Once called the “King of Instruments” by Mozart himself, the pipe organ is widely acknowledged as more difficult to learn than most other instruments. With its tiers of keys, numerous buttons and foot controls, the pipe organ can be quite intimidating even for today’s most accomplished pop music artists.
With determination and a love for the music, however, it is possible to learn and become proficient with the instrument. This was amply demonstrated by Smethport student Derrick Wright who performed a pipe organ recital on August 16th at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
For the recital, Derrick played 22 traditional church music selections, with Fr. John Wesley introducing several that came from the church hymnal. Attendees were invited to sing the hymns to Derrick’s music.
On hearing Derrick play, his musical talent is self evident. What’s astounding is that Derrick taught himself to play without being able to read music. His keen interest motivated him to learn how to play the pipe organ and although he doesn’t read music, he is able to play just about any hymn on the organ after hearing it only once. He said it took about a year to learn the pipe organ, which he confirmed is one of the most difficult instruments for anyone to play.
Derrick plays other instruments. He started with the piano at age 4 and plays the bass drum and xylophone. Now 16 years old and about to enter his junior year, Derrick is a member of the Smethport High School band.
You can listen to Derrick’s complete recital now or download it to your iPod or mp3 player. For your convenience, the recital has been split into three parts.