St. John’s Organ Society is pleased to announce the 23rd 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.
George Bozeman (Deerfield, New Hampshire)
The first concert is July 23 and features George Bozeman from Deerfield, New Hampshire. An active recitalist and church musician, Bozeman is performing music of J.S. Bach, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Paul Hindemith, and César Franck. A native of Texas, he studied organ at the University of North Texas and apprenticed as an organbuilder with Otto Hofmann of Austin, Texas. On a Fulbright grant Bozeman studied organ and harpsichord at the Academy of Music in Vienna. He founded his own organbuilding firm and has continued as an active church musician, currently serving as director of music at the Pembroke Congregational Church. He has played recitals across the United States and in Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe.
Chris Pelonzi with Nicole Pelonzi, flute (Portland, Maine)
The July 30 concert features Chris Pelonzi with Nicole Pelonzi, flute, from Portland, Maine. The Pelonzis are performing music of George Frideric Handel, César Franck, and Lowell Liebermann.
Chris Pelonzi is the current Music Director for the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and Portland Peninsula and Island Parishes. His love and study of music began when he was three years old in Salem, NH, brought him to McGill University in Montreal, then to build and direct a music program in a small town in Eastern Massachusetts, and now, finally, to Maine. This past year, he was the Conductor of the TABS Choral Group at University of New England and Co-Sub Dean for the Portland, Maine chapter of the American Guild of Organists. As a harpsichordist, he has appeared most recently with the St. Mary’s Schola and continues to perform with them regularly.
Flutist Nicole Pelonzi is a young freelance musician based in Portland, Maine. As a solo artist, Nicole has been prizewinner in the International Crescendo Music Awards and the Florida Flute Association Young Artist Competition. Passionate about new music, Nicole collaborates frequently with contemporary composers, most recently with Howard Frazin, Miho Sasaki and Peter Kramer as well as at the Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival. Nicole performs regularly as part of the Pelonzi-Wallace Duo, the Emissary Quartet and has taught flute, music theory and presented classes at the Portland Conservatory of Music, Clavier-Werke School of Music, Boston Flute Academy and Austin Soundwaves. Nicole has a BM in Flute Performance from The University of Texas at Austin, Butler School of Music.
Abraham Ross (Holden, Maine)
Abraham Ross commenced his study of organ with Kevin Birch at the age of thirteen. He now studies at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving as Organ Scholar under the direction of James David Christie. As Organ Scholar, he attends the college on a full tuition scholarship, playing weekly services with the school’s Schola Cantorum. Recently, he appeared in performances at First Unitarian (Worcester, MA), Boston’s Symphony Hall, the Paris CRR Conservatory, and the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires. In the future, he plans to pursue a graduate degree and a career in organ performance and liturgical music.
Sarah Johnson (Garland, Maine)
Sarah Johnson is a Senior Music major studying both piano and organ performance at Vassar College. She has played services and concerts for several churches in Maine and New York. She served as Interim Minister for Music at the Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church in Maine in the summer of 2014 and this past school year served as intern at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Poughkeepsie. This summer she is the Resident Organ Intern on Squirrel Island, off the coast of Boothbay Harbor, playing for their Chapel services and directing their choir.
Johnson began her organ lessons with Kevin Birch, organist and music director at Saint John’s Catholic Church in Bangor where she performed a senior recital in 2012. She has twice attended the Summer Organ Institute at Westminster Choir College in New Jersey and was named an E. Power Biggs Fellow of the Organ Historical Society in 2013.
Johnson is a member of both the Organ Historical Society and the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and currently studies with Gail Archer at Vassar College. Since beginning college she has performed three times in New York City at Central Synagogue and recently placed second in the Eastern NY region of the AGO’s Regional Competition for Young Organists. She plans to pursue a career in church music in the future.
Susan Ferré (Gorham, New Hampshire)
The August 20 concert features Susan Ferré from Gorham, New Hampshire. Ferré is performing music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Charles Tournemire, Jean Langlais, and Louis Vierne.
Susan Ferré directs a non-profit organization, Music in the Great North Woods, bringing classical music to the North Country. She serves St. Barnabas Episcopal Church as Organist and Director of Music. She maintains an active concert career, having performed widely in Europe, including three visits to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Scandinavia, Brazil, Canada, and throughout the United States. She has served the faculties of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology, University of North Texas and the University of Paris at Vincennes. For more than twenty years Ferré directed the Texas Baroque Ensemble, employing early singing styles and original instruments. She holds degrees from Texas Christian University and the Eastman School of Music. A Fulbright Scholar, recipient of the Diplome d’Orgue et Improvisation from the Schola Cantorum in Paris, as well as the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from University of North Texas, Ferré was honored with a Distinguished Alumna award from that university in 2001. Her numerous recordings have received glowing critical reviews as well as the Gold GrIndie Award.
Kevin Birch (Bangor, Maine)
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 where, in addition to choir training and service playing, he directs the St. John’s Organ Society – www.hookopus288.net – an organization dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of E. & G. G. Hook’s Opus #288 (1860). 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.
He performs frequently on the many fine historic organs in Maine, has made several appearances at national conventions of the Organ Historical Society, and has made several concert tours in Europe. This summer, in addition to nearby programs in Blue Hill, Brunswick, Orrington, Waldoboro and Bangor, he recently returned from a concert tour in Luxembourg and Germany.
These free public concerts are an outreach to the Greater Bangor Community and feature outstanding musicians from New England and beyond.