Classical

Midwest Festival of Organists Coming

American Guild of Organists concert series, Sunday through Wednesday at various venues.

By - Jun 14th, 2019 04:56 pm
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Organ - Church of the Gesu. Photo courtesy of the American Guild of Organists.

Organ – Church of the Gesu. Photo courtesy of the American Guild of Organists.

We may think of June as the start of a quiet summer for classical music. But this June challenges that perception.

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra offers classical concerts on three weekends, including favorite works like Carmina Burana and Gustav Mahler‘s First Symphony.

Piano Arts will celebrate its 20th anniversary this weekend with a series of concerts and presentations June 14-17.

Organ - St. Joseph Chapel. Photo courtesy of the American Guild of Organists.

Organ – St. Joseph Chapel. Photo courtesy of the American Guild of Organists.

The opportunity to binge on great piano concerts will be followed by an even longer list of great organ concerts. The Milwaukee Chapter of the American Guild of Organists celebrates 100 years by hosting 165 visiting members from all across the Midwest at the 2019 American Guild of Organists North Central Convention. The group will visit venues with classic organs across the Milwaukee metropolitan area featuring recitals by world-class organists and workshops.

Sunday, June 16 through Wednesday, June 19 bring organists, choirs and a handbell ensemble to some of the best churches in the region. Unlike a concert for strings, winds or other instruments, each organ may offer a very different experience. Compositions are subject to interpretation but also subject to “registration” – matching a score to the ranks available on a specific instrument. Eleven concerts in ten churches offer comparisons of repertoire, organists and the very different organ and acoustical spaces.

Organ - Saint Jude the Apostle. Photo courtesy of the American Guild of Organists.

Organ – Saint Jude the Apostle. Photo courtesy of the American Guild of Organists.

The first concert on Sunday, June 19 honors Milwaukee composer, organist and teacher Sr. Theophane Hytrek (1915-1992). Her Psalms for Organ and Instruments will be performed by organist Sheri Masiakowski and ensemble at Church of the Gesu.

The details of the public concerts, the length, organist and exact location of each concert may be found online. Descriptions of memorable organs in the region may also be reviewed. The recitals are free and open to the public, but donations of $20 per concert are encouraged.

The lineup includes this schedule of concerts:

Sunday, June 16
3:00 p.m. – Sheri Masiakowski –
Concerto for Organ and Instruments by Sr. Theophane Hytrek – Church of the Gesu
7:30 p.m. – Jan Kraybill – St Joseph’s Chapel – School Sisters of Saint Francis

Monday, June 17
8:30 a.m. – Canon Joseph Kucharsky – Cathedral Choir – The Cathedral of All Saints
1:00 p.m. – Regional Competition for Young Organists – Winner’s Recital – St. Paul’s Episcopal
7:30 p.m. – Michael T.C. Hey – St. John’s Cathedral

Tuesday, June 18
3:00 p.m. – Greg Zelek – Church of Saint Jude, the Apostle
8:30 p.m. – Chant Claire Choral Program – Basilica of St. Josephat

Wednesday, June 19
10:30 a.m. – John Behnke – Festival Choir and Handbell Ensemble – Concordia University, Chapel of Christ Triumphant
1:15 p.m. – Jillian Gardner – Saints Peter & Paul
3:00 p.m. – Elise Bickers – Mount Carmel Lutheran Church
7:30 p.m. – Lynne Davis – Church of the Gesu

The details of each public concert, the length, organist and exact location of each concert may be found online. Descriptions of memorable organs in the region may also be reviewed. The recitals are free and open to the public, but donations of $20 per concert are encouraged.

By the way, the Fine Arts Quartet Summer Festival, featuring the world-class quartet and often held in June, will be in July this year. (Concerts are scheduled for July 14, 16 and 18.)

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