GLEN RIDGE, NJ — Glen Ridge Community Concerts presented a program by organist Eric Plutz on Sunday, March 27, at the Glen Ridge Congregational Church. Plutz is the university organist at Princeton University.
The program was audience-friendly, Plutz said in the reception following his 70-minute performance, and he said this was on purpose.
Although unmentioned in the program, the selections he played were a sort of dedication to David Messineo, the former Glen Ridge Congregational Church organist and music director who held those positions for 16 years. He died at the age of 45, on June 11, 2004.
In 2000, after leaving Glen Ridge, Messineo became the University Organist at Princeton, where he was Plutz’ immediate successor, although Plutz said he had never met him. But Plutz said he understood that Messineo had a wonderful sense of humor, and suggested to Thomas Mustachio, the current organist and minister of music at GRCC, that he present a program influenced by this quality.
“Tom encouraged me to present a program that was audience-friendly,” Plutz said. In an interview at the reception, Mustachio said he knew Messineo, who he called a brilliant organist, and also praised Plutz.
“This guy’s brilliant,” Mustachio said of Plutz. “He reminds me of David. His virtuosity is just effortless.”
Mustachio said the next Glen Ridge Community Concert will be an April 30 program of opera choruses.