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Organ workshops coming

BY Richard Johnson
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Music educator Rosina Christina Moder continues to contribute to the development of music in Jamaica.

The Austrian-born Moder, who is set to receive the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer for her contribution to the development of music in Jamaica and the preservation of its history at King's House tomorrow is, through her Music Unites Jamaica Foundation (MUJF) and the Embassy of Germany in Jamaica, organising a number of workshops for the country's organists.

The workshops have been named after Samuel Felsted, Jamaica's earliest documented composer and the organist at the St Andrew Parish Church in the 1700s, and will be conducted by German organist and music educator Gabriele Schenkel.

“This is the opportunity for church organists, of all denominations, and organists-to-be to participate in the Samuel Felsted Organ Workshops for 2017” Moder told the Jamaica Observer.

“It is being presented by the very experienced German organist and music educator Gabriele Schenkel. Unfortunately, the skill of playing the church organ is presently not being taught at tertiary level in Jamaica. Therefore, Music Unities Jamaica Foundation saw the need to organise this very first series of workshops,” she added.

The Samuel Felsted Organ Workshops will be held this Saturday, October 21, at the Kingston Parish Church in downtown Kingston; October 28, Christ Church in Vineyard Town, St Andrew; St Andrew Parish Church in Half-Way-Tree on November 4; with the final workshop set for November 11 at Cathedral St Jago de la Vega in Spanish Town.

“The very accomplished Gabriele Schenkel has graciously offered to assist us by giving these professional classes on organ technique and organ repertoire to all level of players, as well as discussing important general topics, such as improvisation, with the participants at the workshops. Mrs Schenkel is no newcomer to Jamaica, since she and her husband Roman Reichel performed already all over Jamaica during MUJF's Hallelujah Concerts series, sponsored then as well by the German Embassy, performing Jonah back in the year 2000,” Moder added.

The workshops will last from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Samuel Felsted (1743-1802) is internationally known for composing Jonah, the very first oratorio in the Americas. Fested also composed Six Voluntarys for the Organ or Harpsichord, which Moder explained will be offered online for sale to the workshop participants and public in general. Workshops participants will also be asked for a monetary contribution towards Schenkel's hospitality expenses, but this fee is being waived for students interested in playing the organ.

Following the workshops Moder, Schenkel and their team will be organising a series of free concerts beginning on November 12 at Kingston Parish Church starting at 4:00 pm. The second concert will be held on November 16 — a lunch hour concert inside the Lecture Hall of the Institute of Jamaica in downtown Kingston at 12:15 pm. The series wraps on November 19 at Cathedral St Jago de la Vega in Spanish Town at 4:00 pm. In addition to Schenkel and Moder, these concerts will also feature soprano Ana Strachan, Peter Ashbourne on violin, tenor David Reid, as well as Stephen Shaw Naar and Winston Ewart on piano.