The BYU-Idaho Department of Music hosted the 16 annual organ festival on Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Eliza R. Snow Center, Ruth H. Barrus Concert Hall.
The festival showcased the songs students worked on from the beginning of the semester.
“It was an excellent recital,” said Daniel Kerr, music faculty and director of organ studies. “I am proud of all the students. There was a lot of great playing tonight, and the audience was wonderful. It’s great to have a good turnout.”
The event was free and open to the entire community. Brother Kerr welcomed the audience and introduced the festival’s program and purpose.
The festival happens once every fall semester and according to the Ticket Office webpage, the event “features music written over the last four centuries for organs large and small. Organ students perform on the magnificent Ruffatti Pipe Organ.”
The first performer was Jeff Karren, a senior studying business analytics. He performed “Prelude in C Major, BWV 547,” composed by Johann Sebastian Bach.
“I’ve been working on this piece for about a year and it is probably one of the hardest ones I’ve ever played,” Karren said. “There are so many intricate things about this piece, including the way the notes move in it. I hope the people who came and listened enjoyed this piece as much as I do.”
Grayson Gwilliam, a junior studying music, played “Vater unser im Himmelreich, BWV 737,” composed by Bach.
“I love the movement of this piece,” Gwilliam said. “It has that ‘ra-ta-ta’ kind of thing going on, which I really love.”
Riley Palmer, a senior studying music, played “Come, Sweet Death,” composed by Bach and arranged by Virgil Fox.
“I really liked the ‘Come, Sweet Death’ piece,” said Eli Kerns, a senior studying biology. “It was very powerful.”
Students performed several other pieces such as “Toccata in E minor,” composed by Johann Pachelbel, “Toccata Settima,” composed by Michelangelo Rossi, and “Livre d’Orgue,” composed by Pierre DuMage.
Students attended for several different reasons. Some were required to see the performances for a humanities class assignment while others came because they enjoy music.
“I love the organ, it sounds so cool,” said Korrin Daffer, a freshman studying elementary education. “So, I thought this would be fun and interesting to come see.”
Events such as this happen often in the department of music. Some students, like Alyssa Van Wagenen, a freshman studying music, appreciate the opportunities.
“I thought this festival was great, very inspiring,” Van Wagenen said. “I love how the department offers a lot of opportunities for recitals like this and different types of music for us to enjoy.”
The performers and the music department invite everyone to attend the next few recitals, including the Student Organ Recital on Dec. 5, at 11:30 a.m. The performance will feature several Christmas songs played with the organ.
They also invite all to like their Facebook account “BYU-Idaho AGO” and follow the upcoming events, their dates and times.