May 2014 Newsletter

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The Opus – May 2014 – PDF file


The May meeting is always a hodgepodge of events. We begin with dinner at 6:30, as usual, and continue into our annual meeting which is open to all members of the chapter. Then we present the newly elected officers for the coming year. After the annual meeting has concluded, we present the Avis Blewett Award to a member of the community who has significantly contributed to the musical life in the St. Louis area. We conclude the evening with the final program of the year at 7:30.

This year’s Avis Blewett Award recipient is Dr. A. Dennis Sparger, music director and conductor of the Bach Society of St. Louis. Many of us know Dennis and have probably attended some of the Bach Society concerts to hear his fine work with the chorus and orchestra. In addition to his position with the Bach Society, Dennis has served on the faculty of Southwestern Illinois College (formerly, Belleville Area College) and founded the Masterworks Chorale in Belleville, IL which is currently in its 40th season. He has been involved with a number arts organizations in the community and has grown the Bach Society to include several concerts and formal engagements throughout the year, a core of principal singers, and a Young Artists program to promote and nurture young musicians. I am fortunate to be Dennis’ assistant with the Bach Society, a position I began this year and will continue into next season as well. We welcome Dennis, his family, and any special guests who might be in attendance as he receives this award from our chapter. Oh, and if you’re not busy on Sunday, May 18th at 3:00, come to Second Presbyterian Church to hear the Bach Society’s final concert of the season!

The program on May 19th will be a real treat for those of you who haven’t heard the new Casavant Freres organ at First Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood. The church signed the contract for $1.7 million in June of 2012. The cost was completely funded by the congregation of First Presbyterian Church. On Christmas Eve 2013 the new organ was played publicly for the first time. Over a thousand people gathered for worship that day to celebrate. The instrument is voiced in the French symphonic style of the great organs of Paris in the 19th century. With a rich tone, wonderful balance, and robust palette, it is perfectly voiced to accompany congregational singing and captivate with wonderful solo organ pieces. The pipe chambers in the chancel from the old 50-some rank Wicks organ were renovated to house the new instrument. An antiphonal division with a beautiful trumpet en chamade was added to the gallery in the rear of the church. This instrument is Casavant’s Opus 3898. Its 76 ranks contain 4,375 pipes spread across five divisions. On May 4th at 3:00 p.m., concert organist Vincent Dubois of France performed the dedicatory recital. Our friend and colleague Bill Stein, Director of Music and Organist, will perform the recital for us on May 19th. He has prepared a program of French music, featuring the Sonata in D minor, Op. 42 by Alexandre Guilmant.

This is the final event of the 2013-2014 program year. I encourage you to bring a friend who might be interested in joining the guild, or bring a current member of the guild who doesn’t often attend programs. Yesterday (4/15/14) the program committee finalized plans for next year. I look forward to sharing this information with you in the near future once we have presenters and venues secured.

Stephen Eros, Subdean

The Details
Event: Annual Meeting & Installation of Officers
Avis Blewett Award Presentation to Dennis Sparger
Organ Recital: Bill Stein
Location: First Presbyterian Church
100 East Adams Avenue
Kirkwood, MO 63122
Date: Monday, May 19, 2014
Time: Dinner – 6:30pm; Recital- 7:30 pm
Host: Bill Stein
Cost: Dinner $10 with a reservation; $12 at the door
Reservations: Kathleen Bolduan (314-725-1251 or
Please confirm reservation by Wednesday, March 19th

From Poplar Street Bridge (westbound): Take Exit 40C for I-55S toward I-44W. Take exit 207 to the right for I-44W toward Tulsa. Take exit 278 onto Big Bend. Keep right onto Big Bend. Turn right onto South Kirkwood Rd. Turn right onto East Adams Ave. The church is on your right.

From I-64 (Eastbound): Take the exit for US-67 & US-61 South toward Lindbergh Blvd. Keep left onto US-61 South toward the Amtrak Station. Turn left onto South Lindbergh. Turn Left onto East Adams Ave. The church is on your right.

From 270: Take the exit for Dougherty Ferry Rd. Go east on Dougherty Ferry Road. Turn right onto New Ballas Road, which becomes Adams Ave. The church is on your right.

From the Dean…

Moving forward is a concept that has recurred several times over the last few weeks and is something with which many of us can identify. As we approach the end of our program year and finalize plans for next year’s programs it is incumbent on each of us to focus on the opportunity to move forward and not become beleaguered by successes and failures of the past. Our Chapter will be hosting the 2015 North Central (Region VI) Convention June 22-24, 2015 ( and its success will challenge both active and not-so-active members to step up and donate time, money, talent, and attendance. This is a fantastic opportunity for our Chapter to become more cohesive and for each of us to encourage our colleagues to join the Guild and help us showcase the outstanding instruments and venues in Saint Louis. I encourage each person to become involved in a positive, optimistic role as the welcoming hosts we can be. Please keep the Steering Committee, our Executive Committee and Elected Officers in your thoughts and/or prayers and be generous with your praise and hesitant in your criticism as we all do our best to sponsor an educational, entertaining, and enjoyable convention.

