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Continuing Legacy

As a kid, Paul Kosower spent a lot of time in his church as the son of a pastor.  While he began playing piano at a very young age, he began taking organ lessons with the church organist when he was 14.  In 1970, Kosower began teaching at UW-Eau Claire where he taught both cello and organ for 38 years.  Last year, Kosower returned to teach organ lessons to interested piano students and currently has seven students in his studio.  Kosower works well beyond his contract with the department, volunteering many hours teaching students and maintaining the departmental organs because of his dedication to students and his love of the instrument.  Jen Lohmann, a collaborative piano major, jumped on this opportunity because she is sometimes asked to play at her church.  While she is skilled at the piano and harpsichord, she thought she should learn the organ.  Lohmann enjoys the organ because it requires her to read music in a new way, and she struggles with reading the separate bass line for her feet.  Lohmann says that working with Paul Kosower is fantastic and sometimes he reminisces about the way things used to be. 

Two years after he started teaching at UW-Eau Claire, an organ was bought for Gantner Hall, one of the last organs to be made by the Boston-based Aeolian Skinner company (donated by the Phillips Foundation.)  It caught the attention of the entire state when it was first bought and has been recognized as a treasure.  Kosower says it is “second to none,” and he wants students to have the opportunity to play it.  The organ, which cost $85,000 in 1972 and now is valued at over a million, has been repaired and maintained all these years and is still used quite frequently by the music program.  Kosower notes that the organ is a versatile instrument and is a great way to get out and involved in the community.