Monday, April 11, 2011

Pipes, Pedals, and Pizza

Hannah and I had a fun time yesterday afternoon at a first annual Pipes, Pedals, and Pizza gathering in a nearby town.  There were about twenty-five kids ages 4th grade - high school (plus a few of their parents) who took advantage of this opportunity that was sponsored by an ELCA church, a local organ builder, and the local group of the American Organ Guild Association.

The afternoon began in the organ loft where the organist of the host church gave a demonstration - Bach's Fugue in G minor.  After that, a local organ builder, who had built the organ we were gathered around, explained to us how an organ works.  He had a small demonstration organ there to help with his explaination.  It was simply two ranks, but it really helped show how an organ works.

Next we were able to crawl inside the organ (a tracker action of 30 stops, 44 ranks and 2019 pipes) and look at all the moving parts.  We saw the bellows and heard the sound when it was deflated, we felt the air move out of the pedal pipes, we saw the trackers move as the organ keys were pressed.  It was really a neat thing!

After that, the kids (and interested parents) were divided into three groups and we made rounds to three spots.  Our rotation started with listening to various organ pieces on cd, from hymn preludes to My Country Tis of Thee variations.  There were also free cd's for the kids to choose from.  Hannah chose one of Bach.

Our next stop was in dinning room where the leader had a slide show (via laptop and big screen) that showed various organs throughout the world and history.  Quite a variety was shown and it was rather interesting.

The last stop was at the organ loft where those who wanted were able to play on the organ.  Hannah took her turn as did two others in the group.

After that, the whole group met back in the dinning room where we watched one episode of Howard Goodall's Organ Works.  That was quite neat, and, I thought, funny.  I have now put it in my Netflix queue in order to subject all my children to this series and more British humor.

After the half-hour episode was complete we made our way back to the sanctuary where we heard an organ recital performed by local high school and college students (two each).

Finally after all this fun (which had lasted about three and a half hours) we gathered together to eat pizza.

Hannah and I really enjoyed our time and learned quite a bit.  We were quite thrilled that this event was free and that the leaders hope to do this again next year.  What a great way to get kids excited and interested about playing the organ!

1 comment:

T. said...

Organ crawling IS fun! Welcome to the family, Hannah! :)