St. Norbert Abbey to host John Bruce Organ Concert Series

Beginning Oct. 17 at 2 p.m.

From St. Norbert College, September 17, 2009
by Chelsey Gruetzmacher, chelsey.gruetzmacher, (920) 403-3089

The schedule has been announced for the 2009-2010 John Bruce organ concert series. All performances will be held at the St. Norbert Abbey, located at 1016 N. Broadway St., De Pere, Wis. The concerts are open to the public and donations can be given at the door.

The concert series will be as follows:

- Michael Stefanek, Saturday, Oct. 17, at 2:00 p.m. As one of America's rising young organists, Michael Stefanek, a native of Green Bay, Wis., is in the doctoral program for Musical Arts in organ performance and literature at the University of Michigan studying with James Kibbie. Stefanek holds a master of music degree in organ performance from the University of Michigan and a bachelor of music degree in organ performance from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. In the spring of 2001 Stekanek won second prize at the chapter level of the American Guild of Organists Regional Competition for Young Organists and was appointed director of music and liturgist at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Green Bay last year.

- Isabelle Demers, Saturday, Dec. 12, at 2:00 p.m. Isabelle Demers received her master's degree from the Juilliard School in New York, where she is currently completing doctoral studies with Paul Jacobs. She began piano studies at age six and was admitted to the Montreal Conservatory of Music at age eleven in the fields of both piano and organ. After graduation in 2003 she studied on scholarship for a year in Paris at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris-Alfred Cortot. Demers has been a featured musician at the national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Minneapolis, has performed all seven of Max Reger's Chorale Fantasies in the 2008 Regerfest, and will be a featured artist at the 2009 national convention of the Royal Canadian College of Organists in Toronto, Canada.

- Vincent Dubois, Saturday, March 20, 2:00 p.m. Vincent Dubois is a graduate of the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris, where he was a student of Olivier Latry and earned First Prizes in Organ, Harmony, Counterpoint, Fugue and 20th century composition. Dubois won the Recital Gold Medal at the 2002 Calgary International Organ Competition and the Grand Prize at the 2002 International Competition of Toulouse, France. He has performed throughout the world in numerous international music festivals and as guest soloist in several orchestras and ensembles. In 2008 Dubois was appointed director of the Conservatoire National of Reims.

- Ken Cowan, Saturday, April 17, 2:00 p.m. Ken Cowen, a native of Thorold, Canada, is assistant professor of organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and has a master's degree and artist diploma from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music where he studied with Thomas Murray, as well as a bachelor of music degree from the Cutis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He was awarded the 2008 Rider University Distinguished Teaching Award, was on the roster of Associate Organists for the famous Wanamaker Grand Court organ in Philadelphia, and has held numerous organist posts throughout the east coast while maintaining a rigorous performing schedule.

The Rev. John Bruce, a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, was a close friend of St. Norbert Abbot Sylvester Killeen, O.Praem., and honorary member of the Norbertine order. The memorial concerts were established in his name at St. Norbert Abbey.

For more information, contact the Rev. Bartholomew Agar, O.Praem., at (920) 337-4378 or go to http://norbertines.org/abbey_music_canon_john_bruce.html.