Eccles Organ Festival to begin Oct. 11
Friday, Sep. 18, 2020
The Cathedral of the Madeleine hosts the annual Eccles Organ Festival.
SALT LAKE CITY – The 2020 Eccles Organ Festival at the Cathedral of the Madeleine will go forward despite current pandemic conditions. In-person concerts with limited attendance will be held, along with being livestreamed on the festival’s YouTube channel.
According to organizers, the hope is to provide a community focus to the event’s 27th season.
“This year more than ever, after months of forced isolation, beautiful and meaningful experiences are a profound necessity, and the Eccles Organ Festival is ready to launch another season of quality musical presentations at the Cathedral of the Madeleine,” this year’s festival announcement said.
The festival will kick off Sunday, Oct. 11 with a community concert featuring five organists from local churches: Larry Blackburn, First Presbyterian Church; Seth Bott, St. James Episcopal Church; David Chamberlin, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church; Gregory Glenn, Cathedral of the Madeleine; and Scott Mills, First United Methodist Church. All of the churches are in Salt Lake City except St. James, which is in Midvale.
Andrew Unsworth, one of three full-time organists at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, will be featured at the Sunday, Nov. 8 concert.
On Sunday, Dec. 13, the festival will present a brass and organ Christmas concert featuring the brass section of the Utah Symphony Orchestra along with cathedral organist Gabriele Terrone performing original works, transcriptions and carols.
Kenneth Udy, director of music and organist at Wasatch Presbyterian Church, will present the Jan. 10 concert. Udy is also organist at Congregation Kol Ami and frequently appears as a guest organist at the Salt Lake Tabernacle and with the Utah Symphony.
Terrone, who is also the cathedral’s assistant director of music, will perform at the final festival concert Feb. 14.
All concerts will be presented at 8 p.m. To ensure large numbers are not turned away at the door, reservations are recommended for all events. Due to physical distancing requirements and cathedral seating arrangements, concert passes are available for parties up to two or up to four guests. Parties are considered groups of people coming together to the cathedral. All concert attendees should bring their own mask and wear it while they are in the cathedral. Contactless programs will be provided through QR codes and projection.
Free concert seating passes will be available online at the festival website www.ecclesorganfestival.com.
The festival will continue its Open Gallery Nights where organ aficionados can learn about the functioning of the cathedral’s Eccles Memorial Organ and even get to play the organ. Gallery nights are scheduled for Nov. 20, Nov. 22. May 14 and May 16 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Space is limited, and tickets are required.
The festival is looking for healthy adults to serve as volunteer ushers for festival performances.
The cathedral also offers organ recitals featuring local organists and visitors from around the world most Sunday afternoons from September through November, and from January through March. These recitals, which begin at 5:30 p.m., last for 30 minutes and are free of charge.