Each year, Kimberly Marshall, from Arizona State University, comes to Santa Fe to conduct masterclasses and give lectures during the Santa Fe Summer Organ Academy, held at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe. Masterclass participants give a final recital on the last day on the wonderful Fisk organ as part of the First Presbyterian TGIF concert series.
This year, I played In Paradisum by Ghislane Reece-Trapp, a piece based on the Gregorian Chant of the same name. The melody is played, alternatively, in the pedal and the left hand, while the right hand plays an ethereal figuration.
In spring 2020, I registered for the University of New Mexico Early Music Ensemble. When everything shut down in March 2020, our semester essentially ended. However, in Fall 2021, we were back together, albeit virtually. Then in Fall 2022, the Early Music Ensemble started meeting again in person. I was not altogether comfortable meeting in person, so I skipped the Fall 2022 class but I rejoined the ensemble in Spring 2023.
We practiced, masked, in person.
We presented a concert, in person, on Sunday May 1, 2022: The Merrie Month of May.
We also played a small set and accompanied some small vocal ensembles for the Concert Choir concert on Friday April 22, 2022: The Wishing Tree.
This summer, I once again attended the Sacred Music Intensive at Indiana University. This yearly workshop began in 2014 and I attended it in both 2014 and 2015 while I was living in Indiana. I had planned to attend again in 2020 but it was cancelled for the next two years. This year, the workshop was once again held the first week in June
The Sacred Music Intensive is a collaboration between the choral and organ departments of the Jacobs School of Music. In the choral track, Dr. Walter Huff offered practicums in choral conducting. All participants were encouraged to join the workshop choir as we rehearsed several pieces to sing at the final concert. In the organ track, Drs. Janette Fishell, Chris Young, and Marilyn Kaiser coached students in private lessons as well as offering several classes. Marilyn Kaiser held a service playing class every morning. Janette Fishell offered a class on 20th and 21st century compositions suitable for preludes and postludes throughout the liturgical year. Chris Young took us to the Fritts organ at First Presbyterian Church where he discussed Baroque registration. New this year was instruction on the carillon by instructor Lynnli Wang Hall.
Throughout the week, we had all 14of the Jacob School of Music pipe organs at our disposal. Many of the organs are mechanical action, a real treat. I spent hour after hour in happy practice throughout the week.
The event culminated in the final Friday night concert. Participants accompanied the choir anthems and hymns and played solo organ pieces. Altogether it was a wonderful immersive experience and I plan on returning next year.