This is the last official “From the Dean” article from me. I have had a wonderful time over the past two years as your Dean and look forward to continuing as the AGO District Convener for Missouri. Thanks to everyone who has helped make the programs and activities over the past two years possible. I am especially appreciative of our Sub-Dean Stephen Eros and the Executive Committee for their support and advice. None of us could be successful without the friendship, assistance and encouragement of our mentors and peers.

Moving forward, it is with great enthusiasm we will be installing our new officers and the 2017 class of Executive Committee members at our May 19, 2014 annual meeting at First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, 100 East Adams Ave., Kirkwood, MO 63122. We will also be presenting the Avis Blewett award to an outstanding Saint Louis musician, A. Dennis Sparger, DMA, Music Director and Conductor of the Bach Society of Saint Louis. Following dinner and the brief annual meeting and installation of officers, our host, Bill Stein, will be playing a recital to showcase the new Casavant Freres Opus 3898 III/76 installation in the sanctuary. Read more about the instrument at:

Soli Deo Gloria!
Bill Wade, Dean

Record Voter Response! Election Results Are In!

Congratulations to those of our membership who helped us achieve a record 60% voter response. We offered either online or postcard voting opportunities and received 45 online votes and 49 votes from the remaining 113 members who were mailed stamped, addressed post cards. According to my past notes, our active attempt to get ballots to every member paid off. Thanks to each of you who took the time to read biographies and vote for your leaders. Congratulations to each candidate for your dedication and participation in the Guild.

2014 election results are:

Dawn Riske, CAGO

Mark R. Scholtz

Executive Committee Class of 2017
Philip Brunswick
Jeffrey White, MCM, CAGO
Mary Beth Wittry

Culled from my historical notes:
May 2011 – 57 ballots cast
May 2012 – 32 ballots cast
May 2013 – 26 ballots cast
April 2014 – 94 ballots cast (45 online and 49 via mail) Membership is 158
Dr. Bill Wade


Changes in Member Registration

The 2014-2015 season will be the first for the St. Louis chapter to use the AGO’s new Online National Collection and Remittal of Dues system. That big name goes by the acronym ONCARD, and it means a bit of a change in the way our memberships will be handled, but not too much. Previously, you received a renewal form, either electronically or through the mail, from me. You either paid online at or mailed your form and a check to me. Things will work much the same with ONCARD, but payments and forms will be sent to the national office in New York.

Like our system, you will receive an email with a link to renew online. If you don’t have email, or don’t want to renew online, then you will receive a paper invoice in the mail, just like in the past. If your church pays your dues, then you can either print out an invoice from the email you receive, or just wait for it in the mail. Please make sure your church officers (and you) take note that the check now goes to the national AGO office, and not to me.

If you don’t have email, or don’t want to use the online system, but would like to renew with your credit card, you can do that by calling me and we can handle that over the phone.

Outside of renewing your membership, you can also use ONCARD to update personal data in the national database such as mailing address, or date of birth and to make contributions to chapter and national funds. Your status as a teacher or substitute can be modified and updated via ONCARD, much as we’ve been doing with If you have other questions about your membership or the ONCARD system, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Brent Johnson, Registrar

From the 2015 North Central Regional Convention Gifts and Grants Committee

I am pleased to report that we have received gifts in the amount $6,960.00 as of the first of April. Thank you to the following members and friends of our chapter for their generous support.
*Charles Peery
*Andrew and Christine Peters
Paul J. Edmunds
*Suzanne Manelli
*Rick Burk and Darwin Tanguilig
*John Hawn
*Cathy M. Cassy
*Wes Kassulke
*Regina Morris
*Dr. Bill Wade (dean, ex-officio)
*Mike Kaberline
*Martha Shaffer
(*Denotes member of the Regional Convention Steering Committee.)

Please consider making your donation; your gift will ensure a very special convention here in St. Louis.

John Robert Hawn
Gifts and Grants, chair

Grow the Guild Award

The St. Louis Chapter of the AGO is competing for the Grow the Guild Award. We need new members in all categories including anyone who likes organ and choral music. Please ask your friends and denominational organists to make this the year they join the Guild as a full member, student member. They can join online and please remember to list Saint Louis Chapter as the home chapter. For members with current certifications and those who would like to get an AGO certification. The web address for those interested is:

TWO(!) Pipe Organ Encounters in Region VI

Kansas State POE will be in Manhattan, KS July 6-11, 2014, and the Tri-State Chapter in Fort Collins, CO will conduct a POE June 8-13, 2014. Pipe Organ Encounters is an educational outreach program of the American Guild of Organists. Major funding for Pipe Organ Encounters is provided by the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America. Additional support is provided by the American Institute of Organbuilders and the Jordan Organ Endowment. Permanently endowed AGO scholarships are provided in memory of many members. See the April issue (Page 6) of The American Organist for more detailed information. The e-mail contacts for these two POE opportunities are Kansas—David Pickering ( and Tri-State—Joel Bacon (

National AGO Meeting in Boston

Preconvention activities: Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22. Convention dates: Monday, June 23—Friday, June 27. Information at:

Anyone from the St. Louis Chapter who plans to attend is encouraged to contact Bill Wade ( so we can get together at some point during the convention.

