Surrey’s Michael Dirk stands in front of an organ. The former Newton resident will perform on a 100-year-old organ Friday to benefit the instruments maintenance.

Surrey’s Michael Dirk stands in front of an organ. The former Newton resident will perform on a 100-year-old organ Friday to benefit the instruments maintenance.

Benefit to celebrate 100-year-old organ

Money raised for maintenance and preservation of century-old instrument in Surrey church

It twas a big operation, especially in the 1970s, but thanks to a successful organ transplant, Michael Dirk will be able to give an encore performance at Surrey’s Maranatha Canadian Reformed Church for the Silver & Gold Centennial Benefit Concert tomorrow (Friday).

Fortunately for the talented organist, there was no surgery involved for the transplant. In fact, Dirk may not have even been born when the now 100-year-old Casavant Fréres Opus 501 pipe organ relocated from Vancouver’s Central Presbyterian to the Surrey church in the 1970s.

But that doesn’t mean he appreciates it any less.

The former Newton resident and Tamanawis grad, who has deep roots on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, including working and performing at St. Mark’s Angelican Church, has been playing the organ since the age of 12.

“I swear, I came out of the womb with a desire to play. Organs are the Ferrari of the keyboard instruments. It has all the bells and whistles. Before the advent of loudspeakers, this was the grandest of instruments. It really is the king,” Dirk said.

Since his return three years ago from graduate studies in Texas, the 30-year-old organ virtuoso has performed at three major concerts in Vancouver, where he points out most of the pipe organs are located.

His most recent performance, at MusicFest Vancouver, included celebrating the 100th birthday of both the organ and Maranatha Canadian Reformed.

In order to keep that 100-year-old organ in tip-top shape, Dirk and the church will be hosting the free benefit concert with proceeds going to the maintenance and preservation of the organ.

“It sounds phenomenal and so we want to raise a bit of money to keep it phenomenal. It has thousands of moving parts and pieces, like leather membranes, that are 100 years old and will soon need to be replaced,” he said.

“The program for the performance is based on the year 1912. It’s really fun to craft a program with something like that to focus on. It came together marvelously. Every piece on the program holds something of interest.”

Highlights for the program include a tribute to legendary organist Virgil Fox who performed on the organ in the 1960s, variations on the hymn tune Old Hundredth by Vancouver composer Denis Bedard and a very special improvisation to the Laurel and Hardy silent film The Second 100 Years.

“Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin were in Vancouver performing with a vaudeville troupe from London in April 1912,” Dirk explained.

“It will be a very unique experience to have a silent film feature right in the middle of the performance. No one does that anymore. “

Of course, Dirk does promise some more modern pieces for those who are new to the organ scene.

“My signature encore is usually the Hockey Night in Canada theme, there is also Phantom of the Opera, The Simpsons and Star Wars, even though there aren’t any organs in the Star Wars theme,” he said.

Just as important as the music will be the focus of educating concert-goers about the organ. The 100-year-old instrument has 2,400 pipes, but most people only notice the 100 in the front, Dirk explained.

Throughout the performance, there will be images from a slideshow on a screen for visitors, showing the inside of the chambers, as well as members of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, who will be displaying a pipe table.

“People will be able to see all the different shapes and sizes of the the pipes. I believe there are 40 different types all together,” Dirk said.

“The aim is to have a very fun, accessible show. I’ll be talking about the pieces, explaining their structure, so people know what they’re hearing and they’ll be able to feel my appreciation of them.”

The show will begin at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19 at Maranatha Canadian Reformed, 12300 92 Ave.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Just Posted

A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. (File photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
COVID-19 cases at Surrey school district drop ‘dramatically’

There were 19 notifications sent out in the first 9 days of June, compared to in all of 245 in May

teaser photo only.
Surrey ‘POP!’ series promises ‘Performances Outdoors in Parks’ this summer

Ticketed concerts, theatre shows and other events start July 9

Surrey council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council endorses ‘public engagement’ strategy

Council approves ‘Public Engagement Strategy and Toolkit,’ and a ‘Big Vision, Bold Moves’ transportation public engagement plan

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council approves $7.3 million contract for street paving projects

City council awarded Lafarge Canada Inc. $7,326,667.95 for 15 road projects in North Surrey and one in South Surrey

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Locke seeks breakdown on what Surreyites get for taxes paid to Metro Vancouver

Surrey councillor presented motion to council Monday asking city staff to do a cost/benefit analysis

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-month-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

A letter from a senior RCMP officer in Langley said Mounties who attended a mayor’s gala in January of 2020 used their own money. Controversy over the event has dogged mayor Val van den Broek (R) and resulted in the reassignment of Langley RCMP Supt. Murray Power (L). (file)
Langley RCMP officers used ‘own money’ to attend mayor’s gala, senior officer says

‘I would not want there to be a belief that the police officers had done something untoward’

Squirrels are responsible for most of U.S. power outages. Black Press file photo
Dead squirrels in park lead Richmond RCMP to probe ‘toxic substance’ found in trees

Police aren’t sure if the chemical was dumped there or placed intentionally

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

Most Read