Tonight was the gala opening concert of the Organ Historical Society convention at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield, MA, and the featured performer was Christopher Houlihan, who played for the American Guild of Organists Hawaii chapter a few years ago. He opened with a hymn, Lobe den Herrn (Praise to the Lord), and apparently the OHS requests that each performer include a congregational hymn in his/her program.
Then he played three preludes and fugues by Brahms, Henry Martin (b. 1950) and J. S. Bach (Prelude and Fugue in E minor). In between, he also played “Happy Birthday” to American Public Radio host, Michael Barone, who was sitting only a few rows in front of me. I thought the Bach was especially dazzling, and the fugue (the “Wedge”) just sizzled!
It was intermission, and I thought I would do a Facebook check-in.
Within TWO SECONDS, I got a “Like” from Christopher who must have checked his phone at intermission, and this comment:
I was so surprised, and so thrilled! I never knew a performer would check his Facebook page during intermission! Christopher then masterfully played the Fourth Symphonie by Louis Vierne on the second half.
This morning, I took one of the optional tours to two museums. The first was to the Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge, MA where he lived the last 25 years of his life. We saw these famous original paintings.
We then went to the Daniel Chester French house and museum — he was the sculptor who designed the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and at the museum we saw his plaster casts.
Then in the garden, we saw a most unusual art piece which looked like old red hymn books tied to a tree.
I don’t think they were the old Lutheran “Service Book and Hymnal (SBH)” but they could well have been, since they were the same size!
Well, I’ve got to get to bed before midnight tonight as tomorrow will be a busy day. We will hear SIX organ recitals tomorrow!