2016 Summer Concert Schedule

St. John’s Organ Society is pleased to announce the 24th Summer Recital Series on Maine’s largest 19th-Century tracker-action pipe organ, E. & G. G. Hook’s magnificent Opus 288, at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Bangor.

These hour-long recitals occur on Thursday evenings at 7:30. St. John’s Catholic Church is located at 207 York Street in Bangor. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

St. John’s Organ Society Summer Series 2016 presents a special pre-season opportunity…

Magnificat! Tuesday, July 26—7:30 pm
Weckmann: Dialogue— The Angel
 Gabriel Appears to Mary
Bach: Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! BWV 172
Bach/Ernst: Concerto for Organ in G Major, BWV 592
Bach: Magnificat in Eb, BWV 243a
Presented by Blue Hill Bach and St. John’s Organ Society

John Finney
John Finney

The audience is invited to take part in creating Blue Hill Bach’s debut video recording, to be produced live at St. John’s under the direction of conductor, John Finney, and Blue Hill Bach Artistic Director, Stephen Hammer.

July 28
Zhen Piao
(Champaign, Illinois and Shenyang, China)

The first concert is July 28 and features Zhen Piao from Champaign, Illinois and Shenyang, China.  He is performing music of J. S. Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, and Robert Schumann.

Zhen Piao
Zhen Piao

Piao studied at the University of Illinois where he earned a Master of Music in Piano Performance and Literature studying with William Heiles, and an Artist Diploma in Organ studying with Dana Robinson. He received the Brownson Fellowship. Recently, he played recitals in the Chapel of Saint John the Divine and Grace Lutheran church (Champaign, Illinois). He plays the organ for weekly services at Bethany Park Christian Church and plans to pursue a DMA in Organ Performance and Literature.

August 4
Gayle h. Martin with Linda Pearse, bass trombone & sackbut
(Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada)

The August 4 concert features Gayle h. Martin with Linda Pearse, bass trombone and sackbut from Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada.  They will perform music of Giovanni Cesare, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Vincent Lubeck, J.S. Bach, and Alexandre Guilmant.

Gayle h. Martin is University Organist and Associate Professor of Music at Mount Allison University, in New Brunswick Canada where she teaches organ performance, choral conducting, music history, musicianship and directs the choral ensembles. Martin’s passion for music, animals and nature began in the pastoral countryside of Vermont and continue in New Brunswick.

She holds degrees from the Crane School of Music (B.Mus), McGill University (M.Mus) and the University of Alberta (DMus). Martin was organist at the American Cathedral in Paris. While in Paris, she received a premier prix à unanimité from the Conservatoire de Rueil Malmaison, studying under the tutelage of renowned organists Jean Langlais and Susan Landale. She can be heard on numerous recordings, including her solo CD’s Prism (1998)Celtic Impressions (2005), and Partners in Time (2015).  Martin has been accompanist for several choral groups and plays continuo with the reknowned early music ensemble, ¡Sacabuche!.

Linda Pearse is Associate Professor of Music at Mount Allison University and Lecturer on Baroque trombone at Indiana University Bloomington.

Pearse is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Early Music Summer Baroque Workshop, the Sackville Festival of Early Music and of the early music ensemble ¡Sacabuche! With ¡Sacabuche!, she has recently released an album of 17th-century Italian Motets on the ATMA Classique label. In addition to music-only programs, Pearse’s interdisciplinary projects engage new music, early music, texts, soundscapes, and images in conversations that explore cultural contacts and collisions in the early modern period. Her critical edition of Seventeenth-Century Italian Motets with Trombone is published with A-R Editions (April 2014).

August 11
Jacques Boucher with Sophie Poulin de Courval, saxophone
(Montreal, Canada)

The August 11 concert features Jacques Boucher with Sophie Poulin de Courval, saxophone, from Montreal, Canada. They will perform music of Jean-Baptiste Singelée, Denis Bédard, and Olivier Messian.

Sophie Poulin de Courval and Jacques Boucher
Sophie Poulin de Courval and Jacques Boucher

Jacques Boucher is an organist, a broadcaster, a church musician, and a music professor. He is featured in many recordings and has given concerts in Canada, Europe, the United States, Bermuda, Mexico, and South America. In Montréal, Boucher is principal organist of the Sanctuaire du Saint-Sacrement and the titular organist of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church, which contains Casavant Frères’ Opus 615.

Sophie Poulin de Courval is an active chamber musician who has played concerts in Canada, the United-States, Romania, Italy, and France. She is the titular saxophone teacher at the music school in Rivière-du-Loup.

Boucher and Poulin de Courval have been working together since 2003. Wishing to share all the potential of the unusual sound mix created by the colors of the saxophone and organ, they have performed in Québec, New Brunswick and France at a growing number of concert venues. They recorded two CDs, released in 2012, on five different organs in the Kamouraska region of Québec.

