organ

Nathan Cone / TPR

The public radio program Pipedreams once called her Wonder Woman Wilma, and at 86, she lives up to that moniker. “I’m pretty busy, even at this age!” she says with a smile. Retired from St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, Wilma Jensen still travels the country for performance and instruction, and is in San Antonio this week, working with St. Mark’s Episcopal Church’s choir.

Cameron Carpenter plays the organ in a way you'll rarely hear in church. He travels with his instrument on a huge truck, and it takes a small team to set it up in concert halls around the world. A virtuoso composer and performer who plays everything from Bach to pop, not to mention the first organist ever to be Grammy-nominated for a solo album, Carpenter says his connection to the instrument goes back even further than his interest in music.

Heart of Texas Concert Band

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.

Don Hessenflow

“When I was 10, I saw a pipe organ in church for the first time. I was with my fourth grade class, and we were walking into the church for Mass, and I turned around and looked up at the organ, and I was just in awe. I was mesmerized by the sight and sound of it,” said Christopher Houlihan, now 26, and one of the best young organists of his generation.

Nate Howe

Trinity University is bringing a highly acclaimed musician to the school next week. He's organist Christopher Houlihan. (If you hit "Listen" you can hear him playing) I asked him what he loved about playing the organ.

“I love that it can be terrifyingly loud in one moment, and also have some of the softest, gentlest sounds. I love that it is so diverse and so, so colorful. And that is one of the things that really excites me about the organ.”

I told him that I'd seen footage of him playing--“You’re not that staid old lady at the church playing the organ.”

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