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Nationally acclaimed organist Kaminski gives benefit recital for scholarship fund

October 27, 2016 By Francesca Norsen Tate Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Michael Kaminski. Photo by Robin Locke Monda
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The American Guild of Organists (AGO)-Brooklyn Chapter, among its many projects, is actively committed to nurturing the talents of young musicians. As such, the chapter has established the 2016 Scholarship Competition to encourage excellence in the performance of organ music and to inspire, educate and nurture future generations of organists.

The chapter has also sponsored events such as “Pedals, Pipes and Pizza” to familiarize youth with this king of instruments. Last year, the Brooklyn Chapter presented Pipe Organ Encounter (POE), hosting 21 young organists (and future organists) who spent a music-camp-intensive week studying and playing the pipe organ with distinguished faculty. In March, the AGO-Brooklyn Chapter held its first student competition, awarding first, second and third monetary prizes to high school and college organ students in the area.

Chapter Dean Ellen Wright and Sub-Dean John Wolfe told the Brooklyn Heights Press that many AGO chapters host similar scholarship competitions, with the specifics determined on a chapter-by-chapter basis. All the money for this competition, to be held on Saturday, March 12, has been raised through donations and ticket sales to special concerts created specifically for this purpose.

POE is an educational program of the AGO with generous funding from the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America and the American Institute of Organbuilders. Since 1988, approximately 2,500 teenage musicians have been introduced to the “King of Instruments” through POE programs hosted by dozens of AGO chapters across the country. These four-to-five-day events immerse the students in the organ world, enabling them to experience the full range of the instrument in a variety of venues.

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However, it takes money to invest in these students’ future, so the Brooklyn Chapter is also holding a series of benefit recitals to raise scholarship funds.

Nationally acclaimed organist and AGO-Brooklyn Chapter member Michael Kaminski will present an all-French program at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, 225 Sixth Ave., in Park Slope on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. This program will feature works by Franck, Widor, Saint-Saens and others.

General admission is $20 and $10 for students and senior citizens. Tickets will be available at the door. All proceeds benefit the Brooklyn AGO Scholarship Competition Fund. Contributions are tax deductible.


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