Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Special Musical Event at UVA on March 29, 2008

When I was a student at the University of Virginia from 1958 through 1963 I practiced on the Ernest Skinner pipe organ in Old Cabell Hall.  This organ is the oldest surviving Ernest Skinner instrument in its original location and in its original condition.  Along with the Tannenberg organ, 200 years old, in Hebron Lutheran Church, Madison VA, The Cabell Hall Skinner is one of the musical treasures of the nation.  

The McIntire Department of Music is having a special Skinner Organ Centennial event on Saturday March 29, 2008.  There is a 2 pm symposium and an 8pm concert by renowned organist Ken Cowan.  The event is free.  

Here is a link to the event:
Here is a link to a description of the instrument from the restorer:
Cabell Hall was designed by Stanford White and completed in 1898.  The building includes an auditorium that seats 994 with a Skinner organ, a gift of Andrew Carnegie in 1906. 
Here is a 360 degree virtual tour of the auditorium on the Tuesday Evening Concert Series web site.
This event will be quite worth your time, particularly if you are interested in history.  
The best location for parking is the Central Grounds Parking Garage on Emmett Street, as shown on the McIntire Department of Music web site:

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A job posting but not for a band

The church that I attend, Hebron Presbyterian, has a beautiful Taylor and Boody pipe organ that needs an organist.  

Here's the church web site advertisement:

Here is the Taylor and Boody web site about the instrument:

The instrument is only the second one in the world to be built using the tuning system devised by J. S. Bach and "hidden" in the "squiggles" at the top of the first page of his "Well Tempered Clavier."  This was discovered by Bradley Lehman, and is explained on this page:

Here is a sound clip from the organ's dedication. It includes Walther's prelude on "Praise to the Lord The Almighty, the King of Creation", some congregational singing, Bach's prelude on the same tune, and more congregational singing.

Here is a sound clip of three movements (1,2,4) from Mendelssohn's First Organ Sonata:

Here is a sound clip of Buxtehude's Praeludium in D

Mark Brombaugh is the organist on the sound clips. 

Contact information: 

Hebron Presbyterian Church
423 Hebron Road
Staunton, VA 24401
Phone: 540-885-1648
Fax: 540-885-9512

The church is directly across the road from the Taylor and Boody organ factory. 

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Updates to Stonewall Brigade Band web site

We have added quite a few links to the site.
Go to
Click on guestbook.
Click on NEW links page.
There you will find links to local college music departments, local
high school and middle school bands, local music stores, sheet music
sources, and other related sites.