A MASTER CLASS WITH A RENOWNED MASTER!
The Chapter’s gathering at Saint Gabriel the Archangel Church with members of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (the organization for musicians within the Catholic Church in the United States) Monday evening, 5 January, was terrific. A wonderful number of Chapter members attended despite the tardiness of the January OPUS (very much beyond the control of our Editor). Two recipients of the Marie Kremer Scholarship for Organ Study, both of whom played very nicely, presented a number of works on the Church’s organ. Mary Beth Wittry was our welcoming host.
Our next Chapter event, a Master Class with Todd Wilson, will take place Monday evening, February 9, at Christ Church
Cathedral (Pat Partridge, host). Dinner will be served at 6:30 on the Fourth Floor of the Cathedral’s Parish House (part of the pre-paid meal option), with the Master Class commencing at 7:30 in the Choir Gallery in the Cathedral. I suspect that we are all aware of Todd’s prodigious talent as a recitalist of international repute (undoubtedly being solidified the day before, Sunday, 8 February, at 2:30 at the Cathedral Basilica), but he is also gifted as a teacher. This will be an ideal opportunity for members and
friends of the Chapter to experience first-hand his enthusiasm for the organ and its repertoire. As of press time, three organists have consented to participate: Benton Blasingame, Timothy Jansen, and Brent Johnson. I’ve no doubt that this evening will be enjoyable and educational. (Details below)
Looking ahead, Saturday morning, 14 March at
10:00, Dr. A. Dennis Sparger, the 2014 recipient of
our Chapter’s Avis Blewett Award, and well-known
to all of us as a local leader in the interpretation of
the choral works of Johann Sebastian Bach, will
present a lecture focusing on the Passions of Bach. This will take place at Centenary Methodist Church, 55 Plaza Square, 63103. Breakfast (accompanied by plenty of coffee) will be served at 9:00 as part of our pre-paid meal option.
And, speaking of the Avis Blewett Award,
nominees for this year’s recipient may be sent to
me (email@example.com) by March 31 (a list
of past-recipients may be found in the 2014-2015
St. Louis Chapter Year Book [pp.19-22]). Horst
Buchholz, Phillip Brunswick, and I will wade
through the nominations and make a
recommendation to the Executive Committee at
our April meeting. The award will be presented at
the Chapter’s Annual Meeting Monday, 18 May, at
Historic Trinity Lutheran Church, Soulard.
See you at Christ Church Cathedral!
Cheers – Mark
|Event:||Master Class with Todd Wilson|
|Location:||Christ Church Cathedral
1210 Locust Street
St. Louis, MO
|Date:||Monday, February 9, 2015|
|Time:||6:30 pm—dinner; 7:30—Program|
|Host||Canon Precentor William “Pat” Partridge|
|Cost:||$10 with reservation; $12 at the door|
|Reservations:||Kathleen Bolduan (314-853-5011) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please confirm reservation by Wednesday, February 4|
From I-64 (points west) Take Exit 39A for 14th Street. Turn left on 14th
From I-64 (points east – Illinois) Take I-64 toward St. Louis. Merge onto I-70
|Event:||A. Dennis Sparger, lecture on the Passions of Bach|
|Location:||Centenary Methodist Church
55 Plaza Square
St. Louis, MO 63103
|Date:||Monday, March 14, 2015|
|Time:||Breakfast—9:00 am; lecture—10:00 am|
|Host||Dr. Kathleen Bolduan|
|Cost:||$10 with reservation; $12 at the door|
|Reservations:||Kathleen Bolduan (314-853-5011) or email@example.com. Please confirm reservation by Wednesday, March 11|
From points west Using 64/40 take the exit for S. 14th Street. Go left on S.
From points east – Ilinois Using Interstate 70, take the Musial Bridge and
From the Dean . . .
On a hot summer day, I imagine myself stepping out into the cold temperatures which are a
part of this season. It helps . . . a little . . .sometimes. Winter is extending its chill, but there is
still an abundance of warmth to be shared in the recitals and programs being offered these
days in the greater Saint Louis area.
A quick visit to our Chapter website http://www.agostlouis.org/ offers opportunities for
concerts and lectures, festivals and workshops of amazing variety. Among them is a
concert by Todd Wilson on Sunday afternoon, February 8 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint
Louis. Our local chapter invites you to attend this virtuoso’s Master Class the following
evening at Christ Church Cathedral. Todd Wilson will work with area organists at Christ
Church Cathedral at 7:30 p.m. on that Monday. Please join us for a delicious meal and
collegial conversation beforehand. Your presence will make the evening all the more
And . . . another time and place where your presence will make a difference in your own life
and in the life of our local AGO chapter is at the North Central Regional Convention this June
22-24. Registering by February 28 guarantees you the best price and helps the local arrange-
ments team accomplish the plethora of details with style. Registering for the
Convention was easier than I expected, the National AGO website
http://www.agohq.org/ took me from the conventions tab onward through payment in a
logical progression. How good it feels to have that done!
