Holidays in Music: A Parade of Nantucket’s Pipe Organs!

The pipe organs in Nantucket are pulling out all their stops for the NCMC’s Holidays in Music! This 90 minute program, premiering on November 27th at 5:00pm EST, is the virtual equivalent of NCMC’s 29th Annual Organ Crawl, one of Nantucket’s most beloved annual programs. It’s made possible through your generous support. PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION to help keep the music going on Nantucket.

To view the complete program with information on this year’s performers and selections, please click here. To learn more about Nantucket’s historic pipe organs, click here.

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The pipe organs on Nantucket are pulling out all their stops for Nantucket Community Music Center’s (NCMC) Holidays in Music:
A Parade of Nantucket’s Pipe Organs!

This 90-minute broadcast on NCTV18 and streamed on-line, premiering Friday, November 27th at 5:00 PM EST, is the virtual equivalent of NCMC’s 29th Annual Organ Crawl. The program features the island’s six mechanical-action pipe organs and highlights music from end-of-year holidays – Thanksgiving through New Year — showcasing the American flare of Thanksgiving, the anticipation and festivity of Christmas, the exuberant ringing-in of the New Year…and much more!
Performing on the organs, four of which are over 100 years old, are Nantucket organists Jeff Cutts, Joe Hammer and Isaiah Williams, joined by renowned guest organist and composer Carson Cooman. The instruments, the oldest dating to 1831 and the newest to 2001, are housed in the First Congregational Church, St. Mary’s – Our Lady of the Isle, St. Paul’s (Episcopal), United Methodist Church and The Unitarian-Universalist Church.
Since 1992, the Nantucket Community Music Center has sponsored an annual organ crawl, the opportunity for music lovers or just the curious, to walk from church to church and listen to the island’s six mechanical-action pipe organs. Organ “crawlers” have experienced the performing prowess of renowned organists, both local islanders and those from across the country, and listened to organ music from Bach to improvisations of music by Freddie Mercury and Queen. For 2020, circumstances dictated a different approach be taken while still providing music lovers on island and beyond a fun, light, musical taste of the breadth and scope of Nantucket’s pipe organs.
It is worthy to note that NCMC’s Organ Crawl founder, Susie Jarrell, celebrated her 104th birthday on October 10 and is looking forward to tuning in. Holidays in Music: A Parade of Nantucket’s Pipe Organs! is dedicated to her.
There are four ways to watch this exciting broadcast on Friday, November 27 at 5:00 PM EST:

1. Nantucket Community Music Center YouTube Page
2. NCTV 18 Channel on a home television
3. NCTV 18’s YouTube Page
4. NCTV 18 Channel Website

Post-premier, Holidays in Music will continue to be available for viewing on NCMC’s YouTube Page and website, and on NCTV’s YouTube Channel and YouTube page.

Featured Organists

CARSON COOMAN is an American composer and organist. He holds degrees in music from Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University and since 2006 has held the position of Composer in Residence at The Memorial Church, Harvard University. As an organ recitalist, Cooman specializes in the performance of contemporary music. Over 300 new compositions by more than 100 international composers have been written for him. Cooman has made many recordings as organist, including two recordings of music by Lothar Graap (Kunaki), three recordings of music by Carlotta Ferrari (Kunaki), a recording of Andreas Willscher’s 19th and 20th organ symphonies (Divine Art), a recording of Willscher’s 5th organ symphony (Divine Art), a double CD set of music by Eva-Maria Houben (Wandelweiser), A Marvelous Love: New Music for Organ(Albany; featuring works by Van Ness, Dalton, Rozema, Benner, Åberg, Stover, and Machajdík), and Legends in the Garden: Organ Music by Thomas Åberg (Soundspells). His recordings of over 1,300 additional contemporary organ compositions can be heard freely from his website and YouTube. As a composer, Cooman has created a catalog of works in many forms—ranging from solo instrumental pieces to operas, and from orchestral works to hymn tunes. His work has been performed on all six inhabited continents and appears on over forty recordings, including more than twenty complete CDs on the Naxos, Albany, Artek, Gothic, Divine Art, Métier, Diversions, Convivium, Altarus, MSR Classics, Raven, and Zimbel labels. For more information, visit: www.carsoncooman.com 

