Opus Newsletter – February 2016

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Transformation isn’t about improving. It’s about re-thinking—Malcolm Gladwell, author and lecturer. Time and time again I witness the transformative power of music. Whether it is how much stronger I feel at the end of a good choir rehearsal, how a withdrawn student opens up as we sing together, or the way a parishioner is moved through music in worship, the visible transformation is noteworthy.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Eccl. 3) There is indeed a time for holding the course, maintaining the status quo, persevering. That is a recipe for achieving mastery, for carrying on the routines of successful work and daily living.

But this season—Lent—is a time for considering the 180° turn, for entertaining transformative ideas. It is a time to “think outside the box,” and rethink things on a personal level . . . and beyond. For some, re-thinking means “When is it time to move a sports team to Los Angeles?” or “Is the Powerball prize high enough for me to buy a ticket?” For our purposes, I would call us to re-think the many roles of pipe organ artistry in the greater Saint Louis area.

A cascade of ideas and initiatives comes to mind. Our Chapter is in perhaps the strongest financial situation ever. We have the opportunity to be generous in supporting pipe organ encounters in other chapters and regions, to contribute to upcoming National and Regional Conventions, to place ads with Cathedral Concerts, and now, to underwrite pilots for a local Radio Arts Foundation program of pipe organ music. Our Finance Committee is pursuing (re-thinking) options to maximize these resources. Does it get any better than this?

Onward . . . Some great re-thinking is showing up at the National level where young organists are highlighted, a Virtual Chapter is in its first year, ONCARD registrations are keeping membership up-to-date, Saint Louis Organ installations are properly reported in TAO, and a new column, ”Ask Aunt Wilma,” is being rolled out. And technology is being put to fine use closer to home; just check out the Saint Louis Chapter and North Central Region of the AGO on Facebook, or visit the Chapter website at www.agostlouis.org

Other items to think about again: what difference would it make in my organ-playing ability to seek certification? How do we engender diversity within our membership? How welcoming are we to the young and the old, the shy and the bold; how respectful are we to people of every skin color, socio-economic situation, cultural background, gender, and sexual preference? There are bridges to be built and invitations to be extended. And we get to do it with beautiful and transformative music.

National AGO President John Walker shared in the February issue of TAO, “Deeply united by a shared bond of love for our instrument and its repertoire, let us celebrate not only the ties that unite us but also the differences that make each of us unique and interesting. I hereby proclaim February 2016 as ‘Say Something Good about Another Organist’ Month.” I want to do this—I bet you do, too! And when you hear something good come your way, may it transform you.

Soli Deo Gloria.
Dawn Riske, CAGO

Dr. Agnes Armstrong will present a program about Alexandre Guilmant. The venue? Second Presbyterian Church in the Central West End. Dinner—6:30 pm; Program — 7:30. The March Issue will include an expanded description of Dr. Armstrong’s presentation.
Location: Second Presbyterian Church
4501 Westminster Place
St. Louis, MO 63108

(314) 367-0366
Date: Monday, March 7, 2016
Time: Dinner – 6:30pm, Presentation – 7:30 pm
Host Andy Peters, Pastoral Musician
Cost: Dinner $10 with reservation; $12 at the door
Reservations: Kathleen Bolduan (314-725-1251) or kathleen.bolduan@gmail.com. Please confirm reservation by Wednesday, March 2

From I-64 Westbound: Take exit 38A and merge onto Forest Park Ave. Turn right on South Taylor Ave. Turn left on Westminster Place. The destination is on your right.

From I-64 Eastbound: Take Exit 36A for Kingshighway Blvd. Keep left at the fork and follow signs for St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Turn left on S. Kingshighway Blvd. Turn right on Lindell Blvd. Turn left on North Taylor Ave. Turn left on Westminster Place. The destination is on your right.

