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Local organists to perform Sunday
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 The Covington First United Methodist Church will continue its Organ Inaugural Concert Series this Sunday with a duo organ performance by identical twins Alice Walker and Becky Ramsey.

"Really people of all ages will enjoy the concert," Ramsey said. "There will be something for everyone."

The concert will feature several classical tunes as well as some modern riffs. The trick for the sisters was choosing the right songs for a duet.

"We were able to find two or three really early organ duets, but most organ duets have come out in the last century," Walker said.

Favorites like "Amazing Grace" will be preformed along with some unusual choices like the Pink Panther Theme.

"That's what you try to do in an inaugural program; you try and show as much as possible all the things the organ can do," Ramsey said.

The duo's performance will be the first major concert by local artists on the church's new organ. In April, the Atlanta Chapter of the American Guild of Organists played the organ to a packed crowd.

"This particular organ was built in 1974, so since the advent of computers, you can imagine the capacity of the instrument has tremendously increased," Ramsey said.

With the recent modifications, the organ is now worth $450,000 and includes several digital enhancements. Along with the regular wind pipes of the organ, the sisters can choose to use 900 Musical Instrument Digital Interface ranks.

"It's just a wonderful assortment of options to use," Ramsey said. "We can't use them all in one recital, but you can try."

The Pink Panther Theme will feature a variety of MIDI ranks.

"We are going to be using a lot of the MIDI sounds on that one since the Pink Panther gets into a lot of scrapes and activities," Walker said.

The process of choosing which sounds to use is called organ registration, Walker said, which is one of her favorite parts about the playing a recital.

The show will also feature some more advance pieces like "Carillon De Westminster," which makes use of many different bell and gong sounds, including the Westminster chimes.

They will close the program with the piece "French Toccata," by Ralf Bolting. The complex piece took the sisters more than a year to learn

"It's what organists call a 'war horse,'" Ramsey said. "It is a really big, mammoth type piece that is just perpetual motion from beginning to end."

Playing the organ as a duo can be very difficult, Walker said. Even though the sisters have been playing instruments together since they were 5 years old, an organ presents unique challenges.

With three key boards, foot peddles and a variety of switches, the sisters must know where each person's hands and feet are going to be at any given point during the recital.

"We practice together almost everyday," Ramsey said. "It takes a lot of practice to bring together an hour long program."

But practice has never been a problem for the sisters, who have dedicated their lives to ministry through music.

"We have to learn new repertoire all the time, which is a joy," Walker said. "Practice has never been drudgery to us. Mother always knew as soon as we were through studying, we were going to be practicing."

Ramsey plays every Sunday at the First United Methodist Church while Walker plays at First Presbyterian Church of Covington.

"It's privilege to play a pipe organ in church," Ramsey said. "It is the leader of the choir."

Admission is free for the concert, which begins at 3 p.m. Sunday. The public is invited along with church members.

For more information regarding any concert in the Organ Inaugural Concert Series, please call (770) 786-7305.