Thrills and Trills

Acclaimed concert organist Adam Brakel will kick off the 2019-20 concert series at Advent Lutheran Church with ‘Thrills & Trills’ at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25.

SUNTREE – This weekend, Advent Lutheran Church will kick off its seventh annual concert series with a performance by an acclaimed organist who also happens to be a Central Florida resident.

The concert, “Thrills & Trills,” will feature Adam Brakel at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25 at 7550 N. Wickham Road. Admission is free.

Mr. Brakel, who currently serves as the Director of Music for St. James Cathedral and the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, has been recognized as “an absolute organ prodigy” by National Public Radio and “one of the most talented organists in the world” by the Chicago Tribune, according to a press release.

With works by Camille Saint-Saëns, Bach, Mendelssohn and others, the concert’s wide-ranging repertoire is intended to showcase the organ’s diversity as an instrument.

“The organ can play all styles better than any instrument because the dynamic range is greater than any other instrument built,” said Mr. Brakel, who has won numerous national and international organ competitions.

“It is an orchestra at one’s fingertips,” Mr. Brakel added, noting that the organ can also be used to play chamber music, jazz and other styles.

Guests will have the opportunity to hear Mr. Brakel’s own special arrangement, which uses the scores from “Carolina Shout” by James P. Johnson – a piece written for piano – and “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa, a military march that is sometimes arranged for orchestra.

Since launching in 2013, the church’s series has become so widely respected that well-known organists often ask to perform in it, noted series coordinator Betty Jo Couch.

But after learning of Mr. Brakel’s work, the church decided to invite him to perform as this season’s “kickoff artist.”

“I'm looking forward to showcasing a performer from the Central Florida area who has performed in major venues all around the world, and enjoying how he brings his unique style to show off our A.E. Schlueter pipe organ,” Mrs. Couch said.

“The audience will be entertained, moved, and inspired by all that he presents,” Mrs. Couch added.

Mr. Brakel graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit in Pittsburgh. He received additional training at the Juilliard School in New York City.

For more information about the church or the concert, visit or call (321) 426-9378.

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