Northrop Presents The Chenault Duo Next Month
Raymond and Elizabeth Chenault, known as "The World's Premiere Duo-Organ Team" (Atlanta Journal & Constitution), perform on Northrop's restored Aeolian-Skinner Opus 892 pipe organ on Tue, Dec 3 in a program of popular holiday favorites. Having commissioned, arranged, and premiered more than 60 organ duets, The Chenault Duo has made "organ music for four hands, four feet" synonymous with their name, and will bring traditional organ programming along with several holiday selections to Northrop's stage.
The Chenaults' A Holiday Program of Organ Duets features works commissioned and arranged by or for the duo, including well-known holiday classics "White Christmas" (Irving Berlin), "Sleigh Ride" (Leroy Anderson), "The Christmas Song" (Mel Tormé), and many others. "I couldn't resist trying my hand at arranging it [White Christmas] for organ duet, particularly with fragments of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" interwoven within Berlin's most famous composition," says Raymond Chenault on his arrangement of the popular tune.
Specializing in and exclusively performing works written for four hands and four feet at one pipe organ console, The Chenault Duo has been performing unique repertoire in concerts across the United States and Europe for four decades. Virginia natives, Elizabeth and Raymond both completed their Bachelor of Music degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University. Raymond received his Master of Music in organ performance from the Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music.
The "gifted duo-organists" (Washington Post) have performed at various venues including the Washington National Cathedral and St. Paul's Cathedral (London), as well as national and regional conventions such as the International Summer Organ Festival and those by American Guild of Organists. They have released several recordings under the Gothic Catalog record label and published four volumes of musical scores. The Chenaults served as Organists and Choirmasters of All Saints' Episcopal Church in Atlanta for 43 years and have been featured numerous times on American Public Radio's Pipedreams and National Public Radio's "Performance Today."
Northrop's historic Aeolian-Skinner Opus 892 organ is one of the last remaining concert-hall pipe organs in the United States. Originally built between 1932 and 1936, the organ was restored and reinstalled in 2018 by Foley-Baker and Associates. It was awarded the prestigious "Exceptional Historic Merit" citation by the Organ Historical Society in 1999 and is one of the finest examples of a late-Romantic-era instrument. Along with its remarkable sound quality in concerts and performances, the Northrop Organ has been used as a teaching instrument throughout the years, highlighting the University's continuation of the organ instruction program.