DCPC organ

Katherine Johnson will perform in the first Organ at Davidson program of 2019. She will play music by Buxtehude, Bach, Alain, Whitlock and Mendelssohn on the Davidson College Presbyterian Church Wicks organ.

1. The new season starts Jan. 14

The 13th season of Organ at Davidson kicks off with Katherine Johnson performing at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at Davidson College Presbyterian Church. There are typically six or seven shows – once a month – in each season. A meet-the-artist reception hosted by Friends of the Organ follows the program. All performances are free, with donations encouraged to enhance the series. Funding is all based on donations, which helps with operations and payments to the performers.


2. Bach is featured every year 

Jane Cain, director of music and organist at DCPC, says the program tries to do something different every March involving German composer Johann Sebastian Bach. His works came toward the end of the Baroque period, and last year Organ at Davidson put on what Cain calls a “coffee cantata” in which the audience had to guess if the selection played was from Bach or one of his four composer sons. Since the sons were of a more contemporary style, “they don’t sound a whole lot alike,” said Cain, a 40-year member of DCPC. She and associate director of music Michael Rowland provided the music for that performance.


3. Johnson concert will feature more than Bach

Her program will include works by Buxtehude, Bach, Alain, Whitlock and Mendelssohn. A native of Greenville, 18-year-old Johnson completed her first semester studies in the organ department of Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio with Jonathan Moyer. She previously was organ scholar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greenville and currently is the organ scholar at Plymouth Church UCC in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Her prior teachers have been Phil Valera, Samantha Koch and Andrew Scanlon.


4. The program started after the organ was rebuilt

In 2006, DCPC had its three-manual pipe organ rebuilt. The Wicks Organ Co. has built more than 6,440 organs for churches, chapels, concert halls, universities, homes, practice rooms, theaters and hotels. The Illinois-based company has transitioned from building all-pipe instruments to constructing fine digital instruments and everything in between. DCPC also has a smaller pipe organ.


5. Friends group supports, promotes musical program

The Friends of the Organ is a group that hosts receptions after the Organ at Davidson events, as well as promotes the series. “Usually it means donors, but these people have sustained the series with their work,” Cain said. She said others can be sponsors or benefactors, and the performers are typically given a “few hundred” dollars. All of the church’s services are broadcast on WDAV radio. DCPC is at 101 N. Main St. in Davidson. For more information on the program, contact Cain at jcain@dcpc.org.


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