Revive the organ
Sarah Schubert | Thursday, March 3, 2011
I would like to sincerely thank Suzanna Pratt for her photo essay on the organs housed in the Debartolo Performing Arts Center (“Keying In: The Reyes Organ and Choral Hall,” March 1). The organs, especially the Fritts organ, are absolutely magnificent instruments that are so easily overlooked. Being an organist myself, I know firsthand how much the art of the organ is dying out. Churches all over the country and the world are tearing out their organs because of financial issues (they are very expensive to maintain), wanting more contemporary music, or simply that their organists are literally dying out. Ask anyone on the street (or in our case, quad) to describe an organist and they will most likely tell you that they think of a little, old, blue-haired lady hunched over the bench plunking out each hymn. There are so few young organists, which to me is a horrible shame. Notre Dame only has a small number of undergrad organists, let alone organ majors. So I ask all of you to go at least once in your career here at Notre Dame and attend an organ concert at DPAC. Sitting and looking at the magnificent woodwork while listening to the shear power of the sound that is produced from the Fritts organ is sure to give anyone a new appreciation for a dying art. And to all of my fellow organists, I ask you to keep up the good work and thank you for your dedication. I especially want to extend a thank you to Prof. Cramer for his enthusiasm, dedication, and direction to all of us who have had the honor of studying with him.