Your IOU Alumni Board recently met and has charted an exciting course for the organization over the coming months and years. First and foremost, our immediate priority is strengthening the connections between each of us and our beloved alma mater. To that end, I ask that you read this newsletter thoroughly and with an eye toward how YOU can reconnect with IU. Read More >
Welcome to a re-vamped IOU on-line newsletter. We are so fortunate to have such an immediate and versatile way of staying in touch, but it seems that this also brings a concomitant increase in distractions keeping us from that very goal! Please know that your faculty and IOU Board have a great desire to stay in touch with YOU and to build bridges with new members, so please let us know how we can improve both! … Read More >
2013 – 2014 Academic Year News
We are sad to note the passing of Dr. Clyde Holloway, who served on this organ faculty for twelve years until his departure for Houston in 1977. There will be an official university memorial declaration made in honor of Clyde at a later date.
Guest speakers and recitalists: including Carolyn Shaw, the youngest Pulitzer Prize winner in composition, talked to our students about her work and career; British organist/conductor Paul Spicer lectured at Sacred Music Practicum; Notre Dame University organist/professor Craig Cramer presented a recital and class on Nov. 10; Janette Fishell concluded her 3 ½ year Bach cycle, the Seasons of Sebastian on Dec. 9; Students presented annual Choralfest Feb. 7; and alumna Rhonda Sider Edgington presented a lecture on her experiences as a Fulbright student in Germany. Fall 2014 guest speakers and recitalists included Dr. Robert Poovey of Rochester, NY, who performed a recital, spoke about the real life joys and challenges of a vocation in sacred music and delivered a class on Sowerby’s Organ Symphony; Professor Ulrike Wegele of Graz, Austria performed a recital and delivered a masterclass on the topic of German and Austrian organ music after J.S. Bach; and British organist David Briggs appeared twice on the Webb-Ehrlich Great Organ of Alumni Hall, providing improvised accompaniment to silent films.
We had a fantastic inaugural Sacred Music Intensive. The original goal of 30 participants was surpassed with a total of 48 attendees. The response from this event was very positive and the feedback was unanimous in expressing an interest for the SMI to become an ongoing summer course. Dates for the next SMI are June 1-5, 2015, and further information is available here.
Robust Enrollment continues:
Fall, 2013 In residence majors: 33: 9 undergraduate, 13 MM, 1 PD, 10 DM
Fall, 2014 In residence majors: 30: 10 undergraduate, 7 MM, 1 PD, 12 DM
Our students have had an outstanding year of activity:
Chere Ko: Third prize, 2014 John Rodland Competition
Nicholas Quardokus: First prize and hymn playing prize, 2014 Albert Schweitzer Competition; RYCO Region V winner, Boston recitalist
Stephen Price: Semi-Finalist, 2014 Canadian International Organ Competition, Montreal; third place 2013 André Marchal International Organ Competition
Jonathan Rudy: First prize and audience prize, NYACOP
Kirk Rich: Third prize NYACOP
Aaron Sunstein: Semi-finalist in NYACOP
Katie Minion: One of two JSoM undergraduate winners of the Caswell Award, given by the Musicology Faculty for an outstanding undergraduate music history paper, for a comparison of German and French Baroque organ building and repertoireAlex Baker: Completing the fall semester of his Junior year studying organ and music education in Vienna
Matt Middleton: Appointed Interim Organist/Choirmaster, Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis
John Nothaft: Participant and award winner at the 2014 Oundle Summer School for Young Organists in England
The following graduate students and alumni presented papers on various topics at the AGO National Competition in Boston, 2014:
Aaron Sunstein, Sarah Moon, Elena Paradies, Marko Petricic, Heidi Kohne, Melissa Plamann, and Faythe Freese. My apologies to anyone I left out!
This year Chris Young has engaged 2 of our outstanding alumni to fulfill teaching and performance engagements during his sabbatical: Marko Petricic and Randall Harlow.
