Organist Alan Montgomery — whose precise playing at the keyboard has delighted listeners at the Davis United Methodist Church during the past year — will give a farewell recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 31, at the church, 1620 Anderson Road.
Montgomery will be leaving the area shortly to begin organ studies with Timothy Olsen at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, in Winston-Salem. Montgomery is looking forward to a career as an organist, and hopes to secure a position with a large congregation in a major city someday.
Montgomery, a 15-year-old who lives in Vacaville and was until recently a student at Will C. Wood High School, was recruited last fall to play the organ at Davis United Methodist by David Barthelmess, who serves as the church’s director of music, and also teaches music at Wood High.
Montgomery’s impressive performances of classic organ preludes and postludes were soon drawing praise, and sometimes spontaneous applause, from appreciative churchgoers. He also has improvised original organ compositions on occasion.
His formal style of dress and serious demeanor as a musician lead many who meet him to misjudge his age.
His musical interests also extend to percussion (he can play with four mallets, two in each hand), handbells and the Swiss Alphorn. In conversation, he also displays a dry sense of humor more commonly found in adults a decade or two his senior.
For his recital, Montgomery has selected a program that includes music composed by the great Baroque era composer J.S. Bach, 19th century French composer Léon Boëllmann, contemporary Swedish composer Fredrik Sixten and possibly a new work by a Davis composer as well.
Montgomery also will present a recital at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, 1111 Gough St., at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7.
The organ at Davis United Methodist was built by the Wicks Pipe Organ Company, based in Illinois. The instrument once belonged to former Davis Mayor Maynard Skinner, who donated the organ to the church when the congregation launched a campaign to build a new and larger sanctuary in 2002.
The organ was installed at the church in 2004, once the new building was complete.
The July 31 organ recital at Davis United Methodist is free, but donations will be accepted with gratitude.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or (530) 747-8055.