No — it’s not the end of my career — didn’t want to scare you just yet! Today on FaceBook, a lot of my organist friends shared a link to Frederick Swann’s encore of his farewell concert at the First Congregational Church in Los Angeles, which I have embedded here:
Fred Swann (b. 1931) is probably one of the most famous organists in the world, and has had three prominent church positions: Riverside Church (New York), Crystal Cathedral (Garden Grove, CA) and First Congregational Church, Los Angeles. He apparently got his first church job at the age of only ten years old when the organist of his church died suddenly. He was for three terms the national President of the American Guild of Organists. Fred is no stranger to Hawaii, having vacationed here many, many times and given concerts at both St. Andrew’s Cathedral and Central Union. Although he’s never played a concert at LCH he has visited us on a number of occasions. A few years ago he joined local organists (myself included) in playing at the annual Midsummer Night’s Organ Concert, which is a benefit for our Hawaii chapter organ scholarship program. That year the offerings were in excess of $5,000!
I believe it was his last concert at Central Union in which he played the same hymntune, “Lobe den Herrn” as an encore. As it turns out, we’ll be using the same tune as the opening hymn in our upcoming Bach Vespers, Sunday, October 30th, at 7:30 pm. We will, however, use a hymn introduction by the late Lutheran composer, Paul Manz.
By the way, we experienced some wonderful music-making over the weekend at LCH, from the Ensemble Mirable concert and Children’s Sabbath.