May 2011 Newsletter

The Opus – May 2011 – PDF file

Dr. Johnson, Awards Presentations Highlight Annual Meeting

Date: Monday, May 9, 2011
Event: Annual Banquet and Avis Blewett Award
Dr. Calvert Johnson in recital
Location: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
2030 Union Road
St. Louis, MO 63125

Time: 6:30 dinner
7:30 Program
Host: Jeff White
Co-Sponsors: Morningstar Music Publishers
Quimby Pipe Organs, Inc.
Cost: $10 for dinner (Guests at no charge)
Reservations Kathleen Bolduan (314-725-1251 or
(Please confirm reservation by Wednesday, May 4)
Driving Directions:
The church is located at the intersection of Union Road and Reavis Barracks Road. From anywhere, take I-55 to the Reavis Barracks exit. From the intersection of Lindbergh and Union Road (at South County Shopping Center) proceed two miles north of South County Center on Union Road.

Monday, May 9, is the date of our Annual Meeting banquet and Avis Blewett Award presentation. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m., and the program follows at 7:30. Our invited guest artist is teacher, author, ethnomusicologist and concert artist Calvert Johnson. His program will include music from Spain, Italy, England, and The Netherlands, plus the Bach Prelude and Fugue in B Minor (BWV 544), Mendelssohn Sonata 4 in Bb Major, and some contemporary works from China and Japan. This is the same program he will take to Japan, leaving the day after his St. Louis recital.

The meeting and program will be at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2030 Union Rd., St. Louis, Mo., 63125, and will feature their Germanic- style 1986 W. Zimmer II/27 instrument designed by Paul Bunjes. Jeff White, minister of music, will be our host.

Calvert Johnson is the Charles A. Dana professor of music and college organist at Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, where he teaches organ, harpsichord, sacred music, and women in music. He is also organist at First Presbyterian Church, Marietta, Ga. Johnson earned master’s and doctorate degrees in organ performance at Northwestern University. His bachelor’s was earned at Kalamazoo College. Through the Fulbright-Hays program and a French government grant, he studied at the Toulouse Conservatoire, from which he was awarded the Premier Prix (Médaille d’Or). Additional study has been in Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Japan and Korea.

He has performed in Japan, Mexico, Honduras, England, Italy, France, Monaco, Switzerland, Germany, and throughout the USA. Prominent performances include the Piccolo Spoleto Festival; the International Organ Festival of Morelia, Mexico; Guanajuato, Mexico (sponsored by the Westfield Center for Early Keyboard Studies, 1993); The College Music Society’s annual meetings; the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Negro Musicians, the Festival of African and African-American Music in New Orleans and in St. Louis, recorded programs for Radio-France; and the Kennedy Center, Washington. He also has given workshops on Asian repertoire for the national meetings of the American Guild of Organists (Los Angeles) and Royal Canadian College of Organists (Victoria, BC). He has recorded CDs for the Albany, Calcante, and Raven labels. He is known for his performances of multicultural music by black, Asian, Hispanic and female composers.

Early keyboard music of Spain, Italy, England, and The Netherlands is Johnson’s specialty. He has widely performed and lectured on early keyboard music and its performance practices at colleges and for numerous chapters of the American Guild of Organists. He is the author of critically acclaimed volumes on these repertoires in the series Historical Organ Techniques and Repertoire: An Historical Survey of Organ Performance Practices and Repertoire, Wayne Leupold Editions.

Another interest is keyboard music by women composers, performing concerts of this repertoire for the Cleveland Museum of Art, Yale University, and German churches, and giving papers at international symposia at the University of Alaska, for the Western European Studies Center (Kalamazoo, Mich.), for the Southeast American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, for the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society, and at national conferences including, “Women, the Arts, and Society” in Pennsylvania, Festivals of Women Composers of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, SUNY-Buffalo, and Furman University. His modern editions of works by women composers are published by Vivace Press, ClarNan Editions, Hildegard Publishing, and G. K. Hall. His recording Chicago Renaissance Woman: Florence B. Price Organ Works was awarded the third annual prize by the Society for American Music.

Past Dean of the Atlanta and Tulsa chapters of the American Guild of Organists, and national treasurer of this organization, Johnson is included in the International Who’s Who in Music and in Who’s Who in Music in America. Past president of the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society, he chaired its 1992 and 1993 annual meetings. He also served as chair of the Board of the ArtReach Foundation and Chair of the Committee on Cultural Inclusion of the College Music Society.

I hope to greet you at the May event!

