'It really just comes over you': Teen organist one of a kind at Fredericton festival

'It really just comes over you': Teen organist one of a kind at Fredericton festival

Joey Drost never got the pleasure of knowing his grandfather, who died the year before he was born.

But the 16-year-old Fredericton native is following in his grandfather's footsteps by learning to play the organ.

Joey, who only took up the instrument last fall at his piano teacher's suggestion, will perform this week in the Fredericton Music Festival. In fact, he is the only competitor playing the organ in the two-week event for young musicians and singers.

"I'm fairly proficient playing the piano, so I kind of got the hands down pretty quickly," he said."But the trickiest thing would be playing the pedals with my feet. That was a whole new element that I wasn't used to. … You're always playing the bass note with your feet.

"And when you play the piano, there's a bit of a reverb after the note, but in organ, the note cuts out as soon as you let go of the keys, so you've really got to make sure you play the keys smoothly."

Joey said he enjoys performing and has played the piano in front of crowds many times at his church — the same church where his grandfather once served as the organist.

"I love to play for people," he said.

And while he also takes pleasure in playing the guitar, harmonica, ukulele and dulcimer, he said there's something special about the organ.

"It's so wonderful. You get this huge big sound and it's so great. It really just comes over you."

The only downside, he said, is he can't play the organ all the time because he doesn't have one at home.

"You've got to go get a church open and try to get in there to play."

Joey will be performing Grand plein jeu by Louis-Nicolas Clérambault on Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. at St. Paul's United Church.