Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Eastman School and the Living Tradition of Organ Improvisation

The Eastman School of Music announced the tenth annual Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI) Festival that will be presented in conjunction with the 16th annual American Guild of Organists (AGO) Conference on Organ Pedagogy. The Festival, themed "Improvisation and Organ Pedagogy," will take place November 10 through 14 in Rochester, NY.

This year's festival will present the topic of organ improvisation through a variety of compositional techniques and styles. The conference will alternate master classes featuring students at a variety of levels, panel discussion addressing the teaching of improvisation, and sessions that will provide attendees with resource material in the pedagogy of improvisation. The scholarly portion will include panel presentations on a variety of topics.

The concerts will be heard on organs throughout the city, including several church organs and a Wurlitzer theater organ. The organists will be asked to improvise on a theme (anything from a nursery rhyme ditty to a classical work to a pop song). All of the concerts will include a Gregorian chant. The performers' improvisations will be tailored to each individual instrument, to demonstrate the aesthetic of the style in which the organ was built.
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