Music heard around the world, now heard at Wichita State


Courtesy of WSU News

From attending prestigious schools such as Eton and Oxford to buying a house, a dog and cowboy hat in Fort Worth, Texas, British organist Clive Driskill-Smith has traveled the world performing on the organ.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Driskill-Smith performed on The Great Marcussen Organ at Wiedemann Hall as a distinguished guest artist for the Rie Bloomfield Organ Series. The event was Driskill-Smith’s fourth time performing at Wichita State.

According to Driskill-Smith’s biography in the program handout, “critics have praised his ‘blazing technique and unbelievable virtuosity,’” and said his performances are, “intensely moving and truly breathtaking.”

Driskill-Smith has toured the globe to perform in places such as China, Japan, Germany and others. He’s also performed with Grammy Award-winning percussionist Joseph Gramley.

Along with traveling the globe to perform, he also traveled to learn.

“It’s very important and very useful to explore different countries, different cultures, different organs, different styles of organs and take repertoire to particular organists in Europe, who have specialized repertoire for their whole lives,” Driskill-Smith said.

Driskill-Smith moved to Fort Worth, Texas, from Kent, England four years ago and is now the Organist and Choirmaster at All Saints’ Episocal Church.

“I’m very happy in Fort Worth, I bought a cowboy hat,” Driskill-Smith said.

The concert began with four songs, before breaking off into the intermission, “Conversation with the Artist,” hosted by professor Lynne Davis.

After intermission, Driskill-Smith performed six more songs.

Jordie Brewer, a vocal music education major, enjoyed the last part of the concert the most.

“I think it just had the most climax and the biggest building, so I really loved the ending,” Brewer said.

During intermission, Driskill-Smith told Davis that his advice for young musicians is to “play other organs, meet other organists, learn from organ teachers … There’s not one way of playing a piece. There are lots of things we can learn, but at the end of the day, there are 100 ways of interpreting a piece.”

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