22nd Annual Robert and Joyce Jones Organ Conference Honors Composer Max Reger
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WACO, Texas (Jan. 22, 2016) – The 22nd Annual Robert and Joyce Jones Midwinter Organ Conference will take place from Sunday, Jan. 24, to Tuesday, Jan. 26, in various performance halls around campus. This year's conference honors German composer Max Reger on the centennial of his death and includes six organ concerts, lectures and workshops.
"At his death, Max Reger was Germany’s second-most important composer after Richard Strauss. He has since fallen out of fashion, but his works still constitute a crucial part of the organ repertoire," said Isabelle Demers, Ph.D, assistant professor of organ in Baylor's School of Music. "I see the centennial of his death as a perfect occasion to celebrate his legacy and likely to discover the multiple facets of his personal and musical lives. I think anybody attending the conference will be surprised to discover somebody who led an incredibly rich, though short, life, and was in many ways absolutely fascinating."
On Sunday, Jan. 24, the conference will begin with a concert by three of Demers' students. Sam Eatherton, Mitchell Won and Jillian Gardner will perform a selection of pieces at 4 p.m. in the Jones Concert Hall of the Glennis McCrary Music Building.
"It’s always very rewarding to hear our students perform," Demers said. "They are all playing pieces that I love dearly, so it is an opportunity to hear music I really enjoy without having to put in so many hours in the practice room."
At 7:30 p.m. in Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building, Michael Barone will host Pipedreams Live!, a nationally broadcast program focusing on the organ. Barone, considered an authority on organ music, will provide program notes, talk with players and demonstrate the mechanism of the concert hall's featured instrument, the 65-voice, 92-rank, four-manual Petty-Madden Organ.
"Pipedreams Live! is a nationally broadcast program featuring the organ and is heard throughout the country via American Public Media. That is one of the things that I am excited about," said Joyce Jones, Ph.D, professor emeritus of organ and the musician for whom the conference is named. Jones started the organ conference years ago and operated on virtually no budget. Now, Jones and her husband endow the conference, allowing for musicians, lecturers and other guest performers to be invited.
At 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 25, in Recital Hall II, adjacent to the lobby of Waco Hall, Demers is performing in a lecture-recital on Reger.
"I’ll be featuring pieces that are far smaller than the works we usually associate with Reger," Demers said. "They are little gems, each one presenting a musical idea in its most concise form. It’s always fun to help people discover new old music and help enrich their lives that way."
At 10:30 a.m. in Roxy Grove Hall, Joyce Jones will perform pieces by Karg-Elert, Rheinberger, Reger and Reubke with violinist Kristin Mortenson and oboist Doris DeLoach.
"Since retiring in August of 2012, I have not played a concert for the School of Music and so this will be my first time to play for the conference," Jones said. "The organ in Roxy Grove Hall was the first large new organ since my arrival in 1969, for which I played the dedication in February 1972. It was the largest organ between the Dallas/Fort Worth area and Austin and attracted so much attention that we had to have three concerts to accommodate the crowds. Now Baylor has two larger instruments, so people might take it for granted, but it is still a wonderful instrument and I’m looking forward to playing in there."
Other events on Monday, Jan. 25, include:
• At 1 p.m. in Paul W. Powell Chapel at Truett Seminary, award-winning German-born organist Jens Korndoerfer, who has performed worldwide, will perform a recital.
• From 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. in the Markham Organ Studio in the Glennis McCrary Music Building, Christopher Anderson, Ph.D, associate professor of sacred music at Southern Methodist University, will present a workshop.
• From 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Truett Seminary, Michael Barone will give a talk called "Max Reger on Record: A Listener's Guide to the Ups and Downs of Reger Recordings and Performance Practice over the Past Century."
• At 7:30 p.m. in the Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building, Raul Prieto Ramirez, a Spanish organist, will perform pieces by Ritter, Clérambault, Reger, Bach and Liszt.
On Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 9 a.m. in the Markham Organ Studio in the Glennis McCrary Music Building, Demers will present a concert with music by Bach and Reger.
"In my own concert, I’ll be focusing on Bach works arranged by Reger. They are probably my two favorite composers, and I look forward to sharing the great creative interplay between them," Demers said. "Both were masters of counterpoint and harmony, and it’s fascinating to realize that at times Bach sounds more like Reger than Reger himself, and vice versa."
Other events on Tuesday, Jan. 26, are as follows:
• From 1:30 to 2:25 p.m. in the Markham Organ Studio in the Glennis McCrary Music Building, Anderson will present an additional workshop.
• From 2:45 to 4:15 p.m. in the Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building, Ramirez will present his second concert, the final performance of the conference.
"We have tried to have a different focus for each year, so that many people keep returning each year, knowing that it will be a different program and different performers," Jones said. "I hope that students will attend as many recitals and lectures as possible. This is an opportunity to hear music and performers right here at Baylor, instead of having to drive to Houston or Dallas for such events."
All presentations are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Baylor University School of Music at 254-710-3991.
The Glennis McCrary Music Building can be found at 110 Baylor Ave. Waco Hall can be found on the east side of Baylor University on Speight Avenue between Fifth and Seventh Streets. Truett Theological Seminary can be found at 1100 S. Third Street.
by Jenna Press, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805
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