Chattanooga Now Free concert to include two silent movies

Chattanooga Now Free concert to include two silent movies

June 22nd, 2012 by Susan Pierce in Chattnow Music

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.


What: Chattanooga Music Club's Patriotic Community Concert.

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave.

Admission: Free, but donations accepted.


After last summer's surprisingly popular presentation of "The General," with accompaniment by featured organist Steven Ball, the Chattanooga Music Club is again including a silent movie in Tuesday night's community organ concert.

But this time the club is upping the ante with two movies and one of the country's best-known young organists playing along.

Tom Trenney of Lincoln, Neb., will be featured at the free patriotic concert. "He is one of the top young organists in America. He is recognized all over the world as an improviser. He is known for his improvisations on hymns, submitted themes, silent films and poetry," said Evelyn Gibbs, CMC member who chaired the restoration of the Austin pipe organ in Memorial Auditorium.

Gibbs said it is the custom of each artist who accompanies silent films to bring his own copies of movies to a performance. Trenney is bringing two half-hour silent classics: "Big Business" starring Laurel and Hardy and "One Week" starring Buster Keaton.

As is tradition, the patriotic concert will begin with a presentation of the colors, this year by Boy Scout Troop 30 from Brainerd United Methodist Church. There will be an armed-services salute recognizing veterans of all branches of service, followed by an audience sing-along of patriotic music accompanied by Trenney.

Master of ceremonies Greg Glover will lead a tribute to deceased service men and women after which Zachary Schmidt will play "Taps."

In a nod to the instrument on which he plays, Trenney has chosen to perform a fantasia on themes from "Carmen" and an Irish air, both arrangements by Edwin Lemare. Lemare not only designed the auditorium's Austin pipe organ but served five years as Chattanooga's first municipal organist.

Trenney will play variations on "America" and an improvisation to three Shel Silverstein poems to round out the first half.

The program's second half will feature the two silent movies with Trenney's accompaniment. According to Gibbs, this organist is known for his sensitivity to a movie's nuances as well as his flair for surprise and musical imagination.

Although the concert is free, club members will be accepting donations. Gibbs said the donations will help the continued maintenance of the Austin organ.