He Shed, She Shed
Saturday 9: Bye, Bye Blackbird

Organ Recital

Back when we lived in the DC area about a million years ago, Washington National Cathedral held a free organ recital every Sunday afternoon. Joe went nearly every Sunday; I accompanied him every so often. I enjoyed the recitals, but Joe loved them.

Recently we got a brochure in the mail from the arts program at Ursinus College in nearby Collegeville. Lo and behold, there was a free organ recital scheduled for Sunday afternoon! Joe asked if I wanted to go; I said I'd think on it.

So I thought on it, and decided that yes, I would like to go, so off we went.

We found the building, Bomberger Hall, and went on in. The performance space is gorgeous and the organ is very impressive.


The organist is Alan Morrison. He was celebrating his 25th anniversary as College Organist at Ursinus, so the recital had an atmosphere of special-ness.

He. Is. Wonderful.

He played JS Bach's Prelude and Fugue in B Minor - because, he explained, every organ recital requires a piece by JS Bach - and a selection of other works, including a Chorale by Cesar Franck, and more modern pieces by Charles Tournemire and Olivier Messiaen.

I was happy to see the Bach, because I love Bach's organ music. But the other pieces were really great, especially one by Jonathan Dove called Dancing Pipes. It was delightful, full of humor and fun. And boy oh boy, this piece makes use of all of the organist's limbs, let me tell you! There's a part where his feet were all over the pedals as much as his hands were all over the keys. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him play. Dancing Pipes indeed! Have a listen (though the organist is not Alan Morrison).

Anyway, I was so glad I decided to go. There are other recitals and performances coming up - all free! - and Joe and I will be there to enjoy them.