Merrill Auditorium was empty as Ray Cornils sat at the console of the Kotzschmar Organ. He pushed his glasses to the bridge of his nose, stretched his arms over the keys and paused ever so briefly.

With an understated flourish, he flexed his muscular fingers, and the pipe organ sprang to life, filling the hall with soaring, brassy sounds.

Head cocked, ears alert and eyes wide open, Cornils listened intently as he played. He has performed on this organ countless times since becoming the city’s municipal organist in 1990, but never until that moment on a lazy summer afternoon in late August had Cornils heard the Kotzschmar sound quite like this…

 Bob Keyes for the Portland Press Herald (click for full article)