Hanford is a piano teacher and freelance accompanist. Visit his website at www.hanfordlam.com
Journey through the pipes
St Paul's' Cathedral in Melbourne is hosting an organ concert on Sunday, August 13, 2017 from 2.30 pm - 4.00 pm. The Cathedral is located right across Flinders Street Railway Station and any of the connecting trains will bring you almost to the doorstep of St Paul's.
Located on Swanston Street across Flinders Railway Station (Credit: Simon Colvin)
As parking within the CBD is very difficult, especially on weekends, public transport is highly recommended.
The ANZCO or Australian and New Zealand College of Organists is responsible for organising this concert; the GALA NextGen Concert, which features young performers from Melbourne who are studying the organ and continuing the tradition of organ-playing which is getting lost in our modern society.
Why should I attend?
Not many churches in Victoria still have an organ and among those that do, few use them regularly for church services and concerts. The aim of the NextGen concert series is to promote and generate interest and familiarity with the instrument so that future generations will be able to enjoy the sound that this grand instrument makes. Families are encouraged to attend ANZCO's organ open days and concerts to learn more about the magnificence of organs. Find out more here.
The T C Lewis Organ (Credit: Simon Colvin)
ANZCO looks after their audiences - and their performers
St Paul's Cathedral houses one of Victoria's largest organs; the T C Lewis Organ. It debuted in 1891 and has since received a restoration of $726,000. Many organists visiting from other states and countries consider this beast a must-play instrument. If the concert peaked your interest in learning more about this instrument - or trying it out, visit the St Paul's website for further information. Alternatively, the Organ Historical Trust of Australia has a comprehensive description and history of the T C Lewis Organ.
The organ console at the Cathedral is an enclosed space that outsiders cannot see into. For many attending an organ concert, part of the thrill is being able to watch as the limbs of the organist manipulate the keys and stops in unimaginable ways but the enclosed unit prevents observation. However, fret not!
Organ projects run by ANZCO are special in that the organ console is projected live on a screen where the audience can watch the performers' hands and feet as they dance across the pedals and manuals creating a myriad of sound. You may even witness some impressive acrobatic feats with the thirty-two pedals operated by the feet.
Listen to it up close and be amazed (Credit: Simon Colvin)
A varied set of repertoire will be performed to showcase the talents of the performers as well as coax out the most subtle nuances that the organ can produce. Most of the organists will be secondary school-aged or university students who pursue the organ out of interest.
Tickets for the concert are sold at the door for $20 each and the profits are divided amongst the young organists as encouragement for their time and dedication. The ANZCO is very supportive of providing financial recognition to these young Australian performers.