Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Three Free Organ Concerts in Pasadena


PASADENA, February 10, 2012 — Three Pasadena churches and their organists will join forces for “Pipe Organs Inspire” - free-admission organ concerts on March 17, March 31 and April 14 in the Playhouse District of downtown Pasadena.
The series will begin March 17 at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 500 East Colorado Blvd. The second concert will be March 31 at 7:30 p.m. at First Church of Christ, Scientist, 80 Oakland St. The series will conclude on April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 East Colorado Blvd.

Each of the church’s organists — Ae-Kyong Kim (FUMC), David Wolfe (FCCS) and Timothy Howard (PPC) — will perform on all three programs, playing music selected especially for the particular instrument. All concerts will be free of admission charges; voluntary offerings will be taken at each event.

“Our goal,”
says Todd Alan, series coordinator, “was for our churches to collaborate in a unique way that would offer high-quality programs for the community and beyond, giving people a chance to hear three magnificent instruments in churches that they may never have considered entering before.”

Host organist: Ae-Kyong Kim

Ae-Kyong Kim has been organist at FUMC since 2003 and served in similar positions at Wilshire United Methodist Church, Immanuel Presbyterian Church and L.A. Open Door Presbyterian Church. A native of Seoul, she holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in organ performance from USC where she also studied choral conducting.

Kim’s selections on the March 17 concert will be Mozart’s Fantasy in F Minor, K. 608, and three movements from Charles-Marie Widor’s Symphony No. 6. On the program, Wolfe will play music by J.S. Bach and Clarence Mader and Howard will perform music by Mendelssohn and Buxtehude.

FUMC’s organ was originally built in 1923 by the E.M. Skinner Co. It was remodeled in 1955 by Aeolian-Skinner and in 1974 by Manuel Rosales. It has four manuals and 65 ranks of pipes.

Host organist: David Wolfe

David Wolfe held his first church organist position at the age of 13. He earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Music from Fresno State and then went to Europe, where he studied under Parisian organist Daniel Roth and received the Konzertreife (Performer’s Certificate) in Organ at the Musikhochschule des Saarlandes in Saarbrücken, Germany. Upon his return to the United States, Wolfe completed the Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance, with specializations in Organ, Counterpoint, Music History and Jazz Studies at University of Southern California.

On the March 31 program, Wolfe will play music by Gaston Litaize and Maurice Duruflé and César Franck’s Chorale No. 1 in E Major. Kim will perform music by J.S. Bach and Alexandre Guilmant, while Howard will play selections by George Thalben-Ball, Seth Bingham and Herbert Howells.

The organ at First Church of Christ Scientist, Pasadena, was originally built by Murray Harris Co. in 1909, then remodeled by Schantz Organs in 1964 and Kenneth Simpson in 1967. It contains three manuals, 48 stops and 51 ranks of pipes.

Host organist: Timothy Howard

Timothy Howard has been organist at Pasadena Presbyterian Church for six years and Director of Music for the past four. Prior to coming to Pasadena Presbyterian, he was associate organist-choirmaster at All Saints Church, Pasadena, for 13 years. He is also a lecturer in music at Cal State Northridge and head of the school’s organ program.

Howard holds a Doctor of Music Arts degree, with honors, from USC and also has degrees from Westminster Choir College and Biola University. In addition to being a noted organist and conductor, he has composed organ scores for the silent films “Nosferatu,” “From the Manger to the Cross,” and “The Life and Passion of  Jesus Christ” and other works.

On April 14, Howard will play J.S. Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in B Minor, BWV 544, and the final three movements of Louis Vierne’s Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 42, No. 2. Kim will play music by Marcel Dupré and Wolfe will perform selections by Widor and Olivier Messiaen.

PPC’s organ was originally built by Murray Harris Co. in 1908. A new organ, incorporating some of Harris’ work, was begun by Aeolian-Skinner Co. in 1947 and completed in 1961. Subsequent remodeling was undertaken by Casavant Frères Ltée. in 1979 and Schantz Organ Co. in 2003. The organ now has four manuals with 111 ranks of pipes, making it one of the larger instruments in Southern California.

More information on the series can be found online at www.pipeorgansinspire.com or by calling Bob Thomas at 323/257-3817.

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