February 2014 Newsletter

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The Opus – February 2014 – PDF file


“The youth are the future.” Verbatim or some version thereof, we’ve all heard this before. As I make my way further and further away from the “youth” category, I am beginning to see how important it is to encourage, educate, and pass down good morals and values to the younger generation. Indeed, your own chapter’s Program Committee feels that promoting excelling young organists is a big part of nurturing their careers, as well as part of fulfilling the mission of our organization. During one of the Program Committee meetings last year, an idea was brought to the table about bringing in a group of outstanding organ students from a reputable school in the country. Since Horst Buchholz has connections with Indiana University, he suggested we contact Janette Fishell, Chair of the Organ Department. Janette was very helpful in the planning for this event.

On Friday, February 28th, two outstanding organ students from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University will perform a recital at Christ Church Cathedral at 7:00 p.m. Michael Gebhart is a third-year undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance, and Kirk Rich is a graduate student pursuing a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance. Both are students of Christopher Young. These two young men bring a wealth of experience along with them to St. Louis. They have won many competitions and scholarships, and have had great experiences as recitalists and organists in prominent churches throughout the country. Their program will include works by Widor, Dupré, Bach, Buxtehude, Eben, Albright, and Liszt. This is an evening you won’t want to miss! Ask a friend to join you, and while you’re at it, give them some information about joining the chapter!

A few reminders about the February Program: (1) This program is on Friday evening, not Monday; (2) It starts at 7:00pm, not 7:30pm.; (3) Please allow extra time to find parking downtown on a Friday night; (4) There will be no catered dinner beforehand at 6:30. I encourage you to try one of the restaurants in the area around the Cathedral— there are some great places, and many within walking distance. If you’re among the lucky bunch of people with a weekend membership at Blood & Sand on St. Charles St., I would love to join you for dinner!

In other news, the program committee is in the process of planning the 2014-2015 program year. Your ideas and/or participation on this committee are more than welcome. Please let us know what you want to see happen in your chapter!

Stephen Eros, Subdean

The Details
Event: Recital—Outstanding Organ Students from Indiana University
Location: Christ Church Cathedral
2010 Locust Stree
St. Louis, MO 63103
Date: Friday, February 28, 2014
Time: Recital – 7:00 pm
Host: William “Pat” Partridge, Canon Precentor
Cost: Free
Reservations: None required

From I-64 Eastbound: — Take Exit 39B for 14th Street. Turn left onto South 14th Street. Turn right onto Olive Street. Christ Church Cathedral is one block east on the left side.

From Illinois—I-64 Westbound: From Illinois I-64 (Westbound) — Take Exit 2A on the left towards the Eads Bridge. At the end of the road turn right onto River Park Drive. Cross the Eads Bridge and continue onto Washington Avenue. Turn left onto North Tucker Blvd. Turn right onto Locust Street or Olive Street in order to find parking.

From the Dean…

For this month’s article I want to bring you up to date about some of the issues being discussed at the Executive Committee meetings. If you have comments or opinions, please e-mail them to me at drwewade@gmail.com or to the chairs of the committees mentioned.

Call for Avis Blewett Award Nominations: The Avis Blewett Award is presented by the Saint Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists to those who have made a significant contribution to the sacred music life of the Saint Louis area. The nominee may include church/synagogue/temple musicians, teachers, composers, or others. If you would like to nominate someone for consideration by the selection committee, chaired by Mark Scholtz, please e-mail Mark at: mark85inct@aol.com, or call him at 618-462-1406. You should have your nominations in no later than March 1, 2014.

Executive Committee nominations will be considered by the Nominating Committee, chaired by Brent Johnson brent@brentmjohnson.net or by phone at 314-496-1278 through the end of February. Their slate of officers will be published in early March. If you are interested in serving on the executive committee or as Sub-Dean, please communicate your interest to Brent. Please don’t wait to be invited; if you are interested, let it be known! After the slate of nominees is submitted by the Nominating Committee, there is the provision for nominating someone not on their list. The procedure for that is online in the bylaws (agostlouis.org) or can be explained by either Brent Johnson or Bill Wade drwewade@gmail.com or 314-258-2520.

