By Ashleigh Nix ’10
Gail Archer, international concert organist and recording artist, will be performing a recital on Sunday, October 19, at 4 pm in Twichell Auditorium on the campus of Converse College. Archer will also present a lecture on the music of Messiaen in Twichell at 10 am the day before her recital, October 18. Her lecture coincides with the 100th anniversary year of the famous composer’s birth. Both events are free and open to the public.
Archer’s guest performance assists Converse in celebrating the International Year of the Organ with the 2008 Organ Spectacular, the world’s largest organ recital. Archer will be playing the three-manual, mechanical-action 52-rank Cassavant organ with pieces from various styles and composers.
“Dr. Gail Archer is one of the most respected women artists in the organ world today. An amiable personality, she can serve as a successful role model for our majors,” said Dr. Leon Couch, Assistant Professor of Organ and Music Therapy at Converse. “I’m hoping that the recital will increase the visibility of the organ program and the organs on Converse’s campus. We have a vibrant, growing program and wish to expand the number of undergraduate and graduate students studying organ through the College."
Archer serves as Chair of the Music Department at Barnard College, an affiliate of Columbia University. In addition, she serves as a college organist at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York and has been appointed to the organ faculty at the Manhattan School of Music. Archer performs regularly at festivals worldwide, including the Spoleto Festival.