Great Music at St. James

Welcome to Great Music at Saint James'.

INTERNATIONAL LAUREATES ORGAN SERIES

For the past eighteen years we have been honored to host many of the most distinguished organists from throughout the world. This season we welcome Raúl Prieto Ramírez (Spain), Ahreum Han (Korea), British organists Jonathan Vaughn, Jeremy Filsell and Simon Thomas Jacobs, and American organists Marvin Mills and our new Assistant Organist, Tom Mueller.

We invite you to experience great organ music played on the David John Falconer Memorial Organ (originally built in 1911 by Murray M. Harris). Comprising over 5,000 pipes in total, the organ is an important part of Los Angeles musical history and takes its place among the country's most important and magnificent instruments.

These recitals are offered as a gift to the community free of charge, and we are grateful to the Ahmanson Foundation and our Friends of Great Music for their continuing support.

CHOIR OF SAINT JAMES' IN CONCERT

Featuring the sublime and rarely heard 40-part motet "Spem in alium" by Thomas Tallis, the Choir of Saint James' will also perform Buonemani's "Missa Miamiensis" (1994) for choir, soloists, organ, piano, soprano saxophone and field drum, and Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" (1965) in the composer's authorized version for choir, boy soprano, organ, harp and percussion. This performance is to benefit the ongoing work of the Choir of Saint James'. (Ticketed. Please see below for ticket information.)

This event is to benefit the ongoing work of the Choir. Become a Friend of Great Music for complimentary tickets at the Benefactor level and above.

SOLEMN EVENSONG

The Choir of Saint James' has distinguished itself as the first American Choir to have sung in performance with the Choir of Westminster Abbey, London. Since then, they have served three times as Choir-in-Residence at the Abbey, as well as services at Christ Church Oxford, Wells Cathedral, St. George's Chapel Windsor, and Canterbury Cathedral. They are pleased to offer the Los Angeles community the uniquely Anglican service of Evensong in the style of the great English Cathedrals on the second Sunday of the month, October through May. Freewill offering.

SILENCE AND MUSIC - COMPLINE

Drawn from the most contemplative of the monastic offices begun in the middle ages, this candle-lit choral service offers music from Gregorian Chant and early polyphony to the contemporary music of modern mystics. An offering of thanksgiving and a plea for peace, the male voices of the Schola Cantorum of Saint James' presents three Compline services this season: on the fourth Sundays of November, February and April. Freewill offering.

ADVENT PROCESSION OF LESSONS AND CAROLS

Patterned after the ever-popular service of Nine Lessons and Carols originating from King's College, Cambridge, England, the Choir of Saint James' offers this service in anticipation of Christmas on 14 December 2014 (in place of Evensong). Freewill offering.

CALENDAR


Sunday 12 October 2014

4:30pm
SOLEMN EVENSONG
Choir of Saint James'

6:00pm
INTERNATIONAL LAUREATES ORGAN SERIES
Raul Prieto Ramírez

"One of the most brilliant and talented organists on the international concert scene." (with the Perm Philharmonic Orchestra, Perm News, Russia)

Raúl Prieto Ramírez is the first Spanish organist in recent times to establish himself among the elites of the international concert scene. His powerful personality, passionate expressiveness, gift for communication, and outstanding technique make him shine with a unique light. Mr. Ramírez discovered the organ by chance on a radio program when he was 11 years old and taught himself to play, first by practicing on tables, and later by making his own arrangements and transcriptions of major works to play on a little Casio keyboard. After studies in Spain where he received the highest distinctions and awards, he moved to Stuttgart on a scholarship from the German government to study organ performance with Ludger Lohmann. At the same time, he was developing a new personal organ technique based on the ideas of the pianist Leonid Sintsev of the prestigious St. Petersburg piano school at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. He also worked on interpretation of the different schools of organ literature with leading teachers such as Marie-Claire Alain, Guy Bovet, Eric Lebrun, Lionel Rogg, Zsigmond Szathmáry, and Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini. As a result of his enthusiastic and varied studies, Mr. Ramírez possesses a wide and deep knowledge of organ repertoire, styles, and schools. He is respected as a specialist in such disparate subjects as old fingering techniques and modern symphonic transcriptions. Among these last, his transcriptions of Liszt's piano études and Mephisto waltzes have been praised by audiences and critics alike in Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Critics have also highly praised his interpretations of the music of Bach, Franck, and Reger.

