ASHEBORO — First United Methodist Church, 224 N. Fayetteville St., Asheboro, will present the Moller/A.E. Schlueter organ in a free recital on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 3 p.m. at the church.


The concert, with church organist Paula Owens, will showcase the pipe organ and its flexibility over centuries of music, while also highlighting its versatility as an accompanying instrument.


The First UMC chancel choir will be featured, as will other church and guest musicians.


A central goal of this concert is to educate others in our community, particularly young potential musicians, about the complexity and beauty of this great instrument. The primary goal, however, is to bring glory to God and to sing God’s praises — thus the title of the concert, “When In Our Music God is Glorified.”


The pipe organ, as an instrument, has often been misunderstood, or at the least, its capabilities underestimated. There is some fear that in our current culture, the pipe organ may be on the way to near extinction as fewer young people choose it as their instrument of choice. Even now, except in the largest churches and cathedrals, a trained organist is not a widely available commodity.


The fact is, playing the organ is hard. Excellent piano skills are required. In addition to a command of the keyboard, one must use his or her feet while navigating the variety of sounds, or stops, that a pipe organ provides. Another part of the difficulty of this instrument is reading three separate lines of music, lines that may indeed be independent of one another, as in a Bach trio. Yet another annoyance is that organs are not portable. Even a tuba or string bass can be carried, though they are unwieldy. The organ, however, is primarily a stationery instrument, making transportation of the organist to the organ a necessity.


Paula Owens, the gifted organist at First UMC, is the product of two musicians (a violinist and a singer). Her destiny was shaped by her mother and a piano teacher who wanted to make sure there was someone to replace her when she retired as organist of her childhood United Methodist church. Her organ lessons began at age 14 ½ after seven years of piano lessons, and she became a church organist at age 16. She says she “was certainly not prepared for the job, but the church was willing to allow me to learn at their expense. Now, here I am, over 40 years later, still playing what has become my favorite instrument and one with which I continually strive to co-exist.”


There is no charge for this concert. Bring a non-perishable food item to help others the community.