For those of you who aren’t familiar with the sweet and blissful or treacherous and maniacal tones a pipe organ is capable of generating, you should’ve attended the 14th annual Roger H. Ide Organ Recital where organist Isabelle Demers showed us how she did her thang by making that “Chapel sing”. *buhdm-tss*
First of all, a little background on the recital itself: Roger H. Ide was a Wabash alumn from the class of 1959. During his studies here at Wabash Mr. Ide served as the college organist. After earning his PhD. in nuclear chemistry from UCLA, he began his career with the federal government, sometimes supervising underground nuclear testing in Nevada and at other times working as part of a team conducting peace negotiations with Russia. With all of his successes throughout his life Mr. Ide was able to arrange the establishment of the Ide Organ Performance and Care Fund. Now, each year we have a highly skilled organist come to campus to work their magic on the Chapel organ which is maintained in top shape through Mr. Ide’s generosity.
As I stated before, this year’s organist was Isabelle Demers (for a little background on her check out the link at the bottom of this blog). Her performance this evening was absolutely astounding—it literally brought tears to my friend’s eyes. She opened with a piece by Bach and continued on with other pieces by composers such as Max Reger, Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Pachelbel, and others. Each tune she played was as amazing and dynamic as its predecessor and the ways with which she executed the rapid and perpetual changes in the tone of the organ justly exhibited just how beautifully that old organ can sing. Watching her hands flow gracefully and swiftly from key to key on all three keyboards while simultaneously playing melodies and basslines with her feet on the pedal board gave me a profound appreciation for how gracefully and skillfully an organ can be played.
If you were lucky enough to be in the audience for the performance, congratulations! If not, you’ll have to wait until next year.
Until next time,