Mr. Ramírez was appointed at age 27 as the first Organist-in-Residence of the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid--Spain's National Concert Hall. Within the first six months of his appointment, he increased attendance at the hall's organ recitals by a multiple of 30, and critics hailed him as one of the most exciting talents in the music scene in Spain. Since September 2013, Mr. Ramírez has been a member of the music faculty at Ball State University. He continues as the artistic director of the annual summer International Organ Festival Mataró-Barcelona, where he attracts audiences of more than 1,200 people to his concerts. He also pursues a busy concert schedule that takes him to major festivals and concert halls around the world-from St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater and the Moscow Concert Hall, to organ dedications, AGO conventions, Spivey Hall, the Kotzschmar Organ Series, and Methuen Memorial Music Hall in the United States. Mr. Ramírez has been widely recorded and interviewed for radio and television in several European countries and in America. His first two compact discs, on the Brilliant Classics label, were recorded at Milan Cathedral in Italy and at the famous Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona.

Mr. Ramírez's program will include the Prelude and Fugue in D Major, BWV 532 by J. S. Bach; Paeludium Pedaliter in E Minor by Nicolaus Bruhns; Mephisto Waltz I by Franz Liszt; Choral No. 3 in A Minor by César Franck; Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns; Allegro from Symphony VI by Charles-Marie Widor.

Sunday 9 November 2014

4:30pm
SOLEMN EVENSONG
Choir of Saint James'

6:00pm
INTERNATIONAL LAUREATES ORGAN SERIES
Ahreum Han

Organist Ahreum Han Congdon's imaginative, powerful, and extraordinary performances have thrilled audiences throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. Ahreum was a featured soloist at the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists held in Nashville, Tennessee in 2012. She was a featured artist at the Regional Convention of the AGO held in Atlanta, Georgia (2007), the Winter Conclave of the AGO held in Sarasota, Florida, (2010), the Young Virtuosi Festival held at Wesleyan University, Connecticut, Colorado State University, Colorado, and the White Mountain Musical Arts Bach Festival in New Hampshire.

Ahreum has appeared as a solo recitalist at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall (Philadelphia); St. Bartholomew's Church and Trinity Church, Wall Street (NYC); Princeton University Chapel; Memorial Chapel at Harvard University (Boston); Ocean Grove Auditorium (Ocean Grove, New Jersey), Spivey Hall, (Morrow, Georgia) St. Philip's Cathedral (Atlanta), Broadway Baptist Church (Fort Worth), Merrill Auditorium (Portland, Maine), Jack Singer Hall (Calgary, Canada), Michealskirche (Leipzig, Germany), Oxford Town Hall (Oxford, United Kingdom), Nottingham Albert Concert Hall (Nottingham, UK), and Esplanade Hall in Singapore. She has appeared as organ soloist with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra at Kimmel Center and the University of Pennsylvania Orchestra at Irvine Auditorium.

Ahreum has received top prizes from numerous competitions including the Oundle Award, undergraduate division of Westminster Choir College Scholarship Competition, the Charlotte Hoyt Bagnall Scholarship Competition, the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Young Artist Performance Competition, the John Rodland Memorial Church Music Scholarship Competition, the Albert Schweitzer organ competition, the Carlean Neihart Organ Competition, the Edwin Seder prize at Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and the West Chester University Organ Competition. Her live performances have been featured on the radio show PIPEDREAMS from American Public Media.

She was born in Seoul, Korea. Her family immigrated to Atlanta, Georgia when she was sixteen. Ahreum graduated with a Bachelor's degree in organ performance from Westminster Choir College where she studied with Ken Cowan. She obtained a Diploma from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music having studied with Alan Morrison. Ms. Han received her Master's degree from Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music studied with Thomas Murray.

Ahreum is presently the Principal Organist, Assistant Director of Music, and Artist-in-Residence at First Presbyterian Church in Davenport, Iowa. She was on organ faculty as Lecturer at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She has served as the Principal Organist at First Presbyterian Church in West Chester, Pennsylvania, an organist at Marquand Chapel of Yale Divinity School, an organist the Berkeley Divinity School of Yale University, and Organist at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Stamford, Connecticut. Ahreum was recently married to Todd Congdon and they reside in Davenport, IA.

Sunday 23 November 2014

7:30pm
COMPLINE
Schola Cantorum of Saint James'

A quiet, candle-lit church with the fragrance of incense mingling with the uplifting strains of chant: a spiritual oasis in the heart of Los Angeles--this is the setting for Compline. As you enter the darkened church, you are welcome to sit or recline anywhere in the building as the male voices of the Schola Cantorum sing ancient melodies and mystical hymns to refresh your spirit. Please come as you are! A cushion or pillow may be desirable.

