Friday, November 4, 2016 | 7:30 pm
Church of the Incarnation, Dallas
Noack Organ | 4 Manuals, 73 Ranks
Hailed as a ‘brilliant organist’ (The New York Times), Benjamin Sheen is one of the UK’s brightest young organists of his generation, having recently been named as the winner of the Pierre S. DuPont First Prize at the inaugural Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition. He currently holds the position of Assistant Organist at Saint Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in New York City, having completed his Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School where he studied with Paul Jacobs. Before moving to New York, Mr. Sheen received his Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours from the University of Oxford, whilst also serving as the organ scholar of Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford for three years.
Mr. Sheen has made live appearances on both BBC Radio Oxford and BBC Radio 3 with Christ Church Cathedral Choir and has also performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia and London Mozart Players, and the Duisburg Philharmonie in Germany with conductor Jonathan Darlington. While studying at the Juilliard, Mr. Sheen toured extensively across the USA including performances, among others, in Denver, Miami, San Francisco, Washington and Boston, and has appeared live on NPR’s Pipedreams with Michael Barone. In January 2012, he made his Juilliard concerto debut with a performance of Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion Orchestra as part of the 2012 FOCUS! Festival in New York’s Lincoln Center, which was received with critical acclaim in The New York Times.
Renée Anne Louprette
Friday, January 27, 2017 | 7:30 pm
Royal Lane Baptist Church, Dallas
Garland Organ | 3 Manuals, 48 Ranks
Hailed by The New York Times as “splendid,” and “one of New York’s finest organists,” Renée Anne Louprette has established an international career as organ recitalist, accompanist, conductor, and teacher. She is University Organist and Coordinator of the Organ Department at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, and a former member of the organ faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, and the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University.
Renée Anne Louprette was appointed Associate Director of Music and Organist of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City in 2015. She has previously served as Director of Music at the Church of Notre Dame, Organist and Associate Director of Music and the Arts at Trinity Wall Street, and Associate Director of Music at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola.
Renée Anne Louprette has performed throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, including Westminster Abbey and the Temple Church in London, St. Giles Cathedral Edinburgh and Dunblane Cathedral (Scotland), Galway Cathedral and Dún Laoghaire (Ireland). Her recording of the “Great Eighteen Chorales” of J. S. Bach on the Metzler Organ in the chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, England, was named a classical music Critics’ Choice 2014 by The New York Times.
She regularly performs at regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists and has been featured at two national conventions: the 2010 Convention in Washington, D.C., and the 2014 Convention in Boston where she presented the world premiere of Pamela Decker’ s Faneuil Hall.
Renée Anne Louprette holds a Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude in piano performance and a Graduate Professional Diploma in organ performance from The Hartt School, University of Hartford. She was awarded a Premier Prix – mention très bien from the Conservatoire National de Région de Toulouse, France and a Diplôme Supérieur in organ performance from the Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de Musique et de Danse de Toulouse studying with Michel Bouvard, Jan Willem Jansen, and improvisation with Philippe Lefebvre. She completed additional studies with Dame Gillian Weir, James David Christie, and Guy Bovet.
Thursday, May 18, 2017 | 7:30 pm
First United Methodist Church, Richardson
Klais Organ | 3 Manuals, 64 Ranks
John D. Schwandt is Associate Professor of Organ and Director of the American Organ Institute (AOI) at the University of Oklahoma School of Music. He is a nationally acclaimed performer and is in demand as a clinician, recitalist, leader of hymn festivals, silent film accompanist and as an organ consultant. Dr. Schwandt has been a featured performer for the American Guild of Organists (AGO), the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS) and the Organ Historical Society (OHS). He has been featured numerous times on American Public Media’s Pipedreams broadcasts. Equally at home on a classical or theatrical pipe organ, he is known for his musical versatility and ability to excite and engage audiences of every kind. Prior to Dr. Schwandt’s 2006 OU appointment, he was Assistant Professor of Organ and Curator of Organs at Indiana University. In 2006, he founded the American Organ Institute (AOI) to preserve the unique American characteristics of the pipe organ. The program includes not only the established classical repertoire, but emphasizes skills such as improvisation, liturgical organ playing and broad musical flexibility, particularly as it is applied to the accompaniment of silent films and the performance of theatrical organ music. The AOI is also the only program in America which possesses a fully-equipped pipe organ workshop capable of building, maintaining and restoring instruments. It functions in part as a laboratory for a new curriculum of organ technology courses.
John is known for programs that are musical and accessible, drawing enthusiastic and young audiences. After early organ study with George Damp at the Lawrence Conservatory of Music, his undergraduate studies were at St. Olaf College under the tutelage of John Ferguson. His graduate degrees, as well as the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, were earned at Indiana University, having studied organ with Larry Smith. Among the numerous notable organ competitions in which Schwandt has participated and won, he placed first by a unanimous jury decision in the 1998 National Competition in Organ Improvisation held in Denver, Colorado in conjunction with the American Guild of Organists’ National Convention. He performed an organ improvisation and the Poulenc Concerto with members of the Houston Symphony in the final event at the 2016 AGO’s National Convention in Houston. His program will include classical organ music as well as a silent movie accompaniment.