Ohio Wesleyan University’s Department of Music will kick off its 2019-2020 concert and recital schedule with a free performance showcasing OWU’s Rexford Keller Memorial Organ, a four manual tracker action organ with 82 ranks, 55 stops, and 4,644 pipes.
The concert, featuring instructor James Hildreth, will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 in Gray Chapel inside University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware.
“The music will showcase the copious colors and sonic splendor of the Klais organ,” said Hildreth, who also plays the organ for Columbus Symphony Orchestra and for Broad Street Presbyterian Church.
The recital will include works by German composers in honor of the pipe organ, designed and built in 1980 by Johannes Klais Orgelbau of Bonn, Germany. The organ is the largest Klais instrument in the country with mechanical-action.
Hildreth said the recital also will include music in honor of the moon, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first American lunar landing, as well as music recognizing OWU’s commitment to cultural diversity with compositions representing traditions and styles from Russia, Nigeria, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, France, Italy, and the United States.
In addition to his work with Broad Street Presbyterian Church and Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Hildreth has performed as an organist and harpsichordist with the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus. He also is the organist for the annual Gamanfa Ganu of the Welsh Society of Central Ohio.
He has performed in around the country and, in 2004, became the first American to perform at the Organ Hall in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. He and his wife, flutist Valorie Adams-Hildreth, perform together as Duo Celeste.
Hildreth earned a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Sacred Music with an emphasis in Choral Conducting from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.