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Music, Gettysburg! Presents Rare Sound of Music for Two Organs

Featuring the creativity of Gettysburg’s Stephen P. Folkemer, Music, Gettysburg! offers a concert of rare music composed for two organs Saturday, March 1, 2008 at the Gettysburg Seminary Chapel.

"It is a very rare opportunity to hear music written for two organs," said Folkemer, who composed the two major choral works for two organs featured in the concert. "One of the pieces performed will include a third keyboard, the harpsichord," he continued. "The main, pipe organ, built by the Andover Organ Company, will sound from the front of the chapel and the Allen Electronic Organ will sound from the rear gallery enveloping the audience."

Organists Paul Davis and Jonathan Parker will be at the keyboard of the two instruments, the Seminary chapel’s Andover tracker and an Allen Organ installed specially for the event. Stephen P. Folkemer will direct the Schola Cantorum of Gettysburg leading the choral portions of the program and two talented members of the Schola Cantorum, Margaret Folkemer, voice student at McGill University and Joel Folkemer, a first year seminarian will perform soprano and baritone solos, respectively.

Stephen Folkemer, who directs the musical program of the Seminary composed two of the musical pieces for two organs. The first, "Christmas Dialog" that weaves two powerful Christmas hymn texts by Herman Stuempfle, is arranged for two full organs (with both manuals and pedals) as well as baritone and soprano soloists and choir. A second work is a cantata "Oh, That I Had A Thousand Voices" based on the hymn of the same name. The Cantata, commissioned for the April 2007 dedication of the new pipe organs at Christ Lutheran Church, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, is being performed in Gettysburg for the first time. Jonathan Parker and Paul Davis were the organists at the premiere of the cantata. The congregation joins in singing several of the hymn stanzas accompanied by chorus, organs and soprano soloist.

Paul Davis has been the organist of Christ Lutheran Church, Baltimore, since 1965 and organist-choir director since 1968. He served as chapel organist and instructor in the music department at Berea College (Kentucky), was associate professor of music at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and a member of the Conservatory organ faculty of the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Davis has appeared as recitalist throughout the United States and in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and Spain. He has performed and lectured at meetings and conventions of national music associations and served as Dean of the Baltimore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO).

Jonathan Parker became a student of Paul Davis at the Peabody Preparatory in 1977 and remained his student in the Conservatory through 1982. In 1981 Mr. Parker won both the American Guild of Organists and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) local and regional competitions, placing second in the MTNA national competition and third in the AGO national competition in 1982. After serving a variety of Presbyterian congregations for twenty years, Mr. Parker joined the music ministry at Christ Lutheran Church as assistant organist to Dr. Davis in the spring of 2007. Since 1985, Mr. Parker has been employed by Random House, Inc., where he works as a senior software developer concentrating on their digital asset management and distribution systems.

Rounding out the program will be Paul Davis playing Muséte de Choisi by Francois Couperin, a Concierto for Two Organs and Harpsichord by Josef Blanco, and L’Ange B la Trompette by Jacques Charpentier, and more.

Come enjoy this Saturday evening concert which is free and open to the public. The Seminary Chapel is located at 147 Seminary Ridge in Gettysburg. For more information about this and other concerts remaining in the 2008 Music, Gettysburg! schedule, please call 717-334-6286 ext 2197 or visit the web site at .

More information is available at the Seminary’s web site: , by email at, or by calling (717) 334-6286.

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