The legendary American organist Thomas Murray played the first recital of the 2011-2012 Evensong Concert Series on Saturday, September 17 at 4 p.m. in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the DeHaan family organ at the Spencerville Church. Murray played the closing recital of the inaugural season, in 1992, and he appeared again on the series in 1994. Saturday’s program was a varied and interesting exploration, both of Mr. Murray’s skills as a performer, and of the strengths of the organ at Spencerville.
The organ at Spencerville was given by the DeHaan family in memory of their daughter Jane Kay. Their only stipulation was that the instrument be shared with the community and so the Evensong Concert Series was born. Through the 20 years since its inaugural concert was given by Simon Preston, the organ has been played in almost a hundred solo recitals and countless services. Thanks to the talented efforts of our organ technician, Bard Wickkiser, the organ is sounding better than ever. Because the organ never received a refined tonal finishing, much of its potential has remained unrealized. Over the past couple of months, in preparation for this 20th anniversary, our organ tech’s have begun to explore the tonal possibilities and the results are very exciting. We’re proud of our instrument and look forward to sharing it with our community for the next 20 years and beyond.