The Mid-Shore Maryland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will celebrate its fifth anniversary on Monday, January 27 with a concert entitled, “The Organ in Popular Culture”. The concert will demonstrate how the organ has been used in a myriad of venues including the theatre, roller rinks, ball games, the circus, as well as in sacred spaces. The concert will begin at 7:30 pm with doors opening at 7 pm. There is no charge for the concert, but a freewill offering will be received.
The Mid-Shore Maryland Chapter of the AGO began five years ago when Wes Lockfaw, music minister at Easton’s Christ Church and several other church musicians around the mid-shore petitioned the national organization for a charter that was granted early in 2015. Since its beginning, the Mid-Shore Chapter has sponsored numerous concerts, workshops, and social events which have served to support the work of organists, church musicians, and educators in our region. The chapter also underwrites the nationally syndicated radio program “Pipe Dreams” which airs from the campus of Salisbury University through Delmarva public radio each Sunday evening from six until eight pm. In addition to its fifth anniversary concert, the organization hosts and supports a variety of programs in the area including a program later this winter, “Louis Vierne at 150” that will include organ and choral music composed by one of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral’s most legendary organists. To see further programming, simply search for Mid-Shore MD Chapter American Guild of Organists.
Organist Michael T. Britt, a Baltimore native, is both a frequent recitalist of classical organ literature, and also a performer of theatre organ music. In demand throughout the country as a silent film accompanist, performing for chapters of the American Theatre Organ Society, and, most recently, for the Region III-American Guild of Organists Convention in Baltimore, he has been featured on Maryland Public Television and other televised presentations on the theatre pipe organ and Maryland’s Free State Theatre Organ Society. In 1998, Mr. Britt was invited to perform at Baltimore’s Senator Theatre where he accompanied five silent films for the National Film Registry Tour, which was sponsored in part by the Library of Congress. He has also performed at the Palace Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio; The Paramount Theatre in Anderson, Indiana; The Byrd Theatre in Richmond, Virginia as well as performances at the Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. In 2002, he was invited to perform a series of concerts on the recently restored Aeolian pipe organ installed at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C., and in 2005 was invited to Princeton University to accompany the silent film classic, “Phantom of the Opera” at the University Chapel where recently, he completed his fourteenth performance of this annual event.
In May of 2009, Britt gave a recital on the great Cavaille-Coll organ at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris and in 2017, was invited to perform at the Riverside Church in New York City. Since 2012, he has served as Minister of Music and organist at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland. He is also on the faculty at the Community College of Baltimore County and serves as Organist at Beth-El Congregation as well as house organist at the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick, Maryland.
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