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Dallas organist coming to Columbia

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 | 7:33 p.m. CST
Organist Bradley Welch practices in the Missouri United Methodist Church for the Advent Organ Christmas Concert Friday, Dec. 12, which will be held in the church's main sanctuary. Welch, who began as a pianist, has played the organ since he was young and participates in nearly 20 concerts a year.

COLUMBIA — Bradley Welch, who describes himself as having always been intrigued by the sound of the organ, is playing in the Advent Christmas Concert at the Missouri United Methodist Church. The church and the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists invited him for seasonal festivities.

Before beginning piano lessons at a young age, Welch found himself fascinated with the different sounds the organ could make.

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"I was just blown away when I watched our church organist and I realized she played with her feet," he said. "I couldn't believe that."

The director of a children's choir asked Welch to play on the organ as a stand-in for a sick flutist. From there, he practiced hymns and began organ lessons.

This is the Dallas resident's second time playing in Missouri. He has also been to 30 states including California, which hosts the largest organ in any church in the world at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles.

"It's a lot of fun going around to different places in the country and getting to meet different people and experience the variety of different kinds of organs," Welch said.

The concert will be held at the Missouri United Methodist Church at 7 pm Dec. 12 in the main sanctuary. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling the church's main office at 573-443-3111.


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