Organ Recital Series

Thirty-Six Years of Organ Recitals

The Second Sunday Evensong and Organ Recital Series began in 1985, and this year, St. Mark’s celebrates 36 years of welcoming musicians from all over the globe.  This year, we will resume in-person Evensong and organ recitals, and we will also live-stream both events for anyone who is not comfortable attending due to COVID.

Evensong will continue to be offered at 3:00 p.m.  The organ recital will begin at 4:00 p.m. and will last about 45 minutes.  Following the concert, there will be an in-person reception – details still to come.

Please note: Proof of vaccination for COVID-19 will be required for entrance to the Organ Recital.

These concerts are free and supported by donations.  Your support is deeply appreciated.

Contributions are welcome to help support the series at one of the following levels of support:  $1-74 Supporter / $75-124 Friend / $125-249 Sponsor / $250-499 Patron / $500 – $999 Sustainer / $1000+ Benefactor.

Please make your check payable to St. Mark’s Choir Association, 2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704.

Donations may also be received on-line at https://stmarksberkeley.org/music/friends-of-music/.

Contributions are tax-deductible.  Thank you for your continued support.

Recitalists for the Thirty-Sixth Season, 2021–2022

Evensong at 3:00PM 

Organ Recital at 4:00PM


September

No organ recital this month.

October

No organ recital this month.

November 14

Nathaniel Gumbs
Director of Chapel Music at Yale University

For those not attending in person, this recital will be streaming on Facebook, or you can find the video under our Livestreamed Services tab.

This month’s organ recital is co-sponsored by the San Francisco Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Concert organist Nathaniel Gumbs has performed at many venues in the U.S.A. and abroad. He is Director of Chapel Music at Yale University where he coordinates music for three worshiping communities: the University Church in Battell Chapel, and at Yale Divinity School in both Marquand Chapel and Berkeley Divinity School. (The full bio can be found in the bulletin.)

https://www.concertorganists.com/artists/nathaniel-gumbs

December 12        

        

Zoe Kai Wai Lei
Doctoral Student at the University of Michigan

For those not attending in person, this recital will be streaming on Facebook, or you can find the video under our Livestreamed Services tab.

As an emerging organist, Zoe Kai Wai Lei advocates new organ music and frequently plays twentieth and twenty-first-century repertories. She is named 20 under 30 at the Diapason Magazine (Class of 2021) for her achievements and contributions in the organ, carillon, and harpsichord.

As a Hong Kong organist, she is currently based in the United States and has performed in various venues in Hong Kong, Toronto, and Michigan. In July 2018, she performed in the renowned festival, Oregon Bach Festival. In April 2017, she gave her debut as an organ soloist in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and was interviewed by Radio Television Hong Kong to promote the organ and was regarded as the “New Music Star”.

This February, she has formed IZR Organ Trio with two Hong Kong organists, Ivan Leung and Ryan Chan. She is very much looking forward to the virtual concert series and recitals in Asia cities. She also recently performed at Burton Memorial Tower (Michigan) and performed as a continuo player at the Baroque Ensemble at the University of Michigan. Apart from appearing as an organ soloist, she will be premiering Jennifer Higdon’s music in 2021 with the saxophone ensemble at the University of Michigan. From 2017 to 2020, she worked as an organ scholar at Toronto Bloor Street United Church and an organist at Toronto Chinese Baptist Church.

She is working on her Doctor of Musical Arts in sacred music (Organ) at the University of Michigan. She studies the organ with Prof. James Kibbie, the harpsichord and continuo with Prof. Joseph Gascho, and the carillon with Dr. Tiffany Ng. She completed her master’s studies in organ performance at the University of Toronto, under the tutelage of Professor Kevin Komisaruk, after having studied with the renowned Hong Kong organist, Kin Yu Wong. She completed her undergraduate studies in organ and music education at Hong Kong Baptist University in June 2017. She has also received coaching from Dr. Paul Jacobs, Head of Organ Department, The Juilliard School. She has received scholarships from the Macau Government and the University of Toronto. She was awarded a full scholarship at the University of Michigan.

https://www.zoelei.com/bio

January 9

Joshua Dafydd Xerri
United Kingdom

For those not attending in person, this recital will be streaming on Facebook, or you can find the video under our Livestreamed Services tab.

Joshua Xerri is an international organ recitalist, conductor, and composer from the UK. His professional career began at Llandaff Cathedral, where he was a chorister. At the age of 16, he was awarded a music scholarship to Wells Cathedral School, one of the four specialist music schools in the UK. On completion of high school, Joshua moved to Chelmsford Cathedral to take up a year-long position as organ scholar. During this year, he was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, to study the organ with Henry Fairs and Daniel Moult, and choral conducting under Paul Spicer. Joshua was most recently the organist at St Paul’s, Covent Garden in London. Recent performance venues include conducting at Westminster Abbey, an organ recital at Brussels Cathedral, and performances the Royal Albert Hall, with upcoming recitals at St Mark’s Episcopal Church, Berkeley, CA, and Myers Park Presbyterian Church, NC.

