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Longwood Gardens Launches the Longwood Organ Academy

December 1, 2016
A week-long summer intensive designed for college students pursuing a degree in organ performance Applications available beginning December 1

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa., December 1, 2016 -- Longwood Gardens today launched the new Longwood Organ Academy. This week-long, residential summer intensive program will provide students the opportunity to study organ transcriptions on one of the world’s largest symphonic organs, the Longwood Organ. The Academy will be held July 24–29 at Longwood and include a combination of instruction and performances. Interested individuals should visit longwoodgardens.org/organ-academy for more information. Applications will be available beginning December 1. 

"It is with great pleasure and pride that we announce the launch of the Longwood Organ Academy,” said Executive Director Paul B. Redman. “While Longwood Gardens is best known as one of the great gardens of the world, performing arts have always held a place of distinction. The Academy continues our commitment to fostering the next generation of organ professionals,” Redman said.  “Through our International Organ Competition and now through the creation of the Organ Academy, we are helping to ensure organ music and performance continues to thrive.” 

Throughout the week, students will participate in master classes and workshops with esteemed instructors Peter Richard Conte and Alan Morrison. Conte is the Principal Organist at Longwood Gardens, and is the long-time organist at the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ at Macy’s in Philadelphia. Since 1991, he has served as Choirmaster and Organist of Saint Clement’s Church, Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, where he teaches Organ Improvisation. Mr. Conte is highly regarded as a skillful performer and arranger of organ transcriptions. Morrison is recognized as one of America’s premier concert organists, performing in prestigious venues across the United States and in Canada, as well as in international festivals. He is the Head of the Organ Department at the Curtis Institute of Music, Associate Professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and College Organist at Ursinus College.

In addition, guest instructors Isabelle Demers and Tom Murray will share their expertise in special master classes. Demers is the Organ Professor and Head of the Organ Program at Baylor University in Texas, where she teaches applied organ and courses in the organ curriculum. She received her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from The Juilliard School in New York City and has performed all over the world. Murray, concert organist and recording artist, is University Organist and Professor of Music at Yale University, where he has served on the faculty for 28 years and has taught many of today’s leading performers. Known for his interpretations of romantic repertoire, Murray has performed around the globe.

In addition to the rich instructional opportunities, students will also get to visit some of the region’s well-known organs and hear from experts about careers in organ performance, and more. The week-long Academy concludes with a free concert at Longwood Gardens presented by the students.

Applications will be available on December 1 and are due March 6. The Academy will take place July 24–29, 2017, and is open to global musicians who are in the process of obtaining a degree in organ performance. To learn more information on the program and tuition, visit www.longwoodgardens.org/organ-academy.

About Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens is one of the world's great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,077 acres of dazzling gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and 4.5-acre conservatory.  Longwood continues the mission set forth by founder Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954) to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education, and the arts. Details at www.longwoodgardens.org.