Gary Rtherford will perform on a baroque-style organ Thursday.

Gary Rtherford will perform on a baroque-style organ Thursday.

Master organist to perform on church’s pipe organ

PORT TOWNSEND — Master Organist Gary Rutherford will perform on the new pipe organ built to emulate a German organ of the baroque period during Thursday’s Candlelight Concert.

The concert will be performed at 7 p.m. at Port Townsend’s oldest Victorian Church, Trinity United Methodist Church, 609 Taylor St. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

Admission will be a suggested $10 donation with children admitted free.

Refreshments will be served after the performance.

This is Rutherford’s first performance on the organ, a copy of an instrument built by Gottfried Silbermann in 1735 in Reinhardsgrimma, Germany.

Silbermann was a friend of Johann Sebastian Bach, who influenced the musical design of his instruments.

The Silbermann organ is designed to play baroque music (1650-1750) such as that by Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.

This music necessitates the use of several different types of pipes some of which use reeds, organizers said, adding that the sound is broad, deep and authoritative.

Rutherford’s Candlelight performance, “Organ Connections,” will include music selections from four centuries of composers, beginning with Prelude in G Major BWV 572- Pièce d’Orgue by J. S. Bach, ca. 1708 and culminating with a contemporary piece by George Akerley, A Sweet for Mother Goose, which will be narrated by Terry Reitz, Organist Emeritus of Trinity United Methodist Church.

Other selections include Franz Liszt’s, Prelude and Fugue on the Name of B-A-C-H; Marcel Dupré’s Cortège et Litanie; César Franck’s Pièce Héroïque and Toccata from 24 Piéces de Fantasie, Opus 53 No. 6, by Louis Vierne.

“This is similar to the notion of ‘six degrees of separation,’ ” Rutherford said.

“The continuity of our musical evolution follows a series of related yet often insignificant relationships,” he explained. “Through a small number of well-known organ compositions, we’ll consider a few examples of connections that have influenced the direction of organ repertoire.”

Rutherford is a native of Phoenix and began his musical life with four years in the Phoenix Boys Choir, touring throughout the U.S. and Europe.

He studied organ under David N. Johnson at ASU, and completed degrees in music, biology and computer science.

After a 33-year career in information technology, Rutherford retired from SRP power utility in 2013. Simultaneously, he held organist/choirmaster positions at several churches throughout the Phoenix area.

During his last position at Faith Lutheran Church in Phoenix, Rutherford oversaw the refurbishing and installation of a 57-rank Möller pipe organ originally built for Ohio University.

He now divides his time between residences in Phoenix and Poulsbo, performing concerts and serving as a substitute organist, pianist and choir director.

Rutherford is a member of the Peninsula Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO).

For more information, call 360-774-1644 or email [email protected]

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