May 2012 Newsletter

The Opus – May 2012 – PDF file

AGO National President in Recital at Annual Meeting May 21, 2012

Date: Monday May 21, 2012
Event: Recital, Eileen Guenther, National President of the American Guild of Organists and 2012 recipient of the Avis Blewett Award.
Location: First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood
100 E. Adams, Kirkwood, MO 63122
Time: 6:30 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Program
Host: William Stein
Cost: $10 for dinner
Reservations: Kathleen Bolduan (315-725-1251)
(Please confirm reservation before Wednesday, May 16)
First Presbyterian Church is on the south side of Adams Ave. between N. Kirkwood Rd. and Taylor in downtown Kirkwood.

From I-270: Take either Ladue Rd. or Manchester Rd. east to Lindbergh Blvd. Go south on Lindbergh to Adams Ave., turn left, go on block to the church parking lot on the right. (Lindbergh becomes Kirkwood Rd. after crossing Manchester.

From I-44 East or West: Exit at Lindbergh Blvd. and turn north. Go approximately 2 miles to Adams, turn right, go one block to church parking lot on right

We are pleased to welcome Kirkwood native, Eileen Guenther, National President of the American Guild of Organists as our featured organist in recital at our annual meeting on May 21, 2012 at First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, 100 E. Adams, Kirkwood, MO 63122. We will also be presenting the 2012 Avis Blewett Award to Dr. Guenther at the May meeting. Dinner will begin at 6:30 PM and the program will fol- low in the sanctuary at 7:30 PM. Eileen’s program is about “relationships” and prom- ises to have something for everyone. Selections from her eclectic repertoire will be presented including works by Bach, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Guilmant, Dupré, Sowande, Diemer, and Utterback.

Our annual meeting is an opportunity to meet our new officers and express appreciation to the outgoing officers for their dedication, time and talent they have so generously shared with the chapter. As our chap- ter enters into its second century, consider becoming more active and discovering the satisfaction of be- coming involved and giving back to your chapter. Consider inviting a friend to attend this wonderful opportunity to meet new people, hear great music, and spend an evening celebrating the King of Instruments!

Dr. Guenther’s broad educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance in 1970 from the University of Kansas. She also received the Mas- ter of Arts degree in Musicology and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ in 1973 from The Catholic University of America.

Dr. Guenther has been involved in the American Guild of Organists for many years. In addition to holding her second term as National President, she has previously served as Dean of the Washington (D.C.) Chapter and Chair of the 1982 AGO National Convention in Washington. As a member of the AGO National Council, she has held the offices of Councillor for Organizational Concerns, Councillor for Professional Development, and Vice President. She is a national and international organ recitalist and has performed in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. She is featured on recordings of several record labels and for many years, was the host of her own award-winning radio program, The Royal Instrument, broadcast on Washington’s WGMS.

Dr. Guenther is Associate Professor of Church Music at Wesley Theological Seminary and teaches organ at the George Washington University. At Wesley, she teaches music and worship courses and is Director of Chapel Music. Dr. Guenther lectures for churches, musical and denominational organizations on global music, Spirituals, and Music and Social Justice. Her book on clergy-musician relations, Rival or a Team: Clergy-Musician Relations in the 21st Century was published in July by MorningStar Music Publishers.

Eileen has served as visiting lecturer at Africa University in Zimbabwe. She has also been part of United Methodist Global Praise teams teaching music and worship in Uganda and Ivory Coast. South Africa holds a special place in her heart and she has led six groups of students from Wesley Seminary on immersion trips there.

In 2007, Dr. Guenther concluded a distinguished career at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, where she served as Minister of Music and Liturgy for many years and designed the church’s 60-rank Casavant sanctuary organ. Under her leadership, the Foundry Choir appeared at United Methodist General Conference twice and sang at the Baltimore–Washington Annual Conference on many occasions. The Foundry Choir also sang at the White House numerous times and was described in a review by The Washington Post as “one of Washington’s best choruses.” With repertoire ranging from Bach to Vaughan Williams, these singers presented an annual Concert for Life, raising more than $600,000 for organizations serving those living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa and in the Washington area.

