posted April 17, 2008

Organ Virtuoso Diane Bish to Perform April 29

Diane Bish, renowned organ virtuoso and host of "The Joy of Music" television series, will present a solo recital at Hope College in Dimnent Memorial Chapel on Tuesday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Bish has performed all over the world and is well known to many through her international television show and numerous recordings. The television program is available to more than 300 million viewers weekly and features Bish playing famous organs in solo and with other classical musicians in cathedrals, churches, and concert halls from around the world. The "Joy of Music" is broadcast on several cable networks such as Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), FamilyNet and VisionTV in Canada.

Known for her ability to rouse audiences. Bish has received rave reviews in the United States and abroad. "Her playing is virtuosic and solidly musical...she blasted the crowd out of its pews in a whooping standing ovation," said "The Boston Globe."

She is an internationally acclaimed musician with many honors including the National Citation from The National Federation of Music Clubs of America (1989). Bish was the first organist to receive the award, presented as "the highest honor for distinguished service to the musical, artistic, and cultural life of the nation." She shares the rare distinction with legends such as Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, Van Cliburn, Robert Shaw and Irving Berlin.

Bish will play a program of organ favorites and original hymn arrangements to demonstrate the varied colors and sounds capable of the 4-manual, 55-rank Skinner Pipe Organ. The Skinner Organ was recently refurbished and renovated by the A. Thompson-Allen Company.

The program is dedicated to the memory of Ethel Swets, a longtime friend of Bish and supporter of Hope College. Swets, who died on Oct. 13, 2007, at age 95, was a 1933 Hope graduate and was the first student to graduate from the college with a degree in organ, having trained on the then-new Skinner organ.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.