Sunday 14 December 2014

4:30pm
AN ADVENT PROCESSION OF LESSONS AND CAROLS

The Choir of Saint James' sings Advent carols and music from Gregorian Chant to the present day. Join us for this annual tradition in the style of King's College, Cambridge. Freewill offering.

CHRISTMAS AT SAINT JAMES'

You are invited to join us for a festive Christmas celebration of the Holy Eucharist with the Choir of Saint James' and instrumentalists at 10:30pm, 24 December, or with a quiet service of Gregorian Chant at 10:30am on Christmas Day, 25 December.

Sunday 11 January 2015

4:30pm
SOLEMN EVENSONG
Choir of Saint James'

6:00pm
INTERNATIONAL LAUREATES ORGAN SERIES
Tom Mueller

Tom Mueller, a Maine native, is a doctoral candidate in the organ studio of David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

As a composer, his choral and instrumental works have been performed, recorded, and broadcast across the United States, and he has completed commissions for numerous churches and colleges. In 2010, he performed the complete organ works of J. S. Bach in a series of seventeen concerts across the state of Maine. He also played guitar in The Muellers, a nationally-recognized family bluegrass band, and spent several years touring North America. Their fourth album, The Muellers, was released in 2009.

An enthusiastic church musician, Mueller was the winner of the 2014 Schoenstein Competition in Hymn-Playing. His research on the use of the organ in the sacred music of Haydn and Mozart has been the subject of a public radio arts feature.

Tom holds degrees from the University of Maine (jazz composition/piano) and the University of Notre Dame (organ). His primary teachers include David Higgs, Craig Cramer, and Alan Wingard, and he has performed in masterclasses with Stephen Tharp, Isabelle Demers, Ken Cowan, Alan Morrison, Michael Bauer, and many others.

Tom has recently been appointed Interim Assistant Organist at Saint James' Church, Los Angeles, having prior served in a similar capacity at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY. He has also served the First Congregational of Camden, Maine, as Organist and Director of Music.

Sunday 8 February 2015

4:30pm
SOLEMN EVENSONG
Choir of Saint James'

6:00pm
INTERNATIONAL LAUREATES ORGAN SERIES
Marvin Mills

Marvin Mills has performed throughout the United States often at the invitation of chapters of the American Guild of Organists and has been featured at three of its national conventions. In the spring of 1992 he performed the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach in a weekly series of fourteen programs on the 96 rank Rieger organ at All Souls Church, Unitarian. Concerto appearances include the Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, and Peabody Symphonies in works by Handel, Rheinberger, Hindemith and Jongen. He has served as University Organist at Howard University, music director of The National Spiritual Ensemble and is organist at St. Paul's UMC, Kensington, MD. Frequent guest artist with The Ritz Chamber Players (Jacksonville, FL) and MasterSingers of Wilmington (DE), he has been keyboard artist/assistant conductor for the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival for over a decade.

PipeDreams (Minnesota Public Radio) featured Mills in a broadcast Music of Color, his Kennedy Center Millennium Stage Recital was webcast, and he was a recitalist for the inaugural weekend of the Dobson Pipe Organ in Philadelphia's Kimmel Center Verizon Hall. A prize winning composer, his Four Spirituals for Denyce Graves have been performed throughout the country at colleges and universities by aspiring singers. A setting of a Phyllis Wheatley poem, On Virtue, was commissioned by the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for its Poets Corner. He made his theatrical conducting debut in Joplin's Treemonisha with Washington Savoyards in 2010.

Sunday 22 February 2015

7:30pm
COMPLINE
Schola Cantorum of Saint James'

Sunday 8 March 2015

4:30pm
SOLEMN EVENSONG
Choir of Saint James'

6:00pm
INTERNATIONAL LAUREATES ORGAN SERIES
Simon Thomas Jacobs

Simon Thomas Jacobs, winner of the First Prize and Audience Prize at the 2013 St. Albans International Organ Competition is Associate Organist and Choirmaster at Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, where he combines his passion for church music and liturgy with a desire to bring the organ and its music to a wider audience through concerts, recordings and broadcasts. A native of Great Britain, Simon spent a year as organ scholar at All Saints' Margaret Street - an historic Anglo-Catholic parish in London's West End - before taking up the position of organ scholar at Clare College, University of Cambridge where he graduated with an honors degree in music in June 2009. During this time Simon accompanied and assisted in the direction of the internationally-renowned chapel choir both at home and abroad and studied organ with David Sanger and Jacques van Oortmerssen. Performance highlights with the choir included concerts as part of the Salzburg Music Festival, Munich Opera Festival and the London, Innsbruck and Potsdam Early Music Festivals as well as several commercial CD recordings. On Remembrance Sunday, 2007, Simon accompanied the choir on a live broadcast of Choral Evensong for BBC Radio 3 and during the Christmas season of 2008 played for the world première performance and BBC recording (and subsequent broadcast) of Sir John Tavener's Christmas Sequence, Ex Maria Virgine.

