Organ plays on at Lewis and Clark High School 100th anniversary | Arts & Culture
The old organ was rolled out onto the stage for Lewis and Clark High School's 100th anniversary on Saturday morning. The heavy instrument is easy to move even for Barbara Top Rockwood with her specialized organ shoes on. After all, the class of 1946 graduate didn't want to scratch the pedals, a major component of playing the organ.
The instrument was bought in 1922 by students of the Spokane school. It was hard to gain access to throughout the years because of bad apples who would vandalize the pipes.
Rockwood says she and her band director had to beg the principal to let her play even though she'd been playing since she was about four years old. Growing up the daughter of an organist passed along the skills to read three lines of score all at the same time.
"Start with the feet and make them find some notes," Rockwood explained. "It's like a keyboard at the bottom."
It's been a while since she's played, but it was easy for her to play Variations of 'Tis a gift to be simple' arranged by George Lachenauer. For about 40 years she was the organist at the Manito Presbyterian along 30th and Grand Blvd.
The small audience of LC grads gathered early to see her play along with Dr. Janet Satre Ahrend, class of 1964, who was a student of Rockwood years ago.
It was an unexpected reunion for some at the anniversary gathering. One of Rockwood's former classmates stopped by the stage to say hello after all these years. He was ready to record her performance so he could later blast the organ music at his trailer park.
The school's fight song was played toward the end of the repretoire. Rockwood planned on pinning a letterman patch to her shirt to show off decades of school spirit.