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Kay Eames and ‘Organ Music From All Souls Church’

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Kay Eames and ‘Organ Music From All Souls Church’ (Photo courtesy of All Souls Congregational Church)

BANGOR - Fans of classical and spiritual organ music will find much to like on a new CD, recorded at All Souls Church in Bangor, featuring organist Kay Eames and flutist Anne C. Small.

“It was Bill England, a former minister at the church, who suggested it,” Eames said of the new collection. “He kept saying to me ‘You ought to make a CD sometime.’ It kept weighing on me and I finally decided to do it.”

“Organ Music From All Souls Church” features a blend of secular and non-secular organ music recorded at All Souls Church on Broadway in Bangor by longtime Bangor-area broadcaster and audio enthusiast Barry Darling.

“We recorded in the church during the evening,” said Eames. “We wanted to make sure the microphones didn’t pick up a lot of traffic noise from outside.”

Eames, the Music Director at All Souls Church since 1974 and the church’s organist for the past 35 years, says the selections chosen for the disc are favorite pieces of the congregation or of audiences who have attended one of her recitals.

“Some of them are favorites of mine. They are pieces that I like to play,” she said.

Two selections by J. S. Bach open the CD, followed by two compositions by the French Baroque composer Francois Couperin.

German composer Felix Mendelssohn is represented with “Allegro maestoso e vivace from Sonata II” while 19th-century French composer and teacher Cesar Franck’s “Piece Heroique” appears in all of its heroic and stoic majesty.

“Organ Music From All Souls Church” features 19 selections, including an original piece written by Eames, the melodic “Psalm Song.”

“I’d like to do more of that kind of thing,” Eames said of her composition.

Two of the Bach pieces also feature Bangor elementary school teacher Anne Chamberlain Small accompanying Eames on flute. Small is the Youth Choir Director at All Soul’s Church.

“Anne plays flute regularly at the church and she plays it well,” Eames said.

Eames plays an instrument with an impressive history. The Moller pipe organ at All Soul’s Church has been in service since March of 1970.

Still maintained by the same Rhode Island company that installed it more than 47 years ago, the organ contains a three-manual draw-knob console, 25 ranks, 1,419 pipes and a three HP blower which supplies wind to operate the action and supply the pipes.

In the summer of 2000, Eames was invited to accompany St. John’s Episcopal Church Choir of Bangor during a scheduled tour in England.  She had the opportunity to play in several historic cathedrals and churches, including London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.

“That was an amazing experience,” said Eames. “I had some time alone there to practice ahead of time. I remember groups of tourists coming through and it wasn’t easy to get time alone. Playing at St. Paul’s Cathedral is something I’ll never forget.” 

The extraordinary musicianship on display from Eames and Small on “Organ Music From All Saints Church” is destined to delight fans of multiple musical genres.

From classical to traditional spiritual music (Eames arrangement of “Amazing Grace” is not to be missed), the power and majesty of the church’s historic instrument is on full display in Eames’s hands.

The CD is available directly from the church, located at 10 Broadway in Bangor, during business hours and at Bull Moose Music in Bangor.

“I can say – finally - ‘I did that,’” said Eames.

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