The following artists and groups, in alphabetical order, are scheduled to appear for the AGO 2019 West Region Convention.
Juilliard-trained organist David La’O Ball (BM ’14, MM ’16) serves as Organist and Assistant Director of Music at Christ Cathedral in the Diocese of Orange, California (formerly Crystal Cathedral). David is a recognized and well-lauded young performer—The New York Times declared his appearance in Juilliard’s FOCUS! Festival “a rousing performance”; his performance of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in a minor in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall was broadcast on American Public Media’s nationally-syndicated radio program Pipedreams; and his segment of the 2014 WQXR Bach Marathon was streamed on WQXR-FM, New York City’s classical radio station. In addition, David has performed solo and collaborative recitals across the country, including duet recitals with Dr. John A. Romeri on the largest musical instrument ever built: the Boardwalk Hall Organ in Atlantic City. In recognition of his accomplishments, David was named one of The Diapason’s 2017 Class of 20 under 30, a peer-selected group of young people at the forefront of the organ field.
David completed both the Bachelor and Master of Music at The Juilliard School in New York City, studying under Mr. Paul Jacobs. As part of a wide-ranging musical vision for 21st-century collaboration—a vision cultivated during his time at Juilliard—David is committed to making the “King of Instruments” play well with others. He has spearheaded a number of “David and Friends” chamber recitals, commissioned many new works, and co-founded the ensemble duo corgano, a horn and organ duet featuring fellow Juilliard alumnus Trevor Nuckols. Additionally, as an orchestral musician, David has played organ with the Juilliard Orchestra in Ives’ Three Places in New England under the baton of Jeffrey Milarsky, and Bartok’s The Miraculous Mandarin under Robert Spano. In 2015, he played harmonium for the Juilliard Vocal Arts production of Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis, conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson.
David is an active member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). As a winner of the AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists, David performed as a Rising Star at the 2016 National AGO Convention in Houston where he "used the organ evocatively... displayed a wide palette of colors in his artistic registration and... brought Mozart's K. 608 to a thrilling close, earning an enthusiastic response from the audience." (The American Organist) David has additionally won AGO Competitions in Wichita, Denver, Kansas City, and St. Louis, and was the recipient of the rarely-conferred Outstanding Student Award from the St. Louis Chapter of the AGO.
The only thing that matches David’s passion for solo and ensemble performance is his commitment to creating liturgical music of the highest caliber. From his earliest days as the organ scholar at the landmark St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, David played and accompanied the Cathedral Basilica’s choirs in performances across the country and in Rome, Italy. During his studies at Juilliard, he worked as the Assistant Director and Interim Director of Music at St. Malachy’s – The Actors’ Chapel in Times Square. As Christ Cathedral Organist, David’s musical contributions underpin the Cathedral's vast array of weekly services and events, accompanying the Diocesan, Cathedral, and Children's Choirs and supporting the parish's diverse congregation.
- Biography courtesy of Paula Harper.
Steven Ball has recently been named as Director of Sacred Music at The Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis, Missouri. The Oratory is famous for a unique and varied choral repertoire spanning several centuries and performed by numerous ensembles. The liturgies are conducted exclusively in Latin using the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the universal form of the Roman Catholic Liturgy before the changes which followed the Second Vatican Council. As such it provides a unique cultural and musical setting in which the music of some of the greatest composers for sacred choral and organ music can be heard in their original context.
A native of Michigan originally, Dr. Ball studied at the University of Michigan where he later went on to teach, serve as University Carillonneur, and the Director of the famous Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments. He received his DMA in 2007 as a student of Marilyn Mason. A former Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands, Steven Ball is also well known for his work in the world of campanology (the study of bells), improvisation, as an organ consultant, for silent film accompaniment and as a theater organist and among his unique accomplishments was the first person ever to accompany a silent film on the carillon. A 'Carillonneur' member of the Guild of Carillonneurs since 1998, he was awarded 1st Place in the GCNA competition for improvisation in 2003. He has traveled and performed extensively in both the United States and abroad including concerts in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Portugal, Ireland, England, Switzerland and Italy. Dr. Ball serves as the Carillon consultant and as one of the Carillonneurs of Christ Cathedral.
He comes to this position from New Jersey where he last served as Organist and Director of Outreach (now Emeritus) for the world's largest pipe organ located in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. His time there also included a position at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, PA. Previous to his appointments in Atlantic City and Philadelphia and while serving on the faculty of the Organ Department at the University of Michigan, he also served as Cathedral Organist at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit and Senior Staff Organist at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor.
