St. John’s Organ Society is pleased to announce the 28th Summer Recital Series on Maine’s largest 19th-Century mechanical-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.
Our opening summer concert (Thursday, August 5) features Jennifer McPherson (Portsmouth, NH) performing works of J.S. Bach, Alexandre Guilmant, and Charles Tournemire. McPherson serves as Director of Music and Liturgy at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, NH, and holds degrees from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, and Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, OH. She has performed throughout the United States and Canada and has been awarded prizes in multiple competitions, including the International Organ Competition Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck in Amsterdam. A committed teacher of young musicians, Ms. McPherson is co-director of The Choir School at St. John’s, an after-school tuition-free music program for children grades 3-8. She also serves on the faculty and the board of the Young Organist Collaborative, an outreach program of St. John’s Portsmouth.
On August 12 Jeremy Thompson (Charlottesville, VA) performs music of J.S. Bach, Eugène Gigout, and Franz Liszt. Thompson was born in Dipper Harbour, a small fishing village in New Brunswick, Canada, and studied piano with Marina Mdivani (a student of Emil Gilels) and organ with Dr. John Grew. He earned a Doctorate of Music in performance from McGill University holding two of Canada’s most prestigious doctoral fellowships. He has performed extensively throughout North America appearing with orchestras and in solo and chamber music settings, and has completed three tours to the former Soviet Union. Thompson enjoys performing music from all eras, and specializes in highly virtuosic repertoire. He has recorded a 2 CD set of the organ music of Karl Höller on the Raven CD label and several CDs of piano music.
The August 19 concert features Erica Johnson (Walpole, MA) celebrating music of female composers for the organ, including Cécile Chaminade, Florence Price and Ethel Smyth. Johnson is the College Organist and Instructor of Organ and Harpsichord at Wellesley College and Director of Liturgy and Music at Sacred Heart Parish in Newton Center, MA. Erica is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin College, New England Conservatory, and the Eastman School of Music (DMA), studying with Haskell Thomson, William Porter and Hans Davidsson. As a grant recipient of the Beebe Fund for Musicians she studied an additional two years at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen, Germany, with Harald Vogel. Her years in Germany yielded two honors: the 2004 International Arp Schnitger Prize awarded by the Arp Schnitger Gesellschaft, and the 2002 NDR Musikpreis. More recently she has presented programs for the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies and the Göteborg International Organ Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden.
George Bozemen (Deerfield, NH) performs music of J.S. Bach on August 26. A native of Texas, Bozeman studied with Dr. Helen Hewitt at the University of North Texas. He apprenticed as an organbuilder with Otto Hofmann in Austin, Texas, and later worked with Robert L. Sipe in Dallas. In 1967 he received a Fulbright Grant to Austria where he studied with Anton Heiller and Isolde Ahlgrimm. He worked with Fritz Noack in Andover, Massachusetts before starting his own firm in Lowell. With partner David Gibson and later as sole owner his firm completed projects in some 20 states across the nation – including the 1981 restoration of E. & G. G. Hook’s Opus 288 at St. John’s in Bangor. He has maintained a church music career throughout and is director of music at the First Congregational Church in Pembroke, New Hampshire. He has played recitals across the United States and in Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, Germany, and France.
Anatole Wieck and Kevin Birch
Our Season Finale (September 2) features Kevin Birch with Anatole Wieck, violin (Bangor, ME) performing works of J.S. Bach, Heinrich Biber and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. Birch began organ studies with Yuko Hayashi on the C. B. Fisk organ at Old West Church in 1979 and earned the Bachelor of Music Degree at New England Conservatory (with Distinction in Performance) in 1987. He continued studies with Klaas Bolt at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam and later with Delores Bruch at the University of Iowa where he earned the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Since 1992 he has served as Director of Music at St. John’s Catholic Church in Bangor, Maine where he also serves as Executive Director of St. John’s Organ Society – a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of E. & G. G. Hook’s Opus 288 built for St. John’s Church in 1860. Kevin 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 has performed solo recitals in the US, Canada, Europe, and in South America, and for several national conventions of the Organ Historical Society. He is especially devoted to the many fine historic organs in Maine on which he enjoys frequent opportunities to study and perform.
Born in Latvia, Anatole Wieck received his first musical education in Riga and Moscow. In the United States since 1973, he studied violin and viola at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City, where he completed his Doctorate in Musical Arts working closely with Ivan Galamian, Lillian Fuchs, and Paul Doktor. He also studied baroque interpretation with Carol Lieberman at Boston University. He plays baroque viola, viola d’amore and baroque violin. Since 1986 Dr. Wieck has taught upper strings at the University of Maine and conducted the University of Maine Orchestra. He has performed and conducted in Europe, North and South America, and has participated in chamber music festivals such as Chamber Music/West (San Francisco), White Nights (St. Petersburg, Russia) and festivals in Montepulciano, Italy and Newport, Rhode Island. He was a Fulbright Senior Specialist in 2006 in Guatemala.
We are grateful to our partner hotel, the Charles Inn.