Felix Hell (AD ’07, MM ’08, DMA ’16, Organ) started performing his program of the Goldberg Variations on organ in October 2016 at Peabody. Since, he has presented the same program throughout the US, including at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, New York, Aspen and Florida. Later this season, he will be taking the Goldberg Variations to Oklahoma City and Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. He will be in Oklahoma City on March 2, at the Casady Episcopal Church. The event in San Francisco will occur on May 27.
On Sunday, February 18, the Organ Department presented Peabody alumni Marvin Mills (GPD ’02, Organ) and soprano Marlissa Hudson (MM ’01, Voice) in the concert: “The Spiritual Bach: A Connection Across Space and Time,” juxtaposing the organ works of J.S. Bach and Negro spirituals. Highlighting their commonalities, the program paired pieces of similar moods and rhythmic or melodic ideas. Among other titles the recital included Bach’s Toccata, Adagio and Fugue, BWV 564, “Schmücke dich,” “O liebe Seele,” BWV 654, and “In dir ist Freude,” BWV 615, as well as the spirituals “Little David,” “Take My Mother Home,” and “Witness.”
James R. Houston (BM ’71, Organ) will be honored for his 50 years of service to the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore. He has been the organist and music director at the church, and they are presenting a gala concert to recognize his dedication. The concert is also in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the Newly-Restored Henry Niemann Organ. Peabody alumni Michael Britt (BM ’84, Organ) and Marijim Thoene (BM ’70, Church Music) will be featured on this concert, as well as other organists in the area. The concert will be On Sunday, February 11, at 4:00 pm at The First Unitarian Church of Baltimore. There will be a reception in the Enoch Pratt Parish Hall after the concert. Tickets are $20 and students are $5, available at the door.
Michael Britt (BM ’84, Organ) will participate in a Brass and Organ Concert on Sunday, December 10, at 7:00 pm, at the Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church in Baltimore. This concert will feature members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Brass as well as Britt, who will play the church’s historic 1931 Skinner Organ. The first half of the program will feature traditional brass and organ music and the second half will be holiday arrangements for the ensemble.
Organist and composer Trent Johnson (BM ’89, GPD ’91, Organ) was recently commissioned by Trilogy: An Opera Company to write the opera Kenyatta, based upon the life of Jomo Kenyatta, freedom fighter and the first president of Kenya. Excerpts from the opera were staged and performed in August, but the full premiere will take place at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J., on November 19, 2017.