After registration is completed, the link to the hotel follows. I want to encourage Convention-goers (yes, including local folks) to stay at the Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel during the Convention. Being able to ride to the recitals and concerts on the buses provided as part of the registration fee is a real bonus. Letting others drive AND PARK will make the experience easier, and being able to really listen and to reflect with colleagues
will make the experience richer. Receptions, browsing, visiting, staying in a nice room . . . let the anticipation build! Please do
take advantage of the full convention experience and reserve your room at the Sheraton.
Also, apologies for the late arrival of last month’s OPUS newsletter. The printer’s unannounced holiday closure (December 18-January 5) caught us off guard. Sorry for any inconvenience that was caused.
My sense of admiration continues to grow as I observe the abilities and dedication of members of the American Guild of Organists in this area. May you be renewed to continue serving through the demanding seasons ahead. The people whom you serve
with your musical gifts need what you have to offer.
Soli Deo gloria,
Dawn Riske, CAGO
Ann Fletcher Dunn
, 85, of Swansea, IL passed away December 9. She married Charles Malcolm Dunn Jr., a World War II Navy veteran and an Air Force meteorologist, in 1950. She became music director at St. George’s Episcopal
Church, Belleville in 1972 and served in that role for 17 years, directing the senior choir, the Choristers children’s choir and the Folksingers. One former St. George’s priest said of her: “Ann came closer to the ideal of church musician than anyone else I ever worked with, just the right combination of musicianship, spirituality and
agape.” She was a member of the American Guild of Organists—Saint Louis Chapter, the Association of Anglican Musicians and the Hymn Society.
She was a gifted composer, who, when the Episcopal Church recast its traditional Eucharistic liturgy in more contemporary language, wrote a setting for the service music in the contemporary idiom and titled it “St. George’s Mass,” for the parish that had come to be her home. She also composed settings for anthem texts.
She was preceded in death by her husband and is survived by their four children, Charles Malcolm Dunn III,
Belleville, IL; Custis Fletcher (Sarah) Dunn, Swansea, IL; Marc Presnell (Patricia) Dunn, Colleyville, TX; and
Hunter Dunn, Swansea, IL; and five grandchildren.
Just in . . . It has come to the editor’s attention that Jamie Edward Thomerson, husband of long-time member, athleen
Thomerson died January 4, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Dr. Thomerson was 79. He was a noted scholar in both geology and zoology.
Along with his students he studied the fish populations of small streams of southern Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana. Dr.Thomerson was a research associate at the Field Museum in Chicago. He and Kathleen retired to Austin in 1999. Their home there has over 100 varieties of wildflowers blooming each year.
Dr. Thomerson is survived by Kathleen, two sons, Austin and Eric, a daughter, Rachel (Richard) Miller, and a grandson, Mason Miller. The family has requested memorial donations to Tulane University with designation to the Royal D. Suttkus Fish Collection, TUBRI.
The St. Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists sends sincere condolences to Kathleen and her family.
From the Convention Steering Committee
With the upcoming North Central Regional Convention taking place in our own backyard, the Convention Steering Committee is offering a
special discount to St. Louis AGO Chapter members who register for the convention before March 1, 2015. If you read the convention fee
information in January’s The American Organist, you noticed the lowest full-convention fee for regular AGO members listed as $290.
However, St. Louis AGO members registering before March 1 only pay $265. That is a savings of $25, or almost 10%! This low fee includes
convention transportation and the banquet. After March 1, St. Louis AGO chapter members will pay $315 for the full convention. This
amount is still less than what members of other AGO chapters will pay. If you are over 65 years of age or a spouse/ partner of an AGO
member, you qualify for the “Special” rate of $235 until the convention begins in June. If you are not able to attend the entire convention,
consider joining us for just one day. Daily rates are only $150 plus a transportation fee (and banquet fee if you attend on Wednesday).
Thank you for understanding that one must register in order to attend the convention and its events. Registration applies to everyone
including the convention steering committee members, St. Louis chapter members, and chapter members volunteering at the convention.
While not a registration requirement, consider booking a room at the convention hotel. The Sheraton Clayton offers reasonable room
rates and a chance to experience first-hand the socialization that occurs with other convention attendees. Even if you are not sleeping at
the hotel, registered convention attendees get free parking at the hotel for easy boarding of the convention busses. Parking at various
convention sites will be limited or not available so the bus remains the easiest way to travel during the convention. With transportation
included in your convention fee, why not take advantage of this and let someone else do the driving?
