A 40-year dream came true for Piedmont College President James F. Mellichamp, who performed an organ concert in London on July 10 at the famed Westminster Abbey.
Mellichamp has performed around the world, but he said none of those opportunities matched the thrill of the recent concert.
“Playing at the Abbey has been a dream of mine since I heard one of my organ teachers perform there exactly 40 years ago,” Mellichamp said.
The Abbey’s Harrison and Harrison organ was installed for the Coronation of King George VI in 1937. With four manuals and 84 speaking stops, it incorporates some of the pipework from the previous five-manual instrument, built by William Hill in 1848. Mellichamp’s concert, part of the Abbey’s weekly Sunday concert series, included works by Ernest Tomlinson, Craig Phillips, Everett Titcomb, Gabriele Pierné and Louis Vierne.
Originally from Toccoa, Mellichamp has performed organ concerts across the U.S., Canada and Europe, including solo recitals at such notable venues as the Washington Cathedral, Berlin Cathedral and the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. A member of the music faculty at Piedmont since 1982, he has designed some 50 organs for churches and colleges in the United States.