DAY 3 – Draw the stops …

… pro organo pleno!

May 4 2010

As a tradition, the colloquium’s speaker should be available for the faculty members for discussions. On morning of May 4 I had two meetings – one with a theorist the other with an experimentalist: fruitful and inspiring exchange. Before lunch I met Prof. Mary Ellen Sutton at the Department of Music. She is a professor for organ at the Music Department and is actually going to retire this month. I met her first during my fellowship at KSU in 2002. Hearing somebody playing the organ at All Faiths Chapel Auditorium attracted my attention and I went in. Prof. Sutton was just finished preparing the registrations for a concert and I dared to ask her about the instrument (Austin, 1961) which she called an “american eclectic”. It turned out that she is a fan of Klais organs (famous German organ manufacturer) and I told her about the Klais organ of my home town’s church in Villmar. Later, she gave me the opportunity to give a small farewell recital together with a friend (playing the violin) and my co-worker (playing the piano) at All Faiths Chapel before I left in 2003.


KSU Department of Music with McCain Auditorium

In the afternoon I got the opportunity to have a look at the Austin Organ at All Faiths which has been renovated in 2007. It is considered one of the finest in the Midwest and comprises 46 stops on three manuals (two of them enclosed in a swell box) and pedal. The renovation preserved it’s sound character – just a couple of stops were added (including a digital 32’ stop in the pedal division) and the console has been technically upgraded. Playing the instrument, I noticed that the electro-pneumatic action works now much more precisely with less delay (which drove me a little crazy when I first practiced in 2002) and enjoyed its rich and beautiful sound.


The renovated Austin Organ of All Faiths Chapel Auditorium at Kansas State University


Me playing the organ of All Faiths Chapel at Kansas State University

For the evening a dinner was scheduled at the traditional Little Apple Brewery with Prof. Sutton and three professors from the Physics Department – nice discussions about music, physics and wine 🙂 After the dinner we had a reception at my host’s place with a couple of old friends which was appreciated a lot.

And the evening and the morning were the third day.

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