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Tuesday "Lunch-Time" Recitals
February 2005

 

Robert Nienaber
Centenial United Methodist Church, Roseville
February 7 - 12:35 p.m.

Biography

Bob Nienaber grew up in St. Paul and spent his high school years at Minnehaha Academy. He spent three undergraduate years at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. In 1969, after transferring to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music he received the Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree. His undergraduate organ teachers were Daniel Chorzempa, Heinrich Fleischer and Roberta Gary. Bob then moved back to the Twin Cities where he taught public school vocal music, private music lessons and worked in the Music Sales Department at Augsburg Fortress Publishers in Minneapolis. He has also done graduate work in Church Music at the University of Minnesota. Since 1964 Bob has had church music positions (mostly part time) of organist, choir director, or a combination of both, in United Methodist, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches.

Bob has been on the music staff at Centennial since 1985 where he is Director of Music/Organist, directing and coordinating nine vocal, handbell and instrumental groups.

Interests outside of music include walking and biking with his wife, sports, and model railroading.

Bob and his wife Jane live in Brooklyn Park and have two sons and daughters-in-law, one grandson and one step-grandson.

Robert Vickery
Church of the Holy Childhood, Saint Paul, MN
February 14 - 12:35 p.m.

Biography

Robert Vickery is best known for his organ transcriptions and his interpretation of the Romantic repertoire. A native of Minnesota, Mr. Vickery began his formal musical training at the age of seven, studying piano with Thelma Johnson. An interest in the organ soon followed, and at the age of twelve he was appointed to his first organ position. He studied organ with Dr. Edward Berryman and, while at the University of Minnesota, he studied harpsichord with Jane Burris. He considers the late Virgil Fox to have been the artist most influential in the development of his playing style.

Mr. Vickery has held positions of Organist/Choirmaster at Messiah Methodist Church in Wayzata, Assistant Organist/Choirmaster at Westminster Presbyterian Church and Organist at the Basilica of St. Mary, both in Minneapolis. In 1981, he was appointed to the position he now holds as Organist at the Church of the Holy Childhood in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has served as accompanist for all of the major choral organizations at the University of Minnesota and, since 1997, has been accompanist for the University of St. Thomas Chamber Singers, Concert Choir and Women's Choir.

Mr. Vickery made his New York City debut in November of 1983, playing the third annual Virgil Fox Memorial Concert. He has been a member of the American Guild of Organists since high school and has recently served on the executive board of the Twin Cities Chapter. He also belongs to the Organ Historical Society and in 1997 he was a featured recitalist at the OHS National Convention in Portland, Oregon.

Catherine Rodland
St. Olaf College, Northfield
February 21 - 12:35 p.m.

Biography

Catherine Rodland graduated cum laude with departmental distinction in organ performance from St. Olaf College in 1987. She received her MM and DMA from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY where she was a student of Russell Saunders. While at Eastman she received the prestigious Performer's Certificate and the Ann Anway Award for excellence in organ performance. Catherine is a prizewinner in several competitions, including the 1994 and 1998 American Guild of Organists Young Artists Competition, and 1994 Calgary International Organ Competition, and first prize in the 1989 International Organ Competition at the University of Michigan. As a result of these competitions she has concertized extensively throughout the United States and Canada. Prior to St. Olaf, Catherine worked as Minister of Music at First Church of Christ in Glastonbury, Connecticut where she was responsible for seven choirs. She co-authored the book "Choristers' Training Program" for the Royal School of Church Music in America, a manual for childrens' choir education. A specialist in working with childrens choirs, Catherine has presented workshops at several church music conventions. Her advanced childrens' choir toured England in the summer of 2001, singing services at Ely Cathedral, Ripon Cathedral, and York Minster.

Dean Billmeyer
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
February 28 - 12:35 p.m.

Biography

Dean Billmeyer is University Organist at the University of Minnesota. He studied at the Eastman School of Music, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, as a Fulbright Scholar. He joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1982 following completion of his doctorate at Eastman.

Winner of the First Dublin International Organ Festival Competition in 1980, Billmeyer’s performances have been consistently praised by juries and critics in the United States and abroad. A Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, he was the winner of the AGO’s S. Lewis Elmer Award, given for the highest scores in the nation on the Guild’s Professional Certification examinations, in two consecutive years. With over twenty years’ experience as head of the organ department at the University of Minnesota, Billmeyer is acknowledged as one of the most highly respected teachers in the Midwestern United States. His teaching and research interests include theory, counterpoint, and the pedagogy of memorization: he was recently on leave from the University to pursue research in cognitive theory and memorization in performance. He was elected in 2002 by the membership of the AGO to represent the upper Midwestern region of the Guild on the AGO National Council.

In 2003 Billmeyer performed William Albright’s oratorio A Song to David in New York City with the choir of Trinity Church, Wall Street, in a widely-publicized concert commemorating the second anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack. The Albright concert was the inaugural performance on the new Marshall & Ogletree organ at Trinity, and was broadcast and webcast live internationally over WQXR-FM. Billmeyer performs regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra, and in 2003 joined the orchestra on their European tour in concerts in Vienna and London. In 2004, he also performed with the orchestra and conductor Helmut Rilling in concerts including the Bach Magnificat and Mozart Mass in C Minor, and gave an organ/piano duo recital with Susan Billmeyer at the Church of the Holy Faith in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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