ROCK HILL, S.C. - In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the D.B. Johnson Memorial Organ at Winthrop University, Winthrop alumna and accomplished organist Shirley Fishburne will perform an organ recital Nov. 4 at Byrnes Auditorium.
Fishburne of Rock Hill, S.C., who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music in 1972 and 1973 from Winthrop, will play during an hour-long concert. The 7 p.m. recital is free and open to the public.
Winthrop launched a campaign earlier this year to raise $400,000 to restore the D.B. Johnson Memorial Organ in Byrnes Auditorium. The organ is named for Winthrop’s founding president and is widely regarded as one of the most valuable and historic organs in the Southeast.
Since the campaign was announced, Fishburne has performed in a series of concerts around South Carolina and Georgia to help publicize the restoration drive. The Nov. 4 concert is an opportunity to commemorate the Nov. 2, 1955, inaugural concert by virtuoso Virgil Fox and to bring the recital program to Winthrop’s hometown.
"We wanted to present this to a York County audience," Fishburne said of the recital that features a variety of pieces to showcase the organ’s versatility.
The Æolian-Skinner Organ Company, the Boston company that built Winthrop’s organ, constructed some of the finest mid-twentieth century instruments in the United States.
Restoration of Winthrop’s organ will include renovating the organ’s pipe work, installing a digital memory system, replacing the leather components and rebuilding the organ’s console. To date, nearly $175,000 has been raised. A final campaign concert is planned in January at Winthrop.
For more information, contact the Office of Development at 803/323-2150. For more information about the Johnson organ, visit http://www.winthrop.edu/virtualtour/buildingtour.aspx?id=3134.