Master Clay Couri pulls out all the stops as he initiates this new 105-rank antiphonal organ
at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, performing the works of Liszt, Bach, Handel and contemporary works. Join us for this passionate, entertaining, and sometimes raccous, hour-long performance 3 p.m. Sunday, September 24th
, in the church, Dolores and 9th, in Carmel. Admission is by your free-will donation at the door.
The concert will also feature vocal selections by tenor Jeffrey Thompson, owner of Jeffrey’s Grill, and the Cannery Rogues, as well as a few other fun surprises.
The event will be followed with delicious refreshments
by parishioner Gwynn Romano in Seccombe Hall, on the lower level of All Saints’.
Installed last year, this is the first time the All Saints’ organ has been presented to the public. The concert will highlight the abilities of this multi-faceted four-manual Renaissance instrument to present fully antiphonal music from the 16th
Century to a 1980 transcripted cantata by Bach. The organ is software driven, has 102 ranks and 6 tuning schemes, 3 bell zimbelsterns, but it only takes a few minutes to change a stop.
Couri, who has played and serviced church organs on the Monterey Peninsula for years, has carefully selected all pieces to highlight the vast available registration of the All Saints’ organ. Hear the organ keys “sing” as Couri performs music by Lizst, Handel and others. “Because of it’s digital technology, it can do anything”, Couri beams excitedly! He is so eager to show off this instrument, and has asked that the organ be turned so the audience can see the keyboard and console as he plays. Get set for the spectacular finale, the artist's rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic!"
Couri grew up in Rural Connecticut, began and dropped his early piano lessons, later began playing saloon style “Honkey Tonk” piano by ear, and then taught himself to play the organ in earnest after his father’s death. He has boundless energy, he has been a chef, geologist, paleogeologist, piano tuner, and master clock maker – all professionally. He was organist and director of music at St. John’s Chapel in Monterey until 2010, when he retired. He has maintained the All Saints’ organ since it’s purchase. Clay and his spouse, Jim Durham, live in Carmel Highlands.
The donor of the money used to purchase the organ, Mrs. Charles (Sally) Shedd, wrote “It is my hope that the new organ at All Saints’ be made generously available to those who love great music in the Carmel area, and most particularly to the Carmel Bach Festival, which is an annual event of international importance. The gift is given to the glory of God.” Her donation of this beautiful instrument, the nave’s excellent acoustics, and its renowned grand piano are the reason The Monterey Symphony, the Bach Festival, Madrigalia, and individual performers schedule concerts at All Saints’.
The church began in 1912 in the Pine Inn on Ocean Avenue. Carmel’s City Hall building on Monte Verde was the second home, built by money raised by the parishioners. The current facility, at Dolores & Ninth, was built in 1951, and has fabulour accoustics! It is a wonderful blend of contemporary and traditional with it’s a-framed exterior shape, hip-roofed interior, which is mostly wood and is accented by religious-themed stain glass windows as well as a large contemporary one by Marc Adams.
The funds raised at the Concert Premiere will go towards a fund to maintain this glorious organ, which is so dear to Couri’s heart.
For more information, go to www.allsaintscarmel.org
or call All Saints’ Church, (831) 624-3883.