Opus Newsletter – March 2015

Posted on

PDF Format


The Chapter’s February Master Class with Todd Wilson at Christ Church Cathedral (Pat Partridge, host) was one of the finest master classes that I can recall ever attending. It was immediately evident that Professor Wilson is a first-rate and enormously gifted teacher. His work with the three terrific Chapter members (Benton Blasingame, Timothy Jansen, and Brent Johnson) and his insight into how one has a responsibility for taking the music beyond the notes printed on the page should have been a lesson to everyone seated in the Choir Gallery. It would seem that, given what we heard from Professor Wilson and the three participants, the future of our instrument is in very good hands. Thank you to everyone involved.

Saturday morning, 14 March at 10:00, Dr. A. Dennis Sparger, Music Director and Conductor of the Bach Society of Saint Louis, 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. Due to the St. Patrick’s Day Race, the venue for this event has been moved to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2030 Union Road, St. Louis 63125. Our host will be Jeff White. Breakfast (accompanied by plenty of coffee) will be served at 9:00 as part of our pre-paid meal option. Please note that this lecture is open to the public, so please don’t hesitate to spread the word and invite colleagues and friends who are not members of the Chapter to what will undoubtedly be an informative and entertaining event.

Looking ahead, Monday evening, 20 April, our own Dr. Stephen Mager will present “Taking the Mystery Out of Composition” at Bethel Lutheran Church, 7001 Forsyth Boulevard, University City 63105. An oft-published composer (by such publishing houses as Oxford University Press), Dr. Mager will shed some light and, perhaps, pass along some helpful hints on the process by which one begins to put notes on the page. Dinner will be served at 6:30 (part of the pre-paid meal option) with the presentation commencing at 7:30.

Nominees for this year’s Avis Blewett Award are being currently being received. Members are encouraged to send nominations to me 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 list of nominees 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.

See you at Holy Trinity Lutheran!

Cheers – Mark

The Details
Event: A. Dennis Sparger—Lecture on the Passions of Bach
Location: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
2030 Union Road
St. Louis, MO 63105
Date: Saturday, March 14, 2015
Time: Breakfast 9:00 am; Lecture 10:00
Host Jeff White
Cost: $10 with reservation; $12 at the door
Reservations: Kathleen Bolduan (314-853-5011) or kathleen.bolduan@gmail.com. Please confirm reservation by Wednesday, March 11

From I-64 (West County) Take I-270 south to I-55 (north). Take Exit 1A, keep left at fork, then follow signs for (north) St. louis. Then keep right to continue on Exit 1B. Keep left to continue on Exit 197. Follow signs for US 50 /61 and Lindbergh. Turn right on Lindbergh, then left on Union Road. Go about 2 miles. The church will be on your right.

F points east (Illinois) Take I-255 south and use Jefferson Barracks Bridge. Exit at Lindbergh and follow Lindbergh until just past South County Center Mall. Turn right on Union Road. The church will be on the right (approx. 2 miles).

From St. Louis (using I-55) Take exit 199 for Reavis Barracks Road. Turn left on Reavis Barracks Rd. Take the first right turn after crossing Union Road. You will be in the church’s driveway.

From the Dean . . .

People in caring professions may experience compassion fatigue. Perhaps you understand how that feels first hand. Where is the balance between the meticulous, persistent work of preparing and playing music well and knowing when it is “enough”?

The seasons of Lent and Easter are shaped by an amazing variety of music and rich repertoires. Is it possible to spend so much time with musical preparations that you feel like you have nothing left to offer? If you are not exhausted, kudos! . . . keep on that balanced path. If you are weary and frustrated, it might be time to ask yourself what you are doing to take care of yourself. Taking a walk, talking with a trusted friend, sitting quietly in prayer . . . find a way to renew your spirit. Your good health is important to those whom you serve. The serenity and concern you express can nurture others who may be “beyond weary.” Compassion becomes a gift that is given through the music we make with our choirs and which we share in our faith communities.

And am I naïve in hoping that those preparing for this summer’s Regional Convention do not suffer serious fatigue before June 22-24? Ways we might help:

  • Register now if needed, http://www.ago2015.org/registration
  • Sign up now to volunteer; Contact Suzanne Manelli at 314-533-6839 or zannemanelli@gmail.com She will be glad to find the right place for you to help.
  • Reserve your hotel room at Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel.
  • Offer financial support to the Regional Convention with your gift, send your
    contribution to Mike Kaberline
  • Consider advertising in the Convention Book; contact Brent Johnson brent@brentmjohnson.net
  • Keep the “buzz” going on social media, Rene Zajner leads the way so well!
  • Let the Convention Steering Committee members know how much their work is appreciated.
  • Attend Chapter events whenever possible. I hope to see you at our Saturday morning breakfast and lecture! Your presence is a tremendous support.

