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January 31, 2013

Making beautiful music at the Paramount

Frieling, Ellis headline fundraiser

ANDERSON, Ind. — The resounding sound of one organ is beautiful enough on its own, but adding another instrument to the mix contributes to the splendor.  

Professional organists Randy Frieling and Martin Ellis will be doing just that when they play for Anderson audiences at 7:30 p.m. today  at the Paramount Theatre, 1124 Meridian Plaza.

Each $10 ticket sold will go towards restoring the organ at the beautiful theatre.

Some well-known works will make it into their performance. Indiana Jones’ “Raider’s March” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz” are two in their repertoire.

The duo has been playing together for two years, although they’ve known each other for much longer than that.  They met for the first time when they were both assigned to a concert, and they’ve been playing together since.

The two have performed upwards of 20 shows across the country.

The men have built a great relationship while working together.  They care about each other like brothers, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t able to poke fun at each other once in a while.

“We were just getting ready to play ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and Martin was thanking the crew from backstage,” Frieling recounted.

 “I took the mic and jokingly said ‘I was talking to [those guys] and they really don’t care that much for you.”

The men use comic personalities to draw in the audience.  “We try to make the concert fun,” Frieling added.   

Frieling has some interesting stories to tell concerning the duo’s experiences over the years.

One particular squeamish incident took place at an Indiana college.

Frieling said, “We were playing at Indiana Wesleyan, and I did a glissando on the piano, [which is a glide from one pitch to another], when I ripped open my skin on the keyboard. I was left with a bloody keyboard, but luckily it happened before intermission, so I was able to get the [piano] wiped off.

“Another time I accidentally ripped my pants while I was performing,” he added with a smile, “but I was able to get them sewn back together by a lady who just happened to have her sewing kit on hand.”

When not working together, both artists pursue their love of music through their individual professions.  Ellis serves as organist and Associate Director of Music for North United Methodist Church in his hometown of Indianapolis, performs with three other organ players in the group “Trio Con Brio,” and has been featured as an artist at The American’s Guild of Organists.  

Feieling works as an instructor at Anderson University where he teaches piano and organ. He received his undergraduate degree from Calvin College, and his master’s from the Indiana Jacob’s School of Music.  He has performed throughout the United States and Europe, and has served as an accompanist for the National Youth Choir.

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