Ray Cornils final Performances with the Kotzschmar Organ

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Tickets for FOKO’s upcoming season are now on sale, including the summer festival Orgelfest17 and Ray Cornils final performance of a Kotzschmar Christmas.

Ray Cornils was recently featured in the Portland Press Herald. Below is an excerpt:

“As Portland’s municipal organist for the last 27 years, Ray Cornils has taught thousands of people about the power of the mighty Kotzschmar Organ.

He’s demonstrated the incredible range of its 7,101 pipes by playing it, and he’s explored its 105-year-history hundreds of times through pre-concert lectures and with periodic organ tours.

‘It’s such a creative instrument, and it’s enticed me over the years to work with all the colors and possibilities it offers. For this concert, I’ll try to put on display some of the things I’ve learned,” said Cornils, 61, of Woolwich. “Its sounds range from the faintest whisper to a heroic roar. So even when I play something I’ve played before, it can sound new.’

Cornils said he’s not sure yet what he’ll play during the concert, though the playlist likely will include some Bach and a piece called “For All the Saints” by John Weaver, an organist and educator whose resume includes being chair of the organ department at the Juilliard School in New York City. Weaver traveled to Maine each summer between 1957 and 2007 to play the Kotzschmar during the summer series. The piece is a combination of the jazzy “When the Saints Go Marching In” and church music, Cornils said. He also hopes to play some songs he has not played since the organ was reconstructed in 2014.”