Annual organ extravaganza to return Saturday

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, October 26, 2022

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The seventh annual Great October Organ Extravaganza is set to make its return this weekend with a few seasonal favorites and surprises. The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on the Square Sanctuary. 

“This event allows the organists to come out of the church setting and be a performer for that night,” said Bettie Biggs, artistic director of the Choral Society of West Georgia.

“They don’t have to worry about playing hymns or funerals or weddings. This is their night to shine as a performer — so it’s our pleasure as the Choral Society to feature them in this really unique concert setting.”

The concert is sponsored by the Choral Society as part of its community outreach and is free and open to the public for all to enjoy.

Biggs said the inspiration for starting the Great October Organ Extravaganza came from the Great Spooktacular Organ Concert originally started by the American Guild of Organists in Columbus, Georgia.

“I thought it was ingenious to offer it because organists other than being in church don’t really get the chance to play what they would like to outside of a church setting,” Biggs said. “I felt that concert concept was so unique and would be a great opportunity to feature these amazing musicians playing an instrument that’s unlike anything else.”

The event will feature nine area organists who will be performing a variety of selections from Bach to Star Wars to baby boomer television favorites.

This year’s performers will include Ken Bailey with St. Luke United Methodist Church in Columbus; Anthony Criswell with First Baptist Church on the Square; Tommy Teaver Andrew and Amanda Harry with First Presbyterian Church; Robin Ericksen with St. Mark’s Episcopal Church; Eve McKibben with Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Hogansville; Don Pappenbrock with First United Methodist Church and Randall Smith with First Baptist Church in West Point.

“This will be an enjoyable fun night of music that will allow for attendees to hear the organ played in ways that you normally would not hear in church on Sunday morning,” Biggs said.