Organ Spectacular! — the World’s Largest Organ Concert, an international event celebrating the King of Instruments, will bring singular focus upon the unique value of the organ and the contribution of its art to the culture at large. This celebration of the organ is designed to increase appreciation for the enduring majesty of the instrument and its music in people of all ages and backgrounds.
On Sunday, October 19, 2008, the American Guild of Organists in cooperation with various other organ organizations, including the Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO) and the American Theater Organ Society (ATOS) will present more than 2,000 performers in more than 225 concert venues throughout North America and abroad. A family audience of more than 100,000 is expected to attend these concerts. In addition, special TV and radio organ music programming promoting the event will reach an estimated 300,000 people or more. This one-day celebration of the pipe organ is designed to increase public awareness of the organ and is one of various events celebrating the International Year of the Organ, 2008-09. The events comprising Organ Spectacular! — World’s Largest Organ Concert will feature the organ in its historic and evolving roles as a solo, accompanying and ensemble instrument — showcasing the talents of the nation’s leading professional organists in collaboration with some of the country’s most distinguished musical artists. Concert programs will feature the organ with dance companies, brass and other instrumental ensembles, acclaimed choral groups and vocal soloists, marching bands, symphony orchestras, and many other musical and arts organizations. Concerts will be presented in urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout North America and abroad in a diverse array of settings — from performing arts centers and concert halls to churches, universities and outdoor pavilions. In addition to the great variety of instruments and performers presented with the organ, programs will feature “informances,” organ “crawls,” multimedia presentations, and audiovisual enhancements.
Included on the program in many locations will be the winning composition of a competition held just for this concert. Also included will be a work by Stephen Paulus commissioned for this day.
Organ Spectacular! was created as a result of the 2000 “Pipes Spectacular--the World’s Largest Organ Recital.” That celebration, with hundreds of simultaneous performances nationwide that commemorated the Centenary of the AGO’s founding, became the most successful community outreach effort in the history of the organ in the United States. There are numerous concerts taking place in our region on October 19. The AGO website lists all the known Organ Spectacular events.
Region IV of the American Guild of Organists covers the Southeastern United States and Bermuda, including the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana. There are seven districts, 58 local chapters, and over 3,000 members. Our work supports the mission of the Guild: To promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members.