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Sonora Bach Festival “Organ Crawl”

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 05/21/2016
1:00 pm

Location
St. Patrick's Parish Hall

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The  presents an “Organ Crawl”, Saturday, May 21, 2016. Local organist, Daryl Hollinger, will be performing a varied musical program that shows the capabilities of three different organs in three different churches. The event begins at St. Patrick’s Church, 127 W. Jackson Street, Sonora, CA at 1:00 p.m. Audience members may walk, drive (or “crawl”) to each site. The event concludes with light refreshments. Tickets, at $10 each, are available for purchase at St. Patrick’s immediately before the event, or online at sonorabach.org.

The Sonora Bach Festival will present its first Organ “Crawl” as part of the pre-October festival. Borrowing on the “Pub Crawl” of Europe (except without the beer), the Organ “Crawl” changes venues to hear and see the sights of various organs in the town of Sonora. Participants will buy a ticket and then, by car or foot, visit the specified organs in the city for a musical demonstration of each and brief historical background on the instruments. According to Festival Chairperson, Sandra Betti,
“The church organ holds a significant place in Music History, and Bach himself made a living as an organist and church musician in Leipzig. Our “organ crawl” will highlight a few of the unique and historic church organs here in Sonora, and the beautiful buildings that house them. It should be a fun, entertaining, and enriching experience for everyone”.
In addition to the music, Dr. Hollinger will provide a commentary on the technical and musical aspects of each organ and a church historian will provide information on each instrument.

The Crawl will feature organs at three churches: St. Patrick’s has a Thomas W. Whalley Pipe Organ (c.1910), St. James’ Episcopal has a Burdett Organo Reed Organ from 1900, and The Seventh Day Adventist Church has a classical Rodgers “Cambridge 270” model with electronic but augmented with actual, sounding pipes. Each organ has different sound capabilities, which will be demonstrated in the musical program. Preliminary music selections for each will include music of Bach, Mendelssohn, and Hollinger on the two large organs at St. Patrick’s and The Adventist Church. The small reed organ at St. James’ will include music by Bach and Hollinger. In addition to the mini-concert at each church, there will also be a sing-along.

Representatives from each church will be filling in the audience on the history of the organs. Barbara Fish will present information on St. Patrick’s Thomas W. Whalley Pipe Organ. Installed around 1910, the instrument consists of two keyboards, a keyboard for the feet and 14 stops (or selection of sounds) and pipes.
Margie Moran, organist at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, will speak on the history of the Rodgers organ. The organ, the largest in Sonora, has two keyboards, a foot keyboard, and 37 stops. It also features a combination of electronic sounds and actual pipes giving it the ability to reproduce many sounds produced electronically, but also the ability to reproduce the beauty of the classic sound created purely by pipes.

St. James, will feature the small, reed organ built by Organo Burdett. Dedicated in 1900, the organ was common and very popular in small churches at the turn of the century. It has 14 stops, no foot keyboard and no motor for producing air. Instead, the sound is produced by the organist pumping two pedals to create airflow, which then activates reeds to create its unique sound. Says Hollinger, “Every time I play a reed organ I get quite a workout pumping and playing at the same time. However, it is lots of fun to play”. Long-time resident of Sonora, Faye Choate, who is also a long-time member and former organist of the church, will serve as historian for that instrument.

Daryl Hollinger, organist for the event, is a faculty member in the Columbia College Music Department. He leads the Columbia College Community Chorus, teaches Music History, Piano, and Musicianship. Additionally, he is Director of Music at Murphy’s First Congregational Church, a workshop presenter on enlivening worship in small churches, and a player of many “world instruments” including drums and native American flute.
As an organist, Dr. Hollinger says his goal is to delight “audiences everywhere with his innovative music and approach to the organ”. And his choice of varied styles of music hopes to “keep you engaged as you watch his hands and feet dance!” Before coming to the central foothills of California, he was the Dean of Chapel, Organist and adjunct faculty member at Lancaster Theological Seminary and Minister of Music at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ. He also concertizes regularly.

In addition to his work as an organist, Daryl has a Doctorate in composition from Temple University, has published compositions for voices, keyboards and instruments. Some of his organ compositions are scheduled to be performed at the Crawl.

In addition to Temple University, Dr. Hollinger has also studied at Moody Bible Institute, University of Montevallo and Westminster Choir College. He has served on the faculty of a number of colleges including Southeastern Bible College, Reading Area Community College and Eastern Mennonite University. Recently, he was Director of the Ephrata Cloister Chorus at the Historic Ephrata Cloister in Pennsylvania for 18 years.