APH Press Release
Museum Presents Nineteenth Century French Organ Music only Recently Transcribed From Braille into Print
Louisville, KY- The Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) will present Unlocking Hidden Braille Music on Saturday, February 2, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at Christ Church United Methodist Church, 4614 Brownsboro Road.
This special performance by members of the American Guild of Organists’ Louisville Kentucky Chapter, will premier a number of original works from the collection, Recueil de Morceaux D’Orgue, to be heard for, possibly, the first time outside nineteenth century Paris. The program will also include a presentation about Louis Braille and his career as an organist in addition to his educational contributions. The program is best for adults and children 12 and up. Please call 899-2213 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 1 to make reservations.
About Recueil de Morceaux d’Orgue
In 1863, the Imperial School for Blind Youth in Paris, France published a collection of original music scores: Recueil de Morceaux d’Orgue. All were written by organists who were blind or visually impaired, many employed by prominent churches in Paris to perform at their services. The book was unusual also for its format: it was embossed in the raised dot code invented by Louis Braille at the school in 1829. The collection was not widely published, and never appeared in print.
In 2008, Harvey Miller, a retired professor from Brevard College, North Carolina, who is blind himself, began a project to transcribe the works from a copy in the collection of the APH museum. Rob Williamson, from the Louisville Chapter of the American Guild of Organists has recruited organists from several Louisville churches to perform a selection of these newly transcribed works.
Composers whose work will be performed include:
- Gabriel Gauthier (1808-1853) came to the National Institute for blind youth as a student in 1818, a year before Louis Braille, and became one of Braille’s closest friends. Along with Braille, he became one of the first three blind men appointed “teacher” at the school in 1833. He served as the Titular Organist at Saint Etienne-du-Mont from 1824-1853.
- Marius Guiet (1808-1865) was also a student at the National Institute. He was a student teacher at the school from 1826-1832, when he left to become organist at Saint Paterne of Orleans from 1832-1840. Then he returned to become a fulltime teacher at the school and organist at Saint Denis-du-Sacrament in 1840.
- Julien Hery (1820-1898) was a music teacher at the National Institute. Organist at the Invalides, and one of the early teachers of the better known Louis Vierne.
- Victor Paul was organist at Chapelle de la Congregation des Lazaristes, also a music teacher at the National Institute by 1853, and also an early teacher remembered by Louis Vierne.
About the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind
The Museum, where visitors experience hands-on history, is open Monday through Saturday. It is located on the second floor of the American Printing House for the Blind, 1839 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky. Admission is free. Regular hours are 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday-Friday and 10:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday. Visitors can write in braille, see the first book embossed for blind readers, see a piano used by Stevie Wonder when he was a student at Michigan School for the Blind, play a computer game designed for blind students, and much more. More information at www.aph.org/museum or call (502) 895-2405, ext. 365, weekdays.
About the American Printing House for the Blind
The American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the world’s largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. who are working at less than college level.
APH manufactures textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats. APH also manufactures hundreds of educational, recreational, and daily living products. APH’s fully-accessible website (www.aph.org) features information about APH products and services, online ordering of products, and free information on a wide variety of blindness-related topics.
The American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. is located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, call (502) 895-2405 or log on to www.aph.org.