICAL matters, a happy occurrence for someone who was trained in MUSIC. I thought I would list the various ways I have spent a few birthdays:

2017: judge and accompany two students in the annual Hayes Young Artist Competition, which seeks to award $7500 annually, renewable, to an incoming Freshman to the ASU Hayes School of Music;

2016: Lenten recital, Corinth Reformed Church, Hickory, N.C.;

2012: accompany the Brahms Cello Sonata No. 1 with our Tuba (yes, Tuba) professor at ASU.

In other years, I have been on recital trips during my birthday. I celebrated two birthdays -- 30 and 43 -- on recital trips to San Antonio. Mexican food, birthdays, and recitals are a winning combination, almost better than a margarita made in Texas. Can't wait for the next one there.

Friday
Nov042016

A Roanoke gig

I'm just back to my hotel after having conducted the Poulenc Concerto and played the chamber version of the Duruflé Requiem. Tidbits:

-- This was at St. John's Episcopal, Roanoke, Va., where my friend David Charles Campbell serves as director of music.

-- His choir and friends made up the chorus, and several members of the Roanoke Symphony and other Virginia musicians were the orchestra.

-- This was my first invited conducting gig.

-- This was the first time I had played the chamber version of the Duruflé. I have lost count the number of times I have played the solo organ version.

-- I'm playing the solo organ version of the Duruflé in two days!

-- I have never played the Poulenc.

-- Up until recently, I had never liked the Poulenc.

-- The Poulenc is a masterpiece.

-- The Duruflé is a major masterpiece and probably my favorite choral piece.

-- I could go on and on. Thank you, Roanoke friends old and new! This was a treat. Back to the grind tomorrow morning.

Sunday
Oct162016

ASU in DC

This rather busy summer 2016 was nicely capped by a studio trip to Washington, DC. Seven of us climbed onto Amtrak on August 4 and made our way from Salisbury, N.C., to Union Station, D.C., where awaited us a week of beautiful organs and lots of delicious food in all corners of the city.

We visited the rather stunning Möller at Capitol Hill United Methodist (Jon Kalbfleisch), the rapturous Schoenstein at St. Paul's K Street (John Bohl), the ever-changing Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner at the National Cathedral (Benjamin Straley), the treasured Austin at First Baptist (Lon Schreiber), the mighty Möller at National City Christian (Michael McMahon), the sumptuous Lively-Fulcher at the Franciscan Monastery, the myriad treasures at the National Shrine (Benjamin LaPrairie and Nathan Davy), and the exquisite Aeolian-Skinner at National Presbyterian (access courtesy David Lang). See lots of photos HERE.

To a person, our church hosts were gracious, welcoming, and most hospitable to allow us to play and play and play as long as we liked. We marveled all week at how UN-gracious organists in many cities can be, but Washington was by far the friendliest town of organists we had ever encountered. Thank you to all of them.

We also enjoyed the hospitality of one student's sister, who was serving an internship in a Senator's office for the year. She took us through the Capitol, where we learned a wonderful amount about that splendid building.

And the FOOD. Where do we begin? Italian, Mexican, Hard Rock, Asian, Tapas, we had it all. Then there was Amtrak food.