Concert in honor of the late Douglas Bush will showcase the Cathedral of the Madeleine organ
Friday, Aug. 15, 2014
Cathedral of the Madeleine organist Gabriele Terrone will be among those who perform during the 2014 Organ Fest. IC file photo
SALT LAKE CITY — Six organists will put the Eccles Memorial Organ through its paces during the seventh annual Organ Fest at the Cathedral of the Madeleine Aug. 22.
Five of the organists are from the Salt Lake Tabernacle – Richard Elliott, Clay Christiansen, Andrew Unsworth, Bonnie Goodliffe and Linda Margetts. The sixth is the cathedral’s newly appointed organist, Gabriele Terrone.
This year, the Organ Fest program is in honor of Douglas E. Bush, a member of the Brigham Young University School of Music faculty for 35 years, who died last October, “leaving a huge void in the Utah organ world,” said Elliott in a press release. “The five members of the Tabernacle organ staff were closely connected to Doug in many ways, and they plan to honor his memory during Organ Fest VII.”
In past years, no one theme bound the pieces the organists selected for the festival, said Unsworth, who served as the cathedral’s organist from 2001 to 2006, and also played there from 1993 to 1995.
This year, because Bush’s specialty was the music of Bach, “a lot of Bach music will be played, but also many of us will be playing music that Doug wrote, and I know that Richard Elliott has written a piece that is honoring Doug, so there will be a variety of ways that people will try to honor Doug’s memory through this recital,” Unsworth said.
The idea behind the Organ Fest is to showcase the cathedral instrument’s versatility, Unsworth said, so a variety of musical styles will be played. “You’ll hear the organ put through its paces.”
Unsworth said he enjoys playing the cathedral organ for several reasons: The mechanical key action gives him a direct, physical connection between the key and the pipes, which gives him a more intimate connection to the instrument than the electoral connection on the Tabernacle and Conference Center organs, he said. Also, “when you play the Cathedral organ you’re in the middle of it. You have pipes in front of you, pipes behind you, so it’s a visceral experience. It’s a very powerful organ, and it’s fun to play because you’re in the middle of it all.”
In addition, he is looking forward to hearing Terrone play, he said. “He’s a really wonderful organist and a great addition to the community of organists in Salt Lake City.”
The cathedral is an ideal organ concert venue, Unsworth said. “It’s a very generous, warm, acoustic [space] and in my opinion there’s just the right amount of echo.”
Organ Fest is one of several community cultural events that the Cathedral of the Madeleine hosts throughout the year.
“The cathedral is dedicated and committed to encouraging and sponsoring artistic events,” said Father Martin Diaz, pastor. “We are happy to showcase the magnificent instrument central to our Catholic worship.”
The event is sponsored by Classical 89 and the cathedral; the organists donate their time and talents. Freewill donations in support of Classical 89’s weekly organ program Pipedreams will be accepted; the program airs Sundays at 9 p.m.
WHAT: Organ Fest VII
WHEN: Aug. 22, doors open at 7 p.m.; performance begins at 8 p.m.
WHERE: The Cathedral of the Madeleine, 309 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City
Free and open to the public; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis