A special Reunion Weekend organ concert featuring five alumni organists will be held at 9:00 p.m. Friday, June 16, at the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The concert is free and open to the public.
The concert will include works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Jean Langlais, Nicolas Gigault, Max Reger, Josef Rheinberger, Jehan Alain, and Jeanne Demessieux. Featured organists include Randall Swanson, ’81, Ryan M. Albashian, ’02, David Heller, ’81, Paul M. Weber, ’00, and Thomas F. Froehlich, ’74.
Swanson has been the director of music and principal organist at Saint Clement Church in Chicago since 1989. Prior to his appointment at Saint Clement, he served as assistant organist and choirmaster under Richard Proulx at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. He has conducted concerts in many of the musical centers of Europe, including Paris, Florence, and Rome.
Albashian held church positions at two of the largest churches in Appleton during his time at Lawrence. Upon graduating from Lawrence, he was awarded the title of artist-in-residence of First English Lutheran Church. In March of 2004, he was on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered playing the 1799 David Tannenberg organ, which he helped restore. Currently, he is an organ builder with Taylor and Boody Organbuilders of Staunton, Virginia. He holds the position of voicer and travels regularly to finish new organs. Heller has been a member of the faculty of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, since 1986, serving as professor of music and university organist. Prior to his appointment, he served as director of music and organist for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Pittsford, New York. An active recitalist, he has performed extensively throughout the United States and has performed internationally in Canada, France, Germany, Guatemala, and Mexico.
Weber is an assistant professor of music at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he teaches organ and music history and directs the Schola Cantorum Franciscana and the Franciscan Chamber Orchestra. He is an active performer, composer, and author, having appeared in numerous concerts and competitions in the United States and Europe. He is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Yale University.
Froehlich has served as organist/choirmaster at St. Michael’s Church in Paris while studying with Marie-Claire Alain and Jean Langlais. In 1977, he left Paris to assume the position of organist at the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, a historic downtown church with a rich history of music and two mechanical-action organs. He has now held this position for nearly 30 years.