Last night Carl and I attended the annual dinner meeting of the Hawaii Chapter, American Guild of Organists (AGO). It’s probably the only chapter among 20,000 members worldwide which includes a free dinner at the end of the year. At the dinner we announced a PipeWorks program which will take place this summer at LCH and neighboring churches on July 9 at 11 am.
PipeWorks is an experience for students with an interest in the pipe organ — to explore the instrument, meet others with similar interests, and connect with organists and organ students. In addition to performances, the program will provide an introduction to organ mechanics, including the rare opportunity of climbing inside the pipe chambers.
It was eight years ago that I held a PipeWorks session at LCH and invited 4th and 5th graders to find out what a pipe organ was all about. We listened to and played the harpsichord, piano and organ to find out their differences. Joe Pettit dressed up at Johann Sebastian Bach and he and I played organ duets. One of the children who came to that first PipeWorks session was Joey Fala, who became my organ student for the next 7 years. You can read about Joey’s journey to becoming an organist in an earlier post. What’s so exciting is that Joey himself will lead the PipeWorks program on July 9th!
We will begin at LCH, have lunch, then walk to neighboring St. Clement’s to see the Austin organ, then continue on to Central Union to see the Aeolian-Skinner organ over there, one of the largest organs in the state. At each venue, we will hear the organ played by Joey as well as some of my present organ students, Jordan McCreary, Miki Yamamoto and Joshua Yuen-Schat, all teenagers.
If you know of a young person who would be interested in attending this free program, please have them contact me. I cannot tell you how good it feels to be passing the torch to the next generation.