Retired TTU physics professor to present organ recital on April 18

What do you get when you take one Tennessee Tech University physicist and throw in a little music?

You get the annual organ recital by John Wells, TTU professor emeritus and retired nuclear physicist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The event is set for 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, in the Wattenbarger Auditorium of the Bryan Fine Arts Building.

Wells said he’s especially interested in the physical acoustics of musical instruments and, before his retirement, he regularly taught a physics course about the acoustics of music to help students recognize how music and science relate to each other.

“The connection between music and physics takes a very logical path,” said Wells. “For example, how the instrument makes sound, how the sound travels a room, how pitch is determined — all these are examples of the fundamentals of music and physics.”

Accompanying him at the recital will be Donna Bayne on harpsichord and Peter Li on guitar.

Bayne is a local pianist, and Li is an associate professor of Earth Sciences at TTU who is also a freelance classical guitarist.

Pieces featured in the program will include “Litanies” by Jehan Alain, “Concerto in D Major” by Antonio Vivaldi, “Balletto del Granduca” by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, “God is Our Righteousness” by Chris DeBlasio, “Prelude and Fugue in D Major” by Johann Sebastian Bach, “Epithalame” by Healey Willan and “Finale (First Symphony for Organ, Op. 14)” by Louis Vierne.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call TTU’s Music and Art Department at 372-3161.