You are in my thoughts and prayers through these holy days. I am grateful for all the beauty and reflection that is part of worship life in the Saint Louis area, thanks to your careful, caring work. Keep compassion fatigue at bay by being attentive to your own needs, and may the music itself bear you up as on eagle’s wings.

Soli Deo gloria,
Dawn Riske, CAGO


Ann Fletcher Dunn

The AGO National Council has established new dues rates for all dues categories. The new rates will appear on the April 1 renewal notices that AGO Headquarters will send to current chapter members renewing for the 2015-2016 membership year. These rates are $100 for Regular members; $75 for Special members; $40 for Student members; and $75 for Partners. The new rates reflect a $3 increase in each membership category, with $2 being retained by each chapter and $1 allocated to National Headquarters.

Our newest membership benefits include full online access to each issue of TAO, the ability to join online throughout the year and update one’s membership profile at any time, and, exclusively for first-time members, access to a no-cost life insurance policy for two years with a $40,000 benefit. All Guild members have the ability to review job listings on the AGO’s job board, the world’s most complete listing of
positions available; eligibility for high-quality insurance plans for health, car, home, and professional liability at competitive rates; discounts on AGO convention fees and educational resources; discounts on certification examination fees; access to Chapter events such as recitals, workshops, meetings, and seminars (in some cases for chapter members only); and voting privileges in officer elections. One important benefit cannot be overstated, and a prominent, long-time Guild member said it well: “I am an organist; the AGO is my professional organization.”

From the Convention Steering Committee

A big part of a successful convention involves fundraising. Registration fees paid by attendees only cover a portion of the $83,000 budget. We would like to thank the generous donors below for their contributions.

2015 North Central Regional Convention Donors
(accurate as of 2/10/15)


Charles E. Peery and Alan I. Glass, MD
Dr. Bill Wade and Mike Kaberline


Suzanne Manelli
Andrew and Christine Peters, in memory of Kurt Larson


Cathy Cassy, in memory of James Dedera
Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Mullgardt


Greater Kansas City Chapter, American Guild of Organists
Kathleen Bolduan
Rick Burk and Darwin Tanguilig
Paul Edmunds
Wes Kassulke
Martha Shaffer
Bill Stein and John Stewart
Jim Threlkeld and Lonny Davis


Anonymous, in memory of Carrol Hassman, FAGO, ChM
William Aitken
JD Brooks
Bob Chamberlin, in honor of Sarah Chamberlin
Luella Foster, in honor of Wes Proctor John Hawn
Luise N. Hoffman, in memory of Jamie Edward Thomerson
Brent Johnson and Carrie Bradfield
Dawn Riske, CAGO, in honor of Andrew Peters and the Convention Steering Committee
Fr. Secrist- St. Thomas, MO
Jane Southard
Dennis York

If you’d like to contribute with a check, please make your check out to AGO 2015 Regional Convention and send it to:
AGO 2015 Regional Convention
Attn: Mike Kaberline, Treasurer
P. O. Box 140159 Saint Louis, MO 63114-0159
or go to www.ago2015.org if you wish to pay with a credit card.

Do you still have used music to donate for the used music sale in May?

If so please get your music to Andy Peters by May 1. Please drop music at Second Presbyterian Church, 4501 Westminster Place, 63108 or 3802 Castleman Avenue, 63110. Music must be donated by May 1 in order to be part of this sale. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the regional convention.

Keokuk Pipe Organ Festival – March 20-21, 2015

The inaugural Pipe Organ Festival is organized by The Keokuk Cultural & Entertainment District in cooperation with Main Street Keokuk, Inc.. The festival includes an 8:00 pm Friday Concert and a reception. The Saturday events begin at 9:00 am with a program at 9:00 (Pianist Serving as Organist—Michael Lindner), a Master Class with Kyler Brown at 10:00 am. There will be a Pipe Organ Encounters for Children (Michael Lindner), A Silent Movie with keyboard accompaniment, a Tiffany Windows tour and history. During the late afternoon and evening there will be a concert by Arlene Lindner Small, a session about rebuilding the Hook & Hastings Organ at St. Peter & Paul followed by a Concert by Michael Lindner on the St. Peter & Paul organ. The Festival will end with a reception at the Nauvoo Grand B & B.

