Top program for high school organists to be showcased in New York City recital

February 15, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Entertainment News
INTERLOCHEN, Michigan—Interlochen Center for the Arts ( today announced that students of the high-school organ program at Interlochen Arts Academy will be featured as part of the prestigious organ recital series at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue.

The concert showcasing Interlochen organ students, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 5:15 pm on Sunday, March 5, 2006, at Saint Thomas Church, One West 53rd Street, New York.

Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue is renowned for musical excellence. Its choir is considered by many to be the outstanding choral ensemble of the Anglican musical tradition in the United States.

Interlochen students performing at the March 5 recital are the only high-school organists invited to perform on the Organ Recital Series at Saint Thomas Church. They join an illustrious group of musicians; this season's recital series has featured organ soloists from California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, South Carolina, Vermont, Switzerland, the UK and the Czech Republic.

Interlochen’s recitalists will perform on the Great Organ of Saint Thomas Church, which was built in 1913 by the Ernest M. Skinner Organ Company of Boston. It includes tonal designs that are characteristic of the organs of J. S. Bach’s time. The organ, with nearly one thousand pipes, is also especially notable for its French Romantic colors.

Interlochen Arts Academy, a fine arts boarding high school ( founded in 1962, is widely recognized as the premier place for high school organ study, and is a leader in responding to the serious organist shortfall felt in colleges and churches throughout the country.

The organ department at Interlochen has produced successful graduates on all points of the professional spectrum: from nationally visible winners of major competitions and alumni in prominent music positions to alumni who, though they have chosen primary careers outside music, fill a huge niche as part-time church musicians.

Interlochen organ program alumni have secured some the nation’s most prestigious positions on organ, including service at the Washington National Cathedral, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and Marble Collegiate Church. They have distinguished themselves in major competitions, including the Albert Schweitzer National Organ Competition, Arthur Poister Competition, Dallas International Organ Competition and the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance.

Over the past three years, through its summer arts camp ( and high-school programs, Interlochen has introduced approximately 100 students to organ study.

Interlochen’s organ department follows a three-fold mission:

- To provide an environment and education that attracts the most talented and dedicated high school organ students from around the country.
- To expose talented musicians to the organ and encourage them to pursue it either as a primary or secondary instrument.
- To model and champion the leadership qualities (optimism, responsibility and entrepreneurial creativity) that the graduates will need to help effect positive change in the organ world.

Colleges and conservatories attended by recent Interlochen graduates include Cleveland Institute of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, Harvard University, Indiana University, The Juilliard School, Rice University, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the University of Michigan, and Westminster Choir College.

Learn more about studying organ at Interlochen by visiting .

"The pipes alone occupied 51 boxes." The Aeolian-Skinner organ from Interlochen's Dendrinos Chapel / Recital Hall, originally built in 1948 and rebuilt in 1981, was carefully dismantled last month and loaded into a truck bound for Kansas. There, the Reuter Pipe Organ Company will breathe new life into a grand instrument.

Thomas Bara, Instructor of Organ at Interlochen, explains that the organ, in addition to being refurbished, will receive an additional 20 new ranks, or sets of pipes. The organ’s new facade of speaking pipes will be constructed of copper, and then flame-colored by hand.

Interlochen’s organ should be ready for re-installation in the spring of 2006.

See images of the organ rebuilding process at .

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Interlochen Center for the Arts ( is the only community in the world that brings together
- a 2000-student summer arts camp program
- a 500-student fine arts boarding high school with college-prep academics
- a 155-student independent pre-K through 8th-grade day school and summer day camp
- two 24-hour listener-supported public radio services (classical music and news)
- year-round opportunities for hundreds of adults to engage in fulfilling artistic and creative programs
- 600 arts presentations annually by students, faculty and world-renowned guest artists
- and a global alumni network spanning eight decades, including a galaxy of arts luminaries.

Arts lovers, lifelong learners and the world’s most talented and motivated young people are drawn to Interlochen from all over the country and all over the world to celebrate and create excellence in creative writing, dance, motion picture arts, music, theatre, visual arts and academics, presentations and public broadcasting. This cultural fusion creates an exhilarating energy with global impact.

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