John Allegar, student of Lorraine Brugh, Valparaiso University;Thatcher Lyman, 1st
place, student of James David Christie, Oberlin Conservatory;Tracey Figaar, student of
Margaret Kemper, Northwestern University;Jessica French, 2nd place, student of Larry
Smith, Indiana University;
Back row: Adjudicators: Dr. Christa Rakich, New England Conservatory;Dr. Gregory Crowell,
Grand Valley State University;Dr. James Kibbie, University of Michigan.
Paul Herrema, tenor, sings Herbert
Howell's Nunc Dimittis with the Calvin College Alumni Choir
Immediately following the service, an organ and orchestral
concert was presented at nearby Central Reformed Church. Organist Bradley Welch and
Grand Rapids Symphony conductor David Lockington
were of one heart and mind as concerti of Rheinberger and Hanson stirred the standing-room
only crowd and drew them to their feet with applause.
The Basilica of St. Adalbert
National AGO President, Fred Swann
offered four Monday workshops. MIDI and the Pipe Organ was presented by
Joel Gary and Joel Hurley, a choral anthem reading session was led by Kent and Janet Hill,
author Suzanne Tiemstra presented Music of Latin American Composers, and Gillian
Weir taught the first of two masterclasses.
Choral reading session at Seventh
Church with Drs. Kent and Janet Hill
Monday recitals included Huw Lewis playing the new IV/69 Walker organ at St. Mark's
a delightful harpsichord
recital by Gregory Crowell
at Immanuel Lutheran Church, and Christopher Young playing an
evening recital at Fountain Street Church on the V/172 Austin-Allen,
followed by a late night
of fun and festivity with Barry
Baker at the Wurlitzer
theatre organ housed in the Van Andel Museum Center's Meijer Theatre.
Organ builder, Fernand Létourneau; Marilyn Mason, U of M; Brandon Spence,
cathedral organist and graduate of U of M; Michelle Johns, U of M and James Kibbie U of M
following Dr. Kibbie's recital
Pamela Decker at LaGrave Avenue CRC
Following a delicious buffet luncheon and business
at Calvin College, several informative workshops were presented throughout the afternoon
on the College and Seminary campus. Ann Marie Koukios
presented a session on Youth and Children's Choirs, Andrew Atwood, Jim Owen, and
Linda Strouf held a Professional Concerns Forum, and Jeffrey Carter
lectured on The Howells Requiem. Gillian Weir held a
master class at the Calvin
College Chapel .
Dame Gillian Weir with masterclass participant Rex Rallanka
varied program of Bach, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Dahl, and an improvisation by the performer, Christa Rakich , delighted
the audience listening to Grace Episcopal Church's III/56 Noack organ.
Rakich also demonstrated her authority on improvisation at a workshop the following day, Improvisation
in 15 Minutes a Day East Congregational Church (below) .
Christa Rakich at East Congregational Church
NEOS at Trinity United Methodist Church
the convention had not already thrilled and inspired, the final recital presented by Dame Gillian Weir at Mayflower Congregational Church
left all present in a state of awe, wishing the evening wouldn't end. With five
manuals and 93 ranks at Weir's command, the music of Reubke, Dupré, Bovet, and Lanquetuit
came alive, all with the greatest ease and poise. As a full church of 600-plus
organists and organ music lovers stood offering thunderous applause, an ensuing encore was
state of playing among young organists was clearly evident in the pre-convention Region V
AGO/Quimby Young Artist Competition, held on Saturday afternoon at the III/49 Reuter organ at Second
Congregational United Church of Christ. Competition winner, Thatcher Lyman, a
student at Oberlin Conservatory, presented a full recital the following
Wednesday morning to enthusiastic listeners
Competition winner: Thatcher Lyman
A service of Evensong at LaGrave Avenue
Christian Reformed Church officially began the convention early Sunday evening.
Music of Franck, Visser, Howells, and Jongen was played on the V/108 Austin-Allen organ by
resident organist Larry
Visser. The Calvin College
Alumni Choir (Pearl
Shangkuan, director, Kenneth
Bos, organ accompanist) participated by
singing music of Wood, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bainton, and a Psalm 63 setting by Emma
Lou Diemer commissioned by the Calvin
Institute of Christian Worship. Most notable was the vigorous congregational
singing which lifted hearts heavenward.
Bradley Welch with the Grand
Monday morning's Festival Worship Service
was no less inspiring as organist Jonathan Tuuk, the
Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids (Larry Biser, director),
the Grand Rapids Cantata Choir (Suzanne Tiemstra,
director), and homilist Frederick L. Swann led worshipers in praise and proclamation.
Swann's eloquent message spoke of the need for love and charity among all
organists, echoing the first line of the choir's introit, Duruflé's Ubi caritas et
amor, Deus ibi est. The choirs also sang A Hymn for St. Cecilia by
Eleanor Daley, the second anthem commissioned for the convention.
Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids and
The Grand Rapids Cantata Choir
MIDI workshop at LaGrave Avenue
Christian Reformed Church
with Joel Gary and Joel Hurley
Huw Lewis at St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Fountain Street Church
Tuesday ushered in a pair of recitals presented
by James Kibbie and Pamela Decker. Kibbie's
stunning command of the two Létourneau
organs in the resonant Cathedral of St. Andrew drew his audience to their feet with music
of Bach, Visser, Franck, and Locklair.
The Cathedral of St. Andrew
One block away at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Pamela Decker used the
large Austin-Allen to its fullest extent and concluded on a personal note playing her own
contrapuntal marvel, Passacaglia on BACH, and a final piece composed by her
husband and console assistant, Ken Yukl.
Lunch at Calvin College Commons
AGO Region V Councillor, Steve
AGO/Quimby Young Artist Competition winner, Thatcher Lyman,
receives award from Kent Hill, competition chairman
Christa Rakich at Grace Episcopal
The unique and innovative NEOS quintet, led by Matt
Curlee, played an afternoon concert at Trinity United Methodist Church that was warmly
received. Organ, bass guitar, violin, marimba, and drums joined in numerous new
pieces, many finely composed or transcribed by Curlee.