Janette Fishell enjoyed playing & conducting master classes throughout the country. Highlights include two concerts at the Boston AGO National Convention on the Charles Fisk Opus 55 (1971) at Old West Church and the December, 2013 completion of The Seasons of Sebastian cycle of the complete organ works of Bach. Another highlight of her summer was participation on a clergy and musician panel for the national conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians where she engaged in a lively public discussion of the role of the academy in training church musicians.
Bruce Neswick writes: This past year in Bloomington and beyond has been eventful and fun! Kicking the year off was a studio performance, in November, of Les corps glorieux, which proved to be an emotional and musical high for my students. My second installment of the complete organ works of Howells followed in January, also in Auer Hall. It’s been a thrill to see how well that music works on that organ (in my opinion!). Going further afield has involved workshops at Notre Dame University, in Washington, DC, and for the Sanibel, FL, and Buffalo AGO chapters; a hymn festival for the Buffalo AGO; recitals at Brown University and in Saginaw, MI, and Northampton, England; and children’s choir festivals in Knoxville, Washington, DC, New Jersey and London, Ontario. This past summer, I was honored to play and teach at the Association of Disciples Musicians’ conference in Decatur, IL, and at the Boston AGO national, where I also premiered new works by IU composer Texu Kim and noted NYC composer Lisa Bielawa. In addition, I was the music director of the Newport RSCM course, a huge gathering of 125 singers, both young and not-so-young, all centered on singing multiple daily services. Next summer, I will direct two RSCM courses: the (newly-formed) Portland (Oregon) Course and the long-standing Washington, DC, Course. Come, if you can! Singers, directors and organists all coming together for a glorious week of rigorous music making and liturgical leadership gives us all hope for the future of our profession!
Aaron Goen (MM, 2003), Associate Organist at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Charlotte, NC and Associate Music Director at The Choir School at St. Peters, presented two programs of organ concerti by 18th century and living composers to kick off the second season of Charlotte’s Center City Concerts. The noon concert program featured the contemporary concerti by Brooklyn, NY-based composer, Derek Healey and Ottawa-based composer, Rachel Laurin, of whom both were present. These works, scored for string orchestra and tympani were composed in 1960 and 2011.
Aaron graduated cum laude from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University (2000) with a Bachelor’s of Music in Organ Performance from having studied organ with Wilma Jensen and piano with Amy Dorfman. He then obtained his Masters of Music degree from IU having studied with Chris Young and Larry Smith.
This fall, Aaron begins new positions as accompanist for St. Albans School for Boys and the National Cathedral School for Girls in Washington, DC and Organist and Choirmaster at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Burke, VA.
Marko Petričić, M. M. 99’, D. M. A. 04’ was the Director for the AGO Pipe Organ Encounter held in Indianapolis, June 2014. He also gave a scholarly paper presentation at the National AGO Convention in Boston this summer titled “Performing organ works on the bayan accordion”. He is teaching applied organ at the JSOM organ department during the fall of 2014 as a sabbatical replacement for Dr. Christopher Young. In addition, he played an organ/bayan recital at First Presbyterian Church in Athens, OH on October 4, 2014. He was recently promoted to an Associate Adjunct Faculty at the University of Indianapolis, where he teaches organ and sacred music.
Wayne Peterson (M.M. ’87) is in his 27th year of service at Trinity Episcopal Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Since graduating from IU, he has been awarded the FAGO & ChM certificates by the American Guild of Organists and has pursued further education in Paris, London, & Montreal.
He is a founding member of the Eleganza Baroque Ensemble and has recently been recognized by the Fort Wayne Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota as a distinguished Friend of the Arts. Peterson is currently writing a multi-movement work, commissioned by Trinity Episcopal Church, entitled Meditations for choir, soloists, chamber orchestra, and organ. The work commemorates the 150th anniversary of the church’s present building. He is proud to serve on the Board of the Indiana Organists United Alumni Association.
