The all-volunteer Heart of Texas Concert Band usually practices and performs at McAllister Auditorium on the campus of San Antonio College, but twice a year, they have to vacate the space to make way for theatre arts productions. As conductor Mark Rogers says, this fall, they decided to turn that obstacle into an opportunity.
“I contacted [Trinity Baptist Music Minister] Donn Wisdom back in the summer, saying we’re looking for a place to do a concert in November,” Rogers says. “He explained to me that they were doing a four-and-a-half million dollar total renovation of the entire sanctuary, and that a million and a half of that was to go into the organ.”
New pipes were added to the instrument, Rogers explains, as well as a new console. The resulting sound will be nothing like what concertgoers at Trinity Baptist have heard before in the hall.
What better selection to inaugurate the new organ with than Camille Saint-Saens’ “Organ Symphony?”
“There are others who’ve written pieces that have organ and orchestra, but this is really a fantastic piece,” Rogers says, praising Saint-Saens marriage of the two instruments.
“Saint-Saens uses the orchestra to emulate an organ,” Rogers enthusiastically explains. “The very first time we hear the melody, he uses the organ in a very restrained way… and then immediately Saint-Saens repeats that exact music, and the organ drops out,” he continues, explaining that the triple octaves of clarinet, horn, and trombone mimic the sound of an organ stop. “It’s wonderfully creative music!”
The Heart of Texas Concert Band performs with soloist Cheryl Lindquist on Sunday, November 23 at 3pm at Trinity Baptist Church, 319 E. Mulberry. The program also includes William Walton’s “Crown Imperial” and Lindquist’s solo rendition of J.S. Bach’s “Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor.”
Admission is free; goodwill donations for the Heart of Texas Concert Band will be accepted at the door.