What is the future of the OPUS? I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nancy Barbee for her ongoing contribution of time and talent in producing the OPUS. Doing so entails enforcing deadlines from the Dean, Sub-Dean, advertisers, and contributing writers. Once all copy has been received, several hours of editing and formatting are required before the final copy is submitted to the printer. The distribution list, postage, and mailing must be monitored and any interruption at any point can cause delay in delivery. I have appointed an Ad-Hoc committee to consider whether or not the time has come to consider an alternative version of the OPUS instead of the current paper format. The committee will make its recommendation to the Executive Committee on March 13, 2014. Please send us your comments and suggestions about the pros and cons of continuing with a paper newsletter, changing to an online format, or some other option you would like considered. You may email Bill Wade at drwewade@gmail.com or by phone at 314-258-2520, Nancy Barbee at opusslago@gmail.com or by phone at 618-345-6730, or Bill Sullivan at 314-809-2716.

The Program Committee, chaired by Stephen Eros, is working on next year’s programs. If you have any suggestions or want to co-sponsor a program or event, please contact Stephen at subdean@agostlouis.com or by phone at 618-975-5709. Please consider jumping into an active role in the activities of your chapter.

Dr. Bill Wade, CAGO

From the 2015 Region VI – North Central Regional Convention Gifts and Grants Committee

A big “Thank You,” to all who have donated to the Regional Convention. I am very excited to report that we have received nearly $4000.00 in donations. Your generosity is very appreciated.
John Robert Hawn
Gifts and Grant, chair

Nunc Dimittis

Ronald T Schield, 51, of Godfrey, IL, born November 16, 1962 in Belleville, IL died Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at his residence.

Music and church were Ron’s life. He was serving as Minister of Music at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alton, IL, and he worked as Minister of Music at various places in the metro-east area. He was a member of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in St. Louis, MO, where he served as Minister of Music from 2008-2013. He played for Masses, rehearsals and worship, and directed adult and children’s choirs. He also sang in the Bach Society of St. Louis and was their music librarian.

Surviving are his partner, four children, three grandchildren, his parents, two brothers, a sister, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins and many friends.

The funeral service and committal were held on Saturday, January 11, 2014 in Belleville, IL. The St. Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is saddened by the loss of our colleague and expresses condolences to Ron’s family.

Dawn Riske


Publish or Perish, Talk or Tumble, Change or Die
Installment II

(Editor’s note: This is installment II of three or four, depending on available space. The January Opus required two last-minute articles about the deaths of two prominent members of our chapter, and space did not permit this continuation from the November issue.)

(Reprinted courtesy of the Committee on Membership Development and Chapter Support (COMDACS).

In September 2007, I became Dean, while working at St. Mark’s Church in Grand Rapids as Interim Director of Music. One day in September, the Organ Scholar at St. Mark’s, who was also a member of the Executive Committee, said to me: “You know, Howard, Grand Rapids is a city of churches, and there are scores, perhaps even hundreds of organists in this town who are not members of the guild. We should go after them.” So we did. We promised each other that we would each contact ten organists we knew who were not members of the guild, and urge them to join. We wrote them personal letters, included a copy of the newsletter, and called them to talk up the guild. It worked. Not with all twenty of them, but with quite a few.

We made publishing a high priority that year.

We followed the good example of the previous Dean, and made sure that all seven programs were in place by the time the final newsletter of the season was published, so that they could be announced and promoted.

We replaced our print Newsletter with one online, constructed skillfully each month by our new Webmaster, who also sent out reminders of concerts and choral events. He mailed printed versions to members without computers.

There was always a printed agenda for the monthly meetings of the Executive Committee, sent out to the members ahead of time, along with a reminder to those members who were expected to report on a particular assignment they had.

This mailing included a copy of the minutes of the last meeting, which also served as a reminder of assignments.

Each Member-at-Large was requested to be in charge of all the physical arrangements for one of our monthly meetings: arranging food, venue, welcoming the guest speaker, printing arrangements, and a suitable room for the Executive Committee meeting, which always preceded the monthly dinner and chapter meeting. A printed time-line of responsibilities was sent to that person at least a month in advance. Our monthly meetings were advertised as open to the public free of charge.

My advice to all Deans and chapter officers would be: “Do all you can to give the impression THIS IS IMPORTANT. With the clothes you wear, with a timely, well-organized printed agenda, with punctuality, with preparedness, with friendly reminders, with thank-you notes, and with an enthusiastic attitude. Remember, enthusiam filters down from the top.

