October 2011 Newsletter

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The Opus – October 2011 – PDF file

Gail Archer presents “Baroque Music and European Instruments”

Date: Monday, October 24, 2011
Event: Gail Archer, Speaker
Location: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
110 North Warson Road
Ladue, MO 63124
Time: 6:30 dinner
7:30 Program
Host: Bill Aitken
Cost: $10 for dinner
Reservations Kathleen Bolduan (314-725-1251 or kathleen.bolduan@gmail.com)
(Please confirm reservation by Wednesday, October 19)
Driving Directions:
Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church is on the northeast corner of Ladue and Warson Roads.
From I-64/U.S. 40 East/Westbound: Take Lindbergh North exit. Follow Lindbergh north to Ladue Road (third traffic light). Turn right onto Ladue Road and go one-half mile to a four-way stop at Warson Road. Church is across the street from Mary Institute/Country Day School.
From I-170 North/Southbound: Exit at Ladue Road west. Proceed west on Ladue Road until you reach the fourway stop at Ladue and Warson Roads. St. Peter’s Church will be on your right at that corner.

Concert organist Gail Archer will be the featured speaker at the 7:30 PM October 24th St. Louis AGO chapter meeting at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (110 N. Warson Rd, St. Louis, MO 63124, phone 314-993-2306). Following dinner at 6:30 PM, Gail’s presentation will include pictures of great European organs along with a discussion of Baroque music. We are excited that Dr. Archer is able to join us for this anniversary celebration. The October meeting marks the 100th anniversary of the October 21, 1911 charter for the Missouri Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (see related article in this issue of Opus). We are also celebrating the 10th anniversary of St. Peter’s organ. Dr. Archer will also present an anniversary recital at St. Peter’s on Sunday, October 23, 2011 a 5:00 p.m.

The organ in Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church was built by Mander Organs, of London, England, and was a gift to the parish. The organ was designed by John Mander, Chair, and Geoff McMahon of Mander Organs, in consultation with S. William Aitken, the Organist and Choirmaster of Saint Peter’s. The organ installation began on July 9, 2001 and was completed on October 2, 2001. The work of installation was by John Mander, Renato Lucatello, Matthew Fry, Nicholas von Bandemer, Stephen Bayley and William Barrowcliffe, all of Mander Organs.

The instrument is a mechanical action (tracker) organ of 44 stops, comprising four divisions —Great, Swell, Choir and Pedal—and contains 57 ranks of pipes, totaling 3,040 pipes. The instrument is housed in chambers and cases on either side of the Choir. The manual (keyboard) divisions are on the West side of the church building, and the Pedal division is on the East side. The instrument is played and controlled from a three-manual and pedal console.

Gail Archer (gailarcher.com) is an international concert organist, recording artist, choral conductor and lecturer. Ms. Archer is college organist at Vassar College, and director of the music program at Barnard College, Columbia University where she conducts the Barnard-Columbia Chorus. She serves as director of the artist and young organ artist recitals at historic Central Synagogue, New York City. Ms. Archer’s recordings span the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries, a festive discography that highlights her musical mastery on grand Romantic instruments as well as Baroque tracker organs. Her most recent compact disc, Bach, the Transcendent Genius, celebrates the brilliant improvisations on Lutheran hymn tunes of the “Great 18” chorale preludes. Ms. Archer was the first American woman to play the complete works of Olivier Messiaen for the centennial of the composer’s birth in 2008. The New York Times declared, “Ms. Archer’s well-paced interpretation had a compelling authority. She played with a bracing physicality in the work’s more driven passages and endowed humbler ruminations with a sense of vul-nerability and awe.” Time-Out New York recognized the Messiaen cycle as “Best of 2008” in Classical music and opera.

— Dr. Bill Wade, CAGO

From the St. Louis Chapter Dean…


This year, as we embark on our centennial celebration, the Centennial Committee is exploring avenues for the promotion of our special year. Two ventures are in the developmental phase.

First, we are compiling a list of 100 easy and accessible organ pieces—organ works that sound great but require minimal preparation. We will ask our membership to contribute titles, and our own Barbara Harbach, who suggested this, will compile the list. The list will be posted on our website and perhaps in the Opus. Your submissions for this list will make it a success.

Second, in an effort to promote guild certification, the dean is proposing that 100 of our members apply and test for guild certification. Ok, that is a little unrealistic, but what a great idea! You might think about certification, as this comes with perks. For instance, the dean has agreed to host a party in honor of anyone who successfully passes the exams. There has also been discussion of reimbursing successful candidates, as the certification process has fees. Your dean is applying for the service playing certification. This is the easiest of the exams. My goal is to challenge and educate myself while promoting the Guild. Join me! More specific information concerning the music list and certification will be published in the November Opus.

All members are encouraged to join the effort and develop other ideas for celebrating our chapter’s 100th year. Centennial only happens once! E-mail your ideas to agodeanhenry@gmail.com and I’ll consider them. Celebrate 100 years!

— Henry Evans, Dean

Saint Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

100 Years poco a poco

The 2011-2012 program year marks our chapter’s 100th anniversary! Originally chartered on October 23, 1911 as the Missouri Chapter, we became the Saint Louis Chapter in February, 1955. In 1948, Saint Louis hosted the first post-war American Guild of Organists National Convention. The event was organized in large part by Howard Kelsey, former Washington University professor in the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences.

