Denizens of the Los Gatos area find themselves surrounded with many expressions of the fine arts.
One thinks of the musical arts in particular. My wife, Dianne, and I hold season tickets to the Symphony Silicon Valley performances in the ornately restored California Theatre.
Just a few days ago we drove the short distance to the Memorial Church in the heart of Stanford University campus for a six choir presentation. And even more recently we heard the San Jose Wind Symphony in the fine theatre at . Several times we enjoyed jazz and blues at Montalvo and the Mountain Winery, as well as the summer jazz in the park in downtown Los Gatos.
But in one respect our South Bay area suffers neglect in musical culture. Up until January we could tune in to 102.1 (KDFC) on the FM dial to hear round-the-clock classic sounds. Then the station moved its frequency. Now coming to this area at 89.9 the static makes enjoyable hearing impossible.
Up to 2008 we lived in Adrian, a small city in southeast Michigan. We could listen continuously to classical music from Lansing, Mich., and Toledo, Ohio. Two full-time jazz stations honed in from Ypsilanti and Detroit, Mich. Not to be able to tune in to classic music over dinner, while driving or preparing to sleep brings to mind the phrase, “cultural wasteland.”
A spokesperson for KDFC, Cynthia Limon, indicates that broadcasting to the South Bay is a high priority for the station and that two brokers are seeking a station to buy.
Historically church musicians have produced much of the so-called classic sound. The church became known as the center for the musical arts and a patron of its expression. Often, tourists may stop at European and U.S. churches for live noon hour organ concerts.
Fortunately we discover here an especially fine pipe organ housed at the Presbyterian Church of Los Gatos. It is a Moller with 2,250 pipes and 45 ranks. This three-manual Moller was installed in 1958 and has received a couple of enhancements since. The M.P. Moller Organ Company built 11,000 instruments from 1875 to 1992. Labor disputes caused the demise of the company.
The instrument in the Presbyterian Church is played by three organists on a rotation basis, Margaret Martin Kvamme, Jennifer Baham and Carolyn Pryor.
Back in Michigan, after leaving Friday night concerts by the Toledo Symphony, we would listen to the marvelous pipe organ program, “Pipedreams,” as we drove home. Should KDFC come to the South Bay and include "Pipedreams" in its programming I would feel culturally at home.
Pipe organ aficionados arise!