SHU to Host 'Pipe Organ Encounter' in Summer 2010

News Story: February 1, 2010
SHU Music Instructor Galen Tate plays on the Casavant Frères pipe organ in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.

A national program for high school students, sponsored by the American Guild of Organists (AGO), will be hosted by Sacred Heart University during the week of June 27-July 2, 2010.  The Pipe Organ Encounter (POE) has proved its popularity across the country and has taken place at numerous high profile institutions. The program began as a way to introduce young adults to the wonderful musical possibilities of the pipe organ. After more than 20 years, the program continues to thrive and boasts an endless list of distinguished alumni who now hold posts in churches, cathedrals, and academic institutions throughout the country.

Throughout the week, approximately 40 high school students from across the northeast and around the country will travel to Sacred Heart University to study the pipe organ in all its facets.  Students will attend concerts, recitals, master classes and seminars featuring the mechanical action Casavant pipe organ in SHU’s Chapel of the Holy Spirit and at various houses of worship in the Fairfield, Bridgeport and New Haven areas.  In addition, each student will receive private lessons from noted area organists and will perform in a culminating recital open to the public on Friday, July 2nd at 1:30PM in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.  SHU’s Academic Music Program Director is co-director of the 2010 POE, along with Stephen Roberts, adjunct professor of organ at Western Connecticut State University.

The week will also feature numerous concerts that are open to the public and begins with an organ recital by Fredrick Teardo, assistant organist at the famed St. Thomas Fifth Avenue Church in New York City. He will play a program that illustrates the dynamic range of the wonderful 4-manual Austin 81-rank pipe organ in the majestic 1000-seat United Congregational Church in Bridgeport, CT. Other events include a theatre pipe organ demonstration and silent film on Monday June 28 at 7:30 PM in the Thomaston Opera House in Thomaston, CT. An organ recital by Chris Houlihan will be held at the First Church Presbyterian in Stamford, CT on Tuesday, June 29 at 7:30PM. And on Thursday, July 1, at 7:30 PM, an organ recital featuring selected members of the POE faculty will take place at Bridgeport’s Cathedral of Saint Augustine  where the musicians will perform on the 3-manual, 43-rank, 1973 Moeller/Peragallo pipe organ.

Interested students are encouraged to register early, as it is anticipated that enrollment will fill to capacity. Registration information can be found on the POE Brochure.

The success of POE is due largely in part to the dedicated faculty members who inspire and encourage students with a broad range of abilities to master the king of instruments. Former POE students repeatedly praise the program for the opportunity to study privately with renowned faculty, to play exceptional instruments, and to meet other friends who are passionate about the instrument. POE is a national educational outreach program of the AGO.