Vibes from E. Power Biggs

The Flentrop organ at Adolphus Busch Hall, Harvard

The Flentrop organ at Adolphus Busch Hall, Harvard

Probably the most famous organist ever was the legendary E. Power Biggs, who made a name for himself and the pipe organ through his many recordings. For me, I had an E. Power Biggs LP record of Bach organ works (Do kids these days even know what LPs are/were?)  which I played absolutely to death while I was in high school. Many of those Biggs recordings were done on the Flentrop organ at Adolphus Busch Hall at Harvard University, an instrument which Biggs commissioned after playing historic organs in Europe on his 1954 concert tour.

You can read more about the Flentrop organ here.

So you can imagine the thrill my former student, Joey Fala, must have experienced when he gave a recital today on the very same instrument! Joey posted on Facebook: Picking up sympathetic vibes of E. Power Biggs from the dimly lit gallery of Harvard’s Adolphus Busch Hall during some late night practice.

And imagine my pride and happiness when I read David McPeak’s summary of today’s concert:

*This week’s artist was Joey Fala, a recent graduate of the School of
Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic in Troy, New York.  He is currently
pursuing his MM in organ at Yale, studying with Martin Jean.  Originally
from Hawaii, Joey began organ studies with Katherine Crosier at the
Lutheran Church of Honolulu and went on to receive coaching from Christian
Lane and Alfred Fedak after moving to the East Coast.  His programme was: *

*Sonata 4, Op. 65
               Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)*
*             I. Allegro con brio*
*             II. Andante religioso*
*             III. Allegretto*
*             IV. Allegro maestoso e vivace*

               Ad Wammes (b. 1953)*

*Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542
  Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)*

*I have to say, up front, I was blown away by this young man’s playing and
the entire recital.  Joey Fala is an extremely talented organist and I feel
privileged to have heard him play.  The Mendelssohn was excellent, it
worked better on the Flentrop than I thought it would.  The Wammes was
wonderful, I like this piece, a bit of fun.  The fantasia and fugue was
excellent, the almost full house gave Joey well deserved applause and
several bravos.  This has to be one of the best recitals I have heard
lately.  I wish Joey only the best and look forward to hearing from him in
the future. 

Peter Krasinski wrote A spectacular recital today on the famous Flentrop of Busch Hall, Harvard—the audience, the organ, the spirits of the place and the very walls themselves give a big YES to this young artist.”

Wow, Joey! We are so very, very proud of you!

Edith Ho and Joey Fala

Edith Ho and Joey Fala at the Church of the Advent, Boston

Retired church musician Edith Ho, with whom I always stay while in the Boston area, attended the concert and half-expected me to show up at the concert today — on my way to Rome! I would have — except for getting my plane reservations mixed up and I’ll leave Honolulu tomorrow. Edith said, “I talked to Joey and gave him your greetings.  I also complimented him for his tribute to you quoted in your blog.” (She’s referring to the Iolani School yearbook supplement, which I wrote about in an earlier post. Click here.)


About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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