Portland’s Music Man, Meet James Kennerley: Organist supreme, thrilled to play Maine

James Kennerley publicly takes over with his Kotzschmar Memorial Organ debut on April 18. He’s already been practicing – and he loves what he hears.

On stage at Merrill Auditorium, [James] Kennerley, 33, is improvising a demonstration of the Kotzschmar Memorial Organ, getting acquainted with the instrument he fantasized about as a child in his native England.

This organ is super, super famous,” he said. “You play lots of instruments which are wonderful, but you play an instrument like this and you think, ‘Oh, now that’s special.’ ”

“The sound of this is absolutely thrilling,” he added. “The tonal range is absolutely huge. It’s a massive range of sounds. As an organist, that’s kind of what we live for – exploring those various colors and combining and contrasting them. It’s really, really cool.”

– Stephanie Bouchard, Maine Town & City, February 2018

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