UCA to celebrate Halloween with spooky organ recital

On Halloween, the University Center for the Arts is putting on its 11th annual Halloween Organ Extravaganza in the Organ Recital Hall. Students of organ professor Joel Bacon, who holds a doctorate in historical musicology, will be performing organ pieces in costume.

“There will be a mix of serious, classical as well as a few fun or unusual pieces,” Bacon said.


There will be three different performances throughout the night at 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Audience members are also encouraged to come in costume.

This is a great opportunity to come and experience organ music on an eerie night, such as Halloween.

“I think it’s always great that there are people that come that have never heard a pipe organ before,” Bacon said. “People tell me it’s the most fun they’ve ever had at an organ concert before, so we’re glad to have fun kind of recital as well.”

Additionally, it is a great ordeal and opportunity for the organ students here at CSU. “I love performing, it’s my favorite part of the major,” said senior and performer Brynna Ashton. This is a concert that strays from traditional organ pieces one might hear in church or at a wedding and dives into the creepy power that organs are capable of.

In the past years, the Halloween Organ Extravaganza has become a tradition here at CSU and at other places as well.

“The school that I went to as an undergraduate, Baylor University, had a Halloween organ tradition…but when I came to CSU there wasn’t a Halloween concert,” Bacon said.

Many universities and other orchestras across the country perform different Halloween concerts making it a national tradition not only a CSU tradition. That is not to say that the CSU Extravaganza has not changed. Initially, they had not planned to be performing three shows the same night but so many people came to the first show that there were still people waiting that they put on a second show and were still able to perform for a full house and the event has grown since then.

This event is also a family-friendly event, allowing families from the community to come with zero worries regarding appropriateness or scariness, especially after Halloween. And after the performances of Ubu Roi, it is a nice change of pace allowing us to relax and taste art in more of a traditional sense. But just because it is family friendly, do not assume it is tame. Organs can be booming, loud and haunting. Plus, being able to listen to music on Halloween may be better than handing out candy all night.

As an addition to the traditional concert the organ department presents, there will be an added element of different lighting effects and projections on to the organ for a “multi sensory experience that people won’t want to miss,” Bacon said.

Organ music is a classic in terms of putting its audience in a spooky mood, making it ideal to either start off Halloween night at the 7 p.m. showing or to wrap up your night at 11 p.m.


“There’s just something about the sound of the organ at Halloween,” Bacon said. “It’s almost a cliche but it’s also pretty cool.”