Music at St. Saviour’s and our organ

Annual Summer Organ Recital Series

Beginning on Friday 2 August, at 12:15 pm, the Friends of Music at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church will present its annual Organ Recital Series. The concert series was founded in 2007 by the music-director at that time, Julia Morris-Myers. Since then, it has presented noontime concerts on the Fridays of August every year. The organ at St. Saviour’s, built and installed by the Visser-Rowland Organ Co. in 1976, is one of the finest in Downeast Maine.

This is there is a bonus, because there are five Fridays in the month. The opening concert will feature the organ not as a solo-instrument, but as a component in ensemble in chamber-music of the Baroque. The ensemble Harmonie Universelle, playing on period instruments, will perform music sonatas and suites for flute and viola d’amore, by Marais, Couperin, and Graupner.

The second concert, on August 9, features the French organist Laurent Jochum, who is the organist for the church of St. Jean Baptiste de Belleville in Paris, where he presides over an historical organ by Cavaillé-Coll. Jochum will be playing music of J. S. Bach, including his great Passacaglia, and Mendelssohn.

Julia Morris-Myers returns to St. Saviour’s for the third concert, August 16, playing a characteristically mixed program of Bach and Romantic and contemporary works. Since leaving Bar Harbor in 2015, she has been the Music-director at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Centreville, Maryland and accompanist for the Queen Anne’s Chorale on the Eastern Shore.

The fourth recital, on August 23, will be played by Daniel Pyle, the Organist/Music-director at St. Saviour’s. In addition to his work at St. Saviour’s, Dr. Pyle is the Musical Director of the Acadia Choral Society, and of the baroque-ensemble Harmonie Universelle. He has performed recently for the Blue Hill Bach Festival and conducted their annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, and played with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and the Da Ponte Quartet at Bowdoin College. He will perform works by Bach and his predecessors and by Paul Hindemith.

The concluding concert of this year’s series will feature Dr. Michael Bauer, playing a program that combines music from all periods by a wide variety of composers with reflective readings from a diverse selection of writers on spirituality. The musical selections will include works by Bach, Buxtehude, Duruflé, Vaughan Williams, and a number of contemporary composers. Dr. Bauer has been one of the two organ-professors at the University of Kansas since 1987, and created graduate-programs in church music there.

All concerts begin at 12:15 pm and last approximately one hour. Admission is free, but donations in support of The Friends of Music Fund that supports these concerts and others throughout the year at St. Saviour’s are requested. The concerts all take place in the sanctuary, which is fully accessible to all by our new handicap ramp.

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Dr. Daniel S. Pyle is our Director of Music

Daniel comes to us most recently from the Church of Our Saviour in Atlanta, Georgia.  Daniel has forty-five years’ experience as a church musician in Episcopal, Lutheran, and Methodist congregations, and has been an instructor in church music at the Candler School of Theology.  He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music from the University of Alabama and a Doctorate from the Eastman School of   Music in Rochester.  Daniel is particularly interested in Baroque and Early Music; he and his wife, Catherine Bull, are the core of Harmonie Universelle, a Baroque ensemble that has  recorded and toured in the US and Europe.

A Tradition of Making Music

From our founding in 1876, people have come to St. Saviour’s to make music. Individuals who lived and worked on this island have sung in the parish choirs. Each summer and on festive occasions, voices and musicians from away joined them. Over time, the church doors opened ever wider to welcome all manner of choruses, orchestras, and performers from around the world.

The greater Mount Desert Island community has long treasured St. Saviour’s as a resource for supporting the performing arts. These activities are integral both to the parish’s identity and to the core values of our congregation.

A Wonderful Challenge

Understanding the need to support places that nurture such creativity, members of the greater Bar Harbor community delighted the parish when they came forward with a plan to support music at Saviour’s. In response, the parish established Friends of Music at St. Saviour’s.

Through Friends of Music, individuals, musical performers and local organizations can support the arts that enrich our common life. Donations to this Endowment may be made at any time by check payable to St. Saviour’s Parish and mailed to the church at 41 Mt. Desert St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Friends of Music at St. Saviour’s supports the performing arts through:

  • Musical concerts and other performances;
  • Preservation of a community space that welcomes all people;
  • Maintenance of the Visser-Rowland organ

Since its completion in August 1976, the Visser-Rowland organ (Opus 6) with its three manuals, thirty-one ranks, and twenty-five stops, has fulfilled the high hopes of its first supporters and inspired a new generation of listeners and performers. See the brochure with more information about the organ: Organ brochure 5-2016

For more info about our music programs and to support Friends of Music, please email info@stsaviours.me.

Also check out the websites for two terrific chorale groups that perform here:

Acadia Chorale Society

Mt. Desert Summer Chorale

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