Organ recital series in Qualicum Beach

Three-part series is a journey through different European regions

Jenny Vincent said she hopes to introduce the organ to everybody in the area,

“I love the organ so I always want to promote the organ and I feel that people do appreciate the organ here, and I know for a fact that they really appreciate classical music. That’s big here,” said Vincent, who moved to Nanoose Bay a year ago.

Starting Tuesday, Aug. 30, Vincent will be performing a weekly three-part organ recital series, European Musical Journey at St. Mark’s Anglican Church (138 Hoylake Rd.) in Qualicum Beach. Each performance will start at 12:15 p.m., and Vincent said each show will be 30-40 minutes.

Vincent said each show will be from a different region in Europe.

“A lot of the stuff I’m doing is organ transcriptions, so it’s an

orchestral piece re-written for the organ,” Vincent said.

The first week (Aug. 30), Vincent said will be Great Britain, which includes the Pomp and Circumstance March and Handel’s Water Music.

Vincent said the second week (Sept. 6) will feature music from Northern Europe with countries such as Germany, Denmark and Russia. It will have music from Bach and Buxtehude and orchestral transciptions from Grieg and Tchaikovsky.

The third, and final week, (Sept. 13) Vincent said will feature music from Southern European countries such as Spain, France and Italy, which will have music from Vivaldi and several French composers such as Messiaen and Langlais.

“The first one is more orchestral-like, I would say. The second one is more Baroque-style because, of course, the Germans lead. The last one, you hear different colours of the organ . . . a variety of sound, much more than the other two,” Vincent said.

While most kids were starting with piano lessons, Vincent said she was put into organ lessons.

“I was a rare bird,” Vincent said of her lessons. She added that she started her organ studies at the age of six.

She started studying the organ with Lawrence Ritchey — Vincent said he is considered one of the greatest teachers in Canada — at the University of Manitoba. She added that Ritchey was a student of Marcel Dupre, a French organist and composer.

“I’m kind of lucky I got all those skills and techniques passed on to me,” Vincent said.

The organ is making a comeback, according to Vincent.

“Apparently there’s more and more young students going up to the universities now studying organ,” Vincent said. “I think a lot of it has to do with they’re playing different styles of music now.”

Vincent said she doesn’t know how the organ got “boxed into this church-type instrument.”

To find out more about Vincent, visit www.jennyvincent.ca.

The organ series is part of the church’s 90th anniversary celebration, according to Rev. Susan Hayward-Brown. Hayward-Brown said she wants people to “come in and experience this beautiful place (St. Mark’s) and especially the gift of music.”

“We’re really excited that Jenny is bringing her gift of musical skills to play for us here,” Hayward-Brown said.

Admission for the shows is by donation. People can head to the church early with their own lunch while coffee and tea is being served.

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