Phantom of the Organ to be held on Saturday

Published 9:24 pm Monday, October 23, 2017

When pedestrians hear spooky sounds coming from First Presbyterian Church on Saturday evening, they can be advised to do like your favorite Halloween film and investigate.

What they are bound to find is the second annual Phantom of the Organ: LaGrange’s Great Spooktacular, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday as the sun begins to set on the busiest day of the Halloween weekend. This year’s concert will once again feature an array of local organists performing spooky pieces ranging from the classical to contemporary.

“They will be dressed up, and they are very excited about their presentations,” said Bettie Biggs, the artistic director for the Choral Society of West Georgia, who is hosting the event. “I’m especially excited that we get to feature a young organ student, Tyra Crowe, who is currently a freshman music student at LaGrange College and is studying with Anthony Criswell who is the organist and director of music at First Baptist Church on the Square.”

The concert will feature organists from LaGrange, West Point and Hogansville playing everything from the Bach composition that has become synonymous with Halloween to the theme from the Pink Panther.

“It is always a fun event, and we get to play pieces that otherwise would not be heard,” said Anthony Criswell, the organist at First Baptist Church on the Square.

Criswell plans to perform Michael Jackson’s Thriller on the organ with his wife Rebecca Criswell.

“Organ music can be rather daunting, and so this concert is structured to be an enjoyable array of music that people know and enjoy and is related to the season of the year,” Biggs said.

The idea for the event came from a similar Halloween concert in Columbus.

“The American Guild of Organists hosts these types of concerts all over the United States, and Columbus, Georgia has a large spooktacular that they do on Halloween night in downtown Columbus,” Biggs said. “I actually went to one of those several years ago, and that was the inspiration to start one here.”

Last year, the church was full for the frightfully fun event, so anyone wishing to attend the spookiest organ concert in the area should arrive in plenty of time to find a seat.

The Spooktacular will take place at the First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange at 120 Broad Street from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The event is free to the public.