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Lehigh Carbon Community College

The magnificent pipes of the organ in Flint Hall continue to bring life and sound to the stage. Since its installation in the Fall of 2021, the custom-made organ has provided an exemplary learning opportunity for students while captivating listeners.

World-touring Austrian artist Constanze Hochwartner played the organ alongside trombonist Peter Steiner during a recent performance. She reflects, “This past November, I had the pleasure to play on the organ and it was an amazing experience. Every organ is very unique and such a joy to explore. The fact that it is an electronic organ made my life as an organist so much easier. I really enjoyed the fast action. The huge variety of stops made it possible for me to achieve almost exactly what I envisioned when programming the recital, I had so many colors and combinations to choose from and could also profit from a big dynamic range. The organ can be played at a very soft level where the listener has to be very attentive to very strong and at a majestic forte which fills up the entire hall very brilliantly.” Before and after her performance, Hochwartner took time to answer questions from enthusiastic students and audience members, many of whom were listening to the instrument for the first time.

Students playing the instrument resonate in Flint Hall during their studies with organ instructor Herb Buffington. Staff Accompanist Wanda Cantrell touts, “Mr. Buffington gives them a solid foundation in organ technique and repertoire and helps them develop the skills they need to seek employment as church organists which are in very short supply. Without this wonderful new instrument, Reinhardt would never have attracted a teacher of Mr. Buffington’s caliber, nor would we be able to attract artists like Constanze Hochwartner.”

Hochwartner’s advice for organ students looks to the future, “Be ready for the best adventure in your life. Playing the organ is a constant learning process – the more you get to play on different organs the better you will be as a musician. Be patient with yourself and the instrument. At first, it can be very hard to achieve what you are aiming for but in the end, it’s worth it. The freedom and endless possibilities that you face playing the organ can’t be compared to any other instrument.”

Choral, Christmas, and wind ensemble concerts, as well as convocations, processionals, and other events, highlight the sounds of the pipe organ. The organ’s accompaniment enables choirs to sing from a greater repertoire. In November, Buffington performed a recital to open the inaugural concert of the Young Singers of Flint Hall, directed by Reinhardt’s Director of Choral Activities Dr. Martha Shaw. Cantrell says, “During these occasions, the majestic sounds of the organ’s full resonance bring about a sense of purpose and dignity worthy of the events. We are so grateful for Dr. Austin and Bea Flint’s gift of the organ to the whole university and surrounding community who attend concerts and events in Flint Hall.”