From AGO Headquarters:


Nine Summer Programs for Teenagers and Adults Will Be Supported with Generous Funding from the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, the American Institute of Organbuilders, and the Jordan Organ Endowment

NEW YORK CITY—The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is proud to announce seven PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTERS (POEs) for students aged 13–18, one POE (Advanced) for students entering grades 9–12; and one POE+ for adults in 2016. Complete contact information for each weeklong Pipe Organ Encounter can be found in The American Organist Magazine and online at www.agohq.org. The summer schedule follows:

    POE for ages 13–18

  • June 26–July 1, Waverly, Iowa
  • July 10–15, Northhampton, Mass.
  • July 17–22, Lexington, Ky.
  • July 24–29, Baltimore, Md.
  • July 24–29, Atlanta, Ga.
  • July 25–30, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • August 7–13, Palo Alto, Calif.
  • POE (Advanced) for grades 9–12

  • July 10–15, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • POE+ for adults

  • July 10–14, Grantham, Pa.

The PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTER (POE) is an introduction to the pipe organ through instruction in organ playing, repertoire, history, design, and construction. These regional summer music institutes for teenage students provide private and group instruction in service playing and solo repertoire, opportunities to learn about the musical heritage of various religious denominations, and a chance for young musicians to meet others with similar interests. Piano or organ proficiency ranging from intermediate to advanced is required. Scholarship assistance is available.

The POE (Advanced) provides intermediate to advanced classes in areas such as organ literature, history, pipe organ construction and design, music theory, improvisation, conducting, and service playing for students who have achieved a high level of success in organ study. Scholarship assistance is available.
The POE+ is a summer program filled with practical information and instruction for adult keyboard musicians interested in improving their service-playing skills. Participants will be introduced to basic organ skills through private instruction and classes. The weeklong experience will lead to greater confidence and competence at the organ.

Generous funding from the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America (APOBA), the American Institute of Organbuilders (AIO), and the Jordan Organ Endowment will support the summer programs from coast to coast. “The AGO and APOBA have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship since 1975,” declared AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “Likewise, the AIO has been active in supporting the Guild’s educational programs, beginning with their partnership in Pulling Out All the Stops, a video produced jointly by the AGO, AIO, APOBA, the Organ Historical Society, and the American Theater Organ Society in 1996. Collectively, APOBA and the AIO have contributed more than a half million dollars in support of the AGO’s educational programs during our long association. In addition, we are delighted to have received a ten-year commitment of support from the Jordan Organ Endowment at Columbus State University for our POE program. For all this committed generosity in supporting the Guild’s mission—to enrich lives through organ and choral music—we are deeply grateful.”

POE site locations are selected by the AGO Committee on the New Organist and approved by the AGO National Council after application by AGO host chapters. Applications are available from AGO National Headquarters. The application deadline is April 15.



Sunday February 7—2:00 pm—Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Concert Series. Chamber Music Concert by the Music Faculty of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. 1210 Locust St., St. Louis, MO

Sunday, February 7—3:00 pm—Concordia Seminary Bach at the Sem—Transfiguration. J. S. Bach: Cantata BWV 127, Herr Jesu Christ, wahr Mensch un wahrer Gott; Concerto for violin in A minor, BWV 1041, movement 2; Aria for alto with choral, “Ich folge dir nach,” from BWV 159, Sehet! Wir gehen hinauf gen Jerusalem; Cantata BWV 161, Komm du süßes Todesstunde; Cantata BWV 23, Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn. Free of charge. 801 Seminary Place, Saint Louis, MO 63105

Sunday, February 7—3:00 pm—Messiah Lutheran Church Washington University Chamber Choir—Bach’s cantata 131 and Eric Whitacre’s “Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine” among other works under the direction of Dr. Nicole Aldrich. This concert is part of the 2015-16 Messiah Concert Series. 2846 South Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63118

Friday, February 12—12:00 noon—First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood. Tree of Life Chapel Lenten Recital Series. Piano Ensemble (2 pianos, 8 hands). 100 East Adams, Kirkwood, MO 63122

Saturday, February 13—6:30 pm—Peace Lutheran Church “Concerts at Peace” Valentine Dinner and Concert featuring The Orchestra of Peace and Chancel Choir. 737 Barracksview Road, St. Louis, MO 63125.

Sunday, February 14—3:00 pm—Second Presbyterian Church Concert—Saint Louis Chamber Chorus. Languish with Love— Music in honor of love: Romances by Robert Schumann, Rakastava by Jean Sibelius, and a hymn to Juno, goddess of marriage be Orlandus Lassus. Our modern masterwork is the passionate Amore Langueo of Francis Pott, which is paired with a commission from Clare Maclean. 4501 Westminster Place, 63108.

