Guest post by Dr. Marnie Giesbrecht
University of Alberta Organist
In my position as University Organist I take pride in presenting alumni of our organ studies program as well as guests and enjoy taking part as a performer on the series. For the February 24th concert two amazing performers who are faculty members in the Department of Music join me: Yue Deng, violinist and cellist Colin Ryan. They will play from a makeshift stage beside the organ and will be visible from the seats on the north side of the gallery.
The program features a beautiful chamber work, Trio Op. 149 (1887) from the Romantic era by Josef Rheinberger. After an energetic, inspiring first movement, the theme and variations (second movement) and Sarabande and Trio (third movement) melt the heart and delight the soul; the final movement is dramatic with a joyous ending!
Josef Rheinberger (1821-1898) lived and worked for most of his life in Munich where he was appointed Royal Professor of Organ and Music at the Munich Conservatorium. He was a prolific composer and enhanced the organ’s repertoire with twenty sonatas and numerous other works among which are significant works for organ and violin, trios and other chamber and choral works.
Presenters: University of Alberta Department of Music
Event Title: Noon Hour Organ Concert in Convocation Hall
Performed by: Marnie Giesbrecht (organ), Yue Deng (violin) and Colin Ryan (cello)
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 24 at noon
Venue: Convocation Hall, University of Alberta
Admission is Free
About the Noon Hour Organ Concert Series
I started the series of noon hour organ recitals in Convocation Hall soon after being appointed as assistant professor of music in the Department of Music in 1988. As a motivator for students to prepare their repertoire in a timely fashion and gain regular performance experience the series served students taking organ performance courses extremely well. Students were also involved in planning and promoting the recitals giving them added experience in concert management. The process of planning, preparing and performing for the monthly series formed a unique and foundational structure for organ studies at the University of Alberta.
Through the series we built some strong relationships in the university and Edmonton communities and had a number of regular attendees who not only enjoyed the music but also took time to get to know and encourage the students. Among our fans were two distinguished retired professors from the sciences Dr. Stuart Davis (who donated the Davis Concert Organ) and Dr. John Martin; they both helped facilitate a series of university noon hour organ programs at the Winspear Centre for Music in that organ’s early years.
In Convocation hall, the organist is hidden from view because the organ is on the back gallery, and the organ bench and keyboards are situated between divisions of the organ. From the earliest days we projected the performers on a screen that stood on the stage. Then a special order had to be made for the projector and screen for every concert. Now we have a permanently mounted camera and a retractable screen mounted at the back of the stage that is easily lowered for each concert. Audience members can see the performance as well as hear it! Read more about the history of the Noon Hour Concert Series in Convocation Hall on the U of A’s The Quad blog.
About Marnie Giesbrecht
An adventurous and consummate keyboard artist, Marnie is passionate about playing and teaching a breadth of keyboard instruments, including organ, piano and harpsichord, allowing idioms and techniques to cross-pollinate and create new modes of expression. Internationally acclaimed for her work with the Duo Majoya, she is renowned as a performer, pedagogue and advocate for the organ and Canadian music.