ISAIAH WILLIAMS is pursuing his Bachelor of Music (BM) in organ performance in the studio of Nathan Laube. He teaches pipe organ and piano at NCMC. An eleventh generation native of Nantucket Massachusetts and graduate of Nantucket High School, Isaiah began studying piano at the age of seven with Dr. Tinka Knopf de Esteban, and began organ lessons at the age of eleven with Bernadette Nadeau. Since starting organ, Isaiah has played annually in the Nantucket Organ Crawl, and held the position of organist and music director at the Nantucket United Methodist Church for two years.

During the summer of 2019, he was the Hanner Intern Organist at Unitarian Universalist Church of Nantucket. Isaiah has also had opportunities to study  with Tom Bara and Robert Havery, and attended the 2016 Oberlin Summer Organ Academy and the 2017 Eastman Summer Academy for High School Organists. In his free time, Isaiah enjoys the history and nature of the northeast, and is deeply interested in languages and hand drawn animation.

JOE HAMMER, in many respects, has enjoyed a dual-track career over the course of his professional working life…that of a musician and a fund raiser. A native “Hoosier,” Joe entered Ball State University, in Muncie, Indiana, as an organ major, graduating with a bachelor’s in communications and music. Upon completion of his master’s degree in public relations from Ball State, Joe worked in the not-for-profit sector in Indianapolis. He moved to New York City during the late ‘80s, working primarily in non-profit special event fundraising over the next 20-plus years. He and his family relocated from New York City to Indianapolis in 2008, where he continued his non-profit fundraising work with a museum and an educational foundation.  In 2015, he joined the development staff of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; he retired from full-time fundraising in 2016.

Throughout his fundraising career, Joe continued to play the organ and sing in a number of choirs, including The Riverside Church and Church of the Holy Trinity Episcopal, New York City; the First Presbyterian Church, Sag Harbor, New York, as organist; and, Director of Music and Organist for the First Congregational Church (UCC), Exeter, New Hampshire. In Indianapolis, he served as Director of Music and Organist for St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, and as interim music director and organist for St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church. Joe also served as organist for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Granville, Ohio. Joe is also the Director of Music and organist at St. Paul’s Church in Nantucket (Episcopal).

A resident of Nantucket since 2018, JEFFREY CUTTS wears many hats in the island music world. He first arrived on Nantucket to answer the call as the new Minister of Music at the First Congregational Church, where he serves as organist, choirmaster, and liturgist. Cutts has served on the voice, piano, and ukulele faculty at NCMC, where he currently serves as conductor of the NCMC community chorus. He is the artistic director and co-founder of the professional vocal jazz ensemble, Nantucket Blue. Cutts enjoys a diverse career as a gigging performer on Nantucket, whether playing for the annual Organ Crawl, presenting solo vocal recitals, playing in jazz combos, conducting and singing with choral groups, or even playing some self-accompanied Elton John tunes. On the island, he is also the upper school music teacher at the Nantucket New School and has served as music director for several productions of the Dreamland Stage Company, including Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical, The Lion King, Frozen, and this summer’s production of 13: The Musical. Cutts holds a Master of Music in sacred music and conducting from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, where he studied liturgy with Steve Pilkington and conducting with Joe Miller, James Jordan, and Ryan Brandau. He also has a Bachelor in Music in voice performance and musical arts from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, where he studied voice with Amy Jarman and Gayle Shay; conducting with Robin Fountain; and organ, composing, and historical performance with Carl Smith.

Participating Sponsor:

Hehir Group Custom Builders

Sponsors:

  • Gaslight Nantucket

  • Kenny Hilbig

Sponsors:

  • Robert Sarkisian, “In memory of my dear friend, Jackie Williams.”

  • Margot Townsend Young, in honor of Susie Jarrell

The NCMC is keeping a close eye on the issue of COVID-19.