Upon graduation, Simon took up the post of Associate Director of Music at Christ Church, Greenwich, CT. Since moving to the US, he has been invited to perform at venues across the country, including Jacoby Symphony Hall, Jacksonville, Florida; Grace Cathedral, San Francisco; St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Berkeley; Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati; and St. Columba's Episcopal Church, Washington D.C. for the District of Columbia Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

In September 2010, Simon won first prize in the Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition held annually in Wethersfield, CT. Most recently, he was awarded a full scholarship to the Artist Diploma program at Oberlin College, where he studies with James David Christie. As winner of St. Albans, Simon will perform recitals at some of the world's most esteemed concert venues: Notre Dame de Paris; King's College, Cambridge; St. Albans Cathedral; Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford; St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh; Ste Croix, Bordeaux; Galway Cathedral; and the International Performing Arts Center in Moscow. He will also record his first solo disc as part of Priory's "Great European Organs" series.

 

Sunday 22 March 2015

4:30pm
THE CHOIR OF SAINT JAMES' IN CONCERT

The Choir of Saint James' is made up of amateur and professional adult musicians from the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Under the direction of Organist and Choirmaster James Buonemani since January of 1995, it is the first American choir to have sung in performance with the Choir of Westminster Abbey in the 450-year history of the Abbey Choir. The Choir of Saint James' has been honored to serve three times as Westminster Abbey's choir-in-residence during the months of August 1999, 2006 and 2010. Inviting the Choir to return in the future, the Abbey Precentor, Deiniol Morgan, wrote "the quality of singing was exceptionally high and our worship was much enriched by your contribution."

As the core musical organization of Saint James' Church, the choir has played host to many of the world's finest choirs during their international tours, including The Sixteen, the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, the American Boychoir, the Gloriae Dei Cantores, the Choir of Westminster Abbey, the Choir of Canterbury Cathedral and the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The Choir of Saint James' performed the music for the official Los Angeles Memorial to Princess Diana in 1997. In addition to weekly services and monthly evensongs, the Choir of Saint James' presents concerts featuring many of the great choral masterpieces with full orchestra. Recent seasons have included the Requiems of Maurice Duruflé, Gabriel Fauré, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Giuseppe Verdi, the Lord Nelson Mass by Haydn, the Funeral Ikos and Song for Athene by John Tavener, the Cantata Misericordium by Benjamin Britten, the Lux Aeterna of Los Angeles composer Morten Lauridsen as well as the world premiere of O Beauty Ever Ancient by director James Buonemani. In July, 2004 the choir was featured at the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists.

This concert will feature a rare performance of Thomas Tallis' celebrated 40-part motet Spem in Alium. Written for 8 choirs of five voices each, the work will be performed by the Choir of Saint James' encircling the audience in the renaissance version of "surround sound." Also on the program is director Buonemani's Missa Miaimiensis for Choir, Soloists, Organ, Piano, Soprano Saxophone and field drum. Since its premiere in 1994 as a commissioned work for the 150 Anniversary of the Church of the Epiphany in Washington, DC, it has been performed multiple times in major cities throughout the US including Chicago, New York, Miami and Los Angeles. The program will conclude with Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. This masterful setting of Hebraic Psalm texts was commissioned for the 1965 Southern Cathedrals Festival at Chichester Cathedral by the Cathedral's Dean, Walter Hussey, who also commissioned Benjamin Britten's "Rejoice in the Lamb" 22 years earlier (recently performed by the Choir of Saint James' on the 100th Anniversary of Britten's birth, conducted by Maestro James Conlon.)

Please note: this concert is a fund-raising event for the ongoing work of the Choir of Saint James', and it may be filmed for inclusion in the documentary "The American Chorister." By entering this Event and Venue, you consent to (i) the recording of your likeness and/or voice by any means (including but not limited to audio and visual recordings by television cameras and photographers) and (ii) the commercial exploitation, throughout the world, of your Images by any means by Producer without compensation. Please see www.AmericanChoristerFilm.com for more information.

