On Saturday we went to Taunton MA. John delights in pointing out that this part of southern Massacusetts has lots of place names from his home county of Somerset: Taunton and Bridgewater, for example. And he was thrilled to visit St John's Church Taunton , a very sweet white framed Gothic Church because the nearest church to his childhood home in England was St John's Taunton (a dark Victorian Gothic building with a spire, links to Forward in Faith and other conservative church groups and -- perhaps I should not be surprised -- without a website). He insisted I take a picture of this banner.
St John's Taunton MA is a small congregation yoked with two others in Bristol County and the proud owners of E. & G.G. Hook&Hastings Opus 764. It turns out that practically the whole organizing committee of this conference have been organists at this church at one time or another. Lois Regenstein played a delightful recital on it. ways.
I liked the carving on the case of this instrument, too, so here it is close up. Obviously there are some things I still need to learn about placing photos in my blog. Bear with me.
My three favorite things about this day were
1) Barbara Owen's recital at Berkley Congregational Church in Berley MA on an 1830's Hook and Hastings, both because she played two pieces by the local American Composer Oliver Shaw, (who wrote organ music to commemorate every imaginable event, apparently--on Thursday we hear programmatic music to commemorate the visit of Lafayette to Providence RI, also by Shaw) and because she gave lively little program notes including observations about registration.
2) St Mary's RC Church(Hook and Hatstings Opus 1674) which was plainly not the most prosperous church in the world (it was the one we were warned had no bathrooms) but the organ has been held together with string and chewing gum and duct tape by dedicated organ enthusiasts from all over the area and I like the idea of people giving their time to restore and maintain a historic organ.
3) We had a CLAMBAKE in a shed at West Presbyterian Church in Taunto which apparently hosts clambakes to raise money. It reminded me of the clambakes my grandparents used to put on for their friends. We'd sit at trestle tables in the garage, the guys would boil the Clam Bake in metal trash cans out in the yard. We'd have lobster and clams and corn and potatoes and carrots and hotdogs and it was great. No lobster at this clambake, breakfast type sausage instead of hotdogs and bread stuffing was served, which was a new one on me. Also Boston Brown bread.
You can see that we all really got into it!
You can learn more about the Organ Historical Society, this convention and next year's convention by visiting their website www.organsociety.org. The Convention website tells you a lot more about the organs we visited than I can even understand. You can see a lot more pictures by peole who attended the convention here.