Thursday, October 31, 2013
Eileen Guenther |at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Yesterday, my colleague and friend Dr. Eileen Guenther owned the Kennedy Center Concert Hall stage, playing a masterful one-hour program on their new, Rubenstein Family organ. The organ console was placed front and center on the otherwise bare stage, so that everyone could see as well as hear the confidant hand- and footwork with which she drew such beautiful sounds out of a beautiful instrument.
While I have heard Eileen play countless times here at Wesley, the console in Oxnam Chapel is hidden from view, thus effectively hiding the musician, as well. Last night, for the first time I was able to appreciate not only her musicianship, but the athletic range of motion that playing the organ requires. It was as though she were dancing, and the music and the dance were one.
From the moment that she took the stage, resplendent in sparkling black with golden trim, until the thundering, standing ovation as her daughter handed her a huge bouquet as she walked towards the wings, Eileen held the appreciative audience in her accomplished, sensitive hands. Since I am not capable of writing sensibly about the music itself, which was mostly unfamiliar to me, I can only advise you to watch the video of the entire concert, which the Kennedy Center has thoughtfully posted as Eileen Guenther | Explore the Arts - The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts