Scholarship Winner Concert & Annual Dinner
Mary Pan, 2011 M. Louise Miller Scholarship Winner
Join us for this very special program, Sunday, June 10, 2012, 4:00 PM, First Church Congregational of Norwalk when Mary Pan plays the recently restored Austin III/52-rank pipe organ with new console; work completed by A. Thompson-Allen .
The concert is open to the public. The annual chapter dinner and meeting will take place after the recital in the Cathedral rectory. Guests are welcome. Cost $25 per person for the catered dinner. RSVP for dinner reservations to Carole Fanslow, by June 1, 2014.
Flora Major, Director of Music at First Church Congregational Norwalk, host
About Our Scholarship Winner
Mary Pan is a first year organ performance major at the Hartt School. After beginning organ study in 2010 with Dr. Patricia Snyder, she received first prizes in the Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition, High School Division, and in the L. Cameron Johnson High School Organ Competition, both in 2011, as well as the M. Louise Miller Scholarship. As a piano student of Margreet Francis for the past 7 years, she has won numerous local piano competitions. She serves as pianist and organist at Chinese Baptist Church of Greater Hartford. Mary was also a very dedicated student in our chapter’s 2010 Pipe Organ Encounter (POE).
Jeff Wood, our M. Louise Miller Scholarship Chair had these comments regarding Mary’s choice as winner. “We had a very strong pool of applicants for the 2011 M. Louise Miller Scholarship, including entries from as far away as Atlanta, Georgia. The performance by our own Mary Pan stood out thanks to her clear, accurate and mature recording. The judges all agreed that her movements from the Bach E minor Trio Sonata showed a solid understanding of Baroque performance technique. Her clear articulations and strong rhythmic drive lent a feeling of dance to the piece. Equally impressive was her performance of Liszt’s Fantasy and Fugue on BACH, played with a great freedom of interpretation, and made all the more exciting by her inventive registrations. The fact that Mary’s CD was recorded after only 16 months of organ lessons certainly confirms that she meets the qualification for our scholarship fund of an individual who demonstrates “strong potential for future growth and development.” We can all expect great things from Mary in the years to come.”
From RoseAnne Homola, our 2010 POE “Dorm Mom” she had to share this about Mary. “I am very excited that a student from our Pipe Organ Encounter won the M. Louise Miller Scholarship and is performing for us at our Annual Dinner 2012. May Pan was such a joy to have in our program. All the students were talented, fun and enthusiastic, however, to me, Mary really stood out in her own quiet way. She wanted to practice so much, that she got up extra early, got a practice ‘buddy’ –and had me escorting her over to the chapel as the sun was coming up –so she could get some practicing in before breakfast. Mary is talented, driven and focused, and will do well on her chosen path. The world is going to be blessed with her offerings, we are so glad she is sharing her talents with us today.”
About The Program
Toccata in F Major, BWV 540 – Johann Sebastian Bach
Chorale No. 3 in a minor - Cesar Franck
Prelude et Fugue sur le nom d'Alain – Maurice Durufle
About the Organ - Austin Opus 2727 (In loving memory of Greater Bridgeport AGO member Joe McFarland)
First Congregational Church in Norwalk was established in 1652, making it one of America’s oldest churches. In 1917 the church suffered a devastating fire that destroyed the previous meetinghouse, leaving only the parish house standing. When the present building was erected, it was furnished with an organ built by the Estey Organ Company of Brattleboro, Vermont. After the Second World War the church welcomed Joseph F. McFarland (1922-2008) as its organist-choirmaster, a position he held for the next fifty-six years. Shortly after his arrival, First Church replaced the Estey organ’s original console with one by the M. P. Möller Organ Company.
After some seventy years of service, the Estey organ was worn out and in need of extensive repairs. In 1990 the people of First Church decided instead to replace the organ with a large new instrument built by the Austin Organ Company of Hartford. Austin Organs were then, and continue now, to be known for building quality instruments that serve reliably for many decades. Indeed, some Austin organs have been carrying on quite nicely for over 100
Organ builders consider their instruments to be works of art and assign them opus numbers accordingly. The Austin organ for First Church is their Opus 2727, and may be described as a three-manual, five-division instrument having a total of fifty-two speaking stops and 3,248 pipes, ranging in size from more than eighteen feet long to smaller than a common pencil. Although a very few sets of pipes were reused from the Estey organ, and the Möller console was retained to save expense, Opus 2727 was essentially a completely new instrument.
In 2010, with the loving help of Joe Dzeda and the A. Thompson Allen Company, the now unreliable Möller console was replaced by an Austin console and the organ rededicated to Joe’s memory, most recently April 15th, 2012 at a recital played by Walden Moore. Its installation fully compliments Opus 2727 and, in a sense, completes the instrument. There is a certain sense of satisfaction in seeing the Austin organ played by an Austin console after twenty-one years.