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L&C Organ Spectacular IV to Highlight Local Organists Sept. 23

Article by: Louise Jett, ljett@lc.edu

Area organists will showcase their talents during Lewis and Clark Community College Music Department's Organ Spectacular IV at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23.

The concert, which will take place in the Benjamin Godfrey Memorial Chapel, will feature local organists on the Rodgers Trillium Masterpiece Series organ that arrived at Lewis and Clark in September 2007 as a replacement for the pipe organ the college inherited when it was founded in 1970.

Performers from this event will include Barbara Kramer, Audrey Thomas, Roy Stillwell, Ray Bentley, Pauline Stillwell and Robert Raymond. The organists will perform a variety of pieces, including material from classic organ literature.

"The concert will show off the new organ and the chapel after it has been remodeled and restored," said R. Stillwell, organ instructor at L&C. "A group of local organists will be playing historical masterpieces and popular music on the organ. This is the fourth Organ Spectacular we have held. We are hoping people will come and join L&C as we carry on this tradition."

The concert is open to the public and admission is free.

For more information regarding this event or other music department events, please call the music office at (618) 468-4731 or visit www.lc.edu/music.

Meet the performers:

  • Barbara Kramer - Kramer was an organ performance minor at Lindenwood College.  She has held church organist positions in Nashville, Tenn., Quincy, Hillsboro and currently is the organist for the First Congregational Church in Bunker Hill. She is a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers and is chair of the Alton piano guild auditions. She also holds membership and national certification in piano in the Music Teachers National Association. Currently, she is a Lewis and Clark adjunct faculty member and was also piano instructor at Blackburn University.
  • Audrey Thomas - Thomas, 16, of St. Louis, is the granddaughter of Joseph Volk, of Godfrey. She studies the organ with Heather Martin Cooper at St. Monica's Catholic Church in Creve Coeur, Mo. She won the Marie Kremer scholarship for the second year and used the money to go to a summer camp at Salem College and UNCSA in Winston-Salem, N. Car., studying under Timothy Olsen. She has previously attended summer organ camps at Kansas University and Indiana University, Bloomington. This year, she is a senior in high school and is currently applying to colleges. She wants to pursue a degree in organ performance.
  • Roy Stillwell - Stillwell is an experienced instructor and performer. He has taught music at the college level in North Dakota and Mississippi and holds degrees in music from MacMurray College and the Eastman School of Music. After retiring from full-time teaching, he moved back to the Alton-Godfrey area where he was raised. Stillwell teaches organ as an adjunct instructor at Lewis and Clark.
  • Ray Bentley - Bentley earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in educational administration. He also completed an additional 32 hours beyond the master's degree. He retired after teaching 38 years in the Alton School District. He is a registered piano technician with 35 years experience and serves homes, churches and schools, including Lewis and Clark. He is the organist at the Main Street United Methodist Church in Alton.
  • Pauline Stillwell - Stillwell is a local church musician. She holds music degrees from Luther College and the University of Iowa. She teaches piano part-time at home and at Lewis and Clark.
  • Robert Raymond - Raymond earned his bachelor's degree in piano performance from Webster University, and his master's degree in organ and piano performance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He has taught organ at SIUE for 15 years and has served as dean of the American Guild of Organists in Illinois. He has held several church positions and presently serves as organist at First Presbyterian Church USA in Edwardsville, a position he has held for 20 years.