Dan Garland Pipe Organ Installation

November, 2017 Newsletter of the American Guild of Organist, Charlotte Chapter

A New Organ at Matthews Presbyterian Church

Look out Myers Park organs! There is a new sheriff in town. I have just heard the new Garland instrument recently installed at Matthews Presbyterian Church. The dedicatory recital was played by our own (well, used to be our own) Dr. Patrick Scott. It was absolutely one of the finest recitals l, personally, have ever heard. Of course we know how brilliantly Patrick plays, but he had help tonight! That instrument is exceptional. I was not sure, in the space at Matthews Presbyterian, that a pipe organ would work in that multi-purpose room. Boy ,was I wrong. it is a beautiful case, beautiful console, but most of all, a beautiful instrument. There were many improvements to the room to allow the organ to speak, and speak it does. It has the most lovely flutes (quite reminiscent of G. Donald Harrison flutes), and mellow, speaking reeds. The rest of the instrument is very nice as well. The consistency of voicing is amazing. Patrick says the organ is not very forgiving. It responds. A quite fast playing of the Widor Toccata yielded every single note speaking, not an easy thing to have happen at very fast tempo.

This installation should be heard, used, and shared, and counted among the fine instruments we find in Charlotte. The church was quite close to capacity to hear the instrument, folks who probably don't regularly attend organ recitals. I hope that the musicians at Matthews will participate in our organization, therefore encouraging the use of that new addition to the organ world in Charlotte. Matthews is not that far from Charlotte, and it will be well worth the drive to hear this instrument. Let us think about our mission statement and our desire to perpetuate the organ and young organists. Here is an exciting new instrument in our midst. Let us share this with our organ friends and supporters. You will be thrilled to hear this instrument, I promise. The church wants to enhance the opportunities for community outreach and pray that this instrument "will allow those who hear it now, and those who hear it for generations to come, to be lifted up in the long tradition of sacred music which inspires us to scale the heights and plumb the depths of our God. Quite a noble sentiment, don't you think?

--Kathy Alexander