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East Texas Organ Festival hits high notes this week

By Special to the News-Journal
Nov. 13, 2012 at 11 p.m.


The East Texas Pipe Organ Festival continues today and Thursday, featuring musicians from across the nation.

The festival, which began Sunday, honors the life and career of Roy Perry, who was organist at First Presbyterian Church in Kilgore from 1932-72. Perry died in 1978.

The festival features four landmark Aeolian-Skinner pipe organs in Kilgore, Longview and Nacogdoches designed and tonally finished by Perry.

Thirteen concert organists from throughout the country are performing feature-length concerts on these and other notable musical instruments in the East Texas area.

This year's featured guest artists include Bradley Welch, organist at Highland Park United Methodist Church, Dallas; Thomas Murray, University organist and Professor of Organ at Yale University; Larry Palmer, professor of Organ and Harpsichord at Southern Methodist University; Richard Elliott, organist for The Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City; and Ken Cowan, newly appointed Professor of Organ at Rice University in Houston.

The festival also includes lectures, demonstrations, special exhibits on legendary concert organist and Longview native Alexander Boggs Ryan, and a special silent movie night tonight featuring "The Phantom of the Opera," starring Lon Chaney, with pipe organ accompaniment by virtuoso theatre organist, Brett Valliant. All concerts are free and open to the public.

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