About The Avis Blewett Award

The Avis Blewett Award was established in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the American Guild of Organists in Missouri. The award is presented by the Saint Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists to those who have made a significant con- tribution to the musical life of the Saint Louis area.

Avis H. Blewett was a member of Second Baptist church, whose musical tradition was long and proud. The church had a fine tracker-action Odell organ, and Miss Blewett had occasionally played it as far back as 1883, when the instrument was four years old.

In response to call for a suitable organ to replace the nonfunctioning Kilgen instrument in Graham Chapel at Washington University, Ms. Blewett signed a contract with the M.P. Möller Organ Company for a chapel instrument, requesting that the organ case be carved with the quotation, “To Make Undying Music in the World.”

Avis Blewett died in 1946 before the organ was completed. In her will, she bequeathed money for the purchase of what is now Blewett Hall on Forsyth; as well as funds for the endowment of a Department of Music at Washington University.

— Dr. Bill Wade, Sub-Dean

From the St. Louis Chapter Dean…

Thank You!

As I end my tenure as Dean, there are some thank you’s that need to be said.

THANK YOU: To you, our membership for your support over the last two years, suggestions, advice, and faithfulness to the chapter.

THANK YOU: To the Standing Committees. This includes the Executive Committee, Pro- gram Committee, Nominating Committees and all of the groups that have met to enrich the life of our chapter.

THANK YOU: To the Executive Officers who assisted me in steering this great chapter. Some of them had dual responsibilities in our organization. We are grateful for the hours these busy people gave to the chapter.

THANK YOU: To the members that carry out duties that are not recorded, who are not part of a committee, but who champion the cause of the organ in St. Louis—teachers, organ builders, recitalists and supportive clergy.

CELEBRATE: I’d like to conclude my final column by reminding you of my first column. In that article, I asked all of you to join me and celebrate our common profession and musical instrument. Over the last two years, you did just that and exceeded the goal. I ask you now to carry on the celebration. The future of the pipe organ relies on all of us. Your enthusi- asm and support will insure the organ’s station in church, schools and concert halls for many years to come.

— Henry Evans, Dean

Upcoming Concerts


Friday and Sunday, May 18-20, 2012 — 7:30 p.m.
Hettenhausen Center, Lebanon, Illinois. “Give My Regards to Broadway” Broadway favorites and hits from yesteryear. The Masterworks Chorale and Children’s Choruses, Dr. Stephen Mager, conductor. Ticket and venue information at

May 20, 2012 – 10:15 a.m. Worship Service.
Pentecost Celebration “The Kite Story.” Webster Groves Presbyterian Church, 45 West Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119 Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries/Sr. Organist

Saturday, May 12, 2012 — 8:00 p.m.
Mozart Coronation Mass. St. Louis Archdiocesan Choirs & Orchestra, Dr. Horst Buchholz, Conductor. One of the most popular of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 17 settings of the Ordinary of the Mass, the Krönungsmesse (German for Coronation Mass), Mass No. 15 in C major, KV 317; was composed in 1779 and is a timeless masterpiece. Call 314-533-7662 for more information or visit

Sunday, May 6—2:30 p.m.
Organ Concert. Robin Walker, a native of England, Mr. Walker is currently serving as organist and choir director at La Badia Fiorentina, the 10th century Abbey church in Florence, Italy. Mr. Walker will be performing works by Bach, Purcell, Clerembault, Elgar and others. The concert is free and open to the public. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 5300 Delmar Blvd., (corner of Union and Delmar). For more information contact Rick Burk at 314-367-0900


Sunday, June 24, 2012 – 3:00 p.m.
“I AM AN AMERICAN” 27th Annual Patriotic Concert featuring Massed Community Choir, Special Guests, Norbert Krausz-Conductor. Public invited to attend. Freewill offering. St. Paul UCC Sanctuary, 115 West ‘B’ Street, Belleville, IL 618-233-3303.


Aquinas Institute offers Liturgical Workshop

How Shall We Gather? A Fresh Look at the Entrance Song of the Mass

For liturgical leaders, planners and musicians. It will provide a theological and musical exploration of the entrance song as suggested by the revised GIRM. Led by Sr. Catherine Vincie, Professor of Sacramental and Liturgical Studies, Aquinas Institute of Theology and David Brinker, Liturgical Musician and Assistant Director at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Saint Louis University.