St. Francis de Sales Oratory is one of the largest and most important examples of gothic revival architecture in the nation. Tied for 6th tallest church tower in the United States, it is located on historic Route 66 and is open daily for visitors. Named America's most beautiful church in a recent nationwide contest, the church is served by priests from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. He was inducted as a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (a Papal Knighthood) in 2017.
Katherine Dubke is a published hymn writer and poet. A Lutheran pastor’s kid, Katherine recalls singing the hymn “Now the Light Has Gone Away” with her family during bedtime prayers. She is proud to call Red Bluff CA, the land of two-lane highways, cow pastures, and agriculture, her hometown.
Katherine discovered a love for writing hymn texts during her undergraduate years at Concordia University Irvine where her interests in music, poetry, and theology intersected. In 2014 she collaborated with composer Christian Guebert and debuted “As Sunflowers Face the Light of Dawn” – her first hymn text.
After graduating from Concordia University Irvine, Katherine has written hymn texts for several congregations, including commissions from Immanuel Lutheran of Orange, CA, St. John’s Lutheran of Bakersfield, CA, and Lord of Life Lutheran of Plano, TX.
Her first published hymn text, “I Thank You, Heav’nly Father,” is contained in the collection of essays, Always Reforming, edited by Rev. Dr. Steven Mueller. This hymn text is a poetic arrangement of Martin Luther’s Morning and Evening Prayers.
Katherine is eager to contribute new texts to the growing treasury of hymns. May her words reflect the hope and joy we have in Jesus. To God be the glory!
Joseph Fala, organ scholar at Duke University Chapel, is a recent graduate of the Yale School of Music where he received his MM in organ. While studying with Martin Jean and Thomas Murray, Fala assisted with the chorister program as organ scholar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Norwalk and also served as a teaching artist in New Haven schools as a part of the Yale Music in Schools Initiative. He previously coached independently with Christian Lane and Alfred Fedak during his undergraduate career at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he received his Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Science in Lighting degrees. A Hawaii native, Fala began organ studies with Katherine Crosier at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu.
A recipient of the Porgorzelski-Yankee Memorial Scholarship from the American Guild of Organists and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music’s Robert Baker Scholarship, Fala was awarded second prize in the 2013 Region II AGO Competition for Young Organists and third prize in the 2016 Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition, Hartford. He was recently named one of “20 under 30” by The Diapason Magazine, and was a featured artist at the Organ Historical Society’s Springfield, MA convention. As a recitalist, he has performed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine NYC, St. Patrick’s Cathedral NYC, Trinity Church Boston, Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral LA, Harvard University’s Busch Hall, and the Washington National Cathedral. Most recently, Fala accompanied the Duke Chapel Evensong Singers on their UK residencies at Gloucester Cathedral, St. Martin in the Fields and Westminster Abbey.
Christopher Gravis is an American choral and orchestral conductor, composer, and lecturer. Dr. Gravis serves as the Canon for Music & Cathedral Arts at St. John’s Cathedral in Los Angeles, and the Assistant Professor & Director of Choral Activities at California State University Los Angeles. He has led the professional ensemble Clarion Singers in residence at Canterbury Cathedral, and regularly guest conducts the LA Schola. For seven years he served as Director of Music at St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church, where he led the choir in residence at St. Paul’s Cathedral – London. Under his successful leadership, the choir has since been asked to sing in residence at Westminster Abbey in the Summer of 2018.
He is considered a specialist in the area of English choral-orchestral masterworks, and of Anglican liturgical music. Dr. Gravis published a dissertation on The Development of Anglican Chant in Twentieth-Century. Alongside a robust liturgical music season at St. John’s Cathedral, Dr. Gravis conducts monthly services of Choral Evensong, Compline, and is internationally sought after as a guest conductor.
Active as both a choral and orchestral conductor, Gravis made his debut with the San Diego Symphony in 2014, and recently finished several seasons leading the acclaimed Orange Coast College Symphony. Dr. Gravis is also a composer of choral and liturgical music. His setting of the Preces & Responses was premiered at Canterbury Cathedral in 2016.
A native of Southern California, he earned degrees in music from the University of Redlands, California State University - Fullerton, and the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.