Friday, February 19—12:00 noon—First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood. Tree of Life Chapel Lenten Recital Series—The Rosewood Ensemble with Bill Stein, Organ. 100 East Adams, Kirkwood, MO 63122

Sunday, February 21—8:30 am & 12:00 pm—Webster Groves Presbyterian Church. Worship services with Sherdonna Denholm, Singer/Songwriter. Shawn Portell, Organist. spp@wgpc.org (314-962-9210 x 3211) 45 West Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, MO

Friday, February 26—12:00 noon—First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood. Tree Of Life Chapel Lenten Recital Series—Jennifer Mazzoni, flute and Matt Mazzoni, Piano. 100 East Adams, Kirkwood, MO 63122

Sunday February 21—3:00 pm—Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Concert. Bel Canto Women’s Ensemble, Mary Poshak, director, will present a concert of sacred vocal music including pieces by Handel, Daley, Mason, Elgar, and Webster. 1210 Locust St., St. Louis MO

Wednesday, February 24—6:30 pm—Union United Methodist Church, Belleville, IL Concert—University of Evansville Choir. Dr. Dennis Malfatti, Director. This ensemble has traveled extensively in the United States and abroad. 721 East Main Street, Belleville, IL Friday, February 26—12:00 noon—First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood. Tree Of Life Chapel Lenten Recital Series—Jennifer Mazzoni, flute and Matt Mazzoni, Piano. 100 East Adams, Kirkwood, MO 6312

Saturday, February 27—7:30 pm and Sunday, February 28— 3:00 pm—Lindenwood Auditorium, Belleville, IL Masterworks Broadway Pops—The Masterworks Chorale, Children’s Choruses, and Jazz Ensemble. A concert with pizzazz! Underwritten by a gift from Art on the Square Foundation. This program features Broadway and pop favorites in dazzling choral arrangements, in two exhilarating performances in the refurbished auditorium at Lindenwood University-Belleville, IL campus.

February 28—6:30 pm—Peace Lutheran Church “Concerts at Peace”—Bell-a-bration. Bell-a-bration in cooperation with the Handbell Association of Greater St. Louis features several outstanding St. Louis Handbell Choirs. 737 Barracksview Road,St. Louis, MO 63125

Sunday February 28—5:00 pm—Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Concert-Evensong. The Girls’ Choir of the Church of St. Michael and St. George Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. Refreshments provided by the St. Martha’s Guild of Christ Church Cathedral at the conclusion of the service in the south aisle. 1210 Locust St., St. Louis, MO

February 29—8:00 pm—Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra.
Founded in 1945 on the heels of postwar Polish independence, The Polish Baltic Philharmonic is the largest music institution in northern Poland. The orchestra is visited not only by local music-lovers but by cosmopolitan Polish and international patrons alike. Ticket prices range from $25-$45 and can be purchased online at www.cathedralconcerts.org or by calling 314-533-7662. 4431 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108


Friday, March 4—12:00 noon—First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood. Tree of Life Chapel Lenten Recital Series. Kirk Hanser, classical guitar. 100 East Adams, Kirkwood, MO 63122.

Saturday, March 5—6:00 pm—St. Paul Lutheran Church (Jackson, MO) Hymn Festival. “Belonging, Becoming, Building.” Matt Palisch, Director of Music. mpalisch@stpauljackson.com or 572-243-2236. 223 W. Adams St., Jackson, MO

Sunday March 6—3:00 pm—Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church A Season of Festivity—2016—Organ Dedicatory Recital, Schoenstein Organ. Featuring Concert Organist Scott Dettra, Director of Music and Organist, Church of Incarnation, Dallas, Texas. Premiere of Partita on “Nun Danket alle Gott” by Craig Phillips. Reception Following. 9450 Clayton Road, Clayton MO. This event will be broadcast live on www.organlive.com.

Sunday March 6—2:00 pm – Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Concert. Trio: Dr. Alexander Weymann, piano; Daniel Zipperer, bass; William Partridge, piano. 1210 Locust St., St. Louis, MO

Monday, March 7—7:30 pm—Second Presbyterian Church Dr Agnes Armstrong: Presentation on Guilmant. AGO Chapter event. 4501 Westminster Place (in the Central West End), St. Louis, MO 63108.