Kelsey served as the University organist for more than 30 years. He arrived in 1945, accepting the position only after persuading Avis H. Blewett to underwrite the cost of building a pipe organ in Graham Chapel to replace an ailing Hammond organ. Upon her death, in 1946, Blewett made an additional bequest that helped establish the Department of Music. Kelsey established one of the nation’s first programs in historical performance practice as well as a nationally acclaimed program in organ. He supervised two-dozen Ph.D.s, over a dozen Fulbright scholars and scores of master’s degree students. He helped many of his students secure positions at major churches and universities around the country.

Mid-Winter conclaves were held in Saint Louis in 1956 and again in 1975. In 1985, Saint Louis was the site for an AGO Region Convention. Saint Louis has also hosted two Pipe Organ Encounters (2006 and 2010).

The mission of the American Guild of Organists is to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members. Our Chapter welcomes in membership anyone interested in organ and choral mu-sic without regard to his/her proficiency, experience, employment status or age. In our centennial year, we encourage you to ask a friend or colleague to become a member of our Chap-ter as we anticipate our future and celebrate our heritage!

Bill Wade — CAGO

Upcoming Concerts

October through December — Thursdays a 12:30 p.m. William Partridge, organist, weekly organ recitals at Christ Church Cathedral, 1010 Locust St., St. Louis, MO

Sunday, October 16 — 3:00 p.m. Mozart’s “Coronation” Mass in C major, K. 317 and Exsultate Jubilate. The Masterworks Chorale and Orchestra, Dr. Stephen Mager, conductor. Stella Markou, soprano, Dr. Bar-bara Raedeke, organ soloist. Saint Paul United Church of Christ, 115 West ‘B’ Street, Belleville, IL. Admission $15 in advance. Information: www.singmasterworks.org.

Friday, October 21, 2011 – 7:30 p.m. St. Paul Fine Arts Series DEBORAH ENGELSDORFER KASTEN, soprano with NORBERT KRAUSZ, piano in ‘An Elegant Evening of Music For Soprano’. Public invited to attend. Freewill offering. St. Paul UCC Sanctuary, 115 West ‘B’ Street, Belleville , IL 618-233-3303

Sunday, October 23 – 10:15 a.m. Worship Service Amy Camie, harpist playing original expressions of healing harp music. A cancer survi-vor, and in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Webster Groves Presbyterian Church, 45 West Lockwood Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119. Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries/Sr. Organist

Friday, November 4, 2011 – 7:30 p.m. St. Paul Fine Arts Series ST. LOUIS JAZZ ORCHESTRA in concert. Public invited to attend. Freewill offering. St. Paul UCC Sanctuary, 115 West ‘B’ Street, Belleville , IL 618-233-3303

Sunday, November 6 — 3:00 p.m. “Sacred, Standard & Show Tunes” Doug Dilling, tenor & Todd Pettit, piano (rescheduled from September 18) St. John Evangelical United Church of Christ, 307 West Clay Street, Collinsville, IL 62234

Sunday, November 6 — 4:00 p.m. Holland, Native American flute and the ensemble Autumn’s Child in concert First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood. The performance is free.

Sunday, November 6—7:00 p.m. The American Boychoir in Concert Central Presbyterian Church, Hanley Rd. and Davis Dr. Clayton, MO Tickets $10, Students $5. Phil Rowland, Pastor of Music and Worship www.centralpres.com/concertseries.

Sunday, November 20 – Ingathering Sunday with Celebration Brass Quintet – 10:15 a.m. Worship Service. Webster Groves Presbyterian Church, 45 West Lockwood Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119. Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries/Sr. Organist

Positions Available

Trinity Episcopal Church in Lincoln, IL has an opening for an accomplished organist/pianist. The job requires that the applicant be committed to play 3 Sundays per month, play all applicable evening services and attend weekly choir practices. Applicants should be accomplished in playing traditional, liturgical hymns. Interested parties should contact Stacie Wachtel, Senior Warden at 309-533-1122 or e-mail her at staciewachtel@yahoo.com for a detailed complete job description. A resume with references is requested.

Organist/Choir Director
Calvary United Church of Christ, 2501 Hartland Ave., St. Louis, MO 63114, is seeking a part-time Organist/Choir Director. We have one church service on Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. with a few additional services during the year. We are looking for a partner in ministry who will provide music to enhance the worship experience and direct a small choir. For a complete job description or more information, call 314-429-7464. Resumes may be sent to the church address.

Bass Section Leader
Second Presbyterian Church, located in the Central West End, is searching for a Bass Section Leader for its Adult Choir. The choir rehearses Wednesday evenings from 7:15-9:15 pm, and sings for the 11:00 am Sunday service each week. For further information or to schedule an audition, please contact: Andrew Peters, Pastoral Musician (Director of Music/Organist), Second Presbyterian Church, 4501 Westminster Place, Saint Louis, MO 63108. 314-367-0367 or music@secondchurch.net.

To my friends in the St. Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists,
Thank you so much for the Outstanding Student award. I am honored to receive the award, and am very grateful to all the members of the St. Louis Chapter who have encouraged and supported my study of the pipe organ. This Chapter has always inspired my musical growth, from the Pipes, Peals, and Ice cream event at which I played the organ for the very first time, through all the organ lessons I received from Dr. John Romeri, a previous dean of the chapter. Many thanks to everyone in this Chapter for your continuing encouragement. I am proud to call St. Louis my hometown as I continue my organ studies at The Julliard School as a student of Mr. Paul Jacobs.

With many, many thanks,
David Ball