Christian Guebert is a composer and music educator from Orange, California. His works include published and award-winning pieces for instrumental and choral ensembles. Christian’s works aim for immediacy and idiomatic performing style, with emphases on new sacred music, organ recital pieces, and percussion. He holds an MM degree (Cal State University Fullerton '13, composition) and a Parish Music Certification ('15) and BA ('10) from Concordia University Irvine CA; he is now a PhD student in composition at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music where he is a teaching associate for advanced musicianship and theory courses. He has taught and designed university classes in theory, composition, counterpoint, orchestration, percussion, handbells, and conducting.
Aside from current doctoral work, he also serves as music director at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Orange. Recent appointments include Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar faculty (2016, 2018) and director/adjudicator at the Young Ringers Festival (Irvine CA, 2016, 2017). Recent publications include "O Captain! My Captain!" for chorus and handbells/piano, commissioned by Choral Arts Initiative as part of a fellowship for their 2018 PREMIERE|Project Festival (and distributed by MusicSpoke in the ICON Choral Series), a handbell piece ("Glad Adoration," Lorenz) and an orchestration of a choral work (Peter Anglea’s "Silent Night," Beckenhorst). Recent projects include a complete choral song cycle of Walt Whitman sea poetry (Voyaging, 2018), which incorporates “The Untold Want,” the prizewinning piece of the 2016 Pacific Chorale Young Composers Competition, performed in April 2017 by the John Alexander Singers.
Ethan Haman from Fremont, CA, is currently a senior in the USC Thornton School of Music. A recipient of the USC Presidential Scholarship, he is a double major studying B.Mus. Pipe Organ Studies with Prof. Cherry Rhodes and B.Mus. Composition with Prof. Donald Crockett (previously with Daniel Temkin and Sean Friar). Ethan is currently organist for both Knox Presbyterian Church in Pasadena on Sunday mornings and the Extraordinary Form/Latin Mass offered by the Fraternity of Saint Peter on Sunday evenings at St. Victor Catholic Church in West Hollywood, where he improvises most of the organ music in addition to accompanying Gregorian chants alongside a choir which sings polyphonic Renaissance settings of the mass.
Ethan studied organ and composition from 2008 to 2015 with Angela Kraft Cross, and served as the regular organist of Christ Episcopal Church Los Altos from 2011 to 2015. He earned his Colleague of the American Guild of Organists (CAGO) credential in April 2013. Ethan went on three study trips to Lyon and Paris, France in 2013, 2015, and 2018 on scholarships from the San Francisco Peninsula Organ Academy to study organ interpretation and improvisation with such notable teachers as Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin, Frédéric Blanc, Christophe Mantoux, Aude Heurtematte, Louis Robilliard, and Marie-Louise Langlais. Ethan has played numerous full organ recitals in the San Francisco Bay Area, Salinas, Los Angeles, Reno, and Harvard University as well as shared concerts in several notable venues such as San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall, Stanford University's Memorial Church, Notre Dame d'Auteuil in Paris, and Los Angeles' Union Station. He has performed his original compositions in Composers’ Forums for both the San Francisco and the Palo Alto/Peninsula AGO chapters and in concerts at many different venues. He performed his composition “Improvisation on Pentecost Themes” for the Organ Academy Closing Concert of the July 2017 Montréal Organ Festival. In November 2016, Ethan's setting of the "Gloria Patri" Latin text for choir and pipe organ won the USC University Chorus Composition Competition and was premiered by the University Chorus at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral in Los Angeles for their fall concert. In December 2017 the same chorus premiered his composition "Hodie Christus Natus Est" for choir and 8 trombones as part of the USC Winter Gala Concert at USC's Bovard Auditorium. Ethan's hobbies include recording organ videos for his YouTube channel and selling his compositions at sheetmusicplus.com as well as studying foreign languages; he currently speaks English, Spanish, French, European Portuguese, Cantonese, and is learning Mandarin Chinese.
Jaebon Hwang is Organist and Associate Director at First United Methodist Church of San Diego where she presides over the largest instrument in the county. This follows her tenure at Westwood United Methodist Church and First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, which house two of the largest organs in the region.
She won 3rd prize at the 13th National Organ-Playing Competition sponsored by The Ruth and Clarence Mader Memorial Scholarship Fund in 2013. Awarded the Fellow of American Guild of Organists (FAGO), the organization’s highest level of certification, she recently completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Southern California, studying organ with Dr. Ladd Thomas and composition with Dr. Morten Lauridsen.