In October of that year I was at the Ann Arbor Organ Symposium and spoke with a former student of mine, Marcia van Oyen. She was then a member of the National Membership Committee and told me about the “Each One, Reach One” competition. We entered and won.


When I finished my three years as organ teacher at Calvin College in the 1950s, I dropped out of the guild and joined other professional organizations instead. One day in Grand Rapids, however, when I was back at Calvin College as the director of choirs, I received a call from a former organ teacher of mine. She said: “You know, Howard, you teach at a local church-related college, and you have a position in our denomination as one of the few Directors of Music; you should be a member of the AGO.”

She was right, and I took her advice. My re-entry into our chapter, however, was less than cordial. I attended the September meeting with two other new members, each from a sister college in Grand Rapids. Even though I knew many of the people, no one welcomed me, very few spoke to me, and even the Dean did not give the three new members any sort of welcome or personal greeting. On the way out, one of the new members said to me, “Howard, do I have BO? No one spoke to me.” Neither one of those two persons attended any subsequent meetings, or renewed their membership the following year. I’m sure none of the persons attending that meeting disliked us, or tried to avoid us. It just didn’t occur to them how important it is to make newcomers feel welcome.

Shortly after that experience, I had to take my turn as chairman of the Calvin College Music Department for six years. Fortunately, just before I started, I came across a very good article on leadership. It said: the three most important words for an effective leader of an organization are TALK, TALK, TALK. This was extremely helpful advice for me, because I tend to be a do-it-myself type of person. So I made a point of frequently visiting the offices of my colleagues, just to chat, to ask about their duties, to discuss a few ideas for the department, their ideas and mine.

(To be continued)

Handchimes Available for Use by Church or School

The MO chapter of the Handbell Musicians of America has a 3-octave set of Malmark Choirchimes with reproducible secular/sacred music that will be available for the 2014-15 school year, at no cost except insurance coverage for that semester or year. The deadline for application is June 1 for placement by July 1, 2014.

These Choirchimes are hand-held, aluminum, pitched, percussion tube, struck by a clapper attached to the outside and are often used along with Orff instruments, handbells, keyboard and vocal ensembles. There are multiple tubes, matching keyboard pitches of three octaves of notes, so many students, young and old can play music together.

Please forward this information to the appropriate person overseeing your fine arts department for a discussion on the placement of this loaner set of Choirchimes in your school or church. This offer is available to all schools and churches in the state of Missouri.

Anne Miller
Handchime Coordinator, MO Handbell Musicians of America
annemiller_handbells@yahoo.com or 636-349-1817 for more information and an application packet

Upcoming Concerts


Saturday, February 8–8:00 p.m. Cathedral Basilica
Cantus–Renowned men’s vocal ensemble. $19.00, $29.00, $39.00. 4431 Lindell Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108 Cantus will also hold a Master Class Saturday afternoon open to choirs from the metro area. For more information or for concert ticket orders: 314-533-7662. Online tickets: www.CathedralConcerts.org..

Sunday, February 16–4:00 p.m. Second Presbyterian Church
Couts Music Series. Love Songs: The Good, Bad, and Misunderstood. Tenor Cole Seaton and pianist Andrew Peters present a program of love songs in honor of Valentine’s Day. Seaton maintains an active recital schedule, performing as both tenor soloist and professional chorister throughout the United States and abroad. Seaton also serves as a soloist at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago. 4501 Westminster Place (at Taylor), St. Louis, Missouri 63108. For more information: Andrew Peters, 314-367-0366 or music@secondchurch.net.

Sunday, February 23-10:15 a.m. Webster Groves Presbyterian Church
Worship Service. Dallas Blair, Trumpet/Shawn Portell, Organ. 45 West Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119. Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries/ Sr. Organist 314-962-9210 x3108.

Sunday, February 23–2:30 p.m. Cathedral Basilica
Organ and Brass Spectacular. Cathedral Organist, Gereon Krahforst will be joined by Roger Kaza and a quintet of St. Louis Symphony Brass players. $17.00 and $12.00. 4431 Lindell Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108. Ticket orders: 314- 533-7662 or online, www.Cathedral Concerts.org.

