Many students walking past Christ Chapel in the evenings are familiar with the faint strains of organ music emitting from the building. More often than not, it is the sound of Junior Biology and Music Major David Lim at the keys.
Lim’s time with the organ recently paid off as he was honored as the winner of the Immanuel Lutheran Church Organ Competition in Evanston, Illinois on Feb. 15. Lim entered the prestigious competition with a nomination from Instructor Dr. Chad Winterfeldt, adjunct professor of organ and interim college organist.
According to Winterfeldt, the Immanuel Lutheran Church Organ Competition provides support for collegiate musicians who demonstrate interest in church music, encouraging careers and future involvement in the field.
Lim performed Bach’s “Prelude and Fugue in D-Major,” the Hymn setting on Shearing’s “Jerusalem, My Happy Home,” and the hymn “Comfort, Comfort, Now My People (Freu Dich Sehr).”
In addition to the performance, the competition included an interview portion, which Winterfeldt said encouraged competitors to share their perspectives and philosophy of music in the church.
After being declared the winner, Lim came away from the competition with a cash prize, gold medal, and an invitation to return to Evanston in early May for the Winners Recital.
Lim began playing the organ in seventh grade and has been a pupil of Winterfeldt’s for the past two years.
“He really has been kind of the driving force to encourage the organ studio here, in terms of he is always inviting other people to take organ lessons, always really making sure we know about concerts. He’s just very a great enthusiast for the instrument,” Winterfeldt said.
Winterfeldt also described Lim as a diligent and curious student, adding that his hard work and practice have been major factors in his success.
Lim said watching the organist play while attending Catholic Mass with his grandparents as a child was the inspiration which sparked his involvement with the instrument. He also attended many concerts, exposing himself to a variety of organ music.
He currently lends his musical talents to Christ Chapel, also serving as a sacristan.
“The really fun part about playing for services is just doing it, I suppose. Playing in services on a regular basis is good performance practice. It’s always fun to kind of not to say reinvent hymns, but to kind of offer your own musical portrayal of what the text is, which is what I enjoy most I suppose. It just brings a new dimension to the text,” Lim said.
Chaplain Siri Erickson also reflected on Lim’s involvement with the chapel.
“David really does have a way of making that organ come alive in a way that’s very engaging and energetic, and I know when he’s up there playing people really pay attention to what he’s playing and cheering him on and also just delighting in the experience he creates,” Erickson said.
Anyone interested in listening to Lim perform may attend his Junior Organ Recital on Friday, April 11 in Christ Chapel at 7:30 p.m.