And Another One Bites the Dust (audio)

Hartt School Winds Down Organ Program

Everytime I read about an organ program removed, I feel depressed about the entire situation of organs and organ music. We knew it was coming when so few students signed up. At Hartt, the last organ student was accepted two years ago. Also, we’ve seen other music departments delete the organ programs plenty of times before. In this NPR report, we hear from James Thomashower, and I’ll let you make your own decision concerning his remarks.

Two programs at the Hartt School were targeted for closure: the classical guitar department and the organ department. Hartt managed to save the classical guitar department, but made the tough decision to close the organ department.

“Unfortunately, the organ program hasn’t been highly enrolled, and we didn’t see a great future even if wanted to put some immediate resources into it,” said T. Clarke Saunders, Acting Dean of the Hartt School. “It was a very difficult and painful thing to do, yet I think it was something that the university needed to do, because you can’t do everything at all times, and the market changes, so we had to think that way.”

Really? We lost while they saved classical guitar? Really?

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3 Responses to And Another One Bites the Dust (audio)

  1. carol says:

    So Sad. I’m in the Los Angeles area and what’s been happening here for years is that churches are getting rid of organs in favor of electric keyboards and guitars. Such blasphemy! The jobs for organists continues to dwindle.
    I was fortunate in receiving my organ training at a college that didn’t have an organ class on the schedule. I asked my harpsichord professor, who had the seniority to teach a class of her choosing, and most of us went on with the organ class.

  2. La Mesillera says:

    This is such a sad commentary on what our society values. The same thing happened where I live, except that it wasn’t a “half-lose” situation… both programs were shuttered and the pipe organ is on the give-away list… If no one adopts the little thing, it may end up in storage or, worse yet, the dumpster…

  3. Albert Berry says:

    I am saddened. I am a member of CMAA – and the decline in proper liturgical music in the RC church is directly contributing, I feel, to dropping attendance. In my local church, I even installed my own instrument for 6 months. Singing improved for a while, then the priest who had conned me into it left and everything fell apart again. Now we have a Roland electric piano and a “choir” led by an elderly soprano. In a sister church, one of the masses’ music is done with a boom box and slides projected with the words. I feel betrayed by the church, and others also do. At 75 in a couple of months, I’m tired of fighting, and no longer even comment on the music except privately.

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