Page by Mark Rich, Organist

Möller 2/28 Opus 10801

Click on any highlighted image for a larger version!

Hi. My name is Mark Rich. I am organist at Mendenhall Presbyterian Church in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. I am also an Organ Performance Major at the University of North Dakota, taking harpsichord as a secondary instrument. At the University, I am involved in the Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. James F.Rodde. I also sing and play harpsichord with the University Collegium Musicum, a group that specializes in the performance of early and rarely performed works under the direction of Dr. GaryTowne.

I was born in Berlin, Germany in 1972, moved to East Grand Forks, Minnesota shortly thereafter. I began piano lessons in 1980, began organ lessons in 1986. I have never enjoyed any instrument more than I enjoy playing the pipe organ.

I began work with Mendenhall Presbyterian Church in September of 1994. My prior work as a church musician was limited to substitution for other church organists in the city, and supplying special music at my own home church (usually an offertory, a prelude or postlude). At Mendenhall, I select and coordinate the hymns with the prescribed lectionary, select organ voluntary music to support the hymns, supply the preludes, offertories, postludes, accompany the choir when time permits, and lead congregational singing with the organ. I also have the option of providing music for funerals and weddings.

One highlight of the job for me is being actively involved in the selection and performance of hymns. I plan out exactly what stops to use for each verse of the hymns, and always try to emphasis the text through the stops I select. I also will occasionally be "struck" with an idea from one of the hymns, from this idea I compose works based on the hymn and will usually use this as an offertory. I also enjoy planning out alternate harmonizations for hymns, and mapping out a modulation sequence for the last verse of "big" hymns.

I feel privileged to work with Pastor James De Smidt, and Choral Director Jean De Smidt. When I first began working with them, I was nervous and unsure that I could handle the demands on a permanent basis. With both their encouragement, I accepted the position when it was offered to me, and I am confident I made the right decision. Soli Deo Gloria.

I also would like to thank Jerrell Kautz for donating the web space for this home page.

If any of you are ever in Northern Minnesota or would like to stop by and play the organ, feel free to E-mail ahead for an appointment.

Email me! Now for some information about the Organ!

The organ at Mendenhall Presbyterian Church is a 1971 M. P.Möller 2 manual 28 stop pipe organ numbered as Opus 10801. The organ was installed in 1971, following a fire that destroyed the previous pipe organ and the front of the sanctuary at a cost of $19,535. The organ has four general pistons, and a crescendo pedal which effects the entire organ. The pipework is generally of narrow scale, which I am told is typical of Möller's style during the firm's neo-baroque era. I particularly enjoy how well the reeds and principal chorus blend together for a large organo pleno effect, while also having a soft warm tranquility with the Gemshorn and Gemshorn Celeste. The organ has the following specifications, taken from Möller's contract with the church:

                        M. P. Möller, Inc.                                  Opus 10801

Manuals:  Compass CC to C4, 61 notes
Pedals:   Compass CCC to G, 32 notes
Action:   Möller's Electro-pneumatic
Console:  Detached.  Tilting Tablets
Pitch:    A-440,   Equal Temperament

Great Organ - Unenclosed and Exposed

Bourdon             16'                 61 notes
Principal           8'                  61 notes
Gedeckt             8'                  61 notes
Gemshorn (swell)    8'                  61 notes
Octav               4'                  61 notes
Gedeckt             4'                  61 notes
Super Octav         2'                  61 notes
Nazard              2 2/3'              61 notes
Larigot             1 1/3'              61 notes
Chimes    twenty one tubes
Swell to Great Coupler

Swell Organ - Enclosed

Spitzflöte          8'                  61 notes
Gemshorn            8'                  61 notes
Gemshorn Celeste    8'                  49 notes
Spitzflöte          4'                  61 notes
Spitzflöte          2'                  61 notes
Larigot             1 1/3'              61 notes
Contre Trompette    16'                 61 notes
Trompette           8'                  61 notes
Clarion             4'                  61 notes

Pedal Organ

Bourdon             16'                 32 notes
Principal           8'                  32 notes
Gedeckt             8'                  32 notes
Gemshorn (swell)    8'                  32 notes
Octav               4'                  32 notes
Spitzflöte (swell)  4'                  32 notes
Mixture II          12th and 15th       32 notes
Contre Trompette    16'                 32 notes
Trompette (swell)   8'                  32 notes
Clarion (swell)     4'                  32 notes

Now for a photo tour of the Organ

This is a picture of me standing in the swell. To my right are the pipes of the Principal 8', inside the swell to my left, are the pipes of the 16' Contre Trompette.

This picture is inside the swell box, looking at four ranks of pipes. From left to right: Trompette 8', Gemshorn Celeste 8',Spitzflöte 4', Gemshorn 8'.

The organ is situated in the front of the church. The lowest 12 pipes of the Bourdon 16' are on the extreme left and right. The choir is positioned under the organ, the organ console is on the right side (not pictured), the pulpit on the left (not pictured).

Here I am playing Bach's Adagio, from the Toccata, Adagio, & Fugue in C major..

A closeup of the keyboards

Here we see Mark just tearing up the pedalboard

More Mark at the Console

Click here to see Mark's Favorite Harpsichord!

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