October 2013 Newsletter

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The Opus – Oct 2013 – PDF file


We have three outstanding events in October that are sure to spark everyone’s interest. On Friday, October 11th at 8 p.m., St. Louis Cathedral Concerts will host a recital by English international concert organist, Jane Parker-Smith, as the opening event of the 20th anniversary season.

Ms. Parker-Smith is internationally recognized by critics and public alike for her musicianship, virtuosity, entertaining programs and electrifying performances. An innate interpretative ability, prodigious technique, and flair for tonal color are all hallmarks of her playing. Her program can be found online at www.cathedralconcerts.org.

Ms. Parker-Smith will give a master class the following day (Saturday, October 12th) from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Third Baptist Church. If you haven’t experienced the new organ at Third Baptist, you’re in for a real treat! The new organ has joined the ranks (ha…ha…ha…) of the finest instruments in the city. The console is comfortable and was very well designed. If you can’t attend the master class, there will be another chance in November to see the Third Baptist organ. You could also check out the Friday Pipes concert series at www.third-baptist-organ.org. Brent Johnson has been hosting local organists to play Friday afternoon recitals every week at 12:30. The master class will include Travis Evans (Master’s student at Webster University, Director of Music at King of Kings Lutheran), Brent Johnson (Third Baptist), and yours truly.

The last program scheduled for October is presented by Dr. Trent Patterson and the Webster University Chamber Singers. The program will be held at Webster Groves Presbyterian Church. We will have the privilege of seeing the renovated Gress-Miles organ. I haven’t personally seen the organ since its renovation, but Shawn Portell has been very excited that the chapter would be able to see the fine work done on the organ. We’ll even have a chance to play it before or after the program!

Dr. Patterson will bring along the Chamber Singers from Webster University to assist with the demonstration. The Webster University Chamber Singers, an auditioned ensemble of 22 singers, performs advanced choral literature from all historical periods, many world cultures, and styles. Throughout each season, this choir joins the Concert Choir to present major choral/orchestral works. The choir often represents the university at community functions and embarks on a tour every semester. This year, the Chamber Singers have been selected to perform at the Missouri Music Educators’ Association (MMEA) and the Southwest Division Conference of the American Choral Directors’ Association (ACDA).

The presentation will focus on techniques for developing a healthy vocalism from amateur choristers in your church choir. Based on the philos-ophy that a choral director must first and foremost be a choral teacher, this session will demonstrate teaching strategies and approaches that will assist amateur singers in finding their most beautiful sounds for ensemble singing. The Webster University Chamber Singers will perform short musical excerpts to illustrate various concepts used by Dr. Patterson with church and non-auditioned choirs.

Dr. Patterson is the Director of Choral Studies and Music Education at Webster University and the Choirmaster at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Webster Groves. Dr. Patterson is beginning his fourth successful year in the music department. He has extensive experience as a conductor and music educator in secondary public school and university choral music programs in Florida, Michigan, California, and Iowa. He has served as conductor of community choirs, festival choirs, chamber opera, and church choirs. Dr. Patterson is an active adjudicator and clinician for choirs in the St. Louis area and for music festivals and contests throughout the country. His D.M.A., with a dissertation topic “Charlene Archibeque: An Iconic Figure in American Choral Music” is from Michigan State University. Patterson received a Bachelor of Music in choral music education from The Florida State University and a Master of Arts in choral conducting from San José State University. His primary conducting teachers are David Rayl, Sandra Snow, Jonathan Reed, Charlene Archibeque, and André J. Thomas.

You might remember that Dr. Patterson was supposed to present a program for us last spring but had to cancel due to the birth of his son, Benjamin Tyler Patterson. Baby Benjamin is almost 5 months old, and is the light of Trent and Heather’s life. Dr. Patterson, his wife, soprano Heather Patterson, and Benjamin reside in South St. Louis in the Tower Grove neighborhood.