— Dr. Bill Wade, CAGO

From the St. Louis Chapter Dean…

CELEBRATE: Come to the Grand Event

It is with great anticipation of a celebration that I invite all of you to our May banquet and annual meeting. This is the culminating event of our 2010-2011 season. You have already read about our guest recitalist, Dr. Calvert Johnson, on page 1 of this OPUS issue. The recital, combined with the installation of three new directors, my “state of the chapter” remarks, and awards presentations all promise to make this a grand affair. This banquet is the most social event of our chapter’s program year. You won’t want to miss it.

Especially important will be the presentation of the Avis Blewett Award to Robert Ray, founder of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s In Unison Chorus in 1994. In addition to the Blewett Award, we will be presenting two other awards that are explained in a story on page 3.

This meeting, like the previous six, is the result of lengthy and tireless efforts. Those efforts exceed the boundaries of monthly meetings and include a variety of unseen tasks. I would personally like to thank everyone who participated in these activities and contributed to the life of our chapter. Those individuals include Sub- Dean Bill Wade, the Executive Committee, the Program Committee, members of the various sub-committees, and all volunteers. These individuals have kept the chapter running smoothly and always at the highest pitch.

Our March meeting was a paramount example of successful teamwork. Our “Bring a Friend” campaign was highly successful. Attendance at the dinner and program was outstanding, and Michael Burkhardt’s hymn festival was dynamite!

Our chapter’s enthusiasm and creativity have been inspiring. Given this situation, I can say that it is a great honor to serve as your dean. I also humbly note that May concludes the first half of my deanship. Boy does time fly! However, I …and we… have yet another year to celebrate. I look forward to seeing you at our May banquet.

— Henry Evans

Avis Blewett, Outstanding Student and Service Awards Announced

Avid Blewett Award

The Avis Blewett award is presented by the St. Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists to persons who have made a significant contribution to musical life. This year’s recipient is St. Louis composer, pianist, and teacher Robert Ray. He is credited with establishing the St. Louis Symphony’s outreach program in black churches, and founding the orchestra’s In Unison Chorus in 1994, leading the community gospel choir in two combined concerts each year. The chorus was created to perform Hannibal Peterson’s African Portraits. “It was a combination of African-American community members and members of the Symphony Chorus. We nutured and grew the chorus after the initial performance. (The result was) …so successful that we were asked to form an official In Unison Chorus. Now it’s a model program for orchestras all over the world,” Ray said.

Oustanding Student Organist Award

The award is given in recognition of David Ball’s talent, discipline and accomplishments as an outstanding student member of the St. Louis AGO Chapter. David is a first-year undergraduate at The Juilliard School, studying with Paul Jacobs. He served under John Romeri as organ scholar at the Cathedral Basilica from 2005-2010. Through the choir’s affiliation with the American Federation Pueri Cantores, he has played for festivals in St. Louis, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Rome, Italy. He has performed a solo recital at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, San Francisco. David is presently the music assistant at St. Malachy’s – the Actor’s Chapel – in Times Square, New York City.

Distinguished Service Award

Fern and Al Black are the recipients of the Distinguished Service Award for their long-term commitment and hard work on behalf of the St. Louis AGO Chapter. Fern is a past Chapter dean (1981-1983) and currently serves as the Hospitality Committee chair. She and Al are Member Directory editors, maintain the Chapter mailing list and provide liaison with the Post Office.

Exciting Program Package Assembled for the 2011/2012 Year

The Program Committee has assembled a diverse and musically enlightening program schedule for the 2011-2012 year. We look forward to your attendance, participation, and feedback. The program schedule is still subject to change. 2011

  • Monday, Sept. 26 — A Guild Worship Service. Venue is pending.
  • Sunday, October 24 — The 10th Anniversary recital at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church will feature organist Gail Archer.
  • Monday, October 25 — A presentation about historic European organs by Gail Archer at the regular Chapter meeting.
  • Monday, November 28 — A member participation program, “The Organ Plus One,” featuring significant literature for organ and instrument. See the announcement below if you would like to participate.
  • December — Happy Holidays to all. There will not be a December meeting. Exciting Program Package Assembled for the 2011/2012 Year 2012
  • Monday, January 2 — Holiday Survivors and Epiphany social gathering at home of Bill Wade and Mike Kaberline.
  • Sunday, January 22 — A recital by Gerre Hancock at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica.
  • Monday, January 23 — A presentation by Dr. Gerre Hancock for the regular Chapter meeting.
  • February 27 or March 26 meetings will feature a guest recitalist. We are currently in negotiations with Jan Kraybill from the Community of Christ Church in Independence, Mo. and David Pickering from KSU. We are negotiating for one of the venues to be the First Church of Christ, Scientist.
  • Saturday, April 21— An organ crawl featuring organs in Belleville, Ill.
  • The May 21 Annual Meeting, Banquet and Avis Blewett Award presentation will feature the AGO National President Eileen Gunther returning to her hometown of Kirkwood, Mo.

