|| JOHN OBETZ HONORED AT AGO RECITAL AT COMMUNITY OF CHRIST (Independence, Mo.) AND GALA BENEFIT RECEPTION IN KANSAS CITY
Celebration of Brilliant Performer, Distinguished Teacher, Valued Colleague, and Friend Raised More Than $37,000 Benefiting the AGO Endowment Fund
Oct. 1, 2007
The American Guild of Organists presented its fourth annual recital and gala benefit reception on Sunday, April 15, at the Community of Christ World Headquarters in Independence, Mo. An estimated 750 colleagues, students, friends, and family came together for what was described by many as a “family reunion” to celebrate the many accomplishments and the distinguished service that John Obetz has brought to the organ profession.The recital was hosted by Jan Kraybill and featured the two world-renowned organs at the Community of Christ World Headquarters in Independence, Mo.—the IV/113-rank Aeolian-Skinner in the Auditorium, well known from the 26 years it was heard in Obetz’s weekly radio broadcasts, and the IV/102-rank Casavant, just across the street in the church’s Temple. The performers were John Obetz, Frederick Swann, Jan Kraybill, T. Jared Stellmacher, and the choir of Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. American Public Media’s Pipedreams host Michael Barone served as master of ceremonies. The Gala Benefit Reception followed at the Marriott Country Club Plaza in Kansas City and was attended by 150.
The gala was sponsored by the AGO National Council and its Development Committee, Bruce P. Bengtson, AAGO, director. Major funding was provided by Pemcor Inc. of Lancaster, Pa. Additional support was provided by Casavant Frères, Community of Christ, the Copaken Foundation, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral Trinity Choir, Quimby Pipe Organs Inc., Revell Inc., the Martha Lee Cain Tranby Music Enrichment Fund, and by the following individuals: Bruce P. Bengtson, aago, James David Christie, Nancy Ruyle Dodge, and J.O. Love. Floral decorations were provided by Trapp and Co.; photography was provided by Peter Obetz; program design was contributed by Len Levasseur.
JOHN OBETZ, a resident of Leawood, Kans., has been one of America’s most widely heard organists. From 1967 to 1998, he was the principal organist for the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now the Community of Christ) in Independence, Mo., where thousands of listeners heard his weekly half-hour recital, “The Auditorium Organ,” via satellite broadcast. Dr. Obetz has concertized throughout the United States, England, and Europe.
Dr. Obetz received both the bachelor of music and master of music degrees from Northwestern University, and earned a doctorate in sacred music at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he studied with Vernon de Tar. Further study included work with Marie-Claire Alain and participation in the International Academy for Organists in Haarlem, The Netherlands. He served as adjunct associate professor of music at the University of Missouri at Kansas City until his retirement in 2005. An active member of the AGO, Dr. Obetz served on the AGO National Council for 19 years, chairing several committees. He is a past Dean and Regional Chairman.
Contributions in honor of John Obetz can be made online at www.agohq.org/contributions or by mailing a check to:
AGO Endowment Fund, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1260, New York, NY 10115
All gifts will be acknowledged in The American Organist Magazine.
The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. Founded in 1896 as both an educational and service organization, it sets and maintains high musical standards and promotes the understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music. The mission of the AGO is to enrich lives through organ and choral music. The Guild currently serves approximately 19,000 members in more than 300 local chapters throughout the United States and abroad. The American Organist Magazine, the official journal of the AGO and the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, reaches an audience of more than 20,000 readers each month.
This information is submitted by F. Anthony Thurman, Director of Development and Communications at the National Headquarters of the American Guild of Organists and The American Organist Magazine. For further information, please contact Dr. Thurman by TEL (212) 870-2310, FAX (212) 870-2163 or E-MAIL email@example.com.