Sunday, February 23—5:00 p.m. Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Program of Music and Art. Evensong—The Choir of Grace Church, Kirkwood, Phillip Brunswick, Organist and Choir-master. Free of charge. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322


Saturday, March 1—7:30 p.m.—Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, McKendree University. Broadway Pops. Our annual promenade down the Great White Way! Music from West Side Story, Mary Poppins, The Music Man, and more. The Masterworks Chorale and Jazz Ensemble and The Masterworks Children’s Choruses. Dr. Stephen Mager, Music Director and Conductor. Tickets: adults $15 in advance, $20 at the door; children $5 in advance, $10 at the door. Phone orders: 618-236-0182 or by mail (see website for order form– www.singmasterworks.org)

Sunday, March 2—2:00 p.m.—Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Program of Music and Art. St. Louis Brass Band, Dr. John Bell, Conductor. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

Sunday, March 2—4:00 p.m.—Second Presbyterian Church Couts Music Series–Silent Movie: Safety Last! Romantic comedy from 1923 starring cinema legend Harold Lloyd as a young man trying to succeed in the big city to impress his girlfriend. The climax includes the famous scene of Lloyd dangling from the hands of a large clock. Organist Andrew Peters provides an improvised accompaniment. 4501 Westminster Place (at Taylor), St. Louis, Missouri 63108. For more information: Andrew Peters, 367-0366; music@secondchurch.net.

Sunday, March 9—2:00 p.m.—Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Program of Music and Art. Young Artists Competition Win- ners, sponsored by the St. Louis Music Teachers Association. Free of charge. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

Saturday, March 15—8:00 p.m.—Cathedral Basilica Stile Antico–early music vocal ensemble. Works by William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Morley, Thomas Weelkes, Robert White and John Taverner. $19.00, $29.00, $39.00. 4431 Lindell Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108. Ticket orders: (314) 533-7662 or online, www.Cathedral Concerts.org.

Sunday, March 16—2:00 p.m.—Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Program of Music and Art. Gateway Brass Ensemble: “Back to Bach,” celebrating the 329th birthday of J. S. Bach (March 21, 1685). Free of charge. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

Sunday, March 23—5:00 p.m.—Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Program of Music and Art. Evensong–The Cathedral Choir. Free of charge. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

Sunday, March 30, 2014—10:15 a.m.— Webster Groves Presbyterian Church Worship Service. The Rosewood String Ensemble 45 West Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119 Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries/ Sr. Organist 314-962-9210 x 3108

Sunday, March 30—3:00 p.m.—First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood The Bach Society of Saint Louis Chorus & Orchestra. Passion of our Lord according to St. John by J.S. Bach. The Bach Society Chorus & Orchestra are joined by six outstanding soloists including tenor William Watson as the Evangelist, baritone Stephen Morscheck in the role of Jesus, countertenor Jay Carter, tenor Lawrence Jones, bass Curtis Streetman and introducing soprano Josefien Stoppelenburg. The St John Passion provides a meaningful preparation for Lent with its dramatic representation of the Passion as told in the Bible in the Gospel of John. It is constructed of dramatically presented recitatives and choruses, commented by reflective chorales and arias, framed by an opening chorus and a final one, followed by a last chorale. Ticket prices range from $20-$40 and can be purchased online at www.bachsociety.org. Student rush tickets are available at the door for $10 cash with a valid student ID. 100 E Adams Avenue, Kirkwood, MO 63122.


West End United Methodist Church, located in an urban setting in Nashville, Tennessee, is seeking a full time Minister of Music. Our church of more than 2200 members strongly supports a traditional music program that is nationally known for excellence. The music ministry, which provides music for the weekly liturgical services, includes adult choirs, handbell choirs, and children’s choirs along with concerts accompanied by orchestra and a variety of other worship services. All applicants will be seriously considered as the committee wishes to find the best fit for the position. Willingness for a long-term commitment along with ten years of experience and a Master’s degree are preferred. For more details or to apply, please go to www.westendumc.org/musicdirectorsearch. All applications must be received by January 31, 2014 with an employment start date of August 2014.

Faith Lutheran Church, O’Fallon, Illinois, is seeking an organist to serve as a partner in mission. Playing responsibilities would include: Two liturgical services per Sunday; two services on Christmas Eve; one service each on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday; and mid-week services during Advent and Lent; accompany the 50-member Senior Choir; non-liturgical accompaniment for such things as Jazzfest, Polkafest, and Mardi Gras. The organist would work with the Director of Music to enhance the music ministry at Faith Lutheran Church. Final salary would be determined by experience and qualifications. All interested and qualified musicians should submit a letter of application, resume and salary history to dlklages@att.net by February 15, 2014.