On-line registration is easy: Just go to www.ago2015.org to register and pay. If you prefer to mail a check or need a paper invoice to give
your church, still go ahead and complete the registration online. Instead of paying you’ll have the option to download and print a PDF
invoice from the website. You can also download a registration form, fill it out, and mail it in.
If you would like a registration form sent to you, just call our friendly convention registrar, Regina Morris, at 314-647-0475, and she will
get one in the mail to you. Regina can also be contacted if you have any other questions regarding convention registration. Her e-mail is
We look forward to welcoming you to our convention!
Sunday, February 1—3:00 pm—First Presbyterian Church, Kirkwood
Organ Transcriptions—There is a wealth of music composed for instruments and voices that has been transcribed and arranged to be performed on the organ. Director of Music Ministries Bill Stein will play an informal and fun program of music you may not normally hear on the pipe organ.
100 East Adams Avenue, Kirkwood, MO 63122.
Sunday, February 8—2:30 pm—Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
Concert—Todd Wilson. Regarded across America and around the world as one of today’s finest concert organists, Todd
Wilson is head of the Organ Department at The Cleveland
Institute of Music, and Director of Music and Worship at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition, he is
Curator of the E.M. Skinner pipe organ at Severance Hall (home of The Cleveland Orchestra), and House Organist for the newly restored Aeolian organ at the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio. $15 General Admission. For tickets, call
(314) 533-7662 http://www.cathedralconcerts.org
4431 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108
Sunday, February 8—7:00 pm—Christ the King Church
Recital: Organ Plus. Featuring Dawn Riske, CAGO on the newly refurbished Wicks organ along with parish musicians including members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Webster University faculty. 7316 Balson Avenue, University City, MO 63130.
Sunday, February 15—3:00 pm—St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
Recital—Doug Cleveland. 4714 Clifton Ave, St. Louis, MO.
Sunday, February 15—4:00 pm—Second Presbyterian Church
Sunday, February 15–3:00 pm–Peace Lutheran Church
Symphony Where You Worship. 737 Barracksview Road,
St. Louis, MO 63125 http://www.peacelutheranstl.org/
Sunday, February 15—4:00 pm—Second Presbyterian Church
Concert—Le Jazz Hot! This group’s selections range from
Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock to Stevie Wonder and
Henry Mancini. Free and open to the public. For more
information, call (314) 367-0367. 4501 Westminster Place,
St. Louis, MO 63108.
Saturday, February 21—9:00 am to 12:00 noon—Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church
Ringfest—2015. A half-day ringing event designed for beginning and intermediate ringers and directors. Hosted by Burnell Hackman. 9450 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63124.
Sunday, February 22—10:30 am—Webster Groves Presbyterian Church.
Worship Service. Eileen Gannon, harp; Lisa
Gilbert, flute. Shawn Portell, Director of Music/Sr. Organist and contact: 314-962-9210 x 3211. 45 West Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119.
Fridays, February 20, 27, March 6, 13, 20, 17—12:00 noon—First Presbyterian Church, Kirkwood.
Music for Meditation—Local organists will perform a half hour of music on our
Casavant Frères Organ the Fridays of Lent. 100 East Adams Avenue, Kirkwood, MO 63122.
Tuesday, February 24—7:00 pm—Webster University Thompson Music Building Recital Hall.
Concert Series: Martha J. Hart, Mezzo-soprano, and Friends. General Admission $5.00. http://events.webster.edu/event. 8282 Big Bend Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63119.
Saturday, February 28—7:30 p.m.—Hett Center for the Arts
Masterworks Chorale, Children’s Choruses and Jazz Ensemble.
Broadway Pops. Adults—$20 at the door, $15 in advance; students:
$10.00 at the door, $5 in advance. Reservations: (618) 236-0182.
400 N. Alton Street, Lebanon IL 62254.
March 1–3:00 pm–Peace Lutheran Church
Recital–Dedication of new Martin Ott Pipe Organ, Opus 114.
Dr. Steven Wente, Professor of Music and Organists at
Concordia University–Chicago. Reception follows.
737 Barracksview Road, St. Louis, MO 63125
Sunday, March 1–3:00 pm–First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood.
