Organist Jan Kraybill will be the second artist in the November Organ Recital Series. Get to know the Organ Conservator at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, USA and Organist-in-Residence at the international headquarters of Community of Christ in Independence, Missouri before her performance on Sunday, November 11 at 4 pm.
Q: What inspired you to become an organist?
A: As is the case with many organists, I was "drafted" by my church's organist. Her name is Velma Lippoldt, and she was the longtime organist at the church where I grew up, the Presbyterian church in my hometown, Colby, Kansas. I had played piano since age 3, and I had my first lessons from Velma at age 14. I learned about the wide variety of sounds an organ can make, the amazing expressive power that's available to an organist, and the pleasure of working and succeeding at something that is a coordination challenge -- playing melodies with hands and feet! -- and I was hooked.
Q: What do you look forward to the most whenever you sit at an organ for the first time?
A: Because every pipe organ is a custom-designed work of art, each one is different from every other. Sometimes the differences are major and obvious to performer and listener; sometimes they are much more subtle. Getting to know a new-to-me organ is like getting to know a fascinating new person. I absolutely love the process, finding out: What are its strong points? How can I enable its unique voices to sing at their best? What new combinations of sounds can I discover? So far, I've only learned about this new "person" on paper -- I've seen its "resume" and photos -- but descriptions and pictures can only go so far. I can't wait to experience it in person. This exploration is my favorite part of being a touring organist.
Q: What sounds to do look forward to hearing played on our Dobson?
A: That's a very difficult question to answer -- there are so many sounds to choose from! I have the great privilege of performing the concert on November 11, Armistice Day, which marks 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. This organ's majestic trumpets and gorgeous strings, and everything in between, will contribute great emotion and beauty to the program I've designed, simply called "Peace." I am so looking forward to playing it there!
Hear Jan play at IPC on Sunday at 4 pm. The event is free and open to the public.