Stephen Eros,

The Details
Event: Recital – Jane Parker-Smith
Location: Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
4431 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, Mo 63108
Date: Friday, October 11th, 2013
Time: 8:00 pm
Host: Dr. Horst Buchholz, Cathedral Concerts
Cost: $15 General Admission
Reservations: http://www.stlcathderalconcerts-commerce.org

From I-64W: Take Exit 38A and merge onto Forest Park Ave. Turn right onto South Vandeventer Ave. Turn left onto Lindell Blvd. Parking available on streets and in the lots surrounding the Cathedral.

From I-64E: Take Exit 36 for Kingshighway. Keep left at the fork and follow the signs for St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Turn left onto South Kingshighway. Turn right onto Lindell. The Cathedral will be on your left.

The Details
Event: Master Class – Jane Parker-Smith
Location: Third Baptist Church
620 North Grand
St. Louis, MO 63103
Third Baptist is in Grand Center.
Date: Saturday, October 12th, 2013
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Host: Brent Johnson
Cost: Free
Reservations: None Required

From I-64 Eastbound: Exit 37B to Grand Ave. Drive about seven blocks to Washington Ave.

From I-64 Westbound: Exit 38A to Forest Park Ave. , then north on Grand Ave. about six blocks to Washington Avenue.

From I-44: Exit 288 to Grand Avenue and go north about 1.5 miles to Washington Ave.

The Details
Event: Webster University Chamber Singers
Location: Webster Groves Presbyterian Church
45 West Lockwood Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63119
Date: Monday, October 28th, 2013
Time: Dinner 6:30pm, Presentation 7:30pm
Host: Shawn Portell
Cost: $10 with reservations, $12 at the door
Reservations: Kathleen Bolduan (314-725-1251 or )
Please confirm reservation by Wednesday, October 16.

From I-44: Take Exit 280 for Elm Ave. Go north on Elm. Keep right at the fork and follow signs for Webster University. Turn right onto South Elm. Turn left onto West Lockwood Ave. The church will be on your right.

From the Dean…

Organists at the Crossroads

The title of this article is derived from the theme of this year’s Jacobs School of Music Fall Organ Conference and Inaugural Festivities: “An Organ at the Crossroads.” I enjoyed a great opportunity to attend the inaugural events of Indiana’s newest organ, The Webb-Ehrlich Great Organ of Alumni Hall, C. B. Fisk, Opus 91. The instrument was built in 1987 for the private residence of Jacques Méquet Littlefield, Portola Valley, California. Following his death, several fortuitous events led to its relocation and installation in the Alumni Hall of the historic Memorial Union.

However tempted I may be to pontificate about the similarities of the intersection of life, death and rebirth with the crossroads of an instrument’s translocation and rebirth, I shall refrain. Nevertheless, as I walked among the students and observed the necessary accoutrements of student life in 2013, it was impossible for me not to compare academic life today with that of my undergraduate years. Briefcases have been replaced with backpacks, water fountains are equipped with a spigot for filling individual water bottles with filtered water, study desks must be accessible to Wi-Fi and charging stations, headphones adorn the ears of most students as they multitask with their laptops, Ipads, and/or cell phones. I was also impressed with the collegial nature of students in the organ department. No overt hostility, petty jealousy, or mean-spirited teasing was observed. It is refreshing to watch talented musicians who celebrate each other’s abilities and offer support when failure happens.

Providing support for our colleagues during both success and failure in our places of employment and in our professional lives is a lesson to be learned from the students I met. Over the last several months, I have become aware of crossroads some of our members have been forced to face, not of their own desire or decision, but at the hand of change over which they had not control. How can we as a Guild be best prepared to assist our colleagues during times of unexpected transition? For good or ill, the American Guild of Organists has discontinued the use of the Grievance Procedures and, as of July 1, 2013, they are no longer available for AGO members. This intensifies the importance that we have as fellow organists to reach out to each other to offer a listening ear or a hand of support. We can also equip ourselves with an acute awareness of the changes facing our membership and Guild.

