“Pipe Organ Encounters” are designed for teenagers, ages 13-18, who have achieved an intermediate level of keyboard proficiency. 35 organs across the Philadelphia metro area are being utilized for 27 teens that are interested in playing the organ and have achieved some proficiency. The week began on Sunday evening at Girard College with a concert on their refurbished organ. Monday thru Thursday, the teens get to work directly with an organist one on one. There are also field to the Cathedral at Bryn Athyn, an organ builder, the Wanamaker Organ at Macy’s. On Friday, all the participants will gather again at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church for a recital wherein each teen gets to play a piece s/he has been working on.
At Old First Martha Johnson, the recently retired Organist and Choir Master at St. Peter’s Episcopal in the Great Valley, Malvern, is working with two teens:
Chris, age 14, a 9th Grader, from Drexel Hill. who is a piano and organ student.
Jeremy, agd 14, also a 9th Grader, from Scarsdale, NY, who is a student of piano, organ and cello.
Martha says that our Schantz organ is a really good instrument for young organists learning to work on, because we keep it in good shape; it has a standard pedal board and keyboard and enough stops to provide various sounds and coloring.
Martha wants to express the gratitude of the American Guild of Organist / Philadelphia Chapter for making our instrument and space available. She is appreciative of how accommodating Old First has been, particularly Kristyn.
It’s nice to know that our instrument and space are being used to help a whole new generation of organists prepare for music ministry. Martha says that these Pipe Organ Encounters really do effectively serve as a feeder program for future organists.
Holly also pointed out that it’s good to have been recognized by the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists for our organ; it’s a good connection for us and the possibilities of our music ministry.