copyright 2000
Cleveland Chapter
American Guild of Organists

Dean's Message February 2001

Have you enjoyed the excitement around the opening of the Severance organ as much as I have? Newspaper, radio, and TV stories, all with descriptions of pipes, ranks, and consoles in superlatives! The opening concerts are sold out. Attention is being lavished on the instrument such as not been seen in these parts. The pipe organ is "cool!"

I was fortunate enough to attend the gala concert and the opening Saint-Saens Organ Symphony concert. I was unfortunate in having to sit on the main floor under the overhang for the gala. Thomas Trotter is one of the most brilliant and engaging organists around. His program was fabulous and the brass of the orchestra first-rate. But from where I sat the organ was muffled and easily out-played by the brass. For the orchestra concert of this past week, we sat in our usual upper balcony seats. I waited through the first half of the concert and three movements of the Saint Saens wondering if the organ would be loud enough. Happily, that great C-Major chord, at least from my seat, was truly great.

The Skinner Organ has been faithfully restored by the Schantz organ company to its original voicing. It has many beautiful sounds, and the divisions seem perfectly balanced within themselves. The sound fits beautifully with the persona of that wonderful hall.

I hope you are taking advantage of the reflected glory of this event in your own situation. The spill-over of interest in all organ doings gives us an opportunity to interest our congregations, potential concert-goers and students in our work. Use your opportunity well!

Fern Jennings

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