University Center for the Arts celebrates with ‘Halloween Organ Extravaganza’

Sierra Cymes

If you want to shake in your bones, listen to the reverberating sound of the organ at this year’s Halloween Organ Extravaganza concert, held in the Organ Recital Hall.

“I love everything about the organ,” said Dr. Bacon, who currently holds the Steward and Sheron Golden Chair in Liturgical studies. “It is a majestic, powerful, thrilling sound. Experiencing it live is something really amazing; to feel the deep pedal pipes shaking the chairs literally.”


As a professor with a concentration in organ and liturgical studies, Dr. Bacon says this concert is a chance to play different pieces from his usual repertoire as a church organist.

Dr. Bacon also oversees the CSU Organ Studio, whose nine members will be performing traditional classical organ pieces along with a samba and some popular movie music on the Casavant Frères organ as well as on drums.

Angie Fitzsimmons, a junior organ performance major, has been performing with the CSU Organ Studio for three years. She says the concert is a way to celebrate Halloween if you want to try something new.

“It’s a really fun environment and it’s a way to get a fill of the classical arts without feeling stodgy and old,” Fitzsimmons said.

For the concert Fitzsimmons will be playing “Prelude in g minor” by Johannes Brahms on the Casavant Frères organ. Her favorite part of the concert is the audience’s reaction.

“It’s a very informal night; people whoop and holler and it’s more about having fun than sitting still and paying attention to classical music,” Fitzsimmons said.

Dr. Bacon has been surprised at the popularity of the first Halloween concert.

“I still remember that night I played a medley of themes from Star Wars and it was just awesome. In fact, people keep asking for that one. Maybe sometime soon we’ll have to reprise that,” Dr. Bacon hinted with a wink.

Audience members are encouraged to come in costume, and join the members of the studio who will also be decked out.

“I’m sure people will be shocked at what I’m wearing,” Dr. Bacon said.


Two of the studio members who will be dressed as hobbits are sophomore piano performance major Brynna Ashton and junior physics major Carter Montag. Together they will be playing a duet on “Toot Suite,” written by P.D.Q. Bach.

“It’s mostly a satirical piece,” Ashton said. “Bach makes fun of the classical baroque thing, but at the same time he kind of imitates it really well.”

The program will start with the real Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in d minor,” which has become the unofficial theme song of Halloween ever since it’s feature in the 1962 film adaptation of “The Phantom of the Opera”.

Stage effects will be used to complete the atmosphere of spookiness for the night.

“Sometimes we’ll have scary lighting and props onstage,” Fitzsimmons said.

This unique take on a Halloween party should have audience members quaking either from fear, the resonating organ or from laughter; we’re not sure which.

“Where else can you rock out to organ music and drums at midnight on Halloween?” Dr. Bacon said.

Tickets are $12 for CSU students. Reserve your tickets at

Collegian A&E Writer Sierra Cymes can be reached at or on Twitter @sierra_cymes.