Thursday, March 10—7:00 pm—St. Paul Lutheran Church, (Jackson, MO) Jackson High School Choral Department Spring Concert. 223 W. Adams St., Jackson, MO

Friday, March 11—12:00 noon—First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood. Tree of Life Chapel Lenten Recital Series. Section Leaders of the Chancel Choir. 100 East Adams, Kirkwood, MO .

Sunday March 13—2:00 pm—Christ Church Cathedral Shepley Concert—St. Louis Brass Band, Dr. John Bell, conductor. A concert entitled: “Hymns and Hurrahs.” 1210 Locust St., St. Louis, MO

Sunday March 13—4:00 pm—Gethsemane Lutheran Church Organ Recital with Robert Chamberlin. Robert Chamberlin will perform a recital of organ music at Gethsemane Lutheran Church on Sunday, March 13 at 4 pm. The program will feature pieces by Sigfrid Karg-Elert, J.S. Bach, George Oldroyd, Charles Marie Widor, Felix Mendelssohn, Richard Purvis, David Johnson, Jean Langlais, and Robert Chamberlin. Music from the standard concert repertoire as well as chorale preludes and hymn tune interpretations will be featured. The recital is free and open to the public. A free will offering will be collected to benefit Lutheran Disaster Response for local flood relief. 3600 Hampton Avenue, St. Louis MO.

Sunday March 13—5:00 pm—Christ the King Church LENTEN CONCERT AND LENT-IL SOUP SUPPER. Join us to hear a Buxtehude cantata, the Missa de Bomba of Pedro Bermúdez, and works by Ignacio de Jerusalem, W.A. Mozart, and Benjamin Britten. Featured performers are Thomas Jöstlein, Associate Principal Horn player of the Saint Louis Symphony; Julie Tabash Kelsheimer, soprano; James Yarbrough, tenor; Dawn Riske, current dean of the AGO; Sylvian Iticovici, SLSO violinist, and more. After the performance, join us for a Lentil Soup supper, sponsored by a Thrivent Financial Action Grant. 7316 Balson Avenue, University City, MO.

Sunday, March 13—7:30 pm—Cathedral Basilica Fauré’s Requiem—The Bach Society of Saint Louis Chorus & Orchestra with soprano Jane Jennings and baritone Ian Greenlaw, both St. Louis natives. Also features a new work by Dr. Stephen Mager, commissioned for this concert by Rev. & Mrs. Richard LaBore, to honor founder Dr. William B. Heyne on the 75th anniversary of Cathedral Concerts. Ticket prices range from $25-$45 and can be purchased online at www.cathedralconcerts.org or by calling 314-533-7662. Student rush tickets are available at the door for $10 cash with a valid student ID. 4431 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108.

Friday, March 18—12:00 noon—First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood. Tree of Life Chapel Lenten Recital Series. Terri Langerac, harp. 100 East Adams, Kirkwood, MO 63122.

Friday, March 25—12:00 noon—First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood. Tree of Life Chapel Lenten Recital Series. Good Friday: Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest performed by the Chancel Choir and Chamber Orchestra in the sanctuary. 100 East Adams, Kirkwood, Mo 63122.

Sunday, March 27—10:30 am—Webster Groves Presbyterian Church Easter Sunday. Shawn Portell, Organist. spp@wgpc.org (314-962-9210 x 3211) 45 West Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, MO


I am in search of someone interested in playing the piano for the Alfresco Arts and Theater production of Two by Two (Richard Rogers musical) in Granite City, IL. It is community theater but they will pay the pianist $300.00. The theater is a beautifully renovated Church across from our Granite City Township Hall on Delmar, close to our Library. Rehearsals begin in January and the show dates are Feb 27 & 28 and March 5-6. Please contact me if you know of anyone that would be interested in doing this. Contact: Cathy Cassy—Cmcass @yahoo.com (618) 931-0062


Maplewood United Methodist Church in Maplewood/St. Louis would like to sell pipes from their four-rank Wicks pipe organ, built in 1950. Interested parties can contact Amy Cordeal at amcor6018@att.net