Prior to her studies in organ, she earned degrees in Composition and Scoring for Film & Multimedia from Korea National University of Arts and New York University respectively. Ms. Hwang’s submission to the 8th Annual Young Film Composers Competition, sponsored by Turner Classic Movies, won 3rd prize from a pool of over 850 international entries. She has been repeatedly chosen to participate in the ASCAP film scoring workshops, most notably the ASCAP Television & Film Scoring Workshop with Richard Bellis. She was also commissioned to be one of the composers for the premiere of the silent film “Les Deux Timides” (René Clair, 1929) at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
Recently featured at the West Region Convention of American Guild of Organists held in Salt Lake City in 2017, she maintains an active performance schedule as a recitalist and as a collaborative artist. In 2014, she participated in the recording of the first album of the “Hollywood Epic Brass” with in-demand studio musicians in Los Angeles.
Additionally, as an active member of the American Guild of Organists, Ms. Hwang served on the executive board of the Los Angeles chapter in the several roles and recently directed a Pipe Organ Encounter, an educational outreach program.
The only organist ever to have won a GRAMMY Award (for Messiaen's "Livre du Saint-Sacrement"), Paul Jacobs transfixes audiences, colleagues and critics alike with imaginative interpretations and charismatic stage presence. Hailed as "one of the major musicians of our time" by the New Yorker's Alex Ross, Mr. Jacobs has been an important influence in the revival of symphonic works featuring the organ, drawing from his deep knowledge of western music to enlighten listeners, and is a true innovator in the advocacy of organ repertoire, performing and encouraging the composition of new works that feature the organ.
Paul Jacobs made his mark from a young age with landmark performances of the complete works for solo organ by J.S. Bach and Messiaen, making musical history at the age of 23 when he played Bach's complete organ works in an 18-hour marathon performance on the 250th anniversary of the composer's death.
A fierce advocate of new music, Jacobs has premiered works by Christopher Rouse, Samuel Adler, Mason Bates, Michael Daugherty, Wayne Oquin, Stephen Paulus, and Christopher Theofanidis, among others. He is a vocal proponent of the redeeming nature of traditional and contemporary classical music in his roles as Chair of the Organ Department at The Juilliard School and Director of the Organ Institute at the Oregon Bach Festival.
Paul Jacobs begins his 2017/18 season with a concert at the Toledo Museum of Art performing Lou Harrison's Concerto for Organ and Percussion with Third Coast Percussion in a centennial celebration of Lou Harrison, followed by Shanghai, China where he is President of the Jury of the first Shanghai International Organ Competition, an especially important milestone in the development of organ playing in Asia. He will also be presented in recital at the Oriental Arts Center. He returns twice to the Philadelphia Orchestra, first for Wayne Oquin’s “Resilience” which was written for Paul Jacobs and later for James MacMillan’s organ concerto, “A Scotch Bestiary”. He also appears twice with the Cleveland Orchestra, in the fall with Giancarlo Guerrero conducting Stephen Paulus's Grand Concerto for Organ and Orchestra and returns in the spring for their week-long festival celebrating Tristan and Isolde. He is organ soloist in Saint-Saëns's Organ Symphony with the Chicago Symphony and the Utah Symphony and presents solo recitals in San Francisco at Davies Symphony Hall, in Sacramento, Tampa, Houston, Baylor University and Pittsburgh among others.
In the 2016/17 season Paul Jacobs played world premiere performances of Christopher Rouse's Organ Concerto, dedicated to him in 2014, with three commissioning partners, the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the National Symphony conducted by Gustavo Gimeno and the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by David Robertson.
He appears frequently in New York, and has been presented twice at Lincoln Center's White Light Festival, the first time at the inaugural 2010 Festival performing J.S. Bach's monumental Clavier-Ubung III and the 2015 edition with world-renowned soprano Christine Brewer in a program of their Naxos release, "Divine Redeemer" He and Ms. Brewer also presented their duo program on tour to Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, the St. Louis Cathedral-Basilica and Spivey Hall in Atlanta.
With the Nashville Symphony, Giancarlo Guerrero conducting, he performed and recorded Michael Daugherty's Once Upon a Castle, included on the Naxos disc of works by Daugherty, Tales of Hemingway, awarded the 2016 GRAMMY for Best Classical Compendium.
In addition to the above, Paul Jacobs is a frequent concerto and recital soloist featuring the concert organs of the San Francisco Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Lexington Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony, the Seattle Symphony and the Toledo Symphony.
