The Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul will be hosting a concert on Friday, September 27, 7:30 pm, in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the installation of the Casavant Organ. There will be music of Widor, Bach, Vierne and Guilmant, highlighting the Mass for two choirs and two organs. Come and enjoy the many talented performers in this sacred space!
This concert features organist Kevin Birch with the Androscoggin Choral along with organist Scott Vaillancourt and the Prince of Peace Men's Choir. Admission for this concert is FREE, however, donations to restore the Casavant Organ are gratefully accepted.
Kevin Birch holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Iowa with previous studies at New England Conservatory in Boston and Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. His teachers include Yuko Hayashi, Delores Bruch and the late Klaas Bolt.
He is a member of the music faculty at University of Maine where he teaches organ and harpsichord and conducts The Athena Consort, UMaine’s Women’s Choir.
Since 1992 he has served as Director of Music at St. John’s Catholic Church in Bangor where, in addition to choir training and service playing, he directs the St. John’s Organ Society – an organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the church’s historic E. & G. G. Hook Pipe Organ, Opus 288 (1860).
Birch has performed for several national conventions of the Organ Historical Society and in churches and colleges throughout the United States, Europe and in South America. He frequently performs ensemble programs with UMaine faculty members Elizabeth Downing (flute) and Anatole Wieck (violin). He can be heard on Organ Historical Society recordings Historic Organs of Connecticut and Historic Organs of Boston.
Birch began organ studies with Yuko Hayashi on the C. B. Fisk organ at Old West Church in 1979 and earned the Bachelor of Music Degree at New England Conservatory (with Distinction in Performance) in 1987. He continued studies with Klaas Bolt at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam and later with Delores Bruch at the University of Iowa where he earned the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees.
Since 1992 he has served as Director of Music at St. John’s Catholic Church in Bangor, Maine where, in addition to choir training and service playing, he directs the St. John’s Organ Society
, an organization dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of E. & G. G. Hook’s Opus #288 built for St. John's Church in 1860. He is a member of the music faculty at the University of Maine’s School of the Performing Arts in Orono.
Birch has performed throughout the United States, Europe and in South America. Recent highlights include concerts at the 2007 and 2009 International Organ Festivals in Berlin, the Meisterkonzert Series at the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis Kirche in Berlin, the dedication concert for a new Metzler organ in Auenstein, Switzerland and programs for several national conventions of the Organ Historical Society.
He can be heard on OHS recordings Historic Organs of Connecticut, Historic Organs of Boston and Historic Organs of Seattle, and Exsultate – Sacred Choral and Organ Music, recorded at St. John’s in Bangor.
Founded in 1972, the Androscoggin Chorale
is an auditioned, mixed-voice community chorus based in Lewiston-Auburn. Led by Maine Music Society Artistic Director John Corrie, the 60-voice chorale has distinguished itself with an ever evolving level of excellence and professionalism. The group's diverse repertoire reflects its desire to explore a broad range of musical genres -- contemporary, musical theatre, classical, opera, oratorio -- and master the challenges of increasingly complex material.
For further information regarding the Casavant Organ please visit this article