Josh Stafford Leaves The Audience Stunned As He Covered Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” Using Both Hands And Feet

ByQuyen Anne

Mar 14, 2024

No one in the musical industry doesn’t know about Josh Stafford, who has long been an esteemed figure in the realm of orchestral music, his expertise cemented by a Master of Music degree from Yale School of Music, which he earned in 2012. Yet, it was in 2020 that Stafford found a new level of fame, captivating millions on YouTube with a rendition of a Queen classic that introduced his organ playing to a broader audience.

Taking on “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a song as complex as it is iconic, was a bold move. The track, which debuted in 1975 as part of Queen’s “A Night At The Opera,” is celebrated for its intricate layers and dramatic shifts in tone. Stafford, with his remarkable skill, brings the essence of this multifaceted masterpiece to life on just a singular instrument.

The organ that Stafford plays isn’t just any instrument; it’s the world’s largest pipe organ, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, housed in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. This behemoth of an instrument, completed in 1929 by Midmer-Losh, features 33,112 pipes, 447 ranks, and 7 manuals, making its capabilities as vast as its size.

Achieving mastery of the organ is an impressive feat in itself, but Stafford elevates this challenge even further during his performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” As the song builds to its legendary rock crescendo, Stafford’s performance takes on a new dimension with the use of his feet to play an additional set of bass keys, leaving the audience in awe.

Joshua Stafford performs on an instrument that’s not just any organ but the largest pipe organ worldwide, boasting seven keyboards on its console, and that’s not even counting the additional set beneath.
For those interested in experiencing Stafford’s take on more classical pieces, his rendition of the Christmas carol ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’ is simply sublime. Given his roles as Director of Music at Riverside Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Florida, and Director of Sacred Music at the Chautauqua Institute in New York, this selection seems particularly apt.

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