Pipe organ program for Halloween at St. Peter’s Cathedral
St. Peter's Cathedral
Long before Andrew Lloyd Webber unleashed his Phantom of the Opera on audiences in 1986, with its thunderous organ solo in the Overture, the pipe organ has long been identified with Gothic grandiosity and dramatic theatricality. This is often surprising to us, since most people today only hear the organ used in church where it is not given free reign to demonstrate itself as the King of Instruments, a title richly deserved, given its size and immensity of sound.
For the past few years , the PEI Centre of the Royal Canadian College of Organists has presented the pipe organ in this more theatrical light in a special Hallowe’en-themed concert. “Spook Organa!” gives the Island’s most accomplished organists a chance to let their hair down (if they still have any), dress up in outrageous costumes (not a stretch for some), and play music that has no business being performed during a church service (no comment).
Highlights include the Funeral March of a Marionette (aka the Alfred Hitchcock Theme), Spookie Boogie Woogie, the Toccata from Boellmann’s Gothic Suite, and of course Phantom of the Opera. Performers include Don Fraser, Ann Francis, Gloria Jay, Louise Elder, Susan Stensch, Tom Loney and Leo Marchildon.
Spook Organa! will be held at St. Peter’s Cathedral, located on All Souls’ Lane, Charlottetown, on October 28, at 7:30 pm. Admission is by free will offering with proceeds going to the RCCO’s scholarship fund. The audience is encouraged to join in the fun by attending in costume.
—submitted by Leo Marchildon