Be sure to watch for the month OPUS issues for complete details about each meeting and its venue as its date nears.

Please invite someone you know who is not a member to join the St. Louis Chapter either as a full member or a supporter.

Call for Participants for November ‘Organ Plus One’ Program

The Chapter’s Program Committee is requesting submissions for consideration for the program on Monday, Nov. 28, at Graham Chapel (Washington University). The “Organ Plus One” program will feature significant organ and instrumental works. We are primarily interested in organ and instrument literature that is more formal in nature than, for example, “Trumpet Voluntary.” Please send your submissions to Bill Wade, P.O. Box 140067, St. Louis, MO 63114. The committee will review the submissions and design the program accordingly. Not all submissions will necessarily be selected. The deadline for submissions is June 1.

STLAGO Compensation Survey

The Executive Committee of the St. Louis AGO Chapter has identified the need for a set of guidelines concerning wedding and funeral compensation locally. A survey document has been created to facilitate the production of this guide. Member responses will be used to develop a fair and usual compensation schedule for such services. The survey is available online and can be accessed at For individuals without computer access, a paper copy can be obtained from Brent Johnson (314-496- 1278). There are 35 questions in the survey, and responses will remain anonymous. The survey is due by June 1.

Convention Carpool

In an effort to conserve fuel, money and the environment, it has been suggested that conventioneers car pool to our regional convention in Des Moines, Iowa. This invitation is also extended to individuals who may be unable to drive. Interested parties may contact Dr. Bill Wade at

A Few Rules for Choral Singing

  • Carefully warm up your voice before singing. Then if you sing out of tune, you can at least do it with a clear conscience.
  • The right note, at the wrong time, is a wrong note. (And viceversa.)
  • A wrong note, sung timidly, is a wrong note.
  • A wrong note, sung with authority, is simply your interpretation of the phrase.

Positions Available

Choir Director/Organist
Church of the Master United Church of Christ, 1325 Paddock Drive, Florissant, MO 63033, seeks a part-time choir director/organist/accompanist. The successful candidate will have skills to accompany worship services and direct the choir, including rehearsals; explore and incorporate a variety of music styles, in consultation with the pastor; be responsible for and oversee all music portions of the church worship services and church school music activities as requested. A complete position description is available by e-mail request at Resumes may also be sent to this address.

Organist/Choir Director
St. Philip’s United Church of Christ, 10708 Lavinia Dr., Concord Village, MO 63123, seeks a part-time organist/choir director. One of the most important goals for the position is to begin introducing musical pieces and/or styles that are new to the church’s worship. This could be accomplished through the selection of preludes/postludes/choir anthems/ cantatas, using instruments other than the organ and piano, or other appropriate means. Instrument is a two-manual Rodgers organ. Contact Terry Karcher (314-630-5400 or for information, to receive a detailed job description, or to apply (send resume and letter of interest).

Rock Presbyterian Church, Imperial, Mo., seeks an organist for Sunday mornings. The small congregation, located on Hwy. 61-67, has a fairly new Rodgers organ. The Sunday service is at 11 a.m., with a few additional services during the year. For more information, contact Alan Blake at

On the Concert Horizon

Sunday, May 1, 4 p.m.
Second Presbyterian Church, 4501 Westminster Place (at Taylor), St. Louis, Mo. Easter Hymn Festival includes hymns and readings for Eastertide with the choirs of Second Presbyterian and Trinity Presbyterian Churches. Organist Andrew Peters, brass, and timpani will lead the singing. Free.

Saturday, May 7, 7:30 p.m.
Christ Church Cathedral, 13th and Locust Sts., St. Louis, Mo. Flower Festival concert by Collegium Vocale, Dr. Bruce Carvell, music director. Free-will offering.

Sunday, May 8, 2:30 p.m.
Christ Church Cathedral, 13th and Locust Sts., St. Louis, Mo. Mother’s Day concert. Piano four-hands – Annette Burkhart and Jennifer Lim Judd, pianists.

Sunday, May 15, 2:30 p.m.
Christ Church Cathedral, 13th and Locust Sts., St. Louis, Mo. Java Jived, a vocal octet specializing in jazz and pop classics.

Sunday, May 15, 3 p.m.
First Congregational Church of Webster Groves, 10 West Lockwood, Webster Groves, Mo. Five Webster Groves church choirs will present Rene Clausen’s “A New Creation.” Benefit concert supporting Webster-Rock Hill Ministries.