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Robert McCormick improvisation

This improvisation was recorded on the recently restored Aeolian-Skinner Opus 948 at St. Mark's Church, Locust Street, Philadelphia, in the week before the Feast of Christ the King, so I had in mind the hymn tunes Coronation and Diademata, upon which it is based.

It can be a slightly disconcerting experience to improvise only for a microphone and camera, as most of the time an improvisation is either in the context of liturgy (when it will generally have a very particular function) or for a recital (usually on submitted themes). In both such instances, either the liturgical action or the particulars of the recital (including the presence of an audience) dictate to a large extent how the improvisation takes shape.

Nonetheless, my aim was to present the themes in an organized fashion, while displaying many of the beautiful colors of the restored organ, from its majestic tutti, to shimmering flutes, and colorful reeds, both intimate and powerful. 

Robert McCormick is the newly appointed Organist and Director of Music at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont (Bryn Mawr), PA. This follows nearly eight years as Organist and Choirmaster of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Locust Street, Philadelphia, a parish deeply rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. From 2008−2016, he was Director of Music at St. Paul’s Parish, K Street, Washington, D.C. Under his direction, the St. Paul's choirs performed at conventions of the AGO, the Organ Historical Society, and the Association of Anglican Musicians, and were heard nationally on the radio programs Pipedreams and With Heart and Voice. From 2001−2008 he served as Organist and Music Director at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York. He served for two years as sub-dean of the New York City chapter of the AGO and was co-chairperson of the 2014 National Conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians.

Robert McCormick is represented in North America exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC