May 2013 Newsletter

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The Opus – May 2013 – PDF file


A special thank you to Dr. Nicole Aldrich, Director of Choral Studies at Washington University and Director of Music at University United Methodist Church, for stepping in for Dr. Trent Patterson at our April program meeting. Dr. Patterson had several unexpected conflicts at Webster, AND his wife un-expectedly went into labor with their first child the Friday before the meeting. What a surprise! We were thrilled to introduce Dr. Aldrich to our chapter as a new member of the St. Louis musicians’ community.

What a great year this has been! We’ve presented a healthy variety of exciting programs this year and will continue to do so in the 2013-2014 program year. Thank you to those who filled out the program survey—your feedback is valuable as the Program Committee plans for the upcoming year. I appreciate everyone’s support in my first year as Sub Dean. Bill Wade has been a great help in “showing me the ropes” along with several other members of the Executive and Program Committees. I look forward to continuing to serve the chapter in the coming year!

At our May meeting we will install new officers to the Executive Board and present the Avis Blewett Award. The program portion of our meeting will be the Members’ Recital, a popular event that seems to have returned annually for the past few years. Chapter Organists Bill Aitken, Cathy Bolduan, Bob Chamberlin, Stephen Eros, Jim Munden, Andy Peters, and Bill Sullivan will play a variety of repertoire on the Casavant organ in the Trinity’s sanctuary. (Note: I’m writing this article in mid-April, so the list of organists is not final!)

The Gallery Organ was built by Casavant Freres Limitee Organ Builders of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada in consultation with Bill Aitken, organist from 1968 to 1984. The 3-manual 48 rank organ replaced an “ancient 3-manual Kilgen organ down front.” It was the first Casavant in the city and was installed in 1970. I hear Bill Wade has a great picture of Bill Aitken by the newly installed organ . . . maybe we’ll have a copy of that to show everyone at dinner! The original cost of the instrument was only $65,000! The Antiphonal Organ, built by Leonard G. Berghous of Chicago sustained significant water damage in the late 1980’s and is non functional. By 2001, the organ was in need of significant refurbishment and the console needed to be updated. In 2006, the instrument was dismantled and the roof and ceiling were repaired and many components of console and some pipes were shipped to Casavant for repairs and upgrades. The total cost of the refurbishment was about $200,000. The antiphonal division is currently prepared for, but has not yet been completed.

I look forward to seeing a large number of members at the meeting. Come support your colleagues as they commit to serving the chapter and as they make music for all to enjoy!

Stephen Eros,

The Details
Event: Annual Meeting, Blewott Award Presentation, Members’ Recital
Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church
6800 Washington Avenue University City, MO 63130
Date: Monday, May 20th, 2013
Time: Dinner – 6:30 pm, Presentation – 7:30 pm
Host: Dr. Bill Wade
Cost: Dinner $10 with reservations, $12 at the door
Reservations: Kathleenn Bolduan (314-725-1251 or
Please confirm reservation by Wednesday, May 15th.

From I-64:
Take Exit 34A for Clayton Road/Skinker Boulevard. Go north on South Skinker. Turn left onto Delmar Boulevard. Turn left onto Melville Ave. Turn right onto Washington Avenue. Trinity is on the corner of Washington Avenue and Kingsland Avenue.

From the Dean…

This is the last issue of The Opus for this program year! As such, it also marks the end of our 101st year as a chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Congratulations are in order to each of you for your ongoing support of the Guild by your membership, participation and commitment to our chapter and your musical friends and colleagues. In the September 2012 issue of The Opus, I outlined my goals as dean: “My goals as the Dean for the next two years [are] to grow our chapter in membership, attendance and participation, and to increase the number of members successfully completing one or more of the five certification levels of the AGO.” Honest self-assessment of these goals reveals only partial success. Although we have experienced a net growth in membership, my personal goal of 100% retention and growth of ten new members has yet to be realized. Additionally, the number of individuals seeking one of the five AGO certifications has ample room for improvement.

Your Executive Committee has been very active and successful in representing the interests of the Chapter through its leadership and vision. We are well on our way in the planning of our next program year under the leadership of Sub-Dean Stephen Eros and for the 2015 North Central Regional Convention under the leadership of Andrew Peters, convention coordinator. We have reviewed and updated the Chapter Bylaws and have spent significant time exploring ways to expand our membership and improve our value to all of our members. We have also discussed various incentives to encourage members to successfully achieve certification. One of the recurring discussions is the ongoing debate about the best mix of program components including educational, social, professional concerts and professional development. There are both financial and attendance consequences in achieving the proper mix of our program selection. We have listened to the concerns that our traditional meeting night of the fourth Monday is in conflict with the schedule of some of our membership. In a perfect world, we would have enthusiastic participation for all of our programs and there would be no conflict with other schedules. Realistically, however, we realize our membership is diverse enough that we cannot expect to meet the scheduling and content preferences of all of our members at all times. Nevertheless, we are committed to being mindful of the needs of all of our membership by embracing innovative programming, creative scheduling, and unique outreach opportunities. All of this is possible only if we are successful in our renewal and recruitment efforts.

Membership renewal will begin July 1, 2013. We will offer both online payment and traditional paper billing and payment. Watch for your renewal notice and act swiftly to get that completed so we can confidently begin our 102nd year with 100% retention of our current members.

A new recruitment initiative is being offered to our members who successfully recruit new members to the Chapter! The Executive Committee has agreed reimburse the AGO membership renewal fee for the current member who recruits the most new members between July 1, 2013 and August 31, 2013. In order to claim the award, the new member must document the name of the current member who recruited him/her at the time of joining. If there is a tie, a winner will be chosen by drawing a winner from a hat containing all eligible candidates. In the event of any dispute, the decision of the Executive Committee will be final.

Dr. Bill Wade, CAGO

2013 AGO Region VI Convention, June 18–20 The King of Instruments in the Queen City of the Ozarks

The Springfield (Mo.) Chapter of the American Guild of Organists invites you to attend the 2013 AGO Region VI Convention, June 18–20: The King of Instruments in the Queen City of the Ozarks.

Convention Program
The week begins with a hymn festival led by Catherine Rodland of St. Olaf College. Recitals will include Clarion Duo (Melody Stead, organ, and Keith Benjamin, trumpet), former Region VI RCYO winner Michael Emmerich, James Kibbie of the University of Michigan, Marie Rubis Bauer of St. Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha, and the Springfield Chamber Chorus.

The early registration deadline has been extended to May 15. Please watch your mailbox for a convention brochure. Register online or print and mail your registration form today!!

The convention rate at the University Plaza Hotel is $84/night for a king or two double beds. King suites are available for $119. To reserve a room, please call 417-864-7333. Press 1, and then identify yourself as an attendee at the AGO Convention.

We look forward to seeing you in June.

Jeremy Chesman
Convention Coordinator
(417) 343-4366

Vicky Claborn
Convention Registrar

Nunc dimittis

Dorothea E. Bante passed away Friday, January 18, 2013 at the age of 93. Born in Cameron, MO on July 24, 1919, Dorthea was the loving wife of the late August Gus C. Bante. Beloved mother of Barbara (Dennis) Bequette and Michael (Linda) Bante. Grandmother of 7 and great-grandmother of 15. Sister of John Bill Wheeler and the late Betty Lee. Loving aunt, cousin and friend to many. Dorthea was organist at Manchester United Methodist Church for 30 years in the original church (which is now the chapel.) Private Interment was at Mount Hope Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Manchester United Methodist Church Music Department.

Nancy S. (Massar) Sewell, 71, passed away on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at Eunice Smith Home in Alton. She was born in Brighton, IL on March 3, 1941 the daughter of the late Raymond F. and Frieda (Schlief) Massar. She married Gerald “Jerry” E. Sewell on September 11, 2004, at Evangelical United Church of Christ in Godfrey. He preceded her in death on November 8, 2012. Nancy was a System Analyst for the U.S. Army for 20 years. She was a member of the Evangelical United Church of Christ where she played the organ for over 45 years. She earned her master’s degree in music from SIU Edwardsville as well as a degree in history and business finance. Nancy taught music at Lewis and Clark Community College, Florissant Valley Community College and Southwestern High School. She played in over 500 weddings and funerals. She was a member of the Saint Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and had earned the Service Playing Certificate.

She is survived by one brother and his spouse, Raymond and Julie Massar of St. Peters, MO; two sisters, Judy and her spouse Gerry Allenberg of St. Charles, MO; Linda Schultz of Ocala, FL; seven nieces and nephews, Sonny Thompson, Cody Massar, Ian Fay, Eli Massar, Austin Massar, Kim Ruhl and Terry Schultz; one step-son and his spouse, Bill and Dionne Sewell; and two sisters-in-law, Sandra Strohmeier and Gloria Sewell. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Jerry. Funeral Services were held on January 27, 2013 at Evangelical United Church of Christ in Godfrey with Reverend Jerry MeCaskey officiating. Burial followed at Brighton Cemetery.

Kurt E. Larson died suddenly at age 62 on Tues. April 2, 2013. He was born in Madison, WI on May 15th, 1950 and at an early age moved to St. Louis, MO where he lived most of his life. He received his architectural degree (AIA) from Kansas University in 1974 and returned to St. Louis to work as an architect at William B. Ittner and later for the city of St. Louis at Lambert Airport. Kurt loved music and art history and expressed it through his work teaching History of Modern Architecture at Washington University and as organist at Faith Lutheran Church, First Christian Science and as Music Minister at St. Anthony of Padua Church. He was a member of the Saint Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He was also a loving caretaker for his mother, Betty. He is survived by his mother and was brother to Gail (Dwain) Akins of Friendswood, TX and Neil (Brenda) Larson of Bridgeton, MO, uncle and great uncle to many. Parishioners and friends will celebrate and honor Kurt at a special Memorial Service on Tuesday, April 30 at 7:00pm. This service of prayer, music and remembrance will be held in the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saint Anthony of Padua or the Humane Society of Missouri.

Nancy L. Swan, 74, died on Friday, April 5, 2013 at her home. She was born in Alton, IL. on Sept 13, 1938 to the late George Wesley and Lola (Morgan) Swan. She was a professional musician, retired from Judevine Center in St Louis, Mo. Ms. Swan was a member of the Saint Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Survivors include her sisters, Mary Metzger-Harris and Delbert Harris of Lebanon, IL. and Rebecca and Robert Jones of Glen Carbon, IL.; brother, David and Cindy Swan of Centralia, WA; and her nieces and nephews. No services are scheduled. Memorial contributions to St. Paul United Methodist Church in Brighton. Online information and guestbook may be found at

Upcoming Concerts


Sunday, May 5—3:00 p.m.
St. Paul UCC
Belleville, IL.
Southwestern Illinois College Concert Choir. “Spring Concert.” For information contact 618-23-3303,

Saturday, May 18—8:00 pm
Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
St. Louis Archdiocesan Choir & Orchestra, Dr. Horst Buchholz, Conductor, Bruckner’s “Mass in F minor”

Sunday, May 19—3:00 p.m.
Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church
A cappella masterpieces by Polish and Russian masters, including Rachmaninoff’s Divine Liturgy, performed in a beautiful old-world architectural treasure.

Sunday, May 19 – 3:00 p.m.
Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church.
9450 Clayton Road, St. Louis, 63124.
Configurations, the resident chamber ensemble of Ladue Chapel, will present a concert featuring Dohnanyi Serenade for Strings and Brahms G Minor Piano Quartet. Members of Configurations are Alison Rolf, violin; Christine Banda, viola; and James Nacy, cello. Joining them on this program will be pianist Diana Umali. Freewill offering. Contact: David Erwin at 314-993-4771 x3121 or go to for more information.


Sunday, June 9—3:00 p.m.
King of Kings Lutheran Church
13765 Olive Boulevard
Chesterfield, MO.

Ken Cowan, Associate Professor and head of the organ program at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, will be dedicating the new Four Manual Walker Digital Organ. There will be a reception following the concert in order to meet Mr. Cowan. Contact Director of Music Ministries, Travis Evans at 314-469-2224 with any questions.


Director of Music Ministries
The New Hope Presbyterian Church (1580 Kisker Road; St. Charles, MO) is currently looking for a Director of Music Ministries. Qualified candidates must have experience as a vocal music or choir director. Prior experience working with a church choir is desired. Must be familiar with and committed to the Reformed tradition of the Christian faith. This is a part-time position. You can learn more about our position and how to apply at Please submit the requested material to the New Hope Presbyterian Church office no later than April 26, 2013. Address any questions, to David Besgrove at 636-939-2481.

Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA), 14088 Clayton Road, Chesterfield MO 63017 is seeking a part time organist/accompanist for traditional worship. The position includes the possibility of additional employment as director of the handbell choir. Trinity uses the liturgies of the Lutheran Book of Worship (LBW), With One Voice (WOV) and the Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW). The organist is responsible for leading one traditional Sunday service at 9:00 a.m. and for providing accompaniment for Wednesday evening (7:00-8:30 p.m.) and Sunday morning choir rehearsals. Additional special services include Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, midweek Lenten services, Holy week midweek services and Easter Sunday. Applicants should have solid experience in leading liturgical worship along with some skills in classical organ performance. Salary is negotiable. Please send a letter and resume by email or call Dr. Bruce Vantine, Director of Traditional Music, or 314-838-4383.

Holy Cross Lutheran Church (ELCA), of Creve Coeur MO, is looking for a part time music director (20 hours per week) to lead the music at worship services, direct the church choir, and oversee the praise band. The music director will be responsible for the music at both traditional and contemporary worship services. Proficiency in piano and organ is required. We would prefer that this person have experience as a praise band and choir director. Music Degree not required, but preferred. To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to For more information, please call our church office at 314-434-0546.