Opus Newsletter – May 2015

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Here we are at the conclusion of another program year of AGO STL activities with two events in May! The first is a recital on Monday evening, 4 May, at 7:30, co-sponsored by the Chapter and the First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood featuring the duo-organist team of Elizabeth and Raymond Chenault on the mighty Casavant. Having performed extensively throughout the United States and in Europe, the Chenaults specialize in works written for two performers, of which they have commissioned and premiered over forty. According to The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, “No one can contest the spectacular facility, musicianship, and ensemble that these two offer in every musical style represented. Amazing artistry and technique, creative and diverse programming, and an accurate sense of what the public—from casual listeners to highly trained church musicians—will enjoy and appreciate.” Dinner for the chapter will be at 6:30 (part of the pre-paid plan) with the recital commencing at 7:30. Bill Stein will be our host.

The Chapter’s Annual Dinner and Meeting will be held Monday evening, 18 May, at the Historic Trinity Lutheran Church in Soulard. Wes Kassulke and Norbert Krausz will be our hosts. Dinner will be at 6:30 (part of the pre-paid plan). As part of the evening’s festivities, we will present Dr. Kathleen Bolduan with the Avis Blewett award for 2015. Attracted to the organ at an early age, Cathy has been a church organist for over 60 years, having se rved several congregations in the St. Louis area. She is currently the organist at Centenary United Methodist Church. Her degrees are from Fontbonne College and Washington University, where she studied with Howard Kelsey. Further organ study was with Dr. Marie Kremer and Heinrich Fleischer. From 1971-2007, Cathy was a Senior Lecturer at Washington University where she taught ear-training, sight-singing and diction skills to music majors, and also served as Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Music. In her nominating e-mail from one of our members, Cathy is lauded for “tirelessly, eagerly and cheerfully support[ing] the organ community through the guild and throughout the area for many years. She has quietly come to the aid of organists in distress, job loss, etc. She has promoted ‘life’ by supporting equal rights for women, gays and lesbians. She continues to organize events, spread the word, spread the cheer, turn up everywhere there’s a lick of music happening.” It will be a great pleasure to present this year’s award to a Chapter member who is such an outstanding advocate of our work.

At 7:30 we will move into the Church to hear a recital by Thomas Herzer, Kantor of the famous Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Herr Herzer’s tour through the United States has been to raise money for the relocation and rebuilding of a chancel pipe organ in the Castle Church (think Martin Luther in 1517 and his 95 Theses, as Europe prepares its 500th anniversary celebration of Reformation in 2015). Trinity’s historic pipe organ was built by the Pfeffer Organ Company for the opening of Trinity’s original church in Soulard in 1864. It was remodeled by the Kilgen Organ Company after the cyclone of 1896 into a more romantic instrument. In 2014, the Schantz Company of Orville, Ohio, restored about 20 of the older ranks and added many new voices as well, widening its range and color palette. I’ll see you in Kirkwood and Soulard!

Cheers – Mark

The Details
Event: Recital – The Chenaults
Location: First Presbyterian Church
100 East Adams Avenue
Kirkwood, MO 63122
Date: Monday, May 4, 2015
Time: Dinner 6:30 pm; Recital – 7:30 pm
Host Bill Stein
Cost: Dinner $10 with reservation; $12 at the door
Reservations: Kathleen Bolduan (314-853-5011) or kathleen.bolduan@gmail.com. Please confirm reservation by April 29
Directions: From I-44 Take exit 278 (Big Bend). Keep right onto Big Bend. Turn right onto S. Kirkwood, then right onto East Adams.

From I-64 (Eastbound) Take the exit for Dougherty Ferry Rd. Go east on Dougherty Ferry, then right onto New Ballas Rd, which becomes Adams.

From I-44/I-55 from points south and west: Use Exit 290C, merge onto Park Ave. toward 7th St. Right on 7th, then right on Soulard.

The Details
Event: Annual Dinner and Meeting, Installation of Officers
Location: Historic Trinity Lutheran Church in Soulard
812 Soulard St.
Saint Louis, MO 63104
Date: Monday, May 18, 2015
Time: Dinner 6:30 pm; Recital – 7:30 pm
Host Wes Kassulke and Norbert Krausz
Cost: Dinner $10 with reservation; $12 at the door
Reservations: Kathleen Bolduan (314-853-5011) or kathleen.bolduan@gmail.com. Please confirm reservation by May 13
Directions: From I-64-points east (Illinois) Follow signs for I-70/St. Louis. Use exit 249 and keep left for Tucker Blvd. Follow Tucker to Lafayette Ave and turn left. Then turn right on S. 8th St. Turn right at the first cross street (Soulard)

From I-64 (Eastbound) Take exit 40 for South 6th St., go ef on Gratiot St., then right on S. Broadway. Turn right on Soulard St.. Trinity will be on the left.

