American organ music
May 24, 2014 | 1792 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Guilford chamber organ
The Guilford chamber organ
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GUILFORD- Friends of Music at Guilford presents its sixth annual Spring Organ Recital at 3 pm, on Sunday, May 25, in the Organ Barn at idyllic Tree Frog Farm in the Guilford country-side. For this Memorial Day weekend recital, Ken Olsson has chosen a singularly appropriate program: music by 19th-century Americans. Not only does it suit this national holiday, it also reflects FOMAG’s continuing interest in American composers, most specifically those associated with New England. And it suits the organization’s Guilford chamber organ, with a console dating back to the late 19th century, when it was installed in a church in Maine.

There were organs in America as far back as the early colonial era, but not many; the Pu-ritan tradition frowned on instrumental music in church services. Still, by 1800, Boston boasted eight church organs, New York and Philadelphia five or six, and many other cities throughout the colonies claimed at least one. Wealthy private households had organs, too.

Three composers represent the so-called New England School at the turn of the 20th century.

Horatio Parker (1863-1919) was one of the most admired American composers of his time, especially for his choral works. As professor of music at Yale, he taught the young Charles Ives, who bridled at Parker’s academic strictures. George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931) was influenced by the Realist movement in the arts. Arthur Foote (1853-1937) became organist at First Church in Boston in 1878 and stayed there for 32 years.

Tree Frog Farm is on Kopkind Drive, off Packer Corners Road, about nine miles from the Guilford Country Store. Take Guilford Center Road from Route 5 south at the store and follow signs to the barn. Tickets for this event are $15 for the concert and $10 for the optional barbecue. It’s helpful to have an idea how many folks are coming, for food-planning purposes, so contact the Friends of Music office for reservations at (802) 254-3600 or office@fomag.org.
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