Prodigiously talented from his earliest years, at 15 young Jacobs was appointed head organist of a parish of 3,500 in his hometown, Washington, Pennsylvania. He has also performed the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen in marathon performances throughout North America, and recently reached the milestone of having performed in each of the fifty United States. In addition to his recordings of Messiaen and Daugherty on Naxos, Mr. Jacobs has recorded organ concerti by Lou Harrison and Aaron Copland with the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas on the orchestra’s own label, SFS Media.
Mr. Jacobs studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, double-majoring with John Weaver for organ and Lionel Party for harpsichord, and at Yale University with Thomas Murray. He joined the faculty of The Juilliard School in 2003, and was named chairman of the organ department in 2004, one of the youngest faculty appointees in the school’s history. He received Juilliard’s prestigious William Schuman Scholar’s Chair in 2007 and an honorary Doctor of Music from Washington and Jefferson College in 2017.
In addition to his concert and teaching appearances, Mr. Jacobs is a frequent performer at festivals across the world, and has appeared on American Public Media’s Performance Today, Pipedreams, and Saint Paul Sunday, as well as NPR’s Morning Edition, ABC-TV’s World News Tonight, and BBC Radio 3.
Patricia Murphy Lamb
Patricia Murphy Lamb is Organist and Director of Music Ministries at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Newport Beach, California, where she has served since 1989. She administers a program of seven choirs, and conducts the Parish Choir, Schola, and Handbell Choir. An active member of the Music Advisory Board for the Diocese of Orange, she has also served on the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, as Director of the Diocesan Choir and organist for major celebrations, and as Chair of the Music Task Force for Christ Cathedral. Dr. Lamb has been a frequent recitalist in the Western US, including two regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists. She has served in many capacities for the Guild, including South Coast District Convener, Dean of the Pasadena Chapter, and Co-Chair of the 2000 Pipe Organ Encounter in Orange County. Also active in the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, she writes reviews for their journals and was Chair of the Education Committee of the Director of Music Ministries Division. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from California State University, Fullerton and the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Organ Performance, Choral and Church Music from the University of Southern California, where she studied with Ladd Thomas and Cherry Rhodes.
Charles F. Raasch
Charles F. Raasch is a long time resident of Orange County. He has been active in music here for over 35 years. He has played for Lutheran, Catholic and Presbyterian churches over the years, and has substituted at churches and venues throughout the area. He is currently the organist for the St. John's, Orange concert series, playing literature and composing new works which often find their debut at these concerts. He is also Past Dean of the Orange County chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He has studied with Esther Jones and Michael Burkhardt and is currently studying with Dr. Tom Mueller.
Charles is an electrical engineer by trade, and in addition to a passion for playing organ music, is involved in developing hardware and software for digital organs. He has built several digital organ consoles in use by himself and his colleagues, and has sampled many local pipe organs which are sold worldwide on the Hauptwerk software platform. He currently is employed as an electrical engineer at Spireon in Irvine. He lives with his wife Leslie and dogs Alice and Olive in Foothill Ranch, California.
Cherry Rhodes is the first American to win an international organ competition (Munich). During her brilliant career she has toured extensively throughout the major music capitals of America and Europe with recitals in cathedrals, churches, and concert halls, including Lincoln Center (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas), the Performing Arts Center (Milwaukee), Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia), Royal Festival Hall (London), International Performing Arts Center (Moscow), Philharmonic Halls of Berlin, Dortmund, and Luxembourg, the Organ and Architecture Symposium, and the renowned International September Music Festival of Montreux-Vevey (Switzerland). Other international festivals include those of Paris (Notre Dame and St. Eustache), Munich, Freiburg, Nurnberg, St. Albans, Luxembourg, Vienna, Bratislava, Presov, Gdansk and Warsaw and Montreal.
As one of the first organists to perform on the organ in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Ms. Rhodes premiered Concierto de Los Angeles by James Hopkins, with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Subsequently, she played the monumental Symphonie Concertante by Joseph Jongen on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Subscription Series and a solo recital sponsored by Toyota.
At age seventeen, Cherry Rhodes made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra and later performed many times under the baton of Eugene Ormandy as well as numerous guest conductors. Since that time, she has performed as soloist with orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic (with conductors Simon Rattle and Edo de Waart), the Phoenix Symphony, the Pasadena Chamber Orchestra, the South German Radio Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the French National Radio.