From the Dean . . .

The excitement is mountng. Next month our Chapter hosts the North Central Regional Conventon of the American Guild of Organists. So. Very. Amazing. The venues are reserved, all the arrangements have been made for the artsts and the presenters, and the schedule is all in order. Now we get to add the fnishing touches by atending, listening, and becoming the most hospitable, welcoming volunteers in any region.

And even before that, two great events await us this very month. Hearing Elizabeth and Raymond Chenault play a concert on the splendid Casavant at First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood will be a peak experience. And knowing that we can share a meal together beforehand—well, what can I say? Life is good!

And of course, May 18 at Historic Trinity in Soulard promises to be a wonderful evening. Of course, a fne banquet will be served, and we will gladly present the 2015 Avis Blewet Award to Dr. Kathleen Bolduan. Our new ofcers will also be installed, and I imagine that Brent Johnson might bring a few door prizes, as well. And that is not all, no! We will also hear Thomas Herzer present a wonderful recital. The Cantor of a Historic German Church playing at our own Historic Trinity—does it get any beter than this?

At tmes, I wonder how so many quality events can be sustained in the greater Saint Louis area. And how could this all happen, except through the perseverance and selfess eforts of people like you?

It doesn’t need to be Thanksgiving for me to express grattude to the Regional Conventon Steering Commitee, the Chapter Ofcers and Executve Board, the Commitee Members, the editor of the OPUS, past Deans who have been such a great support, and everyone who has atended a Guild event this year. Honestly, words are not sufcient, but truly, thank you.

Soli Deo Gloria! Deaconess Dawn Riske, CAGO

Just in: Many members of the Chapter AGO know Peter Tkach, musician and harpsichord builder. On April 9, his Webster Groves house caught fire. Peter escaped but was hospitalized. Sadly, his daughter Anne died in the fire. She was a musician as well, mostly known as a bassist. We hold Peter in prayer and ask God’s blessing on him.

News Brief…

We congratulate David Ball, a chapter member who is a graduate student at Juilliard. Some of us may also remember him serving as John Romeri’s organ scholar at the Cathedral Basilica several years ago. David competed and won the chapter competiton of the Regional Competiton for Young Organists, which was held in Wichita, KS. He will play in the fnal round of the competton at the regional conventon in Saint Louis this June. Let’s try to fill First Presbyterian in Kirkwood on Monday afernoon, June 22 when the competiton will be held. David has even let us know that the new competiton rules allow audience members to sing the hymns for the first tme! Kudos, David! Keep up your fine work, and thank you for representng us so well.

Our regional convention takes place next month!!!!

After over two years of planning and work by the Convention Steering Committee we are excited to see things take place with convention attendees.

As of the writing of this, we have 1/3 of our chapter members registered. If you haven’t registered, there’s still time to register! Avoid possible last minute registration delays and the chance of the convention selling out by registering now. Don’t miss this opportunity to attend great recitals and informative workshop sessions right here in Saint Louis. And remember, there are no driving or parking worries – everyone takes the bus!

If you can’t attend the full schedule of events, one-day registrations are available for Tuesday and Wednesday. Visit the convention website at www.ago2015.org to register on line, or contact convention registrar Regina Morris for more information at 314-647-0475 or morrisrp@swbell.net.

Used Music Sale

Want to help support the convention and acquire some “new” music? A used music sale will be held as part of our May 18 chapter event at Trinity Lutheran Church in Soulard. The sale begins at 5:30 pm and will run through the conclusion of dinner. Come and look over all of the gently used treasures that have been donated to this sale! All proceeds from the sale will go directly to the convention. Payments for purchases can be made through cash, check, or credit card.

We appreciate all of the generous donors who are making our convention possible. There is still time to make a gift to the convention! 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. Thanks to our chapter and donors for helping us prepare for a great convention!

The Avis Blewett Award

The Avis Blewet Award was established in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the American Guild of Organists in Missouri. The award is presented by the Saint Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists to those who have made a significant contribution to the musical life of the Saint Louis area.

Avis H. Blewett was a member of Second Baptst church, whose musical traditon was long and proud. The church had a fne tracker-action Odell organ, and Miss Blewet had occasionally played it as far back as 1883, when the instrument was four years old. In response to call for a suitable organ to replace the non- functoning Kilgen instrument in Graham Chapel at Washington University, Ms. Blewet signed a contract with the M.P. Möller Organ Company for a chapel instrument, requesting that the organ case be carved with the quotation, “To Make Undying Music in the World.”

Avis Blewet died in 1946 before the organ was completed. In her will, she bequeathed money for the purchase of what is now Blewett Hall on Forsyth; as well as funds for the endowment of a Department of Music at Washington University.

Visit www.agostlouis.org for upcoming concerts.