Did you hear about the guy who went streaking at church? They caught him by the organ. For those of us who did not grow up attending church, the pipe organ may be a foreign instrument, symbolically connected with religiosity, and perhaps even intimidating by the size of the structure, the height of the pipes, the layers of keyboards, and the myriad buttons, switches and foot pedals.
Headlined by Boston Symphony Orchestra organist James David Christie, the 2015 Winnipeg Organ Festival includes concerts every day from July 4 - 9.
Pipe organs are able to imitate multiple orchestral instruments from woodwinds like the clarinet and oboe, to brass instruments such as the tuba and trumpet. Most modern organs allow a variety of classical genres, from the expressive romantic form to the pious and authoritarian baroque style.
"We're seeing a huge amount of variety at the festival. Every way you could use the organ is being presented," festival organizer Lottie Enns-Braun says. Enns-Braun will perform an organ and saxophone sonata with Allen Harrington. "The organ is usually considered a very serious church instrument, but we're bound and determined to break the stereotypes for both instruments."
As evidenced by all festival events held in churches, the relationship between church and organ is undeniable.
"It's a really good excuse to see the inside of a church," says Enns-Braun.”