Jack Mitchener Organ Recital
PRUMC Artist in Residence and Assistant Organist
Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 7:00 pm, Sanctuary

Jack Mitchener has been praised for playing that is technically brilliant, yet expressive and poetic.  According to The American Organist, “Mitchener brings music to life with his supple rhythmic control, clear phrasing, energy, and sensitivity.”  He will play a recital that demonstrates the full resources of the Mander organ at PRUMC. Featured works will be Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E minor (‘Wedge’) and Franck’s Choral in B minor.  Other composers included will be Handel, Saint-Saëns, Messiaen, Dupré and Ropartz.  The second half of the recital will be devoted to French music.

Jack joined the PRUMC Music Ministry in July 2017 as the new Artist-in-Residence and Assistant Organist.  He is the primary musician for the 9:00 am Communion Service.  He is also Professor of Organ, University Organist, Chairman of the Keyboard Department in the Townsend School of Music, and Director of the Townsend-McAfee Institute of Church Music at Mercer University in Macon.

$15 suggested concert donation/$5 suggested for students.

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Jack joined Peachtree Road in July 2017 as our Artist in Residence and Assistant Organist. He is the primary musician for our 9:00 am Communion Service and assists in our Sunday traditional services and concerts.  As a new member of the Music Ministry, we asked Jack to answer a few questions about himself and his career in our Staff Spotlight!

Scott called me late last February because he desperately needed to find someone to accompany the choir on a challenging anthem.  I was available and agreed to play.  I was thrilled and amazed at the glorious sound of the choir!  It was a very pleasant experience for me.  About two months later, Scott called to ask if I would be interested in serving as Artist in Residence.  My wife, Julia, and I thought about this a lot and decided it was a sign that we needed to move to Atlanta.

sts took me to visit some of the other churches in the area.  The Mander organ was still somewhat new and we stopped by to see and hear it.  I still remember being in awe of this spectacular place!

It’s huge!  This church is unique in offering such a large and versatile music program.  It’s exciting to be a part of it.  And it’s really quite unusual to see a church with so many organs!

I get up very early to help get my kids ready for school.  I then leave early to battle the traffic on I-75 south to Macon.  I am a professor at Mercer University and make a regular commute to Macon.

I began working here in July, so I still feel somewhat new.  There are so many events, so I find it challenging to choose a favorite.  However, I was overwhelmed by all of the services and concerts in preparation for Christmas.  And I enjoyed the Blessing of the Animals earlier in the fall.  Also, I am really impressed with the multitude of activities and programs for youth at PRUMC.  My son is 7 and is having fun playing basketball in the Harp Center.

It seems obvious, but I truly love the Mander organ in the sanctuary.  This is an extraordinary instrument that has great power, but also very subtle and delicate sounds.  It has a tremendous dynamic range and is a joy to play.

I love teaching and performing.  I experience highlights every day when I see students excel after hard work.  As a performer myself, I have been fortunate to play concerts in some notable venues.  Two that remain favorites are the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.  I also have very fond memories of a recital in an abbey church in Zwetl, Austria.  The organ dates back to 1736 and the concert was lit by candlelight.  Of course, there also was that recital in Raleigh, NC when all of the lights literally went out as I was playing!

I grew up in an ecumenical family: my mother was Roman Catholic and my father had parents who were Presbyterian (his father) and Baptist (his mother).  So he chose to be a Methodist! The Roman Catholic church requires those who marry non-Catholics to baptize and rear their children in the Catholic faith.  Even though my seven siblings and I were raised as Catholics, we also attended my father’s Methodist church for services, youth events, Scouts, and choirs, among other things.  I, along with several of my siblings, chose to become an Episcopalian.  But I have always felt at home in the United Methodist Church!

I’ve just finished The Road to Character by David Brooks and have started What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism by Dan Rather.  I read a lot of non-fiction, but I do enjoy a good mystery by P.D. James.  John Updike is one of my favorite authors and I love A Prayer for Owen Meany.  Julia and I were hooked on Downton Abbey and have just discovered The Crown.  We love great English dramas!

I spend as much time as possible with my wife, Julia, and my two children, Sanders and Margaret.  They are growing up so fast that I can hardly believe it.  I also practice the organ a lot, enjoy reading and taking long walks.

Two things:
1)  Be like a duck: let whatever troubles you roll off your back.
2)  When it’s time to do something, don’t go in slowly one foot at a time – dive right in!