2012 National Convention of the Organ Historical Society

11/29/2012

I am so delighted to be able to share with you the live webcast of my performance this past July 9 at the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Chapel as part of the 2012 National Convention of the OHS. This recital marks my third appearance at an OHS National Convention, and also certainly the most personal of the three. As a Chicago native, I will never forget hearing this landmark instrument as a child, totally enchanted by those suave and silky sounds wafting down the nave. Offering this concert, and much great music that is very dear to me, was also such a beautiful way in which to share with that audience a little bit of my hometown and my personal history with and love of the organ.

Having just performed the final concert for the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists three days earlier, I will never forget the long adrenaline-filled practice sessions (one lasting as long as 17 consecutive hours!), day and night, trying to finish the complex registrations for this program. Along with well-known repertoire, the program also features the premiers of two new transcriptions: Liszt's "Funerailles," and the Brahms "Academic Festival Overture," transcribed specifically for this great academic institution and its superlative symphonic Skinner organ.

It is a wonderful and touching tradition of the OHS to always include a hymn within the context of these convention recitals. Given the nature of this particular recital space, and the famous quotation of the old German student song, "Gaudeamus Igitur" in Brahms’s Overture, I thought to sing this joyous folksong would make a perfect pairing of music, space, and occasion. I'm particularly fond of the texts of the third and fourth verses, which I believe truly embody the spirit of these national conventions of the AGO and OHS in their promotion of artistic excellence, continued scholarship, and a strong sense of community and purpose:

 
Long live our society,
Scholars wise and learned;
May truth and sincerity,
Nourish our fraternity
And our land's prosperity.

 
May our Alma Mater thrive,
A font of education;
Friends and colleagues, where'er they are,
Whether near or from afar,
Heed her invitation.

 
Many thanks to Kevin Grose, who was so instrumental in making this webcast happen, as well as to all of those at the University of Chicago and OHS who supported and exectued this project. I do hope you enjoy this video and the beautiful sounds of E.M. Skinner's 1928 masterpiece, found at the following link:

Watch Nathan Laube Live at Rockefeller Chapel

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