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Organ Concert Series at Mechanics Hall Starts Today

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

 

The Hook organ is the oldest unaltered four-keyboard pipe organ in the Western Hemisphere located at its original installation site.

The Hook organ in Great Hall will be featured in today's lunchtime concert at Mechanics Hall.  The Worcester Organ Concert series begins its summer edition today, and continues the next week as well.  

Wesley Hall will be performing today, beginning at noon. Scott Lamlein will be performing on August 8.

Kathleen Gagne, publicist for Mechanics Hall, said the summer concert series has a two-fold mission. First, it is to “showcase the magnificent Hook Organ, a treasure of the greater Worcester area that is still in wonderful condition," she said.  

"The musicians will unleash the beautiful sound of the 148 year old organ. The instrument is the oldest unaltered four-keyboard pipe organ in the Western hemisphere still located at its original location. For this reason and others, after its restoration in 1982, the Hook Organ has become one of the most popular and respected organs in the United States. A Worcester staple, it is often referred to as the “Worcester Organ.”

It has been used as part of a number of national recordings, on TV and in movies.

“The Second part of the mission is to showcase the greatest organists of the Northeast,” according to Gagne. “The organists are chosen from a list of members of the Worcester AGO (American Guild of Organists). Particularly, during the summer months, we like to showcase young, up and coming musicians.”

Wesley Hall, who will perform today, is one of these individuals.  A rare talent, Mr. Hall is an acclaimed young artist on the rise and veteran liturgical organist. A Spencer, Mass native, he is a recent graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory where he was the first freshman to be chosen to represent the organ department at the Oberlin Conservatory at the Danenberg Honors recital. He has been a finalist in a number of Organ competitions and was an internship recipient at Brick Church in partnership with the Oberlin College Conservatory. He was a faculty member for the 2008 Pipe Organ encounter at Assumption College and the 2009 Pipe Organ Encounter in Manchester, NH.

Next week's performance features  the return of Scott Lamlien, who has been the organist and lead Choral Director at the Wesley United Methodist Church.  Lamlien is also a veteran concert artist who has been performing on tour for over fifteen years. Also a local, he is from Holyoke, Mass and received a degree in organ and liturgical music from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford. His piano and organ has been featured on CDs and he has released his own solo CDs as well. He is noted by many for his exceptional keyboard technique, exciting showmanship, and strong faith that has influenced his ability to find a unique and enthralling range of expression and emotion on the organ, inspiring concert goers for years. He will be donating 50% of the proceeds from his CD sales at the Concert to the Worcester AGO’s scholarship fund.

Admission to both events is free. Bring a lunch or purchase one while they available.  For more information on these and other Mechanics Hall events click here.  The event is co-sponsored by the Worcester AGO.

 

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