Eileen Guenther's inaugural recital on the Foundry United Methodist Church's new pipe organ takes place 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, not as printed in Sunday's Show section.
The Foundry United Methodist Church is having an inaugural celebration -- not for a new president but for a new 3,364-pipe organ. The public can hear it today at 3 p.m. at an inaugural recital at the church (16th and P Streets NW).
Church organist Eileen Guenther will play the instrument, which was constructed by Casavant Freres Limitee of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec. Tonal designers from the firm visited the church several times to build an organ that would suit the church's particular needs. "Organs must be hand crafted for the individual situation. You can't use a computer to construct it -- a human ear is essential," says Guenther. She adds that organs are built today much as they were hundreds of years ago. Foundry's 28,000-pound organ is the second largest to be installed in the Washington area in the last decade.
Today's program will be devoted mainly to French repertoire, although pieces by Bach, Walton and Washington composer Ulf Grahn will also be featured. Guenther, an avid promoter of organ music in the Washington area, says people often have the impression that the organ is a "stuffy instrument. It's not. It doesn't have to be played like it's in a funeral parlor."