Expect haunting music to ooze from organ pipes within the neo-gothic nave of Grace Episcopal Church from 3–6pm on Wednesday, October 25, during the Downtown Madison Family Halloween event. Not a trick by Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde, but rather a musical treat from Grace Church organist Mark Brampton Smith and special guest Greg Zelek, newly appointed Principal Organist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Curator of the Overture Concert Organ.
With degrees in organ performance from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan, Smith has won prizes in the Fort Wayne, Ann Arbor, and American Guild of Organists National Competitions. Before joining Grace Church in 2016, his professional music career took him to seven states over the years, serving on church music staff. He has performed solo recitals at prominent venues nationwide, including Overture Hall.
Zelek joined the Madison Symphony Orchestra September 1, 2017, and is hailed as “a phenomenal virtuoso on the instrument” by MSO Music Director John DeMain. Recognized as one of the most exciting young organists in the American organ scene, he has performed with orchestras as both a soloist and professional ensemble member, including appearances with the Miami Symphony Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in Carnegie Hall. Zelek is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma as a student of Paul Jacobs at the Juilliard School. A recipient of the inaugural Kovner Fellowship, he also received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Juilliard.
Little goblins and their families will be lured through the famous red doors of Grace Church on the Capitol Square by chilling works of Bach, Guilmant, Mendelssohn, and others played by Smith and Zelek on a Casavant Freres Opus 3639, a 28-stop, 38-rank, three-manual, pedal organ with 1902 pipes. The exquisite instrument was shipped from Quebec and built piece by piece at Grace in 1987. The Phantom himself would be green with envy!