As a conductor, Joshua founded and directs The Lassus Consort, who recently released their first CD to critical acclaim. He directed the choir of St Mary the Virgin, Nottingham, in their recent tour to Heidelberg and Neustadt, during which he also performed an organ recital on German radio. Joshua has been composer-in-residence for Llandaff Cathedral, St Mary’s, Nottingham, and Birmingham Cathedral.

A keen choral singer, Joshua has sung for the choirs of Worcester, Birmingham, Llandaff, and Lichfield Cathedrals, and has performed at the BBC Proms on a number of occasions.

Away from music, Joshua is a qualified lawyer, currently living in Winston-Salem, NC.

https://encoremusicians.com/joshuaxerri

February 13

Stefan Donner
Vienna, Austria

For those not attending in person, this recital will be streaming on Facebook, or you can find the video under our Livestreamed Services tab.

Stefan Donner earned degrees from the University of Music Vienna (with highest honors) where he studied organ, piano, and conducting. He received his Master’s degree in organ performance from the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Additionally, Stefan has participated in master classes with Olivier Latry, Joris Verdin, and Edoardo Bellotti. He notably received a 2014-15 Fulbright Scholarship to study organ and harpsichord at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

Stefan is the recipient of various awards, including First Prize in the 2010 Franz-Schmidt-Organ Competition (Austria) and Third Prize in the 2011 Dublin International Organ Competition. Besides various radio and television recordings, Stefan has recorded CDs on the 1741 Dacci organ of St. Salvator in Vienna and on the 1862 Buckow organ in the musical instruments collection of the Vienna Museum of Technology. These albums notably document his artistic proficiency as a concert organist. Stefan has performed extensively in Europe, Turkey, Israel, the USA and Australia. In 2017 he was invited to lecture on J. S. Bach’s organ Trio Sonatas at the Władysław Żeleński Secondary School of Music in Krakow, Poland.

Donner’s previously held positions include Interim Director of Music and Organist at Klosterneuburg Abbey (near Vienna) from 2020 to 2021. Beside his busy concert schedule, Mr. Donner currently teaches piano and music theory at two schools and works as an accompanist.

https://www.onepointfm.com/en/donner

March 13

George Fergus
Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

For those not attending in person, this recital will be streaming on Facebook, or you can find the video under our Livestreamed Services tab.

George Fergus serves as the Assistant Organist at Washington National Cathedral. He maintains an active schedule of rehearsals and services in the cathedral’s music program, as well as appearing on the cathedral’s online stream of worship services and recitals, including the Christmas Day, Easter Day and Independence Day concerts. He accompanied the Cathedral Choristers on their concert tour of Worcester, Ely and Cambridge (UK) in 2017, and the Girls Cathedral Choir on their concert tour to Dallas, Texas in June of 2018. He has appeared on concerts with Washington Choral Arts Society and the Cathedral Choral Society, and most recently was invited to give a recital as part of the Virginia International Organ Festival.

George earned the Master of Music degree in organ performance and Certificate in Church Music Studies from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College. Upon graduation from Yale in 2016, George was awarded the Gerre Hancock Fellowship in Church Music by the Association of Anglican Musicians, which he served at Washington National Cathedral before being appointed to the full-time music staff there. Prior to his appointment in Washington, he served as Organ Scholar at Grace Church in New York, and Choirmaster and Organist of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.

https://cathedral.org/staff/george-fergus/

April 10

Terry Farrow
St. John’s Presbyterian Church, San Francisco

For those not attending in person, this recital will be streaming on Facebook, or you can find the video under our Livestreamed Services tab.

Terry earned his bachelor’s degree in organ at the University of Illinois where he was a student of the late Jerald Hamilton. He went on to earn a master’s degree in organ at Eastman School of Music as a student of the late Russell Saunders. After music school he became interested in musical theater and moved to New York City where he was was a keyboardist and/or conductor in the orchestra pit for several Broadway shows and national touring companies. During the New York years he became involved in AIDS activism which led him to returning to school to earn his M.D. degree at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University (SUNY) in New York, and he completed residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital. After practicing in New York City and San Franisco, he joined Gilead Sciences where he is currently a senior director in drug safety, working in HIV drug development. He also works as a substitute organist in Bay Area churches.

May 8 

TBA

June 12

TBA