From 1972-1975 Ms. Rhodes taught organ at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and was Artist-in-Residence at All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, D.C., where she gave recitals and frequently premiered new music. Numerous composers have written and dedicated works to her, and she has edited several compositions as well. These include Ascent by Joan Tower (Associated Music Publishers, Inc.), Prelude and Variations on “Old Hundredth” by Calvin Hampton (Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc.), Meditations on “Salve, Festa Dies” and Chorale, Diferencias and Glosas on “Puer Natus in Bethlehem” by Joseph Walter (Composer’s Library), and Larry King — The Organ Music for solo organ and organ and tape (Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc.)
Ms. Rhodes has recorded for Columbia Records with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Everyone Dance, her critically acclaimed solo recording on the Pro Organo label, has been hailed by The American Organist as “A joyous celebration of unrivaled artistry!” She has been featured on the CDs: Pipedreams Live! (Minnesota Public Radio), Comes Summertime (JAV Recordings), Historic Organs of Boston (The Organ Historical Society), Jean Guillou-Colloques (Augure), Cherry Rhodes…Live (Pro Organo), Cherry Rhodes in Concert (at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels) and Cherry Rhodes at the Kimmel Center (Delos Productions, Inc.). Many of her performances have been broadcast throughout North America and Europe.
Ms. Rhodes is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Dr. Alexander McCurdy. She received Fulbright and Rockefeller grants for studies in Munich with Karl Richter and in Paris with Marie-Claire Alain and Jean Guillou, who invited her to be his assistant for two years at St. Eustache.
Cherry Rhodes is Adjunct Professor of Organ at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California. Many of her students have won awards, grants, and top prizes in competitions in the United States and Europe. A sought-after musician, she gives master classes and frequently serves as adjudicator for competitions in North America and Europe and most recently in Shanghai where the first pipe organ competition in China was held in 2017.
In 2015 Cherry Rhodes and her husband Ladd Thomas received The American Guild of Organists Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award.
Carole Terry is Professor of Organ and Harpsichord at the University of Washington School of Music, and Artist in Residence of Epiphany Parish, Seattle. Her career as an internationally renowned performer and teacher of the organ and harpsichord has taken her to many cities and universities throughout the United States, Europe, and the Far East. While she is especially heralded for her performances and recordings of German Romantic music, she is also an expert on the physiology of keyboard performance.
Dr. Terry has appeared at The Bamboo Organ Festival, Manila, Philippines, the Attersee Barock Akademie in Austria, and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany. She has been featured at the International Summer School for Young Organists in Oundle (Britain), the Mount Royal College Organ Academy and International Summer School in Calgary and the McGill Summer Organ Academy (Canada). In September, 2004 she was the first American organist to perform on the new Glatter-Götz organ in the concert hall of Perm, Russia. She has performed and served on the panel of jurors for the Musachino Organ Competition in Tokyo, the Tariverdiev International Organ Competition and the St. Albans International Organ Festival and Competition in England.
In the United States, Dr. Terry has been featured as performer and lecturer at the San Anselmo Organ Festival (California), The Historical Organ in America (Arizona), the Oregon Bach Festival, and the Montreat Festival of Worship and Music (North Carolina) and, most recently, at the 2008 Organ Historical Society Convention in Seattle and the 2015 AGO regional convention in San Diego.
From 2000-2003, Carole Terry was Resident Organist and Curator for the Seattle Symphony where she helped to inaugurate the new Watjen Concert Organ built by C.B. Fisk in Seattle’s acclaimed Benaroya Hall. In that role she performed numerous solo recitals, organ concerti, and other works for organ and orchestra. Her 2008 recording on the Loft label was made on this instrument. Her other recordings are found on the MHS, CRI, and Crystal labels.
Carole Terry is represented exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.
A nationally-recognized conductor and concert organist, James Walker entertains and enlightens audiences throughout the United States, and his solo recitals are broadcast on National Public Radio. Winner of the prestigious Ruth and Clarence Mader National Organ-Playing Competition in 1986, he is a featured soloist at Bach festivals and regional and national music conventions.
In addition to solo and chamber music recitals as pianist and organist, James maintains an active teaching schedule as well as guest conductor and guest accompanist appearances for special events and consulting in church music.
Walker enjoyed a long and fruitful tenure of 34 years, leading the music department at All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena. Under his direction, the two 55-voice adult choirs premiered numerous works by outstanding Los Angeles-based composers and performed for local and national meetings of the American Choral Directors Association, the Association of Anglican Musicians and the American Guild of Organists.
Performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic included 2005 and 2006 holiday concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall. In 2012, LA Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel invited the combined choirs to perform Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand.” The All Saints choirs were the only church-based ensembles joining community and professional choruses for this once-in-a-lifetime event.