Tickets may be purchased for single events or all-inclusive passes for individuals or families. POE for children is free of charge.

For further information: Joyce Glassscock 319-524-5056
Deverie Kiedaisch 319-524-3935
Barb Tuttle 319-524-1419
Email: downtownkeokuk@iowatelecom.net

John Obetz In Memorium

It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of John Obetz on Thursday, February 12. John provided so much amazing musicianship and leadership to the music world over the years. What a wonderful colleague he was to have the pleasure to know and with whom to work. He will be greatly missed.>/p>

Please keep in your thoughts and prayers his wife Grace, and their son and his family. The upcoming memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 12, 3:00 pm at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W 13th Street, Kansas City, Missouri. That service will be a musical tribute befitting of John.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon him. May he forever rest in your peace.

Upcoming Concerts

To add events to the St. Louis AGO website, email events@agostlouis.org.


Sunday, March 1—2:00 pm—Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Series—Concert Honoring the Life of Rosa Parks and Black History Month. The Musicians of Christ Church Cathedral. 13th and Locust Streets, Saint Louis, MO 63103.

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 http://events.webster.edu/event

Monday, March 2—7:00 pm—Community Music School
Webster Presents: University Wind Ensemble Admission–$3.00. 535 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119 http://events.webster.edu/event

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

Monday, March 9—7:00 p.m.—Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church
“The True Story of Cinderella.” Warren Martin’s comic masterpiece will be presented in concert style by members and friends of the Ladue Chapel choir, including the participation of Mrs. Pris McDonnell as the narrator. This concert is a benefit for expenses associated with the dedication of our new Schoenstein & Co. organ, and will be the last concert before the sanctuary is closed for renovation. Freewill offering. 9450 Clayton Road, Ladue, 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

Friday, March 13—7:30 pm—Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Series–Organist Gedymin Grubba from Gdansk-Zaspa, Poland. Sponsored by the Polish community of St. Louis. 13th and Locust Streets, Saint Louis, MO 63103.

Sunday, March 15–3:00 pm–Concordia Seminary
Bach at the Sem – (LENT 3) 801 Seminary Place, Saint Louis, MO 63105 http://bach.csl.edu/programs/2014-2015-concert-series

Sunday, March 15—2:00 pm—Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Series—Young Artists’ Piano Competition Winners. Sponsored by the St. Louis Music Teachers Association. 13th and Locust Streets, Saint Louis, MO 63103.

Sunday, March 15—4:00 pm—Second Presbyterian Church
Greenville College Choir, under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Wilson. The choir has recently performed with the St. Louis Kingsbury Ensemble, the Illinois Music Educators Conference, and the American Choral Directors Association. Free and open to the public. For more information, call 314-367-0367. Andrew Peters, Pastoral Musician. 4501 Westminster Place, Saint Louis, Missouri 63108.

Sunday, March 15—7:00 pm—First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood
Concert—The Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis , Allen Carl Larson, Music Director; Wendy Lea, Associate Director with Bill Stein, Organist. Saint-Saëns, Symphony No. 3, Organ Symphony, and also works of Fauré and Massenet. Admission, $15 (Seniors, $10, Students, $5. 100 E Adams Avenue, Kirkwood MO.

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 http://events.webster.edu/event

Friday, March 20–7:30 pm–First United Presbyterian Church of Belleville
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 http://www.cathedralconcerts.org
4431 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108

Sunday, March 22—2:00 pm—Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Series–A Concert of Chamber Music. Music faculty of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. 13th and Locust Streets, Saint Louis, MO 63103.

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 63119 http://events.webster.edu/event

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


April 3—12:00 pm—First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood
Good Friday performance—The Chancel Choir will perform Theodore Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ. 100 East Adams Avenue, Kirkwood, MO 63122.

Friday, April 10—7pm—Central Presbyterian Church
Concert—David Ball. The Saint Louis native returns from his studies at the Juilliard School in New York City to give his first recital in his hometown on the majestic Casavant pipe organ at Central Presbyterian Church. David was the winner of AGO RCYO Competitions in Denver and Kansas City, and is the recipient of the rarely conferred Outstanding Student Award from the St. Louis Chapter of the AGO. David previously served as Organ Scholar to the landmark Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis where he was an organ student of Dr. John Romeri. In addition to his work and studies, David has given concerts and recitals across the country—The New York Times declared his recent appearance in Juilliard’s FOCUS! Festival “a rousing performance,” and his performances have been broadcast on WQXR (New York City’s classical radio station) and nationally on American Public Media’s Pipedreams. 7700 Davis Drive, Clayton, MO 63105. www.centralpres.com 314.727.2777 ex. 138.

