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  • John Rizzo, at his seat at Saint James United Church of Christ.
Young organist tickles the ivories in Hamburg
Date: 2014-08-28
HAMBURG — At Saint James United Church of Christ on Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. and Sunday mornings at 10 a.m., the original composition of 28-year-old Jonathan Rizzo will accompany worship services. MaryAnn Reichard said that his talent is a benefit to the church and their services.Rizzo creates compilation “hybrid genres” that he says are impromptu, much of the time. He learned how to nuance the style of his pieces to fit the tone of The Rev. Heather Mabrouk’s sermons. Ben Phillips, an organist from The Church of the Advent in Kenmore, was one influence in teaching him how to create the atmosphere for church music, according to the pianist. While Rizzo also plays secular music, he said there is a difference in how he approaches each.Rizzo knows how to change his tempo in accordance to the pace of the church service, but he said it is the director, Ciaran Krueger, who brings the music department together. Both men were hired in the fall of 2010. Auditions were held to fill the positions...
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