Christopher Jennings (BM 2002) recently accepted the call as Organist & Choirmaster of Calvary Episcopal Church, Summit, New Jersey where he will join a dynamic and energetic staff in the fastest-growing parish in the diocese. Building on the strong tradition of fine music at Calvary, he has also been called to create a new RSCM Chorister Program for children and youth. For the past seven years he has been Associate Organist-Choirmaster at St. James’ Church Madison Ave., New York City, directing the choirs for children and youth and accompanying for the professional and volunteer adult choirs on the new 96-rank Schoenstein & Co. pipe organ. Christopher’s recital schedule continues to expand with venues this year that include Trinity Church, Boston, Cadet Chapel, West Point Military Academy, Holy Trinity Lutheran, NYC, Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, and others. He has appeared several times over the last year on PRI’s radio show Pipedreams and has also appeared as a ‘video clue’ improvising on the famed EM Skinner Organ in Woolsey Hall at Yale University. He and his husband Brian Harlow (BM ’99) reside in South Orange, NJ.
Kevin Neel has begun working toward a degree a Masters of Sacred Music in Choral Conducting at Boston University studying with Scott Jarrett and Ann Jones. He is taking organ lessons occasionally with Christian Lane, and is singing with Boston University’s Marsh Chapel Choir which performs four Bach cantatas a year and four additional concerts of varying repertoire outside of Sunday morning music. He serves as manager for the 45-voice Chapel Choir.
David K. Lamb (DM, 2000), has recently been elected to a position on the National Council of the American Guild of Organists. He will serve a two-year term as the Councillor for Membership, where he will work with the membership committee and two other committees that provide services and professional support to members of the organization. Additionally, he is happy to report a new appointment to the position of Director of Music for Trinity United Methodist Church in New Albany, Indiana. To celebrate this new appointment, Dr. Lamb has produced a new CD recording, “Scaling the Wall – A Garden of Prayer,” to feature the Schantz Pipe Organ in Trinity UMC.
The Organ Department (and Friends) Visit England
After two highly successful organ department organ and choral study tours of New York City and Seattle/Tacoma in the summers of 2012 and 2013, respectively, I began to think … what’s next?! The combination of all our sacred music study at IU, the fact that the organ department creates its own choir every January and my own prior experiences taking choirs to England all led me to think about what it would be like to give our organ majors a chance to conduct, play and sing for a week’s worth of daily services at an English cathedral.
Southwark Cathedral, in the heart of London, opened its doors first, and I ran right in! Having had my NYC choir there for a week a few summers ago, I knew that we would be greeted warmly and given more time than is customary in the busier cathedrals for much-coveted time at the organ. Right away, a team of students and I began laying plans, including inviting outside singers, first from my church in Louisville (St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal, which boasts a highly professional choir program) and, later, from elsewhere. I was particularly gratified by the response to our call to come join us for a week of liturgical music-making, and, in the end, we had a solid group of 45 expert choral singers assembled from all over the United States and most of them former choristers of mine.
The music that we wound up preparing included six relatively standard British settings of the canticles, the Howells Collegium Regale mass setting, eight different anthems (all by American composers) and several hymns and psalms. Three of our Anglican chants, in fact, were written by one of our students and tour participants Mike Powell, a very talented composer and church musician. Preparing and rendering this difficult and diverse music list was an invaluable opportunity, in my estimation, for our students to flex their conducting, accompanying and singing muscles … not just in the abstract but in the fast-paced maelstrom of a busy European cathedral.
Somewhere early in our planning, I had the idea that it would be a fine opportunity to perform a group recital at St. George’s, Hanover Square (Handel’s church), which now boasts a superb new tracker organ by the American firm Richards, Fowkes & Co. In addition, we attended an evening organ recital at Westminster Abbey, followed a generous two hours at the Abbey console, once the crowd had cleared, hosted by the Abbey’s organ scholar.
Many new friendships were formed. Everyone took full advantage of the cultural and culinary offerings of one of the great capital cities of the world. Our students grew immeasurably from this joint musical effort. And we all left London hoping for a return engagement and promising to stay in touch with each other.