Marionettes & Pipe Organs
Bach Comes to Life To Tell About Organs
Two Programs Available:
In the first program, Johann Sebastian Bach comes to visit a large organ and meets Phineas Flute, a very large, low organ pipe and Felicity Flute, a very small, high organ pipe. Together they explore the tonal families of the organ: the Reeds, the Flutes and the Principals. They dance to such tunes as “Yankee Doodle”, “Simple Gifts”, and “American the Beautiful”. It’s one big “family reunion”.
In the other program, Bach visits Jenny at her home as she struggles with her piano lesson to learn “Minuet in G”. She’s about to give up hope of ever being able to advance to the organ, when Bach shows Jenny and her brother Christopher the exciting things you can do on a pipe organ.
Dialogue was professionally recorded. The organ music was recorded on the Community of Christ Auditorium Organ by Jan Kraybill and John Obetz. These productions were developed for elementary and middle school students, but are enjoyed by preschoolers and adults alike. Each performance includes a demonstration of how organ pipes make sounds.
Learn About the Pipe Organ!
The pipe organ is the largest instrument in existence, yet many people don’t have any idea how a pipe organ sounds or how the sound is produced. In this day of electronics it is exciting to learn about an acoustic instrument that sounds both as regal as royalty and warm as a puppy; gentle as a breeze and powerful as a tornado!
The Greater Kansas City Chapter of American Guild of Organists has taken on a project to educate students and adults about the pipe organ. This program is available for preschools, elementary schools, churches and civic organizations that would like information about the pipe organ. Informational packets about the organ can also be provided. Organizations are also encouraged to plan an occasion to hear a live pipe organ in performance.
If you would like Phineas and Felicity or Jenny and Christopher, with Mr. Bach to visit your organization, or would like your group to have a live pipe organ experience, fill out the information at the right and mail to GKCAGO.
The marionette shows are presented as a community outreach by the Youth Committee of the GKCAGO. Donations are appreciated. If travel expenses are incurred for out of town performances, these need to be reimbursed to the performers. All performers are volunteers and receive no compensation. Proceeds from the performances are used to develop new scripts, improve sets and equipment and produce pipe organ educational materials.
Robert LeRoy Smith,
Master Marionette Creator
The Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists commissioned marionettes from master marionette builder Robert LeRoy Smith. Mr. Smith, originally from Independence, Missouri, studied art in Houston and Europe.
He founded a marionette theater in California and performed for the art colony of San Miguel De Allande in Mexico. He retired back to Independence where he was artist-in-residence at the Puppetry Arts Institute until his death. The Kansas City Chapter was privileged to have received Jenny and Christopher—the last two marionettes he created.
Contact: Mary Davis