“When I found out the theme for this week was ‘Vanishing,’ I began to look for some texts with that…
‘A feat of spectacle’ Review by Guest Critic: Rebecca Ritzel Oh, the early musicians. They are the nerds, outliers and…
BENJAMIN HOSTE | File Photo Jared Jacobsen with the Massey Memorial Organ in 2013. Jacobsen is now in his 19th…
The Massey Memorial Organ is an important part of the Chautauqua community, and it certainly has been significant to Jared Jacobsen’s life as well. Jacobsen, 65, has been coming to Chautauqua for 60 years, and he has been the Chautauqua organist for 16 years. Jacobsen shares what it’s like to be an organist and how the Massey Organ changed his life.
That sound you heard coming from the Amphitheater Thursday night? It wasn’t Judgment Day, or fire and brimstone pouring from the skies.
Jared Jacobsen likens his choice of Sacred Song Service themes to putting together a puzzle. And the opening night’s selection is a picture of pure jubilance.
“I just want to celebrate how excited we are to be back at Chautauqua,” Jacobson said.
Jacobsen is the coordinator of worship and sacred music, known to most as the talented fingers and feet behind Chautauqua’s organ performances. The focus of the first 8 p.m. service of the season is “Oh Happy Day!,” an arrangement Jacobsen calls “down and dirty gospel.”
Chautauqua organist Jared Jacobsen will perform the American-themed Massey Organ Mini-Concert he didn’t play on the Fourth of July at 12:15 p.m. today in the Amphitheater.
During his usual concert time on the Fourth, the Amphitheater crew was preparing for an evening entertainment event. Today, Jacobsen will play a set of variations on the tune “America” by Charles Ives, and another by I. V. Flagler, who was a music director at Chautauqua in the late 1800s.
“(Flagler) was very much in tune with that early, restlessly experimental nature of Chautauqua, where the sky was the limit, and you wanted to expose people to as many different things as possible,” Jacobsen said.
Chautauqua organist Jared Jacobsen said he can make the Massey Memorial Organ sound like a bubbling fountain.
To correspond with Week Four’s theme, “Water Matters,” Jacobsen will perform a brief concert titled “Water Music” at 12:15 p.m. today in the Amphitheater. The title of the program comes from the piece “Water Music” by Handel.
Jacobsen will also play “La Brume (The Mist)” by Harvey Gaul, which he played last week on the Tallman Organ, and “Naïades” by Louis Vierne, which he played Tuesday on the Tallman, to show what one piece can sound like on two very different organs.
On a number of occasions, Jared Jacobsen, Chautauqua organist and worship and sacred music coordinator, and Marlie Bendiksen, Chautauqua Institution Archives associate, have instructed and delighted Chautauqua audiences on the subject of hymns — a little bit of history, a little bit of song.
This year will be a little more of the same and a little bit different. Titled “History of the Sacred Song Service,” their Chautauqua Heritage Lecture Series presentation will begin today at 3:30 p.m. in the Hall of Christ. They invite audience participation.
Given presentations by Jacobsen and Bendikesen in years past, the series’ attention to Chautauqua’s Sacred Song Service is the next logical thing to do, Bendiksen said.
Chautauqua organist Jared Jacobsen will begin the season of Massey Memorial Organ Mini-Concerts in a fitting way — with a collection of overtures, or musical introductions.
Jacobsen will perform “A Book of Overtures” at 12:15 p.m. today in the Amphitheater. He said he came up with the theme after a music publisher sent him a bonus book of opera overtures by famous organists from the past.
“So I thought, ‘Well, this is a cool title for the opening,’ ” he said. “But my book of overtures is a little bit more wide-ranging than theirs.”