Northwest Indiana 2015 POE

The Northwest Indiana Chapter of AGO, along with the Valparaiso University Student AGO Chapter held its first Pipe Organ Encounter July 5-10, 2015, on the campus of Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana.  Valparaiso’s campus, with 8 pipe organs on campus made for a good and accessible site.  During the week there were thirty-two students in attendance, sixteen faculty, six college counselors, five committee members, and ten volunteers.  Several students had never had an organ lesson before the POE, while one student was attending her fourth POE.  The students were from California, Colorado, North Carolina, Tennessee, as well as most Midwestern states.  Guest faculty included Craig Cramer from the University of Notre Dame, Janette Fishell and Jonathan Rudy from Indiana University, Jonathan Moyer from Oberlin University, Christopher Houlihan from Trinity College, Melissa Plamann from Oklahoma City University, Marko Petricic from University of Indianapolis, Marsha Foxgrover from College of DuPage, John Allegar and Cindy Romano from Indianapolis, IN, David Lincoln from Barrington, IL, Karl Bruhn from Batavia, IL,.  Local faculty members from the Northwest Indiana Chapter were Lorraine Brugh, Bill Ickstadt, Stephen Schnurr and Daniel Segner.

The students had one private lesson each morning Monday through Thursday.  At each session they had the opportunity to play a variety of instruments, from tracker to electro-pneumatic and from two to four-manual instruments.  Volunteers from both host churches and the Northwest Indiana AGO chapter helped serve as lesson monitors during the lesson times.

Valpariso POE students warm up their hands

Valpariso POE students warm up their hands

During the week, classes were presented on wide variety of topics including pedal technique, how to practice pieces in various stages, liturgical music leading, hymn playing, practice techniques and how to take the POE home with you. On Tuesday, students had the opportunity to tour the Berghaus Organ Factory. Len Berghaus, retired company president, discussed organ building, pipe voicing, and the different types of organ pipes.  Following a tour of the factory, students were treated to a theater organ demonstration and recital at Beggar’s Pizza. Glenn Taller, the resident organist, gave students opportunity to try out the instrument.

Checking out the sculptures on campus

Checking out the sculptures on campus

The POE featured evening concerts on the Schlicker/Dobson organ in the Chapel of the Resurrection which were also open to the public.  These events helped bring awareness to the general public about both the organ and the Pipe Organ Encounter program.  On Sunday evening Valparaiso University students Seth Carlson, Daniel Segner, Erik Matson, Michensey Hamlin, Hannah Koby, Kaitlyn Matthews, and Megan Gruenwald presented a recital, followed by open console time for the POE students. Monday evening, Janette Fishell, Jonathan Moyer and John Allegar gave a faculty recital.  On Wednesday evening Christopher Houlihan presented a recital, as both guest artist and faculty member. Thursday afternoon Jonathan Rudy presented a recital, and Thursday evening faculty members Cindy Romano, Marko Petricic and Marsha Foxgrover presented a recital.

Valparaiso University students organized open and recreational time for the students on campus. They led sessions on handbells, harpsichords, and taught students basic techniques for them. They organized recreational time in the athletic center, game room time in the Union, and swimming in the University pool. Students often chose to use recreation time for additional practice. Each student also had a lesson with their teacher on the chapel organ, in preparation for Friday’s recital.

Thank you note from a POE student

Thank you note from a POE student

On Friday morning, students had a short warm-up on the chapel organ, then a short coaching session on managing performance anxiety. Following checkout from the dormitory, our POE concluded with the student recital at the Chapel of the Resurrection.  This location was ideal for the recital.  In addition to a visible console for the audience, it allowed each student to play in this large acoustic space on a fine instrument. All thirty-two students elected to play and the performances were greeted with enthusiastic applause from the audience of students, friends, and parents.  Following the recital students departed and the Northwest Indiana AGO held a lunch for the POE Steering Committee, faculty, university counselor, and those who had volunteered their time during the week.

 

Comments

  1. Ryan Rosenau says:

    I was at the POE and I really enjoyed it. The POE was really good for me. Before the POE I was struggling to find an organ teacher. During the POE I got the chance to meet DR. Marko Petricic, thanks to those at the poe. I would just like to say thank you to all of the volunteers and staff that made the POE possible, and a special thanks to Daniel Segner who was my teacher at the POE. Thank you very much.

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