Coming this Summer: Top-Notch Clinicians + Friendly Musicians in Decatur

On July 13 – 18, 2014 the Association of Disciple Musicians-Christian Church (ADM) will offer their 53rd annual church music workshop at Central Christian Church in Decatur, IL. Prices are affordable: Registration $270 (before 5/13/14); Millikin Dorm Double: $130/night. Topics are valuable for all denominations. Clinicians include: Organ: Bruce Neswick, Indiana U. faculty; Choral: Brad Holmes, Milliken U.; Handbells: Janet Van Valey, Kalamazoo Ringers; Worship: Michael Karunas; Jazz Worship: Jane Hartman. A quality experience, yet just right for making personal connections with fellow musicians from around the country. Details will be available on the website: or ask Tom or Emily Pearce, or Lisa Cripe, Belleville, IL,

Upcoming Concerts


Friday, May 2–8:00 p.m.— Cathedral Basilica Alleluia Ringers–Concordia University handbell choir under the direction of Dr. John Behnke. Dr. Behnke will also present a handbell workshop, Saturday, May 3 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. 4431 Lindell Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108. For more information and/or ticket orders: (314) 533-7662. Online ticket orders:

Saturday, May 3—p.m.—Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Program of Music and Art. Masterworks Chorale–Requiem by Maurice Duruflé. Dr. Stephen Mager, Conductor, Dennis Bergin, Organ. For tickets call (618) 236-0182. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

Sunday, May 4—2:00 p.m.–Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Program of Music and Art. Collegium Vocale, Dr. Bruce Carvill, Music Director. 2014 Flower Sunday Concert. Free of charge. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

Sunday, May 4 —3:00 p.m. —First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood Dedication of the Casavant Frères Pipe Organ, Opus 3898 There will be a festive service of worship at 10:00 am with special music by the Chancel Choir, Clarion Brass, and organ. The Dedicatory Recital will be at 3:00 p.m., performed by Vincent Dubois, concert organist from France. Free of charge.

Sunday, May 11—2:00 p.m.—Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Program of Music and Art. Mother’s Day Concert—Piano Four-Hands. Annette Burkhart and Jennifer Lim Judd, Piano. Free of charge. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

Sunday, May 18—10:15 a.m.—Webster Groves Presbyterian Church Worship Service—Oikos Jazz Ensemble 45 West Lockwood Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119 Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries/Sr. Organist 314-962-9210 x 3108

Sunday, May 18–2:00 p.m.—Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Program of Music and Art. The Cathedral Choir—William Partridge, Organist and Choirmaster. Oratorio: St. Paul by Felix Mendelssohn. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322


Sunday, June 1–2:00 p.m.-First Presbyterian Church Recital–Henry Evans, Organist. Works of Bach, Bingham, Darke,Frescobaldi, Mendelssohn, Vaughan Williams, and Widor. Free and open to the public. 201 E Church St, Collinsville, IL 62234 (618) 344-1109


Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 3600 Hampton Ave. St. Louis, MO is seeking a director for their choir and bell choirs. Weekly rehearsals and choir performance held September – May. Candidate should be comfortable with a variety of musical styles. Contact Pastor Kendra Nolde at 314-352-8050 or to request a copy of the full job description. Resumes can be sent to the email address.

St. Luke Catholic Church in Belleville, IL is seeking a part-time Director of Music and Organist. The church is located in the Belleville Historic District, a turn-of-the-century church noted for its classic architecture and stained glass windows. Instruments include a 17-rank Kilgen pipe organ, grand piano, and handbells. Experience with Catholic liturgical music, a variety of musical styles, and both organ and piano skills are preferred. To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to: Search Committee, St. Luke Parish, 301 North Church Street, Belleville, IL 62220 or email

St. Paul’s Evangelical Church (affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America) is a midsized congregation in Creve Coeur, MO, seeking a music director (half-time position) for the traditional worship service. The traditional music ministry includes an adult SATB choir, adult handbell choir, occasional children’s vocal and handbell choirs, and instrumental music. The preferred candidate would be a committed Christian whose primary responsibilities include administrating the ministry and directing the adult choir, with preferred secondary skills including serving as the primary organist and directing additional ensembles based upon the applicant’s gifting and skills. The main sanctuary is home to a 29-rank Quimby pipe organ (built 1999) and 2 grand pianos. To apply, go to and follow the link for “Job Openings” for full details.

First Church of Christ, Scientist of Clarkson Valley, Missouri is currently auditioning for Sunday organists. This position requires a repertoire of religious music and accompaniment of a religious vocal solo on Sundays. Individuals interested in either full-time or substitute organist positions are welcomed to audition. Services are held on Sunday mornings from 10:00 – 11:00am.

Church service includes: Prelude, 3 hymns from The Christian Science Hymnal, solo accompanied by organ, Offertory, Postlude.

Please contact Heather Tibbetts, Music Committee Chairman, to schedule an audition and to answer any questions: 847-903-6194 or