Itʻs time for one of my favorite concerts of the year — the 10th Annual Childrenʻs Benefit Concert on Saturday, March 5th at 4:00 pm by the Sunday School children of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu.
It was ten years ago that young Mitchell Gorman came up with the brilliant idea that the kids of the LCH Sunday School put on a concert to not only showcase their talents but also to raise money for a good cause. This yearʻs beneficiary will again be the ELCA Good Gifts program, which enables individuals or groups to sponsor gifts of farm animals, clean water, health care, and education to help communities around the world transcend poverty and hunger. People who attend the concert are asked to consider a pledge of $1 a day during Lent (total $40) towards the fundraising effort.
Well, of course, I have organ students performing this year, as I have had since year one of the program. This year Sophia and Raphael, who have only been studying with me since October, will wow the crowd with their newly-found skills on the organ! Both will be playing two pieces each — Sophia will play a sweet setting of “Wondrous Love” and a short prelude on the Gregorian chant tune, “Adoro te, devote” while Raphael will knock ’em over with “Johnson’s Ground Bass” and “Toccatina,” a real crowd-pleaser.
It’s been my interest since the year 2000 to teach children the organ which may or may not be their first instrument and I have not required that they learn how to play the piano first. In fact, children who play the piano first sometimes have a harder time playing legato on the organ because on the piano, the sound dies away immediately. Notes don’t have to be connected so precisely as on the organ.
However, in the case of Sophia and Raphael, organ is their third instrument, after violin and piano which they study concurrently. They are making fantastic progress on the organ in the very short time they have been with me, although it surely helps to have musicians as parents!
In fact, I would say that the majority of my young students over the years have taken organ as a second or third instrument. All of which reminds me of videos which I found of people playing organ and another instrument simultaneously:
This aria is from cantata 171 “Gott, wie dein Name, so ist dein Ruhm” for soprano, violino obligato and b.c. Gerard van Reenen plays this aria on cornet and organ simultaneously. The soprano part on his cornet, the violin part with his left hand on the manual and the b.c. with the pedals. For the violin he has chosen a flute stop on the organ. The organ has been built by the Dutch organ builder Vegter for the Walfridus church at Bedum (The Netherlands). The cornet is made by Getzen (U.S.A.). For this aria it has been muted by a mute of cardboard. Info: www.gerardvanreenen.nl
And here is Chris Martin playing violin and organ simultaneously:
Hope to see you at the Children’s concert on Saturday!