Artist Series: An Evening Concert to Mark Winter’s End

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Carolyn Diamond, organ

Carolyn Diamond, organ

Carolyn Diamond was exploring the three manual Reuter organ at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd on France Ave when I met her for a brief interview this past snowy Thursday.   She will be featured on this recently renovated instrument on March 14th at 7 pm, the only evening Artist Series concert this year. Winter officially ends a week later, but I proclaim this a concert to mark the end of a tedious winter!

Feet and fingers will be flying as Carolyn opens the concert with the Bach Toccata in C, BWV 564.   Improvisational flourishes punctuated with moments of silence will unveil Good Shepherd’s acoustic character.   To give the organ a chance to “whisper and growl,” —as Carolyn puts it—she will conclude the program with Dubois’  Fantaisie and Toccata from the 12 pieces for Organ.   The organ will be situated in front of the church, allowing an excellent view of the organist’s feet at work.  Aren’t most of us astonished at an organist’s ability to tame the pedals of an organ?

Carolyn had many years of piano study under her belt before her church persuaded her to take up the organ as a high school student in Minnesota.   She retains an appreciation for the sensitivity of touch required in piano playing and brings that to the organ, an instrument that can be regarded as “mechanical” or “stiff.”  Carolyn’s playing will disavow anyone of that notion.

Carolyn seems to be adept at balancing acts.  She has managed to maintain a high level of performance on both the piano and the organ while forging strong musical connections in our metro area and in the highly competitive New York City scene, where she lived for 12 years.  (It seems that she left at least a part of her heart in New York.) She has also navigated with grace through the upper echelons of organ networks that have been primarily populated by men. I am happy for the clear message that her presence will send to all women in the audience that evening.   It can be done!

Also appearing on this program are mezzo-soprano Jose Poppin, a Young Artist scholarship winner and the Meadowlark String Quartet.  Violinists Te-Chiang Liu and Hsin-Yin Min, violist Kelsey Farr and cellist Lindsay Schlemmer will treat us to Three Idylls by the British composer Frank Bridge.   I will also offer a few piano transcriptions of Strauss songs to the evening’s mix.

So mark your calendars:  March 14th at 7 pm at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (4801 France Avenue South).  There is nothing like hearing fine music in a great acoustic space to banish any lingering winter woes.  Join us!


Kristine Denton
VP Artist Series