A couple of years ago, my former organ student Joey Fala attended a Pipe Organ Encounter (POE), a week-long “organ camp” if you will, for high school students. It is sponsored yearly by the American Guild of Organists and every summer, there are a half-dozen or more of these programs held in various locations on the mainland. This summer’s POEs were held in Waco, TX; Birmingham, AL; Colorado Springs, CO; Wilmington, DE; Ann Arbor, MI; and Portland, OR. I actually had two students attend the Waco, TX program and another student attend the Colorado Springs program this summer.
Joey will be attending the POE-Technical in Boston next week, which is designed for students who are interested in the learning the art and craft of organbuilding. One of the great things about POE (in his opinion) was that students received an organ pipe to take home as a memento.
We thank organist John McCreary for generously donating real organ pipes for our recent PipeWorks event so that every participant got to take home something tangible. Yes! every student got to take home an organ pipe! Some of you may know that John built a theatre pipe organ in his living room and his wife, Betsy, was happy to get rid of the extra pipes.
Each participant also got a laminated name tag which can also be used as a luggage tag. Thank you, Joey, for all your work in pulling off this incredible event!
NOTE: The national organization of the American Guild of Organists has a program called PipeWorks which is a two-week interdisciplinary curriculum of classroom instruction. It combines the use of a traveling pipe organ, “visits” from famous composers and hands-on science experiments. We condensed the material from this curriculum and combined it with experiences from Pipe Organ Encounter into a half-day event to introduce students to the pipe organ.
In the “memories to hold onto” department, I wanted to share a video of my sister, Doris, singing her song in tribute to my mother at the memorial service which you can view by clicking here. My brother-in-law, Alan MacDonald, took the video on his iPhone. Words can be found on my previous post here.