Sister Susan Barber%2C Sister Janelle Maes and Lara West

From left, Sister Susan Barber, Sister Janelle Maes and Lara West

Pipes and pedals

September concert at Mount St. Scholastica celebrates refurbished organ

A September concert at Mount St. Scholastica will feature a trio of organists celebrating the refurbished pipe organ in St. Scholastica Chapel.

The concert begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, in St. Scholastica Chapel on the Mount campus, 801 S. 8th St., Atchison, Kan. The event is free and open to the public.

Organists are Sister Susan Barber, Sister Janelle Maes and Dr. Lara West.

Sister Susan holds a Master of Arts degree in music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and spent the past year studying organ with Phillip Kloeckner at the University of Chicago. She will be playing pieces from the Paul Manz organ recital program that she will be performing in October at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. On Sept. 11 she will play:

  • " ‘Little’ Fugue in G minor” by J.S. Bach. Bach's mastery of the fugue shows forth in this early composition of a melody and counter-melody shared by four voices.
  • “Toccata in b minor” by Eugène Giguot. In its flourishes and ornamentation, this toccata reflects Giguot's mastery of improvisation. It is the fourth work in a larger set of compositions, Dix Pièces. 
  • “Pastoral” by César Franck. The hauntingly beautiful theme in the treble voice evokes the image of a shepherd playing a flute. Section two of this piece awakens a sense of the ethereal. This composition from Franck's “Six Pièces of 1859-62” is frequently played on the eve of Christmas.

Sister Janelle has been an organist at the Mount for many years and is now the senior organist. She has studied with Sister Joachim Holthaus and Ruth Krusemark. She decided to have fun with the recital program, and so chose music that she wouldn’t play for religious services. Her pieces are:

  • “Variations on Four Sunday School Tunes (Will There be any Stars in My Crown)” by Virgil Thomson. The composer pokes a little gentle fun at the pipe organ in these hymns that remind him of his childhood.
  • “Mountain Music (First and second movements)” by Harold Stover. The first movement, “At Evening,” is based on a Shaker melody and evokes evening sounds while the second uses another Shaker tune and feels like an old-fashioned barn dance.
  • “Symphonie Romane (first movement)” by Charles M. Widor, Op. 73. The symphony is based on the Gregorian Easter response, “Haec  Dies” ---this is the day the Lord has made. 

West is an adjunct professor in the music department at Benedictine College, and music minister at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lawrence, Kan. She will play two pieces: 

  • “Beside the Still Waters” by Gwyneth Walker, a lyrical piece based on a folk prayer inspired by the 23rd Psalm.
  • “Job (movements 7 and 8)” by Petr Eben, a Czech composer and concentration camp survivor.