American Guild of Organists, Baltimore Chapter
Enriching lives through organ and choral music

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Dr. Carol Williams in Concert

Our chapter co-sponsored, with Brown Memorial’s Tiffany Series Presents, a delightful, entertaining recital by Carol Williams on Sunday, April 15, on the historic E. M. Skinner organ at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church. British-born concert organist, Dr. Williams is San Diego Organist Emerita where, for fifteen years, she presided over the Spreckles organ in Balboa Park becoming well-known for her flashy recitals with strong enphasis on Jazz, blues, pop and rock, all particularly well suited to that instrument. Her program here displayed the same broad diversity if slightly weighted with transcriptions and arrangements. Her virtuosic skill was clean throughout, though was perhaps most apparent in the Te Deum of Tournemire, transcribed by Duruflé and Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov, the latter displaying her dazzling, flawless pedal technique. The program was well-suited by the Skinner’s vast array of beautiful solo sounds accompanied by celestes and soft foundations at 16, 8 and 4, frequently with tremulents, providing very pleasing, colorful orchestral effects. This listener was amused at the number of times the entire coupler rail was engaged! 

Thanks to a new video projection system, the large appreciative audience was able to see the performer as she skillfully and comfortably made her way around this wonderful instrument. Following a handful of Dr. Williams’ original compositions and arrangements, she closed with the very challenging Praise Thee Lord, a toccata by contemporary composer, Iver Kleive. One toccata deserves another, so she treated us to Widor’s Toccata as an encore bringing everyone to their feet.

 

Louis Gephardt