August 18
Douglas Beck
(Bangor, Maine)

The August 18 program features Douglas Beck from Bangor, Maine performing music of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, William Byrd and Josef Rheinberger.

Douglas Beck
Douglas Beck

Beck enjoys creating and inspiring the creative and spiritual work of others in Maine’s close-knit local and regional communities while linking that work to daily living. He enjoys his work with music students in his Bangor studio and as a faculty member of the Ellsworth Community Music Institute. He enjoys his working relationships with musicians and visual artists as well as spiritual seekers of all ages. Beck serves as Accompanist with the Bagaduce Chorale and Artistic Director of the Bangor Community Chorus. He has served the Bangor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists as a member of the Executive Committee and recently completed a term as Chapter Dean. Beck holds degrees in Organ Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University. Before moving to Maine, Beck lived in the Washington D.C. area for seventeen years, where he was the Assistant Organist-Choirmaster at Historic Christ Church and then the Organist-Choirmaster at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, both in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia. He also served on the Adjunct Faculty at Virginia Theological Seminary. Additionally, Beck is an Oblate in the Order of Julian of Norwich (a recognized monastic order of the Episcopal Church, US). He is also a Master of Divinity student at Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

August 25
Kevin Birch 
with Scott Burditt, horn
(Bangor, Maine)

The August 25 concert features Kevin Birch with Scott Burditt, horn, from Bangor, Maine.  They will perform music of J. S. Bach, Franz Joseph Haydn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Kevin Birch holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Iowa with previous studies at New England Conservatory in Boston and the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. Since 1992 he has served as Director of Music at St. John’s Catholic Church in Bangor, Maine He is a member of the music faculty at the University of Maine’s School of the Performing Arts in Orono and serves on the Liturgical Commission for the Diocese of Portland.

Maine native Scott Burditt, the Band Director at Bangor High School, has been a public and private school music teacher for more than 35 years, working with students from grade 3 through college. He is the Principal Horn and Personnel Manager for the Bangor Symphony, and is the Associate Conductor of the Bangor Band. As a professional horn player, he has played with most of the performing groups in Maine, including the Portland and Bangor Symphonies, college orchestras, brass and woodwind quintets and community bands.

We are grateful to our partner hotel, the Charles Inn.

2016 Special Event: Bach by Candlelight

POSTPONED to Monday, March 28, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
due to weather

Bach by candlelight poster

In support of St. Paul’s House, a project with Habitat for Humanity, St. Paul the Apostle Parish will celebrate J. S. Bach’s 331st birthday in an all-Bach concert featuring organist Dr. Kevin Birch. He will perform on the church’s historic pipe organ, E. & G. G. Hook’s magnificent Opus 288 built for St. John’s in 1860, Birch will be joined by mezzo-soprano Marcia Gronewold Sly, French hornist Scott Burditt and cellist John Frankland. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated and will support St. Paul’s House.

The program includes the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565; Fantasy and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537; the Chorale Prelude Dies sind die heil’gen zehn Gebot’, BWV 678; the Toccata, Adagio and Fuga in C major, BWV 564; Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen from BWV 82; Wachet auf, rust und die Stimme, BWV 645; and Schafe können sicher wider from BWV 208.

From Kevin Birch: THANK YOU to all who contributed to the success of our Bach by Candlelight concert in support of St. Paul’s House – a Project of Habitat for Humanity and St. Paul the Apostle Parish. Together we raised $2,114.  I am particularly grateful to our guest performers, Marcia Gronewold Sly, Scott Burditt and John Frankland for their superb musicianship and generosity and to our wonderful (and large) audience!

2016 Spring International Concert

Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Loretto Aramendi (San Sebastian, Spain)

Loreto Aramendi
Loreto Aramendi

St. John’s Organ Society is pleased to announce that Spanish organist, Loreto Aramendi, will play a concert on the historic organ at St. John’s Catholic Church (207 York Street) on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. Aramendi is the principal organist of the Cavaillé-Coll organ (1863) of the Basilique of Santa María del Coro and professor of organ at the F. Escudero Conservatoire, both in San Sebastian. She enjoys an international reputation as a concert artist, and has performed in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Argentina, the United States and France. Her program includes music of Wagner, Liszt, J.S. Bach, Fauré, Tournemire, and Saint-Saëns.

The May 3rd program continues the tradition of an annual concert by an internationally recognized recitalist on the historic E. & G. G. Hook organ, Opus 288, at St. John’s Catholic Church.   Hook’s Opus 288, the largest 19th-Century pipe organ in northern New England, has been described by Alan Laufman (past president of the Organ Historical Society) as “…a national treasure.”

St. John’s Catholic Church is located at 207 York Street in Bangor. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated and will benefit outreach and education projects of St. John’s Organ Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of the historic E. & G. G. Hook Organ built in 1860.

A sample of Aramendi’s playing:

Lanham Blackwell Baber logo

We thank our sponsor: Lanham, Blackwell, & Baber, PA.

We are grateful to our partner hotel, the Charles Inn.