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27th Annual St. John’s Organ Society Summer Recital Series in Bangor to Kick off on Thursday, July 18

BANGOR---St. John’s Organ Society is pleased to announce its 27th annual Summer Recital Series on Maine’s largest 19th-Century mechanical-action pipe organ, E. & G. G. Hook’s magnificent Opus 288 (additional pictures below), housed at St. John Church, located on 217 York Street in Bangor. The series features internationally-known organists as well as local performers.

The recitals are an hour long and will be held each Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. from July 18 through August 29. Admission is free, but donations to maintain the organ are appreciated. The concerts are sponsored by St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor and the St. John’s Organ Society. The organ society is committed to the preservation and appreciation of the Opus 288, which was built in 1860 and remains one of the most beautiful, surviving organs of its time.

The series kicks off on Thursday, July 18, with Choeur d’Enfants d’Ile-de-France, a children’s choir of boys and girls from Levallois, France. The choir will perform sacred music of French and German composers a cappella along with selections with piano and organ accompaniment.

Here is the rest of the summer schedule:

July 25
Daniel Pyle and Elena Kraineva will perform music of Bach, Weckmann, and Martin. Pyle is an organist from Bar Harbor and musical director of the ensemble Harmonie Universelle. Kraineva performs internationally as a soloist on viola and viola d’amore.

August 1
Andrew Scanlon, a professor in the keyboard faculty at East Carolina University, will perform music of Mendelssohn, Böhm, Bach, Krebs, Langlais, Oxley, and Smart. A native of Methuen, Massachusetts, Scanlon is also the artistic director of East Carolina Musical Arts Education Foundation.

August 8
Lauren Jochum of Paris, France, will perform music of Bach, Brahms, and Franck. He regularly performs on the great Cavaille-Col organ of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Belleville Church in Paris. Jochum has won several prestigious competitions, including the International Organ Competition of Lorraine, and has received the Jean-Louis Florentz-Académie des Beaux-Arts Prize.

August 15
Sarah Johnson of Rochester, New York, will perform music of Bach, Mendelssohn, and Rheinberger. A native of Garland, Johnson is a candidate for the degree of doctor of musical arts at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester. She holds a master’s degree in sacred music from Boston University and was featured as a rising star at the 2017 Musforum Conference in Omaha, Nebraska.

August 22
Abraham Ross of Durham, North Carolina, will perform the works of Thayer, Buck, Paine and the first chorale in E major of Franck. A Bangor native, his formative organ studies took place on the Opus 288 at St. John Church, an experience that inspired him to take up the instrument as a career. Ross is currently transitioning from a year-long appointment at Duke University Chapel to doctoral studies in organ at McGill University in Montreal.

August 29 
The final concert of the 27th summer season will feature Kevin Birch of Bangor performing music of Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Buck. Birch is the director of music at St. John Church and the executive director of the St. John’s Organ Society. He is a member of the music faculty at the University of Maine’s School of the Performing Arts in Orono and serves on the Liturgical Commission for the Diocese of Portland. He has performed solo recitals in the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, and for several national conventions of the Organ Historical Society.

For more information on the series, contact St. Paul the Apostle Parish at (207) 217-6740.