Alden Wright is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in the studio of Nathan Laube at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He is a native of Salisbury, North Carolina, where he studied organ with Phillip Burgess and piano with Diane Freeman. At Eastman, Alden’s teachers have also included Edoardo Bellotti, William Porter, Stephen Kennedy, and Peter DuBois. Alden was recently named the winner of the 2019 Arthur Poister Competition in Organ Playing. Previous awards include first place in the 2014 Columbia, SC AGO Young Organist Competition and the 2016 University of North Carolina School of the Arts Organ Competition, as well as second in the Washington, DC AGO Franciscan Monastery Scholarship Competition in 2015. Alden has performed in many student and solo recitals throughout the country and has participated in masterclasses with Bine Bryndorf, Scott Dettra, Ulrich Spang-Hanssen, Todd Wilson, Jonathan Dimmock, and others. Alden was a recipient of the Robert and Ann Stigall Scholarship, sponsored by the Charlotte Chapter of the American Guild of Organists from 2013-2015, and was awarded the Pogorzelski-Yankee Memorial Scholarship for undergraduate studies. As a passionate church musician, Alden enjoys developing his knowledge of liturgical music through programs such as the Royal School of Church Music’s Carolina Course, hosted at Duke University, where he served as Organ Scholar in the summer of 2019. Previously, Alden served as organist at Milford Hills United Methodist Church in Salisbury from 2015-2016 and as an intern at Christ Church in Rochester under the Roy E. VanDelinder Fellowship from 2016-2018. He has also been a member of the Schola Cantorum of Christ Church since 2016. Alden now serves as Assistant Organist to Director of Music Peter DuBois at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester.
Robert Young Ellis was Professor of Organ at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia for 35 years from 1952 to 1987. It is hoped that this series will inspire musicians young and old, as Ellis, through his teaching and playing, influenced innumerable students and colleagues who remember him as a musician of genius and as one who brought both wit and sophistication to the lesson and to the classroom. Mr. Ellis, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, was trained at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, at the University of North Texas and at the University of Michigan. He was guest artist for numerous conventions of the American Guild of Organists and for dedications of many new pipe organ installations throughout the United States. Mr. Ellis was a visiting lecturer at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. In Arkansas, he served as organist for the First United Methodist Church of Hot Springs and the First United Methodist Church of Arkadelphia. At Henderson, he coached four Fulbright scholars and winners of regional and national competitions. He was a man of warm presence and kindness to all who knew him. Those whom he influenced are professionals now serving throughout the country as church musicians, university professors, organ builders, and as principals and supporters for arts organizations.
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.