Ray Cornils, one of only two municipal organists in the nation, had a memorable birthday at the Friends of Kotzschmar Organ (FOKO) reception celebrating the historic organ’s return after reconstruction.

Mike Foley, whose firm Foley-Baker Inc., took the 102-year-old, 50-ton instrument apart and rebuilt it over the past two years, took the liberty of playing “Happy Birthday” in Cornils’ honor.

Cocktail party guests then enjoyed the world premiere performance of “Concertino FOKO,” composed by Carson Cooman – a preview of the following night’s sold-out concert.

“We’re at our best as a city when we all come together to recognize that there’s something critical to the city’s past, critical to the city’s present and critical to the city’s future,” said Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, calling the Kotzschmar “one of the world’s major concert organs.”

Amy Paradysz for the Portland Press Herald (click for full article)