September 27, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Guest Organist to Perform on Whitehead Auditorium Stage Sept. 30

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Department of Music will present Lee Gwozdz, organist, in concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, on the Whitehead Auditorium stage. The performance is free of charge and open to the public.

Gwozdz will perform a selection of music by Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov, Leon Boellmann, Giovanni Gabrieli, Noel Goemanne, and Camille Saint-Saens, as well as his own arrangement of a Pipe Organ Tribute to John Williams. This special performance is an opportunity for faculty, staff, students, retirees, alumni, and friends of the university to rediscover the hidden gem of a pipe organ that calls Whitehead Auditorium home. 

Gwozdz recently kicked off his 32nd year as director of music for Corpus Christi Cathedral in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he also serves as executive director of The Cathedral Concert Series and has the opportunity to play the largest cathedral pipe organ in the Southwest United States. He was just 8 years old when he began playing the organ during Mass at Saint Andrew Catholic School in Fort Worth, Texas, and went on to participate in organ master classes during summers in Europe. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education with a minor in organ performance from Texas Christian University.

Gwozdz grew up performing throughout the Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington area with his siblings and his parents — Dr. Feliks and Eugenia Gwozdz, both survivors of Nazi concentration campus during World War II. The highlight of these Gwozdz Family productions was his father, the Victor Borge of the Southwest who believed a sense of humor was necessary for his morbid vocation as chief medical examiner of Tarrant County. He often joked how “people died to meet him.”

Gwozdz proudly admits that he inherited his father’s sense of humor.   

Whitehead Auditorium is located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

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