James was College Organist and Instructor of Organ at Occidental College in Los Angeles from 1981 to 2004. He was Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Bach Festival 2014.
Walker holds both undergraduate and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California School of Music. He studied organ with Marcia Hannah Farmer, Ladd Thomas and Cherry Rhodes. His conducting coaches have been Thomas Somerville, Leo Nestor, James Vail, William Schaefer, and with Helmuth Rilling as a masterclass conductor at Oregon Bach Festival.
Weicheng Zhao began playing pipe organ in 2009. He has performed in the United States, Canada, France, and Asia. He was a featured recitalist at the American Guild of Organists Western Regional Convention in 2015, and at the invitation of Jean Guillou, Zhao played a solo recital in Paris at the Saint Eustache Festival d'orgue 2011.
As the first Chinese winner of national and international organ competition, he won First Prize and the Audience Prize in the Sixth Miami International Organ Competition, First Prize in the organ division of the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, Second Prize and the Audience Prize in the 12th and 13th Ruth and Clarence Mader National Organ Competitions, and Third Prize and the Audience Prize at the American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance.
Born in Tianjin, China, Zhao studied the Electone Organ (which features orchestral and newly developed electronic sounds) for 15 years under Jiyong Gao, Professor at Tianjin Conservatory of Music. He was selected to perform as soloist at significant celebrations, such as the National Day of China, the World Economic Forum Summer Davos, as well as touring in Japan.
Among numerous scholarships and awards, he received the prestigious People's Government Scholarship. Out of 20 million college, university, and conservatory students, Zhao was one of 30 students chosen to receive the Nomination Prize for Student of the Year 2007. That same year, he was the First Prize winner at the Yamaha National Electronic Organ Competition held in Shanghai, which qualified him to compete in the 43rd Yamaha International Electronic Organ Competition (open age group) in Tokyo, Japan. Included in his performance were his own composition, Jubilation, and his transcription of Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. He was the first Chinese to win this competition which is recognized as the most significant of its kind in the world. After receiving a Bachelor of Music Degree in 2008, he was appointed a full-time faculty member of the Electone Organ at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music.
Zhao was a private student of Yuankai Bao, one of the most important contemporary Chinese composers. Zhao has transcribed over 50 pieces for the Electone Organ and Pipe Organ including solos, concertos and chamber music. His commissioned work, transcription of The Love for Three Oranges for three organists (six hands, six feet, one bench) was premiered by Cherry Rhodes, Alan Morrison, and Ken Cowan in 2017. His transcriptions of pop music for piano in 15 volumes were published by the Publishing House of the Central Conservatory of Music.
Zhao came to the United States in 2009 to pursue study of the pipe organ with Professor Cherry Rhodes at the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He is currently Director of Music and Organist-Choirmaster at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California.
Alex Guebert is a composer, arranger, percussionist, music director and music teacher from Orange, California. He directs five handbell groups in the area; among those are two advanced-level groups: Cathedral Bells of St. John's Lutheran Church in Orange, and L.A. Bronze. His compositions and arrangements have been published and performed nationwide and overseas. Alex's compositional style is a result of his background as a percussionist, his love of film score, and his desire to broaden the horizons of handbell repertoire. Alex holds a bachelor's degree in percussion from Concordia University Irvine, and an M.M. in Music Composition from Cal State Long Beach, where his graduate recital featured a 25-minute work for handbells, strings, and percussion, titled "Ransom". His recent piece, "Out of the Silent Planet", won the Bells of the Cascades (Portland, OR) 25th Anniversary Composition Contest and was played at Distinctly Bronze East in 2017 under the baton of Dr. William Payn. Alex has studied conducting with Dr. Payn, Dr. Herbert Geisler (Concordia University Irvine), and Ramona Miller (former director of Cathedral Bells). He teaches music classes and leads band programs at schools in Orange County, and has taught several mallet technique and percussion classes at handbell seminars in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and California. Married in 2014, Alex spends most of his free time adventuring with his wife Heather, bicycling around Southern California.
Choir of Trinity United Presbyterian Church with orchestra
Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Santa Ana
The music program at Trinity United Presbyterian Church involves over three hundred people and consists of a complete graded-choir program for ages kindergarten through adult, small vocal ensembles for youth and adults, four handbell choirs, praise bands, and a variety of instrumentalists.
The Chancel Choir consists of 120 volunteer singers, ranging from ages 18 to over 80. They provided music for weekly blended worship services, special services throughout the year, and annual concerts at Christmas and in the spring. Dr. Hanan Yaqub has been its director since 1979, and Frances Johnston has been its accompanist since 1991.
