Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Overnight, two or three inches of snow accumulated on the Box, but that was not enough to keep that intrepid little vehicle from heading over to Camp Hill Presbyterian Church to hear Eric Riley play the new organ there.

"You hear Eric every Sunday, don't you?" you're thinking. Well, yes, and it's great. But sometimes you like to actually get out of the organ and sit back a bit to enjoy a new perspective. Besides, I had heard the new organ only once, and I knew Eric would put it through its paces. No disappointment there.

Eric played Phillips' setting of Engelberg, Bach's Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C Major, Partita on 'Nun lasst uns Gott' by Lubeck, and Marcel Dupré's Prelude and Fugue in G Minor. The ending of this last piece can be heard in the video clip below.

Eric has been at Market Square since 2007. He has advanced degrees, has won organ competitions, and has performed five times in Europe. Eric sometimes plays organ with the Harrisburg Symphony in the Forum auditorium in Harrisburg.

There was a nice contingent of people from Market Square Church (they can't get enough, either), and the crowd totaled around 125. Not bad for a snowy Wednesday.

In addition to fine playing, the audience was treated to enlightening (and humorous) remarks about each piece of music. These comments allowed the listener to appreciate what was being played as we listened for the various aspects of the music that Eric described.

I was worried for Eric's safety at the end of the concert as the crowd rose to its feet, roared its approval, and began to surge forward to meet the guy who made so much music. But then I realized that it would be hard to get our walkers out of the pews fast enough to rush him.

Finally, I was pleased to sit with Mme Riley, Christine, who was kind enough to join me in the pew so I would not be all alone. A generous gesture very much appreciated.

Fugue in g minor - Marcel Dupré

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