Ever hear of Istvan Hernek? He runs the Paraclete Conservatory in Orchard Park. He also performed on the St. Joseph’s Cathedral organ at Reverend Mark Noonan’s ordination this morning (the detail which, unfortunately, can’t be found anywhere on the diocesan web site as of 1 December; why is that?).
Just watching someone with skill play the organ is itself pretty fascinating, at least for people like me who struggle to plunk out Chopsticks with two fingers. Being blown away by the magnificent sound coming from the organ as it is being played takes it to another level.
Just a light touch on any key triggers a cascade of events: A mechanical contact on the key makes an electrical connection that finds its way to a solenoid, that opens a value and allows a massive amount of air to flow from a bellows the size of a station wagon to an organ pipe, which whistles its one-note tune. It’s a couple of ounces of finger pressure turned into 100 decibels of audio pressure. Many fingers flying across the keyboards opens a lot of valves, makes a lot of pipes whistle and, when done right, floods the church with incredible joy.
The musical experience that eminated from this extraordinarily-talented musician on an engineering marvel was greatly appreciated by the 500 who attended Mark’s ordination.
And oh yeah, Blessed Nativity in Orchard Park now has one more priest.