Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Miriam on "Mighty Mo" and a belated Christmas "recital"

Yesterday Miriam's organ teacher invited her to attend "The Mighty Mo Tour" at Fox Theatre in Atlanta with her. I imagine its name comes from its manufacturer—the M.P. Möller Organ company—but I haven't really verified that. 

At the theatre, they listened to Ken Double (the organist) play some pieces and also got to go on a tour of the stage. Mighty Mo's console apparently lives in the basement, but can rise up when needed. It was originally built in 1929—but has undergone some extensive restoration work since then—and is currently the "second largest theater organ, [and] it utilizes 3,622 pipes ranging from the size of a ball point pen to 32 feet tall and wide enough for a man to stand in." Miriam tells me its pipes stand in 47 ranks and that it has 415 stops (which is a lot of stops).

She was very impressed! It's been a while since she played an organ of such a grand instrument, though to be fair...

She played on the Aeolian-Skinner organ that was once int he Trinity Church in New York (but which now resides in John's Creek United Methodist Church) about a year ago, and it has 120 stops and 161 ranks.

She's also played on the organ at the Tabernacle at Temple Square (formerly known as the Mormon Tabernacle), which is one of the largest in the world. It has 206 ranks (11,623 pipes)! The Conference Center organ is smaller (7,708 pipes in 130 ranks). 

Anyway, here she is playing Prelude and Fugue in F Minor by Bach:

And here she is grinning at the console:

And here she is with Ken Double, the current organist:

The organ typically provides prelude music before shows, which is pretty cool! We'll get to hear it next month when we go see Hamilton!


I mean to have the children put on a recorded Christmas recital last month but...we didn't ever get around to doing it. I posted videos of Miriam playing some pieces earlier, so below are some videos of Alexander and Zoë.

Alexander worked hard to prepare two Christmas pieces this year—'Jingle Bells':

And 'Jolly Old St. Nicholas':

Zoë memorized a piece that I can never remember the title of (I'm sure she'll remind me what it is). I know it has "Bells" in the title. She practiced and practiced and practiced that song until it seemed to be reverberating through every nook and cranny of our home. Here she is playing it at the mall:

And here she is playing it on a (severely out-of-tune) piano outside the Alliance Theatre (and High Art Museum) a few weeks later:

When she had played through it she ran over to the rest of us and gushed, "I had no idea I had that memorized!"

"How?!" Rachel groaned. "Everybody else knew you had it memorized!"

She seriously has played it so many times. We're looking forward to her getting new pieces for her next audition so this piece can get a little less attention. But you've got to hand it to her—she learned it very thoroughly!

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