School of Music to Commemorate Year of the Organ

The University of Redlands School of Music will commemorate the American Guild of Organists' International Year of the Organ with a series of five special concerts beginning in October and continuing through March.

The concerts will showcase the university’s famed Casavant Opus 1230 organ in a number of settings, including an organ spectacular, two solo recitals by internationally recognized soloists and a featured concert with the Redlands Symphony Orchestra. An evening of silent movie music also will be part of the series.

The first concert in the series, the organ spectacular, will be held Sunday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. The event will feature members of the Inland Empire Chapter of the Guild. Performers will include University Organist Frederick Swann, William Brakemeyer, Irmengard Jennings, Kenneth Rudolf, Marc Longlois, Kimo Smith and University of Redlands student Claire Caruso. The event is free and open to the public.

The organ spectacular is one of more than 200 concerts planned nationally as part of the guild's widespread effort to celebrate the organ.

On Oct. 25 at 3 p.m. in Memorial Chapel, Swann will present a free solo recital. Swann, the university organist and artist teacher of organ, is also president of the American Guild of Organists. Swann will be assisted by narrator Kathie Freeman, artistic personnel and production manager of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Swann is organist emeritus of the Crystal Cathedral and the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, as well as organ artist in residence at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert.

On Jan. 31 at 8 p.m., former Radio City Music Hall organist Robert MacDonald will present "Silent Movies from the '30s." The program will feature organ accompaniments for films featuring Laurel and Hardy, Harry Langdon and Felix the Cat. The concert is free and open to the public.

Swann will be the featured soloist with the Redlands Symphony Orchestra on March 7 at 8 p.m. and 8 at 3 p.m. He will perform the Organ Symphony No. 1 of Alexander Guilmant and Saint-Saens' Symphony No. 3 Organ. Both works feature a grand symphonic style that experts say is particularly suited to the Casavant organ's design. For ticket information call the Redlands Symphony at 909-748-8018.

The final concert in the series is set for March 10 at 8 p.m. The solo recital is by French virtuoso Daniel Roth. Since 1985, Roth has been the titular organist at St. Sulpice, a Paris church where his predecessors include Marcel Dupre, a consultant on the design of the Casavant. Tickets are $10 at the door.

For more information call the School of Music at 909-748-8700.

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