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News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in Castine Patriot, March 9, 2017 and Island Ad-Vantages, March 9, 2017 and The Weekly Packet, March 9, 2017
Blue Hill Bach offers program for kids

Pipe organ for kids

Blue Hill Bach will present a fun and fascinating tour of the pipe organ for kids in grades 4 through 8 on Friday, March 17, at 3:30 p.m. at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church in Blue Hill. Portland’s municipal organist and educator Ray Cornils, pictured, will introduce the mechanical workings of the “King of Instruments,” demonstrating the stops, manuals, pipes, and pedals.

Photo courtesy of Blue Hill Bach

Did you ever wonder how a pipe organ makes all those sounds? Blue Hill Bach will present a fun and fascinating tour of the pipe organ for kids in grades 4 through 8 on Friday, March 17, at 3:30 p.m. at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church in Blue Hill. Portland’s municipal organist and educator Ray Cornils will introduce the mechanical workings of the “King of Instruments,” demonstrating the stops, manuals, pipes, and pedals. The students will hear some music, look at the parts of the organ up close, and have a chance to play the organ.

Known for his teaching skills for all ages, Cornils is celebrating his 27th year as municipal organist for the City of Portland. He also serves First Parish Church, UCC, Brunswick as Minister of Music, where for the past 30 years he has built an active music program of five vocal and two handbell choirs. Cornils is a member of the music faculties of Bowdoin College, the University of Southern Maine, and the Portland Conservatory of Music, where he teaches organ, harpsichord and related classes. As artist in residence for the education programs of the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ, he leads an extensive array of in-school programs for elementary, middle and high school classes about the pipe organ and its music, according to a news release.

In recognition of the excellence of Blue Hill Bach’s educational programs, in 2016 Early Music America made one of three outreach grants to help fund the kids’ organ program, part of a project called “An Introduction to the Pipe Organ.” Also included in the project is an “organ crawl” to visit four of Maine’s finest organs on Saturday, March 18. The culmination of the weekend’s activities on Saturday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church will be a concert celebrating Bach’s birthday, featuring organist Ray Cornils, the Blue Hill Bach Chorus, and members of UMaine’s University Singers.

Admission to the organ program for kids is free, with advance registration required. For more information and registration, go to bluehillbach.org or call 613-5454.