January Jubilee workshop to highlight church music, support organists | St. Louis Public Radio

January Jubilee workshop to highlight church music, support organists

Jan 25, 2018

In many places of worship, the organ is a principle source of religious music. But with the decline of organists, is there still a promising future for the musical craft?

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the role of music in churches and the American Guild of Organists' (AGO) efforts to provide support for organists and other church musicians. Joining the discussion were Dawn Riske, director of music ministries at Christ the King Catholic Church and organist Mark Pacoe.

Riske is the director of the AGO’s St. Louis chapter’s January Jubilee – a two-day event that includes an organ concert and a wide variety of sessions on issues facing church musicians. Topics run the gamut from organ and choral repertoire to directing children’s and handbell choirs to social media tips and even musician/clergy conflict resolution.

 “There will be many things talked about, of how to remain relevant and how to be meaningful to people who worship today,” she said.

While organ music is significant in church settings, Pacoe said organs are also important in other areas as well and “are as relevant as ever.” The organ is a large part of the cultural life in Europe, where organs can be found in museums, halls, private homes, etc.

In the United States, Pacoe said having a career in church music is still promising. While organ is used less in many places, he said there is a resurgence in organ building.

“The teaching of young organists and programs around the country and locally are very promising in terms of ‘the art is not dead,’” Pacoe said. “It may look different than it used to, but it certainty has a bright future.”

Pacoe will perform a recital Friday evening on Peace Lutheran Church’s Martin Ott organ which is free and open to all.

Registration for the jubilee is still open and to encourage new members into the AGO, Riske said the chapter is offering a six-month complimentary membership to registrants.  

 “All it takes to be part of the guild is to love organ music,” she said.

Listen to the full discussion:

Related Events:

What: American Guild of Organists January Jubilee Opening Recital by Mark Pacoe
When: Jan. 26, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Peace Lutheran Church, 737 Barracksview Road, St. Louis, MO 63125

What: American Guild of Organists Presents January Jubilee
When: Jan. 27, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Where: Peace Lutheran Church, 737 Barracksview Road, St. Louis, MO 63125

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.