November 11 Organ Concert

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“If music be the food of love, play on.” William Shakespeare

I went to an Organ Jubilee Concert Series at the First Presbyterian Church this evening. I sat in the balcony and the sound was amazing! I love the organ, it makes me think of Oakland A’s games, carnivals, circuses, church, Phantom of the Opera and Prince. I know…I know, off topic, but it does. Anyway, the organist, Peter Richard Conte is currently employed as the Wannamaker organist at Macy’s Department Store in Philly (true story – he told us himself, 2nd floor Women’s Department). The Wannamaker organ is the largest organ in the world. When it was disassembled and transported, it took 13 freight cars to carry all of the pieces, that’s how big it is!

The organ at the First Presbyterian is one of New Mexico’s largest. I guess that’s why he was here to play it for us, being that he is the expert on playing large organs. He introduced each song and had an historical anecdote about each. My favorite song was “Comes Autumn Time” by Leo Sowerby. The story to go with it was cute too: apparently Mr. Sowerby’s friend promised a new piece of music to be debuted by Sowerby but forgot to ask him to write a new piece of music. Sowerby read in the paper that he was to debut a new song in one week’s time, so he wrote “Comes Autumn Time” in one day. Amazing. He was inspired by the Bliss Carman poem entitled “Autumn”. Pretty interesting evening, now I want to go to Macy’s in Philadelphia!

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