Thursday, July 12, 2012 – 9am – 3pm
$75 – includes lunch
To register or for more information call 314-256-8807
or visit

David A. Werthmann
Director of Admissions & Financial Aid

Positions Available

Choir Director
Open for this fall: St. Paul United Church of Christ, Columbia, IL: Director of Chancel Choir, and children’s vocal choir. Strong potential for the development of a youth choir, as well. Also, director of adult bell choirs (morning and evening). Full position descriptions will be available by May 15th. Contact: Lori Morton (

Faith Lutheran Church, 520 E US Highway 50 O’Fallon, IL is seeking an organist to serve as a partner in ministry. This person will play for all liturgical services and accompany the 50-member Senior Choir. This includes two services per Sunday, Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday at a minimum salary of $75 per service; Wednesday evening services during Advent and Lent at a minimum salary of $50 per service; and choir accompaniment at a minimum salary of $50 per rehearsal. Final salary would be determined by experience and qualifications. Additional non-liturgical piano accompaniment for such events as Jazzfest, Polkafest, and Mardi Gras would be available but not required. The organist would work with the Music Director to maintain and enhance the music ministry at Faith Lutheran Church. All interested and qualified musicians may submit a letter of application that includes a resume and salary history to by March 30, 2012.

Whew! (We made it!)

Thanks to the cooperation of contributors, board members, and officers, this co-editor has mercifully survived an entire season of OPUS crises! Everyone has been so gracious in putting up with my ineptness with technology. I often describe myself as a sort of “Emily Dickinson with a word processor.” For three-quarters of my life I got along quite nicely with a 1957 model manual typewriter. I have often been intimidated by the mystery of a thing called “data” that has as much substance as the Holy Spirit, but which (unlike the Holy Spirit) seems to “have it in for me.”

At my first board meeting I suggested an early deadline (the 15th of the preceding month) because I am aware of my technological shortcomings. I am also convinced that “Murphy,” though I’ve never laid eyes on him, lives in my house, and I should be able to claim him as a dependent at tax time. This relationship became glaringly apparent during Holy Week.

Having stretched my piano-playing skills to the maximum practicing the Palm Sunday anthem accompaniment, I had to dash out to CVS for Salonpas patches to ease the pain in my right thumb and wrist (they work, by the way—the patches, I mean). I was happily preparing for Wednesday night choir rehearsal and a five-church Maundy Thursday Communion service my church was hosting when IT happened. The dreaded BLUE SCREEN! “Crash Dump.”

The malicious machine had turned on me. Murphy was right there and his timing was perfect. I got the rascal working again and then I opened my Yahoo! E-mail. “Mailer Daemon.” There were sixteen of those messages. I had sent a link to my entire contact list while I had been sleeping. The sixteen defunct addresses told me that I had a BIG problem. Being technologically stillborn, I called the Geek Squad. There ensued about seven hours on the phone, watching the technician take remote control of my computer. The invisible fellow in Atlanta found a Trojan and a virus along with enough cookies to overstock every Super Walmart in the world.

I thought it was over—the problem was solved. Halfway between Good Friday and Easter, the BLUE SCREEN rose again! I unplugged the ugly beast, put the CPU in the car and went to Best Buy (Geek Squad, again!). The monster remained there for nine days on life support, until they gave it a prognosis of “terminal motherboard disease.” We “adopted” a new Samsung computer on the spot!

Meanwhile, back at Murphy’s Ranch, I had called Henry Evans (who had the Publisher software CD), and we did an emergency installation on the itty-bitty laptop. This issue of OPUS was entirely produced on the trusty little Toshiba with the help of a magnifying glass.

I will not allow the April insanity to color my feelings about having been so fortunate as to have co-edited the OPUS this past year. God willing, and with a brand new computer, I’ll see all of you at summer’s end, and I’ll send you the next installment of news from the finest AGO chapter anywhere.

Have a restful, enjoyable summer.
Nancy Barbee