|Cherry Rhodes talks about her own unique story of being an organist to inspire the youngsters of Ewha. Photo by Park Jae-won.
Cherry Rhodes, a prominent American organist came to Ewha to perform her first ever recital in Korea. In celebration for the annual 2018 Pipe Organ Festival on Sept. 13, hosted by Ewha College of Music, the school specially invited Rhodes.
Rhodes debuted in 1960 when she was 17, as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Her first major achievement was in 1966 when she was titled the first American to win an international organ competition hosted in Munich, Germany. Since then, she performed as a soloist with worldfamous philharmonics at wellknown musical cities around the world.
In 2004, she was one of the first organists to perform on the new organ in Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Furthermore, Rhodes attended several music festivals and led on many famous recitals in the United States and Europe. Today, she is actively hosting recitals and also teaching at University of Southern California.
Ewha Voice took this opportunity to meet Rhodes during her busy schedule in Korea. When asked how she decided to host her recital in Ewha, she responded honestly.
“I was invited (to the recital),” Rhodes said. “I accepted with great honor and pleasure and jumped for joy.”
This year, the annual Pipe Organ Festival was solely dedicated to Rhodes to perform in the Music Building at Ewha. The show was ticket-based for all who wished to attend and in total 400 people attended, including students of Ewha. At the recital, she played pieces by famous composers like, Johann Sebastian Bach, Fr. Joseph Walter, Jose Lidon, and Max Reger.
Attendees also got to hear the compositions by Bach and Reger that Rhodes actually performed when she won the international organ competition. She also played the piece that Fr. Joseph Walter, specially composed for her.
“Music is great in how it affects your emotions,” Rhodes said referring to her performances. “It lifts you up and lets you forget all your problems and challenges. The audience and the performer become one with the music.”
After performing phenomenal renditions, she offered a masterclass for students majoring in music on Sept. 14.
“Follow your dream and don’t be afraid to see where it takes you,” Rhdoes said as a final message. “Keep pursuing, work hard, and be consistent with your practice. Enjoy the process of learning.”