Requested Donation: $55 (reserved front section), $40 (unreserved middle section), $25 (unreserved rear section). Tickets may be purchased online at www.EventBrite.com. To purchase tickets without processing fees, please send a check payable to "Great Music at Saint James' ", Saint James' Church, 3903 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010. (Please specify ticket category and quantity in the memo section of your check). Doors open at 4:00pm. (See our "Friends of Great Music" section for complimentary tickets for donors at the Benefactor level and above.)

Sunday 12 April 2015

4:30pm
SOLEMN EVENSONG
Choir of Saint James'

6:00pm
INTERNATIONAL LAUREATES ORGAN SERIES
Jonathan Vaughn

Jonathan Vaughn is Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral, UK, and Musical Director of the Somerset Singers. His principal duty at the Cathedral is to the daily round of services and the nurturing of its choristers' talents. Extra liturgically, he is also heavily involved in the Cathedral Choir's busy program of broadcasts, concerts, tours, outreach, commissions and recordings.

Jonathan moved to Somerset in September 2007 following three years as Assistant Director of Music at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral. Prior to this he had held organ scholarships at St. John's College, Cambridge, St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, and Croydon Parish Church. A particular distinction of his time at Croydon was becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists aged sixteen, while being a major prizewinner in the examination. His organ studies were with Simon Williams and Dame Gillian Weir.

Jonathan has also been Musical Director of the Phoenix Singers, Framlingham, Director of the St. Edmundsbury Singers and Assistant Conductor of Cambridge University Musical Society, with responsibility for CUMS 2 and the wind orchestra. He regularly performs recitals across the UK, including in 2014 at Blackburn, Worcester and St. David's Cathedrals, and this season he makes his United States debut with a five recital tour in October. He teaches the organ at Wells Cathedral School and has recently released his first solo organ CD on the Regent Records label, Wagner at the Organ, recorded at St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, of which Classical Music Sentinel said "Heck, if you have a beating heart, you have to hear this."

Sunday 26 April 2015

7:30pm
COMPLINE
Schola Cantorum of Saint James'

Sunday 10 May 2015

4:30pm
SOLEMN EVENSONG
Choir of Saint James'

6:00pm
INTERNATIONAL LAUREATES ORGAN SERIES
Jeremy Filsell

Jeremy Filsell has appeared as a solo pianist in Russia, Scandinavia, USA and throughout his native UK. His concerto repertoire encompasses Bach, Mozart and Beethoven through to Shostakovich, John Ireland, and Rachmaninov (1st, 2nd and 3rd Concertos). He has recorded the solo piano music of Herbert Howells, Bernard Stevens, Eugene Goossens, and Johann Eschmann for Guild and recently released were discs of Rachmaninov's piano music for Signum and two of French Mélodies accompanying Michael Bundy (baritone) for Naxos. He is on the international roster of Steinway Artists.

Jeremy has recorded as a pianist and as an organist for BBC Radio 3, USA, and Scandinavian radio networks in solo and concerto roles and his discography comprises more than 30 solo recordings. Gramophone magazine commented on the series of 12 CDs comprising the premiere recordings of Marcel Dupré's complete organ works for Guild in 2000 that it was "one of the greatest achievements in organ recording." In 2005, Signum released a 3-disc set of the six organ symphonies of Louis Vierne, recorded on the 1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ in St. Ouen Rouen. This was BBC Radio 3's Disc of the Week in September of that year. He has taught at universities, summer schools, and conventions in both the UK and USA and has served twice on international organ competition juries. Recent solo recital engagements have taken him across the USA and UK and to Germany, France, Finland, and Sweden. In North America, he concertizes under the auspices of Philip Truckenbrod Concert Artists.

As a student of Nicolas Kynaston in London and Daniel Roth in Paris, Jeremy studied music at Oxford University before completing graduate studies in piano performance with David Parkhouse and Hilary McNamara at the Royal College of Music in London. He was awarded his PhD at Birmingham Conservatoire/BCU for research into aesthetic and interpretative issues in the music of Marcel Dupré. Before emigrating to the USA in 2008, he held lectureships at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and was a lay clerk in the Queen's choir at St. George's Windsor Castle.

He currently combines an international recital and teaching career with being director of music at The Church of the Epiphany in downtown Washington, DC, artist-in-residence at Washington National Cathedral, and Professor of organ at the Catholic University of America.



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