Organist William Peterson Celebrates Pomona's 125th Birthday with Music from Claremont
William Peterson, the Harry S. and Madge Rice Thatcher Professor of Music at Pomona College, celebrates Pomona College’s 125th year with a recital of music from Claremont on Sunday, January 27 at 3 p.m. in Pomona College’s Bridges Hall of Music (150 E. 4th St., Claremont). The concert is free and open to the public.
Inspired by the College’s 125th celebration year and the 10th anniversary of the installation of the Hill Memorial Organ in Bridges Hall of Music, Peterson shares, “I chose an all-Claremont program to feature present and past music by those associated with Pomona College’s Department of Music as well as two of Claremont’s esteemed musicians.” The Pomona College composers featured are: Joseph Clokey (1890-1960) former composer and College organist; Carl Parrish (1904-1965) professor of music and department chairman from 1949-53; William G. Blanchard (1905-1978) former professor of music and College organist; Karl Kohn (b. 1926) emeritus professor of composition; Tom Flaherty (b. 1950) John P. and Magdalena R. Dexter Professor of Music; and former Pomona College student and profound composer John Cage (1912-1992). From the Claremont community Peterson has picked works by distinguished teacher (most recently of Whittier College), performer, composer and scholar Orpha Ochse, and long-time Claremont organist, clinician and composer Wilbur Held.
Peterson’s previous concerts offered throughout the country and in Europe have included programs of all-Bach music to the themed program, “French Organ Music from the Time of World War I.” As a scholar, Peterson has worked extensively on French organ music of the 19th and early 20th centuries. He is co-editor with Lawrence Archbold of French Organ Music from the Revolution to Franck and Widor (1995) and is author of “Lemmens, His Ecole d’orgue, and Nineteenth-Century Organ Methods” in that volume. Among his more recent articles are “Organ Music in the Shadow of the Great War: A Preliminary Investigation,” published in La Flûte harmonique (2007), and “Storm Fantasies for the Nineteenth-Century Organ in France,” which appeared in Keyboard Perspectives, volume II (2009). His research projects have been supported by a Fulbright research grant (in Belgium), by the Mellon Foundation, and by Pomona College.
The Hill Memorial Organ built by C.B. Fisk, of Gloucester, MA (Fisk, Op. 117) for Bridges Hall of Music at Pomona College marks its 10th anniversary since its installation. Peterson, who gave the inaugural performance, has also been heard on “Pipedreams” (National Public Radio) in a 2006 broadcast in a program that included the music of Tournemire, Duruflé and Widor recorded live during concerts in 2002 and 2003 in Bridges Hall of Music.
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Music from Claremont
Fanfare and Canon on “Lobe den Herren” (1969)—William G. Blanchard
Mountain Sketches (1924) "Jagged Peaks in the Starlight"—Joseph Clokey
Chorale Prelude on the Welsh hymn tune “Ton-y-botel” (1946)—Carl Parrish
Chaconne (1954; 1962)—Orpha Ochs
“O God Our Help in Ages Past” (1996)—Wilbur Held
Souvenir (1983)—John Cage
Prelude (2000)—Karl Kohn
Fanfares (2008)—Tom Flaherty