|Music at IPC|
|Written by Website|
|Thursday, 15 October 2009|
H. Douglas Slusher – Director of the Chancel Choir (Emeritus Minister of Music)
Doug Slusher graduated from Westminster Choir College with a Bachelors of Music in voice and church music. He later earned both a Masters and a Ph.D. in music from The Ohio State University. Doug was Minister of Music at Indianola from 1969 until 2004 and was named Minister of Music Emeritus in 2005. With his retirement as an Academic Advisor at OSU, he has returned to IPC as Director of the Chancel Choir. He has taught at OSU, Heidelburg College and Dennison University.
Dr. Jerry Lowder - Organist
Dr. Lowder retired on Oct. 3, 2010 after 34+ years as organist.
Jerry Lowder has been organist at IPC since 1976 and has served as a church musician for the past four decades. Joining the Ohio State University School of Music faculty in 1970, Dr. Lowder developed a new course sequence in piano pedagogy, achieving national prominence as an authority in group piano instruction and Class Piano Pedagogy. Dr. Lowder was active in local, state and national music organizations, serving as clinician for the National Piano Foundation, adjudicator of OMEA piano solo contests, member of MENC, MTNA, CMTA, also Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Kappa Phi national honor societies. He also accompanied faculty voice recitals and taught courses in church music during his tenure at OSU before retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1995.
Some Words on the Occasion of the
Retirement of Dr. Jerry E. Lowder
by Rev. Sydney V. (Skip) Jackson — October 3, 2010
Indianola Presbyterian Church, Columbus, Ohio
There’s a lot happening this Sunday and in the next week. Today is Peacemaking Sunday in the PC(USA), and we’ll be receiving the Peacemaking Offering. It’s also Worldwide Communion Sunday, a time when churches around the world celebrate the Lord’s Supper as a sign of Christian unity. Next Sunday we’ll join with many other churches in Columbus and around the nation in CROP Walk for hunger needs. Do plan to walk or sponsor a walker. And most of all, today we’re honoring Dr. Jerry Lowder here in worship and a luncheon downstairs in Fellowship Hall on the occasion of his retirement as our church organist. All are welcome at the luncheon—no reservations required. (There is a slight charge.)
I put together this morning’s worship service based on the psalms because the Book of Psalms is the hymnbook of the Bible—songs that the people lift to God in prayer and praise. Yet these very human words directed to God, somehow by the power of the Holy Spirit become God’s word for us. And all the while, the psalms remind us that music is an integral part of how we worship and relate to God. Singing together helps us experience our connection to God and to each other, so something of vital importance would be lacking without music in worship.
And when it comes to singing, I suspect we all can use a little help. That’s where the church musician comes in—especially the organist, in those churches blessed to have an organ, or even better a pipe organ. The organist is the one who supports the people’s song by way of a ministry of music and accompaniment. And the organist does so in ways that remind us of God’s song, ranging from the thundering glory of the Almighty to the “still, small voice” of God. Here at Indianola, Dr. Jerry Lowder has been our organist for more than 34 years. He started here in January of 1976, and today we are celebrating his many years of ministry in this place as he retires from the organ bench.
When I came to Indianola 10 years ago this week, I was more than a little impressed by the music staff here—three people who all together had more than 60 years of experience in this church. And when I learned that Jerry had been the church’s organist for nearly a quarter of a century and was a Professor Emeritus from O.S.U., I was just a little intimidated. Perhaps it’s just as well that I didn’t know all of his credentials then—B.A. from Elon University, M.A. from Columbia University, and then a Doctorate in Music Education from Indiana, followed by being the Head of Group Piano Instruction & Pedagogy at OSU.
But what I soon learned 10 years ago was that Jerry is a consummate church musician. Whether accompanying the choir or the congregation on either piano or pipe organ, Jerry was ever conscious that it was never a matter of performance but always a matter of supporting the people in worshipping God. Soli Deo Gloria—“to God alone be the glory.” It’s hard for me to imagine just how many worship services, baptisms, communions, weddings, and funerals Jerry has played for over his nearly 35 years at IPC, let alone all the rehearsals and practice times. His dedication has been extraordinary. Jerry sits at the organ with his back to us week after week, hidden by the pastors’ bench, ministering to us through his gift of music. He has been a huge part of our life as a congregation. We cannot thank him enough. So we bid farewell and Godspeed to Jerry and wish both him and his wife Harriet a wonderful time in retirement. Incidentally, Wednesday will be their wedding anniversary, and Jerry will be playing as his Postlude the piece that was their wedding processional, Mendelssohn’s “The March of the Priests.” Jerry, we will miss you as our organist but take joy in recalling the gift of your music and the fact that you and Harriet will remain part of the church family as members of this congregation. Again, Soli Deo Gloria—“To God alone be the glory!” Amen.
Orlay Alonso - Organist
Our new organist as of 10/4/10 is Orlay Aonso, who comes to us from Bronx, NY.
Mary-Rebekah Fortman - Director of Handbell Choir
Mary Rebekah Fortman attended Capital University where she received a Bachelors in Music Education and Masters in Music Education with an emphasis in the Kodaly Method. While an undergraduate, she spent a semester studying at the Kodaly Pedagogical Institute of Music in Hungary. Mary Rebekah currently teaches music at Hanby Arts Magnet School in Westerville, Ohio and is on staff with the Columbus Children's Choir. Mary Rebekah directs the Handbell Choir at IPC. She also leads the Children's Choir and the Youth Choir when they participate in worship services.
The Chancel Choir rehearses on Thursday evenings in the Choir Room from 7:15 pm until about 9:15 pm. The choir sings an introit and an anthem during most Sunday morning worship services from the first Sunday in September through the last Sunday in May. On Sunday mornings the choir gathers at 10 am in the Choir Room to warm up and run through the morning's anthem. In June and July the choir meets only on Sunday morning at 10 am to prepare an anthem for presentation during the morning's worship service.
At present the Children's choir participates in the Christmas Eve Service, the Palm Sunday Service, and the Choir Appreciation Service. The choir rehearses on Sundays during the Sunday School hour for about 4-5 weeks before each occasion.
The Youth Choir operates as part of the church's Youth Group and presents musical offering during worship on Christmas Eve, as part of Choir Appreciation, and several additional times between September and May.
The Handbell Choir rehearses at 4 pm on Sunday afternoons from September through April. The choir plays in worship on Christmas Eve, as part of Choir Appreciation Sunday, and during several worship services throughout the church program year.
During the course of the year special music services generally include:
• Jazz Worship (the last Sunday before Lent — aka Mardi Gras Sunday)
* Choir Appreciation Sunday (usually the first Sunday in May)
• Advent/Christmas Choral Service (the first Sunday in December)
• Christmas Eve Service of Lessons & Carols
|Last Updated ( Friday, 15 October 2010 )|