Handel’s Messiah, Parts II and III–The Bach Society Chorus and
Orchestra, A. Dennis Sparger, Music Director and Conductor, will be
joined by four outstanding Baroque soloists including favorites Curtis
Streetman and Patricia Thompson, and introducing soprano Nathalie
Colas and tenor Steven Soph. The concert will be held Sunday, March
1 at 3:00p.m. at 1 st Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood. Season ticket
subscriptions are available by visiting www.bachsociety.org. Financial
assistance is provided by the Missouri Arts Council and the Regional
Arts Commission. 100 E Adams Avenue, Kirkwood MO
Sunday, March 1—7:00 pm– Community Music School
Webster Presents: University Chamber Orchestra
Admission–$3.00. 535 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119
Monday, March 2—7:00 pm—Community Music School
Webster Presents: University Wind Ensemble
Admission–$3.00. 535 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119
Wednesday, March 4—7:00 pm—Sheldon Concert Hall
Chamber Singers Tour Concert
Admission–$10.00. 3648 Washington Boulevard,
St. Louis, MO 63108. http://events.webster.edu/event
Sunday, March 8—7:00 p.m.—St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
“PASSIO”—Arvo Pärt. The Passion according to St. John.
St. Peter’s Choir, Soloists & Instruments. 110 North Warson
Road, Saint Louis, MO 63124
Friday, March 13–7:00 pm– Central Presbyterian
James Ward, Songwriter/Pianist. James comes to Central from Chattanooga, TN, where he is director of music at New City
Fellowship Presbyterian Church, a cross-cultural congregation.
Mr. Ward has been a band leader and worship leader for
numerous Christian conventions, and is currently a visiting
lecturer at Westminster Theological Seminary and at Covenant
Theological Seminary. Admission is free of charge.
7700 Davis Drive, Clayton, MO 63105
Sunday, March 15–3:00 pm–Concordia Seminary
Bach at the Sem – (LENT 3)
801 Seminary Place, Saint Louis, MO 63105
Friday, March 20—7:00 pm–Community Music School
Concert Series: Music by Faculty Composers
Admission–$5.00. 535 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119
Friday, March 20–7:30 pm–First United Presbyterian Church of
BACH on FRIDAYS. Dennis Bergin, Concert Organist (Principal Organist for the American Kantorei BACH At The SEM
Concert Series at Concordia Lutheran Seminary, St. Louis, 1997-2013)
Program includes the dramatic Fantasy and Fugue in G Minor BWV 542 and the monumental Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor BWV 582.
Free and open to the public. 1303 Royal Heights Rd., Belleville, IL
(618) 233-0295, www.firstunitedpres.org)
Saturday, March 21–8:00 p.m.–Cathedral Basilica
Pomerium–A Capella Music of the Renaissance. Pomerium
was founded by Alexander Blachly in New York in 1972 to
perform music composed for the famous chapel choirs of the
Renaissance. The 15-voice ensemble has performed for
numerous international festivals. Tickets: $39, $29, $19
(Sections I, II, and III). . For tickets, call (314) 533-7662
4431 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108
Sunday, March 22– 4:00 pm–Winifred Moore Auditorium
Concert Series: Alison Rolf, violin, and Friends present Music
of Webster University Composers
Admission–$5.00. 470 E. Lockwood Avenue, St. Louis, MO
Sunday, March 29—10:30 a.m.—Webster Groves Presbyterian
Church. Richard Wappel Trio. Worship Service— Shawn Portell, Director
of Music/Sr. Organist and contact: 314-962-9210 x 3211. 45 West Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119
Director of Worship & Music Ministry
Christ Community Lutheran Church (ELCA), Columbia, IL is seeking a part-time Director
of Worship and Music Ministry. Duties include meeting with pastor and worship team
in the planning of weekly worship, pans music selections and the necessary musicians
to carry out the music for worship each week, plans & leads special music for seasonal
occasions – i.e. Lent, Advent, & Christmas, coordinates music and/or musicians for
occasional worship moments – i.e. weddings, funerals, etc. and facilitates the use of
choirs, special musicians, and worship drama as gifts & resources allow, recruits and
leads volunteers related to worship, including, but not limited to, vocalists and
instrumentalists and facilitates regular rehearsals for any and all music groups taking
part in worship. Requirements include strong vocal & piano abilities with proven
experience leading in a church worship setting. Both contemporary and traditional
preferred and have an understanding and appreciation of Spirit-filled, Christian
worship. Interested Candidates should send cover letter, resume, and sample video/
audio recording (if available) to: Christ Community Lutheran Church, Attn: Pastor Jared
Parker, 1 Christchurch Way / PO Box 234 / Columbia, IL 62236 / 618-281-4646
Friedens United Church of Christ in St. Charles, MO, is seeking a part-time choir
director/organist, and/or contemporary worship leader. Candidate should have a
varied music background and experience in both traditional/contemporary worship,
but job may be split into two positions. Preferable skills include pipe organ, piano,
keyboard. Approximately 10—12 hours per week; salary commensurate with
experience. If interested, please e-mail resume to:
firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail to 1703 Old Highway 94 South, St. Charles, MO 63303.