April 07, 2020

St. John’s organ concert recording to be aired nationally

A selection from the recording of St. John’s Summer Organ Concerts will air on a national radio program this weekend. The “Chorale Preludes on Tunes Found in American Hymnals,” by Richard Purvis, will be broadcast on Pipe Dreams, a program devoted to pipe organ music, produced and hosted by Michael Barone of Minnesota Public Radio.

“I am delighted about this,” said Kevin Birch, music director at St. John’s Catholic Church, Bangor. “Michael Barone had so much to choose from and chose to use us. This selection is airing on a show that is a roundup of all the recordings of organ music released this year. This is just wonderful.”

A CD featuring selections from the concert series held last summer was released in early December. It features music performed on St. John’s historic organ, built in 1860 by brothers Elias and George G. Hook of Boston. Barone visited Bangor to hear the organ after it was restored a few years ago.

“I picked the piece because I felt it was different than the standard organ repertoire,” said Barone in phone conversation from his office. “It is an imaginative piece with spicy harmonies, and George [Bozeman] plays it with panache.”

Barone said that he expects to play more selections from the CD in upcoming programs. Pipe Dreams will air from 10 to 11:30 p.m. Sunday on Maine Public Radio.

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