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UMaine Organist to Lecture on Historic Hook Organs in Maine at German Organ Festival

Contact: Kevin Birch, 581-6941

UMaine music faculty member Kevin Birch, director of music and organistat St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, Bangor, will lecture on historicE. & G. G. Hook organs in Maine later this month at theInternational Organ Festival in Berlin, Germany.

The organs were selected to illustrate key developments in organbuilding in New England during the 19th century. Maine is an importantarea for the study of these historic American pipe organs. Manybeautiful instruments have been carefully restored, and many remainessentially unchanged today.

Birch plays every day on oneof E. & G. G. Hook’s masterpieces — the Opus 288 — built in 1860for St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Bangor. It is a large organwith three manuals and pedal, and is housed in a room with some of thefinest acoustics in New England.  

In addition to thelecture, Birch will perform the festival’s opening concert on the 1870Hook Organ — recently relocated to the Heilig-Kreuz Kirche (church) inBerlin. The Berlin Hook had previously served in a church, now closed,in Woburn, Mass.

Birch has served as director of music at St.John’s Catholic Church in Bangor since 1992.  In addition to choirtraining and service playing, he directs the St. John’s Organ Society,an organization dedicated to the preservation of the church’s historicE. & G. G. Hook organ built in 1860.

More information about the Hook Opus 288 can be found at the website www.hookopus288.org, or by calling Kevin Birch at (207) 942-6941, (cell phone: 207 974 9380).

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