In a recent observational survey of 57 advertised organist and/or director of music jobs, I became aware of emerging trends among open position notices. My survey was for 60 days and of only one abstracting source of open positions. Though it was not intended to be statistically representative of all open job listings or generalizable beyond the sample, I believe there may be some useful trending information to glean:

  • 90% were for part time positions
  • 30% identified skill requirements for both traditional and contemporary music
  • The range of salaries was from $15/ hour to $45,000 per year
  • Information about the type of instrument was missing in 68% of the postings

For those who find themselves at the crossroads of seeking new employment, begin to prepare yourself for a job market that may have shifted away from the familiar. Take advantage of opportunities to develop new skills and pursue evidence of continuing education. Consider getting one of the AGO certifications. Please, reach out to your colleagues in the Guild for support and know that we are here to help you get through these very emotionally challenging and economically threatening times.

Dr. Bill Wade, CAGO

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Upcoming Concerts


Saturday, October 5—7:00 p.m. Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church
Varsity Glee Club of Purdue University in concert. Founded in 1893, the Purdue Varsity (Men’s) Glee Club is one of the richest traditions of Purdue University. With integrity, passion, unparalleled showmanship and attention to every detail, the Glee Club has inspired audiences around the world. Under the direction of William E. Griffel, the Purdue Varsity Glee Club shares a unique sound through one-of-a-kind arrangements in tailor-made performances for audiences of all ages. 9450 Clayton Road, Ladue, 63124. Tickets available at the door; $10 general seating. For more information, go to www.laduechapel.org or contact David Erwin at 314-993-4771 x3121

October 6,—4:00 p.m. Webster Groves Presbyterian Church Concert, Ugandan Orphan Choir (World Communion Sunday) 45 West Lockwood Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119 Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries, Sr. Organist 314-962-9210 x 3108

Friday, October 11—8:00 p.m.Cathedral Basilica
Concert—Jane Parker Smith, Organist 4431 Lindell Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108 $15.00, general admission. Ticket orders: (314) 533-7662 or online, www.Cathedral Concerts.org

Sunday, October 13—2:00 p.m. Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Program of Music and Art. Nicholas Bideler, Assistant Or-ganist and Choirmaster at the Church of St. Michael and St. George performs the Music of Bach Bohm, Alain, Vierne and Duruflé. Free of charge. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

Sunday, October 20–2:00 p.m Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Program of Music and Art. Elsie Parker, Clarinet; Ken Kehner, Piano; Wayne Coniglio, Trombone. Free of charge. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

October 27—4:00 p.m. Webster Groves Presbyterian Church Concert, St. Louis Gateway Ringers 45 West Lockwood Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119 Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries, Sr. Organist 314-962-9210 x 3108

Sunday, October 27—4:00 p.m. Second Presbyterian Church.
Couts Music Series—Organ Recital, Faythe Freese, University of Alabama School of Music. Program features Missouri premier of Pamela Decker’s composition The Freese Collection, a tribute to three works of art by Alabama-born artist Nall. Free of charge, presented by Richard and Shirley Knight in honor and memory of all past and present Second Church choir members. 4501 Westminster Place (at Taylor), St. Louis, Missouri 63108. For more information: Andrew Peters, 367-0366 or music@secondchurch.net

Sunday, October 27—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, November 3—10:15 a.m. Webster Groves Presbyterian Church
Ingathering Sunday with Celebration Brass Quintet—Worship Service. 45 West Lockwood Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119 Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries/Sr. Organist 314-962-9210 x 3108

Friday, November 8—8:00 p.m. Cathedral Basilica
Choir of St. Thomas, Leipzig with the Leipzig Baroque Orchestra, Georg Christoph Biller, Thomaskantor and Conductor. Works of Bach, Telemann, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Reger. Tickets: $24.00, $34.00, and $44.00. 4431 Lindell Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108 $15.00, general admission. Ticket orders: (314) 533-7662 or online at www.CathedralConcerts.org.

