From 1995-2018, William K. Trafka was the Director of Music and Organist at St. Bartholomew’s Church, having served as Associate Organist beginning in 1985. At St. Bartholomew’s, he directed music for three diverse services each Sunday and oversaw a choral program which included a professional choir, a volunteer choir and an extensive program for boy and girl choristers. He has directed St. Bartholomew’s Summer Festival of Sacred Music. He was the Artistic Director of the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, a corporation presenting Great Music at St. Bart’s, a concert series, which included performances by St. Bartholomew’s Choir and Boy and Girl Choristers as well as a host of guest artists and ensembles, which included Jessye Norman, Sylvia McNair, Betty Buckley and the Empire Brass. At St. Bartholomew’s, he conducted the premieres of works by such notable composers as James MacMillan, David Conte and Ēriks Ešenvalds.
He is a magna cum lauda graduate of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he was a student of David Craighead and was awarded the Performer’s Certificate in organ performance. As a recitalist, he has performed on concert series throughout the US, Europe and Central America. In New York, he has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the American Symphony Orchestra and the Fairfield Orchestra. In conjunction with the travel agency Goodspeed & Bach, he has led several tours to Germany, playing organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach in the churches where the 18th century composer served as organist. Recently, he served as Adjunct Professor of Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. As a composer, he has had works performed by St. Bartholomew’s Choir, The Washington Bach Consort, The National Cathedral Choral Society and Cerddorian.
His recording credits include several collaborations with the American Boychoir on the Angel and MusicMasters labels and with the Brass of the English Chamber Orchestra on the RCA label. Additionally, he has conducted St. Bartholomew’s Choir on three recordings on the Ethereal label. He also can be heard playing works of Leo Sowerby at St. Bartholomew’s on a 4-CD set entitled Great Organs of New York on the B&V label. His CD, entitled The Symphonic Organ, which includes his transcription of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, was released on the Pro Organo label and has been critically acclaimed by such publications as the American Record Guide, The Diapason and The Living Church.
He presently serves as the Director of Music and Organist for Christ Church in Ridgewood, NJ, where he was appointed in November of 2018.
The Central Arkansas Chapter meets once a month, September through May, for dinner, business meeting and a concert. These meetings are a time for fellowship, to visit with old friends, to make new friends, and to enjoy the performances of world-class artists. Our recitals are free, open to the public, and made possible by the support of our members, chapter friends, and program sponsors.
Now is the time to join, or renew your membership of, the Central Arkansas Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. If you are an organist, church musician, or love the organ and its music, support our mission by joining us today. Memberships run from July 1 to June 30.
CACAGO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible.