Getting to Know ... Jason Abel

Getting to Know ... Jason Abel

Clarendon's vital organist.

A native of Houston, Tex., Jason Abel moved to Clarendon in 2005 from Huntsville, Ala. Abel is the director of music at Christ Church Alexandria.

Abel received his Master of Sacred Music from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "I grew up playing piano," he said. "When I went to college, I was inspired by a music professor to get into church music."

Abel will perform a 30 minute organ concert at Old Presbyterian Meeting House July 16. He will perform a concerto by Bach, a scherzo by Jongen, the last movement of the first sonata by Guilmant and a processional by William Mathias.

How would you describe yourself?

"Motivated, creative and sharp."

What is your favorite part of your job?

"Probably playing hymns for the congregation to sing."

What is one thing about the community you would tell a newcomer?

"Alexandria is very traditional but very progressive. It has great history all around us, but a lot of young people live in this area. Political thought is all around us. We have stores and shops in historic buildings."

What are some of your favorite places in the community?

"Christ Church, Old Town Deli on Washington St., the new movie theater by Eisenhower Metro and Five Guys."

What is the one thing you would change if you could?

"Less cars and more walking."

What book would you recommend to others?

"I just finished 'Manhunt' by James Swanson. It's about the hunt for John Wilkes Boothe after he murdered Lincoln."

What is the last movie you saw that you really enjoyed?

"'The Devil Wears Prada.' Meryl Streep was great."

What was the last CD that you bought?

"I would highly recommend 'Silent Noon' by Bryn Terfel. It is English art songs."

What are some of your hobbies?

"I play tennis, run, and I waterski."

If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be?

"Either Martin Luther King, Jr. or Bach."

What are some of your personal goals?

"I would like to run a marathon in the next five years. I'd also like to learn the complete organ works of Herbert Howells."