Hanan Yaqub has served since 1979 as Minister of Worship and Music at Trinity United Presbyterian Church of Santa Ana, California, where she directs an outstanding program of 12 choral and instrumental ensembles and plans weekly worship services known for their broad range of styles.
As a minister of worship and music in the twenty-first century, Dr. Hanan Yaqub demonstrates a passion for keeping the historic choral music and hymnody of the church alive in a culture ever-evolving to praise music. She takes great care in either translating beloved anthems and major works to English or updating older English texts, without compromising the integrity of the original compositions. In worship planning, she places pieces strategically so that people will engage with the meaning of the music, not the style. She is careful to balance the old with the new. In presenting major works, she is always seeking ways to enliven presentations with visual and/or dramatic elements that will enhance the performance.
Dr. Yaqub is a graduate of Occidental College, California State University Fullerton, and the University of Southern California. Dr. Yaqub has taught choral music at the University of Southern California, California State University Fullerton, Chapman University, Scripps College, Cypress College, and Hope International University; and for several years she conducted the Claremont Chorale. Ensembles under her direction have sung numerous choral-orchestral masterworks and performed at conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association of Church Musicians, as well as in Carnegie Hall. Dr. Yaqub is a past president of the American Choral Directors Association, California chapter.
Frances Johnston has been a professional church organist continuously since she was 16 years old. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance from the University of Southern California where she studied with Ladd Thomas. Additional organ studies have been with James Hurd and Esther Jones.
In 1991, Ms. Johnston became the organist of Trinity United Presbyterian Church of Santa Ana, and more recently her position expanded into the fulltime role Organist/Music Associate. With her love for and facility in a broad range of musical styles, she has been key in facilitating the successful transformation of the church’s worship style from traditional to blended, thereby enabling a new generation of worshippers to find beauty and meaning in organ music, hymnody, and traditional choral works. Her bridge-building includes composing organ voluntaries customized to particular services, some based on traditional hymns, and others based on contemporary praise songs.
As Music Associate, Ms. Johnston serves on the planning team for the blended services and frequently offers organ/worship lecture-demonstrations to people of all ages, from children through senior adults. She is also the graphics designer for the screen used in the blended services, artistically guiding worshippers through the meaning and progression of the service elements and themes.
For 24 years, Ms. Johnston served as the choral and handbell teacher and Fine Arts Department chair of St. Matthias High School in Downey, California. She continues to use her varied skills for the advancement and achievement of the Trinity choral program: as a gifted accompanist/director, vocal coach, choral arranger, and orchestrator.
Ms. Johnston is Past Dean of the Pasadena Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and currently serves as Registrar of the Orange County Chapter. She is in demand as a freelance keyboardist, playing for choirs, orchestras, soloists, musical theater productions and workshops throughout Southern California.
de Angelis Vocal Ensemble
The concept for an ensemble like de Angelis formed during conversations with Dr. Gordon Paine, now Professor of Music Emeritus at California State University, Fullerton, while I was completing graduate studies in choral conducting there in the early 1990’s. We enjoyed many rich conversations regarding vocal production and what could be accomplished artistically and stylistically with an ensemble that could sing with an early music, non-vibrato style. This was an exciting time for choral music, during which, many professional ensembles were forming world-wide that performed with absolute blend and vocal clarity. The idea of sympathetic overtones, or angel’s voices that occurred with this type of tuning was something I wished to achieve.
The de Angelis Vocal Ensemble began to take shape when a conversation with Marcy Lindstrom, a mentor and dear friend, occurred during a late summer lunch. Marcy launched right in first with the challenge – “You should create a professional ensemble,” followed immediately with her caveat – “I have done it before!” de Angelis was born at that serendipitous lunch date.
We created the de Angelis Vocal Ensemble in 2005 with the vision to enrich and broaden the southern California arts community. Many volunteer ensembles were thriving at this time but very few professional chamber ensembles existed.
In addition to our small size and primary performance of a cappella [unaccompanied] repertoire, our projects attempt to program music that is unique to the smaller, a cappella ensemble, and provides the community with a more eclectic and cutting edge presentation of choral music. Our organization is known for our innovative arts programming which engages the diverse cultural expression of the Southern California community.
The unique combination of the extraordinary setting at the Basilica at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, and this thrilling and captivating ensemble is not to be missed. Come experience one of Orange County’s best kept secrets!