For the first time since the tragic fire at Paris' famed Notre Dame Cathedral, the cathedral's organist will play at a benefit concert in Washington, D.C.
Johann Vexo, the choir organist for Notre Dame Cathedral, will perform during a benefit show at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 7 p.m. Friday. Vexo has played the organ at Notre Dame for more than 15 years.
Vexo says he was playing the organ when the fire broke out on April 15. Vexo said that when the alarms went off, he escaped with the rest of the crowd.
“I was totally devastated,” Vexo said. “It was really something I couldn’t imagine. [Notre Dame] was like a second home. I spent hours and hours, days, nights there.”
Vexo said the Notre Dame organ was saved from the fire, with no damage to the instrument’s pipes.
“I cannot stop playing because of the tragedy at Notre Dame,” Vexo said. “I just hope to be able to play it again as soon as possible.”