Charles Callahn Honored by American Guild of Organists at Saint Louis Gala

The American Guild of Organists (AGO) presented its eleventh annual Recital and Gala Benefit Reception on Friday, April 25, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis in St. Louis, Mo. An estimated audience of 250 friends and colleagues came together to celebrate the lifetime achievements of Charles Callahan at his St. Louis recital. Dr. Callahan was given the AGO Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award “for his distinguished career as a composer, performer, teacher, and consultant, and his lifelong service to the sacred music profession.”

The gala was sponsored by the AGO National Council and its Development Committee. Major funding was provided by Christopher Babcock, LTCL. Additional support was provided by the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. The event raised approximately $25,000 to be invested in the AGO Endowment Fund in Charles Callahan’s honor.

The recital, which was played by Charles Callahan on the Cathedral’s Great Organ, was introduced by AGO President Eileen Guenther. Dr. Callahan’s program included works by Guild founders John Hyatt Brewer, Dudley Buck, Clarence Eddy, Arthur Foote, John Knowles Paine, Horatio Parker, Harry Rowe Shelley, Humphrey J. Stewart, and Samuel Brenton Whitney, as well as several of Dr. Callahan’s own compositions. He was joined in the performance of three organ duets by Mark Thallander. Eighty-five individuals attended the gala reception following at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.

Established in 1994, the AGO Endowment Fund provides income to expand programs for leadership development among AGO members; educate new organists; and cultivate new audiences for organ and choral music. Tax-deductible contributions to the Endowment Fund are invested in perpetuity to produce continuing income for essential Guild programs and educational projects. The AGO’s annual Gala benefit for the Endowment Fund travels around the country to celebrate distinguished members of the organ world. Past AGO Gala honorees have included Marie-Claire Alain (New York City), David Craighead (Philadelphia), Gerre and Judith Hancock (New York City), Joyce Jones (Fort Worth), Marilyn Keiser (New York City), Marilyn Mason (Ann Arbor), Thomas Murray (New Haven), John Obetz (Kansas City), Frederick Swann (Los Angeles), and John and Marianne Weaver (Philadelphia).

Those unable to attend the 2014 AGO Gala honoring Charles Callahan will receive a copy of the commemorative program book with their contribution of $25 or more to the Endowment Fund. Contributions in honor of Charles Callahan can be made through the AGO website 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.

For information, please call 212-870-2311, ext. 4308, or e-mail gala@agohq.org.