Ago Pipe Organ Encounters 2010

Article excerpt

Greater Columbia



June 13-18

The Greater Columbia Chapter, under the leadership of director Tony Roof, hosted a POE on the campus of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, attended by 20 students ranging in age from 12 to 18 and coming from six states: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Several of the students had attended a POE previously. The ten-member faculty included chapter members David Lowry, Jared Johnson, Patrick Hawkins, and Louis Shirer; guest faculty included John Brock, Lenora McCroskey, Joby Bell, Charles Tompkins, Michael Grant, and Andrew Scanlon.

In addition to the seminary, eleven churches graciously offered the use of their pipe organs for lessons and classes: St. Andrews Lutheran, Mount Tabor Lutheran, Good Shepherd Lutheran, St. Paul's Lutheran, Good Shepherd Episcopal, St. Martin's Episcopal, Centennial ARP, Shandon Methodist, Eastminster Presbyterian, Washington Street Methodist, and Trenholm Road Methodist.

Patrick Hawkins presented the opening recital ("Musical Treasures from the Renaissance and the Baroque") on the 46-rank Flentrop tracker organ (1985) at the seminary. On Tuesday evening, Andrew Scanlon played a recital at St. Peter's Catholic Church on the 36-rank Peragallo organ (2003) that featured composers Langlais, Howells, Bach, Jenkins, and Arthur Wills.

Among the classes offered were "What Is a Harpsichord?" (McCroskey), "What Is a Church Musician?" (panel with Lowry, Tompkins, Bell), "How to Play Hymns" (Bell and Shirer), "Why Do Organists Do Handbells?" (Hawkins), "Sure-Fire Hits" (Tompkins), "Why Play 400 Years of Music the Same Way?" (McCroskey), and "Who Wants to Hear an Organ Recital?" (Scanlon, Brock). Guest lecturers included Sally CherringtonBeggs from Newberry College ("The Wonderful World of Pedals") and Mark Husey, director of music at St. Peter's Catholic Church ("How Do I Get Started Improvising?"). John Dower of Dower Pipe Organs in North Carolina gave a hands-on demonstration of organ pipes and actions.

On Wednesday, the group traveled by bus to Winthrop University, where the refurbished 2009 four-manual Aeolian-Skinner organ was showcased with a recital by POE alumni Paul Thomas, Kevin Neel, and Patrick Pope. Thomas is a student of Charles Tompkins at Furman University, and Neel and Pope are students of Janette Fishell at Indiana University. On Thursday evening, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral presented Evensong in the Seminary Chapel with organists Jared Johnson and Christopher Jacobson.

Students were presented in a recital on the final day and were awarded certificates of participation and gift CDs of performances by faculty members. The POE concluded with a noonday prayer service played by organist Michael Grant.

The dedicated team of chapter members - including Tony Roof, David Lowry, Patrick Hawkins, Susan Sturckie, Frances Webb, Polly Watts, Frank Ballard, and James Johnson - was instrumental in the success of Columbia's POE. Thanks to Region IV Councillor Sarah Hawbecker and Jee Yoon Choi (Charleston AGO Chapter) for their attendance and help.

The students came with experience ranging from none to a few years of organ lessons. The fact that most of the students will continue organ study in their hometowns is a testament to the success of our POE. The positive comments received show that it was a fun, enriching experience for students and faculty alike.



June 13-18

An invigorating St. Louis POE drew 28 students from eight states. Seven out-of-town instructors, in addition to local teachers, provided private lessons, recitals, and workshops during the week.

Sunday afternoon began with student check-in, dinner, and orientation meetings for students, parents, and teachers. In the evening, the students toured the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. They heard a demonstration of the cathedral's organ and received open-console time. …