eNotes — January 2015

Share Your Opus 8 Stories

By the end of next month, Opus 8 will be in its new home at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Many hands have played this beautiful pipe organ. Heather Hernandez sent in some great photos of the two degree recitals. She played our Opus 8 for her Master’s recital in March of 1998 and her DMA in April of 2004.

Did you play Opus 8? Do you have any stories or photos to share? We’d love to hear them! You can send us a message via our website, Facebook, or Twitter.

A Real Life Organs 4 Organs Story

Richard Hoogterp with Opus 66

Last January, Bedient Pipe Organ Company became the first corporate partner of the Nebraska Organ Recovery System. The idea came as a joke about pipe organ transplants, and we decided it would be great community outreach. In May, we heard that an organist at one of our churches (Holy Family in Sparta, MI) received a liver transplant. He agreed to share his story with you.

I am Richard Hoogterp, and live with my wife, Eileen, in Norton Shores, Michigan. We both work in church music, and I happen to be privileged to work for a church which houses a splendid pipe organ constructed by the Bedient Pipe Organ Company in Nebraska.

In November of 2005, I became sick and was diagnosed with what was described as “cryptogenic” (no discernible cause) cirrhosis of the liver. I was informed that my condition was only curable by liver transplant. I was blessed from the very beginning by the presence and efforts of my wife, Eileen, whose insight, intuition and attention to details of diet, life-style and medicinal regimen were ever-present. Also, our family doctor, our local gastroenterologist, and the doctor and staff who guided us along at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor were outstanding in every way.

I did well for over seven years, but my condition worsened in the summer of 2013. On the evening of April 23, 2014, we were called to the hospital, arrived at midnight, and the transplant surgery was essentially completed by 7:00 A.M. the next morning. My recovery in the hospital and at home was not always easy, but I was fortunate to avoid most of the serious complications which may ensue after transplantation. I was able to resume my work after seven weeks and am now able to live very normally for a person of my age, which is 66. I can ride my bike, rake leaves, and shovel snow (a particular advantage for those who live near Lake Michigan). I generally feel very well.

It is humbling to realize that I am alive and well only through the goodness of a person, or his or her family, who thought to allow me to receive a healthy liver, and continue my life. I understand that there are many more persons in need of liver transplants than viable organs that become available. It would be a tremendous gift for larger numbers of people to arrange in advance to allow organ transplant, in the event that such an event would some day be a possibility.

Holly Sings Debussy

Le Martyre de St Sebastien by Claude Debussy at  the Cathedral of Our Lady of the AngelsWe have a talented group of musicians on our staff. You already know John Friesen is a fine organist, but our marketing director, Holly Heffelbower, will be a contralto soloist this Sunday night in Los Angeles.

The work is Le Martyre de St Sebastien by Claude Debussy. This masterpiece is rarely performed. Sunday’s concert centers around the artwork of Simon Toparovsky. Many of the singers in Sunday’s performance sang Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis last weekend with Michael Tilson Thomas. Kurt Knecht and Jeff Marinucci are the two organists, and Holly is a soloist. Conducted by Jon Gathje, the piece was choreographed by Grete Gryzwana. If you are in the Los Angeles area, you should come. It’s 7:30 pm at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. This work was privately funded, is free and open to the public.

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