Sunday, August 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Dancing feet

If you saw my story in yesterday's paper - about the Christmas carol singalong at Longwood - you probably guessed that I had a great time. Marc Cheban, an organist from Delaware, played the carols on Longwood's almost-completely-restored Aeolian pipe organ, which weighs 55 tons and has a sound unlike any organ you ever heard in church. That thing can boom! It's almost as loud as the car stereos in my neighborhood on a hot summer night. The house shakes! This organ, built in 1929 and installed at Longwood by its founder, Pierre S. du Pont, also whispers and jingles and makes many other sounds. Marc is one of four Longwood organists, and unfortunately, a box of information I wrote about the singalongs, days, times, ticket prices, somehow never made it into the paper. So if you're interested in going, and I enthusiastically recommend a trip, go to www.longwoodgardens.org or call 610-388-1000. The concerts go on daily from now through Jan. 3, and while you don't need a ticket for the concert, you do need to get a timed ticket to enter the gardens. Longwood's Christmas celebration is so popular, timed tickets are needed. Anyway ... this is a photo of Marc's elegant and talented FEET, which operate the pedals down below as his fingers do the same up above. He wears special organists' shoes - like dancers' - black, made of thin leather, unadorned and truly amazing. I spent as much time watching his feet as I did the rest of his performance.

Dancing feet

Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)
Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)

If you saw my story in yesterday's paper - about the Christmas carol singalong at Longwood - you probably guessed that I had a great time. Marc Cheban, an organist from Delaware, played the carols on Longwood's almost-completely-restored Aeolian pipe organ, which weighs 55 tons and has a sound unlike any organ you ever heard in church. That thing can boom! It's almost as loud as the car stereos in my neighborhood on a hot summer night. The house shakes! This organ, built in 1929 and installed at Longwood by its founder, Pierre S. du Pont, also whispers and jingles and makes many other sounds. Marc is one of four Longwood organists, and unfortunately, a box of information I wrote about the singalongs, days, times, ticket prices, somehow never made it into the paper. So if you're interested in going, and I enthusiastically recommend a trip, go to www.longwoodgardens.org or call 610-388-1000. The concerts go on daily from now through Jan. 3, and while you don't need a ticket for the concert, you do need to get a timed ticket to enter the gardens. Longwood's Christmas celebration is so popular, timed tickets are needed. Anyway ... this is a photo of Marc's elegant and talented FEET, which operate the pedals down below as his fingers do the same up above. He wears special organists' shoes - like dancers' - black, made of thin leather, unadorned and truly amazing. I spent as much time watching his feet as I did the rest of his performance.

About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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