The Transylvania Times -

Christmas Organ Recital Series Kicks Off Dec. 7 - Brevard NC


December 3, 2018

Howard Bakken will perform Dec. 7 at Brevard First United Methodist Church. (Courtesy photo)

The Beulah McMinn Zachary Organ Foundation of Brevard First United Methodist Church (FUMC) will present the first program in its Christmas Organ Recital Series on Friday, Dec. 7, at 12:30 p.m. Concerts are free and open to the public.

The first program features organist Howard Bakken. Bakken, a Minnesota Norwegian Lutheran by birth, has been a resident of Hendersonville since 2003.

The move to North Carolina followed 33 years of public school music teaching in Geneva, Ill.

During those years, he served several churches as organist/choirmaster and was the accompanist for the Elgin Choral Union.

For 20 years he was the organist for the nation's pioneer of today's now-plentiful do-it-yourself "Messiah" performances at Orchestra Hall, a grand production with soloists from the Lyric Opera School, a full orchestra and 2,600 audience members who served as the choral singers.

Bakken holds degrees from Augustana College, the Yale School of Music and the University of Illinois.

He is now the organist of the Hendersonville First Church of Christ, Scientist and often serves as an area Sunday guest organist.

He is the treasurer of the Blue Ridge Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

He was also the president of the Hendersonville Chamber Music Series. Among his non-musical activities is volunteering among the goat population at the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site.

Among the works included on the program are a set of "Norwegian Christmas Folk Songs" by Aaron David Miller; "Star in the East" by German composer Johannes Matthias Michel; "Jazz Aria, Midnight Clear" by Joe Utterback. Director of music, Timothy Shepard, will join Bakken and Phillips on Carl Czerny arrangement for three players of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus."

Bakken has invited guest pianist Dustin Phillips to join him on several pieces. Phillips is a local pianist who plays in churches and other recital venues throughout the area. Phillips will play on the church's Steinway Model B grand piano.

Two other organists to follow are Edward "Ned" Tipton on Friday, Dec. 14, and Tate Addis on Friday, Dec. 21. Each concert begins at 12:30 and lasts 30-40 minutes.

The sanctuary organ is a 28-rank pipe organ built by the Schantz Organ Company in 1958. The organ has been upgraded and enhanced throughout the years. Most recently in 2014, the organ was revoiced by organ builder Daniel Angerstein of Hendersonville. For organ recitals, the console is pulled out so that the audience can see the performer play the instrument.

The Beulah McMinn Zachary Organ Foundation maintains the two pipe organs used at FUMC as well as the Robinson harpsichord.

The foundation also sponsors recitals and concerts for the benefit of the church and the community.

The Organ Foundation will gratefully accept donations to continue its efforts and support its mission.

Parking is available in the church parking lot on Caldwell Street behind Pad Tai. Concert attendees are asked not to park in the College Plaza parking lot.

The church is located at 325 N. Broad Street in Brevard across from Brevard College.


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