Four locations, seven performers at President’s Day organ festival

The 11th annual Los Angeles Presidents’ Day Organ Festival will take place in Claremont on Monday, February 19.

Presented by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, the day-long event features Claremont organists Gerard DeMasi at the Presbyterian Church, William Peterson at Pomona College and Carey Robertson at the United Church of Christ.

Also scheduled to perform are Leslie Deutsch, Jung-A Lee, Thomas Mellan and Russell Weismann.

The schedule will take pipe organ enthusiasts across town. Begin the day from 9 to 10:45 a.m. at Claremont Presbyterian Church, 1111 N. Mountain Ave. Coffee and pastries will be served. Performance by Leslie Deutsch and Gerard DeMasi begin at 9:30 a.m.

From 11:10 a.m. to noon, participants will visit the Thatcher Music Building, Lyman Recital Hall at the corner of Fourth Street and College Avenue. Russell Weismann will present a lecture on organ builder Rudolf von Bekerath, followed by a performance on the von Bekerath organ.

Mr. Weismann is an adjunct professor from George Mason University in Virginia, whose doctoral dissertation (which he is in the process of completing) explores the North American influence of Rudolf von Beckerath in the context of musical culture and composition.

Lunch is from noon to 1 p.m. at Frank Dining Hall, located on the corner of Bonita Avenue and Columbia Avenue. A gourmet sandwich lunch is available for $10 with reservations by e-mailing or calling (323) 663-0499 by February 14.

A quick walk after lunch to Bridges Hall of Music, just east of the Thatcher Music building, will offer attendees a performance by William Peterson from 1:10 to 1:35 p.m.

From 1:50 to 3:30 p.m., gather at Claremont United Church of Christ, 233 Harrison Ave., for performances on the church’s famed Glatter-Götz organ by Carey Robertson (chief organist at Claremont United Church of Christ), Jung-A Lee and Thomas Mellan. Installing the organ at UCC took two years and was completed in 1998, through collaboration with Glatter-Götz and Manuel Rosales, a Los Angeles-based organ builder.

A reception following the performances will take place at UCC with an organ CD and music sale. Prices start at $1.

This year’s event is particularly noteworthy in that the inaugural President’s Day Organ Festival took place in Claremont in 2008.

All performances are free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guild of Organists at

—Kathryn Dunn


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