Frederick Swann Releases His Newest Recording

A Redlands teacher and nationally known organist has released a CD believed to be the first commercial recording featuring the Casavant Opus 1230 pipe organ.

Frederick Swann, artist teacher and university organist, released his newest recording, “The Artistry of Frederick Swann” in late January. The release was recorded in Memorial Chapel in the summer of 2009 on the university’s pipe organ.

The CD, which is produced by Gothic Records, features music specifically chosen by Swann to showcase the unique music-making abilities of the organ, which was dedicated in Memorial Chapel in 1928 and has since been completely restored.

Swann is arguably one of the most widely recognized organists in the nation, having served as president of the American Guild of Organists. He also is organist emeritus of the Crystal Cathedral Church and the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles and is organ artist-in-residence at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert.

He frequently performs with symphony orchestras and choruses. In 2002, he also was named Performer of the Year by the New York City chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

In 2004, Swann was tapped to perform the inaugural recital on the new organ in The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

The Virginia native holds degrees from Northwestern University School of Music and the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary. For 10 years, he was chair of the organ department at the Manhattan School of Music. He also has served on the faculty at Teacher’s College of Columbia University in New York.

The university's historic 1927 Casavant Opus 1230 organ was meticulously taken apart and returned to its Canadian builder for repairs as part of an extensive renovation project. The organ was returned to the Memorial Chapel in 2003.

At the time of its installation, the Redlands organ was the third, and largest, Casavant organ in California. Through the years, the organ has been central to the campus and community, being showcased at events including the Feast of Lights and the annual Redlands Organ Festival. The instrument also is a key part of the School of Music education program.

Contact the School of Music at 909-748-8700 for more information.

Casavant Pipe Organ

The 83-year-old instrument was fully restored in 2003 and features 4,266 pipes.

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