By CHRIS MORRIS
NEW ALBANY —
Daniel Brondel hopes to dispel a few misconceptions about his instrument of choice Sunday evening at Trinity United Methodist Church in New Albany.
Brondel will perform a recital beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 28, and his instrument is one most associate with church service or being outdated — the pipe organ.
While the organ may not be the most popular musical instrument in schools these days, it still produces a vibrant sound that will never be matched, according to Brondel, the organist at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.
“It’s true the organ is a church instrument suffering from an aging population. It seems like young people are becoming less involved with church exposure these days and there are fewer and fewer [organ] positions that attract young people,” he said. “It’s almost becoming a part-time position, or at best a hobby.
“But the pipe organ can be very exciting. My philosophy is to make this world a better place through music and the organ is one of my vehicles to do that. It makes a beautiful sound.”
Brondel will play a variety of music associated with New York along with other numbers Sunday inside Trinity UMC, 2796 Charlestown Road. He said his set will last one hour. The concert is free and is being sponsored by the Southern Indiana Chapter of the American Guild of Organist.
Brondel has been playing at most Masses at St. Patrick’s since 2008 and is the associate director of music. He is also the associate director of the cathedral choir, and he manages the organ recital series and the visiting choirs concert series. He also performs solo recitals in the United States and France.
“I have been playing organ recitals since the mid-1990s,” Brondel said. “I would like to get out and travel more, but I have a very busy schedule at the cathedral.”
He founded the Cathedral of Saint Patrick Young Singers, and in 2008 the group performed for Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to New York City.
Brondel said it’s an honor to play at a cathedral with such a rich history.
“It’s such an iconic building,” he said. “It’s a very exciting part of town. It’s the largest Gothic style building in the world and there is always so much energy about the place. It’s like a dream come true for me.
“It never gets boring, it’s always fresh. There is always something happening there.”
Bondel is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and holds a master’s in organ performance. At Eastman, he did further doctoral work in organ. He is a native of France and moved to the United States in 1988.