Sunday, April 12—2:00 pm—Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Series–Music and Dance. Music of Adrian Walker & Friends–Bach, Gluck, Chopin and others; dance by Alice Bloch & Friends, Consuming Kinetics Dance Company, Karlovsky & Co. 13th and Locust Streets, Saint Louis, MO 63103.

Sunday, April 19—7:00 pm—Messiah Lutheran Churchwww.centralpres.com
“Resurrection Joy!” with the Concordia Seminary Choirs. 2846 S. Grand Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63118.

Sunday, April 19—2:00 pm—Christ Church Cathedralwww.centralpres.com
Shepley Series—Gateway Brass Ensemble. “Back to Bach,” Part Three. 13th and Locust Streets, Saint Louis, MO 63103.

Thursday, April 23—7:00 pm—Messiah Lutheran Churchwww.centralpres.com
Concert—St. Louis Symphony String Sextet featuring Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence. 2846 S. Grand Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63118.

Wednesday, April 15—8:00 pm—Cathedral Basilicawww.centralpres.com
Concert–Blue Heron. The vocal ensemble has been acclaimed by The Boston Globe as “one of the Boston music community’s indispensables” and hailed by Alex Ross in The New Yorker for the “expressive intensity” of its interpretations. Combining a commitment to vivid live performance with the study of original source materials and historical performance practice, Blue Heron ranges over a wide and fascinating repertoire, including 15th-century English and Franco-Flemish polyphony, Spanish music between 1500 and 1600, and neglected early 16th-century English music, especially the rich and unique repertory of the Peterhouse partbooks, copied c. 1540 for Canterbury Cathedral. Scott Metcalfe, musical and artistic director of Blue Heron since its founding in 1999, has gained wide recognition as one of North America’s leading specialists in music from the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries and beyond. Welcomed by Kopytek, Inc. Tickets:
$39, $29, $19, may be ordered at: http://www.cathedralconcerts.org/events/blue-heron/ or by phone at
314-373-8200. 4431 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108

Saturday-Sunday, April 25-26—Webster Groves Presbyterian Church
Gaelic Psalm Singing and American Music Conference. Sponsored by: Scottish Partnership for Arts and Education, Webster Groves Presbyterian Church, St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church, The Focal Point and Creative Scotland. For complete details: Shawn Portell—314-962-9210 x 3211

Sunday, April 26—3:00 pm—Second Presbyterian Church
Concert—The Bach Society. A. Dennis Sparger, Music Director and Conductor. Faire is the Heaven, highlighting Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G minor along with music from the English choral tradition, including works by Philips, Byrd, Stanford, Tallis, Howells and Harris. Season ticket subscriptions are available by visiting www.bachsociety.org. Financial assistance provided by the Missouri Arts Council and the Regional Arts Commission. 4501 Westminster Place, St. Louis, MO 63108.

Sunday, April 26–5:00 pm–Christ Church Cathedral
Shepley Series–Evensong. The choir of Grace Church, Kirkwood, directed by Phillip Brunswick. 13th and Locust Streets, Saint Louis, MO 63103.


St. Stephen Catholic Church in Caseyville seeks a music director to coordinate the music program. Responsibilities include planning liturgies and music, choral directing and attending liturgical commission meetings. Proficient on the organ and piano. Practicing Catholic required. Send
resume and references to jeanne@ststephencaseyville.org.

Curby Memorial Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, MO is seeking an organist with enthusiasm,
creativity and sight-reading ability; a person who can assist in leading us in a dynamic music
ministry that will contribute to deepening the faith journeys of our diverse congregation. We are a diverse community who wish to “worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24b).” Our church
desperately pursues the Bible to learn of God’s will and purpose for our lives. We desire a music ministry that inspires and ignites the Spirit within us.

At this time, the primary responsibilities of this position include Sunday morning worship and special services throughout the year, such as Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Christmas Eve; weddings and funerals are considered above and beyond the position. The organist will be
responsible for providing traditional, gospel and a contemporary music. He/she will report to the Worship Commission and be in consultation with the pastor for selections. We are blessed with a two manual Wicks Pipe Organ.

To apply please email a resume and (3) references to: curbychurchpastor@gmail.com. Live audi-tions will be part of the selection process. We will begin reviewing applications as they are received until the position is filled.