Christian Lane: Solo Organ Recital

Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ at Groton Hill

Sunday, March 3, 2024 at 3:00pm

The Concert Hall at Groton Hill


Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England (Father Willis)

Imperial March, op. 32
Edward Elgar (1857–1934)

Nimrod from Enigma Variations, op. 36
Edward Elgar (1857–1934)

Temple Emanu-El, San Francisco (Skinner, opus 497)

Rhapsody, op. 1075 (2014)
Carson Cooman (b. 1982)

Wondrous Love: Five Variations for Organ (1992)
Daniel Pinkham (1923–2006)

Concordia Salus: A Fantasy for Organ (2017)
Graham Gordon Ramsay (b. 1962)


St. Louis, Prytanée, France (Levasseur-Dangeville)

Grand Dialogue du Cinquième Ton
Louis Marchand (1669–1732)

Bachorgel, Arnstadt (Wender)

Four selections by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645
Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 731 
Der Tag, der is so freudenreich, BWV 605
In dir is freude, BWV 615 

St. Etienne, Caen, France (Cavaillé-Coll)

Pièces en style libre, op. 31
Louis Vierne (1870–1937)

Symphonie I, op. 14 
Louis Vierne (1870–1937)
     VI. Final

Some Notes on Groton Hill’s Virtual Pipe Organ (by Randy Steere)

Groton Hill Music Center is now home to one of the largest Hauptwerk installations in the world. Built by Meta Organworks of upstate New York, this instrument is not an “electronic” or “digital” organ, but rather a “Virtual Pipe Organ” driven by the Hauptwerk software. Hauptwerk is the German term for the “great,” or primary keyboard of an organ.

While an electronic instrument derives sounds artificially or electronically, a Virtual Pipe Organ allows one to purchase specific instruments or “sample sets.” Each sample set contains thousands of audio samples or .WAV (wave) files, all of which came from that specific instrument. Each of those samples is typically taken in stereo from 3 different locations within the original room housing the organ in order to capture the ambiance and audio characteristics of each sound.

When the organ is played, the software grabs all of the samples for each note being played, processes them and sends them out to the speakers in real time! This “polyphony” can be as many as 5,000 – 6,000 samples at the same time – a truly impressive feat of technology creating the realism of reproducing the actual pipe organ sound.

When an organist goes to play a program, the first decision is which sample set to load. Groton Hill has about 15 different sample sets or organs to choose from, representing the wide range of organ building styles through the years from various geographic areas. 

Specific statistics on Groton Hill’s organ:

  • 32 main speakers
  • 12 additional subwoofers for various deep sounds
  • In total, there are 49,600 watts of speaker power
  • The computer running the organ has:

    128 GB of RAM memory
    4 TB of disk space
    8 processor cores running Windows
    2 touch screen monitors that take on the characteristics of the specific sample that is loaded

ABOUT TODAY’S ARTIST: Organist Christian Lane

Winner of the 2011 Canadian International Organ Competition and Founding Director of Boston Organ Studio—the largest private organ studio in the country—Christian Lane is one of America’s most accomplished, respected, and versatile concert organists and pedagogues. He earned first prize in four major American organ competitions before reaching his twenty-first birthday: the 2000 Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition/USA, the 2001 American Guild of Organists (AGO) Region III Competition for Young Organists, the 2002 Augustana Arts/Reuter National Undergraduate Organ Competition, and the 2002 Arthur Poister National Organ Competition. In 2004, he earned both second prize and the audience prize in the AGO National Young Artist Competition (NYACOP), widely considered to be the preeminent organ-playing competition in the United States.

As a soloist, Mr. Lane performs regularly throughout the United States and in Europe. Notable venues include St. Patrick’s Cathedral (New York), both St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London, and Washington National Cathedral. He was a featured performer at the 2014 National AGO Convention in Boston, the 2013 National Convention of the Royal Canadian College of Organists in Ottawa, the 2005 AGO Region VI Convention in Colorado Springs, and a “Rising Star” performer at the 2002 National AGO Convention in Philadelphia. His first solo recording was released in 2012 to critical acclaim on the Canadian label ATMA Classique. Two discs featuring the newly installed Skinner and Fisk organs at Harvard University, “Sounds of the Yard,” were released in 2014.

Mr. Lane has been privileged to serve within some of the country’s most respected parish music programs, including two in Rochester, NY: Third Presbyterian and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where he succeeded Eastman Professor Emeritus David Craighead following 48 years of distinguished service. In New Haven, he was Assistant Organist at the Episcopal Church of Trinity-on-the-Green, where he worked with one of the last remaining choirs of Men and Boys in the country. Notably, Mr. Lane also served for two years as assistant organist to John Scott at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York City. More recently he served Harvard University as Associate University Organist and Choirmaster from 2008–2014, during which time he established and cultivated what was the largest program of organ study in the Ivy League.

A 2004 graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Mr. Lane earned his Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance with highest distinction. Subsequently, as a Robert Baker Scholar at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and School of Music, he earned a Master of Music in Organ Performance in 2008. Committed to supporting his profession, Mr. Lane serves on the board of the Old West Organ Society and has been active within the American Guild of Organists. He was also on the faculty of McGill University in Montréal as Visiting Professor of Organ and Acting Chair of the Organ Area, and as Artist-in-Residence for the Canadian International Organ Competition. Mr. Lane is currently Director of Music at Emmanuel Episcopal Church (Baltimore) and is on the faculty of Towson University.

Groton Hill Music Center is a special place—a world-class center designed for music and community. We offer the highest quality music education—with private lessons, classes, ensembles, and supplemental learning programs for all ages and abilities; world-class professional performances of all genres—from jazz, global roots, and folk to classical masterworks and chamber music; and impactful outreach programs that share the transformative power of music throughout the community. Groton Hill was founded in 1985 as a community resource for all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. For 38 years, we’ve been a leader in music education and performance. We’re proud to usher in a new era of artistic diversity in New England and beyond. Learn more at www.grotonhill.org.