Members of the Twentieth Century Club of Garrettsville and their guests were recently treated to a program presented by one of their talented members, Pat Amor, on the recently-renovated pipe organ in the Garrettsville United Methodist Church. The opening toccata was just a foretaste of the enjoyment to come.
The presentation included interesting information on the technicalities of the organ itself, such as the number of keys on each of the keyboards on this particular organ(61), illustration of such terms as “voice” and “rank”, “swell”(It was swell, but that’s another story)and “great” (ditto). There were chimes, the mellow sound of the waldflote, the “sassy brasses”, including the cornet…a virtual orchestra at her fingertips. A display of some of the now-antique pipes which had been removed when the organ was updated helped expand the picture of the internal workings that bring about the sound.
Newly-installed lighting in the organ cavity behind the updated façade helped show how the instrument’s volume is modulated by the operation of vertical louvers allowing the sound to be contained or broadcast at increasing power across the outer sanctuary space. There was even a modern twist, a sort of robo-keyboard, which allows the organist to pre-set a particular passage or program to be played electronically–not a recording but an organ playing itself, as it were…with the help of an organist with planning skills as well as music in the heart.
The evening came to a close with a special dedication to Dorothy Watson, longtime member of the club and the church, “How Great Thou Art” and a piano-organ duet with Karen Miller, a club member and fellow music major alumna of the University of Mount Union.
Refreshment was hardly necessary after such a program but, indeed, these were served in the lower-level Wesley Room, decorated in a musical theme to suit the evening. It was a fine winter’s musical tale.