ASU School of Music Presents Halloween “Monster” Concert

The Appalachian State University organ studio and the Boone Chapter of the American Guild of Organists present the third annual Halloween Monster Concert Saturday, Oct. 31, at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall on campus.

As a former Music Major at Appalachian I can tell you the pipe organ there is majestic!  If you haven’t heard or seen it, it is such a treat!

Joby Bell, ASU University Organist, and coordinator of Sacred Music Shared a little more with  me about the Monster event!dreamstime_8339990

The Halloween “Monster” Concert is essentially an organ event. I and my students and some community organists participate. I hope to accomplish two things each year: 1) give people a different perspective on the organ; 2) give everyone a good time! Since the organ is associated in so many minds with Halloween or the serious, I decided we might as well exploit that. But we also throw in a lot of other fun things that many people do not know the organ is capable of. We play the usual music people associate with Halloween, such as Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in d minor, small portions of “Phantom [of the Opera],” and similar pieces. We also have a Name-That-Tune quiz, using music from horror films and fantasy-like films such as Harry Potter and the Wizard of Oz. It’s always fun for the audience to discover that the organ plays Broadway and movie music as well as bands and orchestras do.

The event is a family event with free admission, and we encourage all ages to attend. Everyone is encouraged to wear a costume (since it is on Halloween proper). The crowd is probably composed mostly of ASU students — they tend not to have anywhere else to go on Halloween and they’re happy to be there. But we see lots of families in search of something fun to do that night. Everyone is well-behaved, but they certainly enjoy letting their hair down. And the ingenuity of some costumes is quite remarkable.

Some activities to expect while at the concert are:

  • Singing of “Pumpkin Carols” Dr. Bell said, “These are Christmas carols and secular Christmas songs sung with Halloween themes (“Great Pumpkin is coming to town,” “Hark! The Candy saves the day,” “Deck the patch with poison ivy,” etc.) Those are all in good fun, but they deal with the usual Halloween subjects of ghosts, goblins, sugar highs, shrieking, even a bit of blood and guts. There are also a lot of words in those, and the really young may not get it all, but they’ll hear the singing and see the smiles and costumes and have their fun that way.”
  • “Name That (Scary) Tune” Quiz
  • Free Candy
  • Lots of Fun

For more information, contact Joby Bell, DMA at or call the Mariam Cannon Hayes School of Music at 828/262-6467.