Sunday, November 17—4:00 p.m. Webster Groves Presbyterian Church
Gress-Miles Pipe Organ Rededication Concert by Shawn Portell and Ted Cronbaugh, Organists. 45 West Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119. Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries/Sr. Organist 314-962-9210 x 3108

Sunday, November 17—5:00 p.m. Second Presbyterian Church
Couts Music Series–175th Anniversary Concert. Second Church Chorale and Orchestra with conductor Andrew Peters. Mozart’s Solemn Vespers for soloists, choir, and orchestra. Also, orchestral pieces by Elgar, Mendelssohn, and others. Additional singers are welcome to join the Chorale for this concert. Contact the Second Church music office at 376-0367 for more information. Please note the concert time—5.00 p.m.

Sunday, November 3–2:00 p.m. Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Program of Music and Art. Equinox Chamber Players, St. Louis’ Premier Woodwind Quintet. Free of charge. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

Sunday, November 10–2:00 p.m. Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Program of Music and Art. Joanna Mendoza, Viola (Arianna String Quartet); Nina Ferrigno, Piano (Calyx Piano Trio); Alberto Almarza, Flute (Carneie Mellon University). Free of charge. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

Saturday, November 16–7:00 p.m. Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Program of Music and Art. Dwayne Hilton, Cardinals’ Organist and Company in Music for Life. A benefit for Second Wind Lung Transplant Association. For ticket information call (314) 637-7558. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

Sunday, November 17–2:00 p.m. Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Program of Music and Art. St. Louis Women’s Chorale, Leanna Latuda, Director. For ticket information call (314) 727-3587. 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2322

Sunday, November 24–4:00p.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


The Masterworks Chorale, Belleville, Illinois, seeks qualified singers of all voice types for the 2013-2014 concert season. This professional engagement includes weekly Tuesday evening rehearsals and four to six public concerts. Possible solo opportunities. Season repertoire to include works of Kodály, Duruflé, and Handel’s Messiah, part I. Funding provided by Illinois Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Audition required. Interested singers may contact Dr. Stephen Mager, conductor, at mwc.conductor@yahoo.com. For more information: www.singmasterworks.org.

The Masterworks Children’s Choruses, Belleville, Illinois, seeks a qualified PIANIST for the 2013-2014 concert season. This professional engagement includes accompanying Thursday afternoon rehearsals and two or three public concerts. We are looking for an energetic and talented pianist, interested in the art of accompanying excellent vocal and choral repertoire, and enthusiastic about public piano performance. Interested pianists may contact Dr. Stephen Mager, Music Director, at mwc.conductor@yahoo.com. For more information: www.singmasterworks.org.

The chapel is looking to contract the services of a Traditional Protestant Service Choir Director/Musician to provide non-personal services as the Traditional Protestant Choir Director/Musician for the Scott Air Force Base (AFB) Chapel Community (The Fund). Duties including leading, directing, accompanying choirs and/or praise teams, provide music for all Traditional Protestant services on Sundays and Holidays, and to lead choir rehearsals.

Minimum Education requirements: A professional or baccalaureate degree in music is desirable, but not required. The individual must have a minimum of three years’ experience in directing and playing music for chapel/religious services and special programs.

This position involves contact with children under the age of 18. Therefore, a contractor background check is required as directed by DoDI 1402.5, Criminal History Background Checks on Individuals in Child Care Services.

Point of contact for submissions is Staff Sgt. Todd Vetter (618-256-3303). Sealed Bid Submissions are due to Chapel POC by close of business Sept. 25. Interviews will be held at Scott Chapel One by appointment, and no later than Sept. 26. Selection will be based on Best Value.

Of Interest

According to the newsletter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, St. Louis Chapter, because of sequestration, the U. S. Air Force Band of Mid-America is available for local concerts. The band, based at Scott A.F.B. in Shiloh, IL, is made up of EIGHT ensembles, from a concert band to a number of smaller ensembles with a variety of musical styles from traditional to contemporary.

Best of all, performances are available AT NO CHARGE to community organizations, including churches as well as schools for educational outreach.

For more information and to request a booking, visit their web page: www.bandofmidamerica.af.mil.

The editor thanks Rene Zajner for bringing this opportunity to the attention of readers of The Opus.