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Dr. Kipp Cortez Performs at the Washington National Cathedral

By Daniel Smith
On November 3, 2017

Concord’s Assistant Professor of Music, Dr. Kipp Cortez, will be performing at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 19. He will perform on the Great Organ starting at 5:15 p.m.

    Dr. Cortez refers to the Great Organ as ‘‘a great example of American organ building,” referring to the art of organ making itself. Knowing that he will have the opportunity to perform on it excites him. ‘‘I was absolutely elated. When I found out I was accepted, I was beyond excited. I still am beyond excited,” Dr. Cortez says.

    Cortez had to send in a recording and a resumé to perform. Dr. Cortez says this is done to see if an organist can play the appropriate level of material for the place. He feels this performance could possibly be one of his greatest performances. He explains, ‘‘I try not to top what I do. I work really hard to make every performance the best I can.’’ Dr. Cortez will be performing works by Charles-Marie Widor, Ad Wammes, Frederick Marriott, Maurice Duruflé, Hugo Distler, Leo Sowerby, Marcel Dupré.

    Dr. Cortez also performed in Washington, D.C. last year at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is a major church as well. He has also played at several places in New York City and in his hometown, Chicago. In New York City during 2009, Dr. Cortez performed on stage with a choral at Carnegie Hall.

    He looks forward to performing in the future at any place that can have him perform. Of course, he would like to perform with notable organs in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

    Not only is Dr. Cortez a professional organist, but he is also a trained carilloneur. He plays the carillon located in the Marsh Hall Bell Tower. Along with that, Dr. Cortez has played carillons in various states. Dr. Cortez has found it easy to play carillons, seeing how the carillon is related to the organ.

    The first instrument he started playing regularly was the piano. After that, he started playing organ, and has continued playing for going on 16 years.

    His goal is to keep learning and to keep seeing what is out there in the world of music. According to Dr. Cortez, the world of music has a lot of great stuff to explore, and that musicians never stop learning or exploring music. He contributes by saying, ‘‘Being a musician is a lifestyle. It’s not something we stop doing when 4:30 or 5:00 rolls around.’’

    Dr. Cortez’s advice for musicians wanting to be successful, is to work hard. He explains that musicians are ‘‘always exploring something.’’ He then adds, ‘‘Find the stuff that excites you and get after it.’’

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