July 12, 2015 |
As Eleanor Crane's friends got older, some cut back on involvement in community groups, such as the Garden Club and International Women's Club. But not Crane. She has presided over Long Beach Island clubs, raised three children - Jan, Susan, and Charles - and still plays a mean mah-jongg ("Oh, I love mah-jongg," she said. "It's the greatest thing. It's a challenging game. ") The retired nurse is itching to get an upcoming hip replacement and heart surgery done - as long as it doesn't interfere with her final organ performance at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Barnegat Light.
May 14, 2015 |
Margaret Rittmayer Rieck, 80, of Burlington City, a former organist for Catholic and Lutheran churches in Camden, died of dementia on Thursday, May 7, at Burlington Woods, an assisted living facility. Born in Camden, Mrs. Rieck graduated from Camden Catholic High School in 1952 and earned a bachelor's degree in 1956 at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, now part of the University of the Arts. Mrs. Rieck ran her own music studio in Paulsboro in the late 1950s, offering voice and piano lessons, her daughter, Noreen Nixon, said.
March 7, 2015 |
The preeminent Philadelphia instrument? How about the organ? Its legacy runs deep. Consider: the world's largest operational pipe organ, the Wanamaker "King of Organs," right here in Center City since 1911; Girard College Chapel's prized Aeolian-Skinner organ, worked magically by avant-garde jazz iconoclast John Zorn just last May; and much more. On Wednesday night at World Café Live, a free concert called "Home Cooking: Celebrating the Philadelphia Jazz Organ Tradition" focused on the Hammond B-3. The number of soul-jazz B-3 masters from Philly has been staggering: Jimmy McGriff, Don Patterson, Trudy Pitts, Joey DeFrancesco, and more.
February 4, 2015 |
PHILADELPHIA'S reputation as a center of gospel music owed much to people like Irma Beattie Brown Coleman. Irma and the late David Collier formed United Gospel Singers, which performed at churches throughout the Philadelphia area and in other cities on the East Coast in the '60s and '70s. Among her innovations was the introduction of young boys and girls as soloists at well-attended gospel programs, many at Tindley Temple United Methodist Church on South Broad Street. She organized numerous other gospel groups over the years and served as a teacher seeking to bring out the nascent talents of young singers.
January 24, 2015 |
Harry Wilkinson, 92, of Philadelphia, a longtime music professor, organist, and church musician, died Thursday, Jan. 15, of congestive heart failure at his home. Born in Saginaw, Mich., in 1922, he had a long and distinguished career as an organist and church musician, Yale organ curator Joseph Dzeda said in an online remembrance. "A gifted improviser at the organ, he began his early studies at age 12 with Harry C. Banks, Girard College organist," Dzeda said on www.wanamakerorgan.com , the website of Friends of the Wanamaker Organ.
December 8, 2014 |
Conductor David Charles Abell is far too urbane to be a musical Santa Claus at the Philly Pops Christmas Spectacular, now running at the Kimmel Center. But pops, classical, and theater music are all of a piece in the life of this 56-year-old conductor who grew up in Mount Airy, graduated from Germantown Friends School ('76), studied with Leonard Bernstein, and is based in London, where he conducts an array of concerts and West End shows. Q: Christmas concerts can be so many things to so many people.
October 15, 2014 |
BACK IN the 1980s, City Hall workers and others in the vicinity could take their lunches to the nearby Arch Street Presbyterian Church and listen to Esther Wideman at the organ. The once-a-week noon concerts were free and part of Esther's contribution to the cultural life of her adopted city. She was the organist and director of music at the church. Esther's passion for the organ took her all over Europe, where she could listen to the music of famous organs, mostly in ancient churches, and get to play many of them herself.
February 21, 2014 |
A Winslow Township man who was an organist at several South Jersey churches has been arrested on charges he sexually assaulted at least four male juveniles, authorities say. Joseph Cuthbert, 71, was arrested at his home Sunday after an apparent victim stepped forward earlier in the day. The victim claimed abuse began in September. An investigation found other victims who claimed the man had assaulted them over the last 30 years, Winslow police said. A police release initially said five total victims were located, but Detective Cary Robinson later said in an interview: "Right now we have four victims.
July 19, 2013 |
Rodger W. Maro, 73, of Lindenwold, longtime organist for an Episcopal church and a Roman Catholic church, both in Camden County, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Sunday, June 23, at Keystone Hospice in Wyndmoor. From 1998 "until he ended his time with us on Palm Sunday" 2013, Mr. Maro worked part-time as both choir director and organist at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist in Chews Landing, the Rev. Margaret Sterchi, its rector, said Wednesday. She would pick the hymns for her services, she said, but "what he had more fun with" was arranging the music for the choir, five people strong.
July 9, 2013 |
LILLIAN M. Lewandowski did her part for the war effort during World War II. She made Raisinets for the troops. That's not as far-fetched as it might sound. Lillian had to forgo a full scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania because her work for the Blumenthal Brothers Chocolate Co. was deemed essential to the war effort. Lillian Lewandowski, who after the war worked as a secretary for lawyers, then the U.S. Customs Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency, and used her musical talents to teach piano and organ and peform at area churches, died June 22. She was 88. She lived in Bensalem but had lived for many years in Frankford.