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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

PSU organ series concludes

Pittsburg State University's 2005-2006 Fisk Organ Series will conclude with a concert by James David Christie at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 31. The concert is free and open to the public. Christie, an organ professor at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, will also present a masterclass from 3-5 p.m. that day. Christie's performance and all events in the Fisk Organ Series are sponsored by the Fisk Opus 106 Organ Society.

The Fisk Opus 106 was designed and built by C.B. Fisk, Inc., of Gloucester, Mass. The organ was completed in 1995 and presented by the PSU Foundation to PSU on October 29 of the same year. The inaugural recitals were performed by Susan Marchant, university organist, immediately following the presentation ceremony and again that evening. In March 1996, the inaugural celebration continued with a three-day festival.

The instrument has 41 independent speaking stops, 57 ranks and 2,270 pipes. The organ replaced a Reuter instrument installed in the 1950s. Extensive backstage modifications as well as the installation of new silent air handling equipment were carried out during preparations of the space for the new organ.

The visual design for Opus 106 was developed by Charles Nazarian to harmonize with and complement McCray Hall. The color scheme was inspired by the beautiful tiles in the foyer. Great care was taken to ensure that the visual effect would provide a subtle sculptural quality that would enhance the space and yet not overwhelm the hall.

Since its installation, the Fisk Opus 106 has drawn some of the most renowned organists from Europe and the United States to the Pittsburg State campus. The organ has also been heard in collaborative performances with the Southeast Kansas Symphony, the PSU Choirs, and visiting artists such as the Eastman Brass Quintet. The organ has even been featured on the nationally syndicated radio program "Pipedreams."

According to Susan Marchant, director of choral activities, organ and harpsichord in PSU's Department of Music, the Fisk Opus 106's most important role at PSU is as a teaching tool.

"The organ has served PSU's undergraduate and graduate organ students as one of the finest teaching instruments to be found anywhere," Marchant said. "Perhaps most importantly, the organ has provided many exciting moments for thousands of children who have visited McCray Hall for demonstrations and tours of the organ. This will continue to help build the audience of the future!"

The debut recording of the organ, a CD titled "Traditions," performed by Marchant, was released on the Pro Organo label in 1999 and was distributed to retailers throughout the United States and Europe. Copies of this recording may still be obtained through the Department of Music.

For more information:

Pittsburg State University Department of Music:

The Fisk Opus 106 at PSU:

The C.B. Fisk organ company, organ building, and some of the magnificent instruments built by the C.B. Fisk company (including PSU’s Opus 106):

---Pitt State---