Robert Schneider, organ
Amber Fasquelle, mezzo soprano
Andrew Rosenblum, harpsichord
introducing violinist, Isabelle Durrenberger
Two Chorale Preludes
Fantasia super Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott, BWV 651
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 (Sleeper’s Awake)
Organ Concerto No. 1 in G Major, BWV 592
(Bach arrangement of a violin concerto by Johann Ernst, Prince of Sachsen-Weimar)
Selections from “Goldberg Variations” BWV 988 (arr., Andrew Rosenblum)
Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041
Passion According to St. Matthew, (selected arias)
Part I. / No. 6 Aria (Alto): Buss und Reu
Part II. / No. 39 Aria (Alto): Erbarme dich, mein Gott
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Robert Schneider is in his 31st year of teaching as Chair of the Music Department and Director of Choirs at Shaker Heights High School. Since 1993 he has been the Director of Music and Organist of The First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland in Shaker Heights. Before coming to Shaker he was Director of Music Ministry at Lakewood Congregational Church (UCC) from 1989-1993.
A graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music, he holds a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music. His graduate work included study at the Academia di Musica Italiana in Pistoia, Italy. In 2009 he received the Yale University Distinguished Music Educator Award.
Mr. Schneider is President of The Musart Society of The Cleveland Museum of Art and Arts Renaissance Tremont. He is a Past Dean of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and a member of the Ohio Music Education Association and the American Choral Directors Association. In 1993 he served as the Consultant for the restoration of the Pilgrim Church Ferrand Votey Organ.
Andrew Rosenblum graduated in May 2014 with a Master’s Degree in Collaborative Piano and Harpsichord from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Anita Pontremoli and Peter Bennett. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Piano Performance from CalArts in 2011, under the instruction of Liam Viney. He is currently a Staff Pianist at the Cleveland Institute of Music, a substitute rehearsal pianist for The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and a freelance accompanist in the Cleveland area. Andrew has appeared as harpsichord soloist with the Case/CIM Baroque Orchestra and as piano soloist with the CalArts Orchestra. He has performed internationally in Canada, Mexico and St. Lucia, and has accompanied singers at the Kennedy Center and Alice Tully Hall. In 2014, he received the Rosa Lobe Collaborative Piano Award from the Cleveland Institute of Music. In his free time, Andrew enjoys playing chess, dancing, cooking and reading books.
Isabelle Durrenberger, 16, began studying violin at the age of 7. In the summer of 2012, she attended the Kent/Blossom Music Festival and was instructed by musicians from Kent State University and The Cleveland Orchestra. Fall 2012, she began violin studies with Mr. Jaime Laredo and Ms. Joan Kwuon in the preparatory division of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire are all of great interest to Isabelle. She served as associate concertmaster in the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, studies chamber music at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Chamber Music Connection (Columbus, OH), and has performed as soloist with the New Albany Symphony, Naples Orchestra and Chorus, Suburban Symphony Orchestra, CIM Orchestra and the Columbus Symphony. Isabelle was featured on the NPR radio show, From the Top, in January of 2014 as a soloist and chamber musician. She has participated in masterclasses with the Cypress, Pacifica, Escher, Calidore, St. Lawrence, Jupiter and Cavani String Quartets; Jan Mark Sloman, David Finckel, Joseph Silverstein, Anne Epperson and Peter Salaff. Isabelle is a student at Upper Arlington High School. Her summers are spent at the Meadowmount School of Music, where she studies with Jan Mark Sloman.
Mezzo-Soprano Amber Fasquelle, 22, is an undergraduate at the Cleveland Institute of Music studying vocal performance with renowned tenor Vinson Cole. Miss Fasquelle sang the leading role of Ruggiero in this fall’s CIM Opera Theater production of Handel’s Alcina. Amber spent the summer performing and studying various roles at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Spring 2014 she sang the role of the First Witch in CIM’s production of Dido and Aeneas. Prior to studying in Cleveland, she sang both roles of White Cat and Squirrel, in Oberlin Opera Theatre’s production of L’Enfant et le sortileges. A graduate of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts (Natick, MA), Miss Fasquelle soloed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall singing Handel’s Ah! Mio cor. She performed Dido in the school’s production of Dido and Aeneas, and placed first in the Mondavi Young Artist Competition allowing her to solo in the venue and work with Sasha Cooke. At home in San Francisco Amber studies under Ms. Sheri Greenawald.
ABOUT THE ORGAN
The Ferrand Votey Pipe Organ
The Pilgrim organ is an historic instrument, one of the few instruments remaining intact which represent a high point in American organ building in the late 19th century. Most instruments which still exist from this time have been poorly altered and tonally destroyed. It is unique to find so many of the original high quality pipes still in place. The handsome carved wood organ case, complete with a statue of the angel Gabriel, is modeled after the European organ cases of the 17th and 18th centuries.
While the exact date of the original installation has not been determined, the organ was built around the turn of the century. The classic pipe work represents some of the finest craftsmanship stemming from the renowned Roosevelt organ building firm of New York. Roosevelt went into business in 1872. He was the first cousin of President Theodore Roosevelt and he built 358 organs. The Roosevelt Company was bought by the Votey Co. of Detroit in 1893. The great legacy of American organ building continued when in 1899 the Votey Co. merged with the Aeolian Co., and in 1901 that firm was purchased by the Hutchings Co. The monumental American organ builder Ernest M. Skinner was the vice president of this company. Due to neglect the Pilgrim organ stood silent for over 20 years. In 1992 the Holtkamp Organ Company of Cleveland was selected to restore the instrument. With the exception of the four-foot stops added to achieve the original tonal balance of the instrument, all remaining voicing and balancing was handled with a commitment to restore the tonal authenticity of the original instrument. Volunteer members of Pilgrim Church duplicated the original stenciling on the case pipe work.
Wilma Salisbury, then music critic of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (9/21/92) perhaps said it best:
“Few 19th century pipe organs built in the United States have survived the American urge to demolish and rebuild. The organ at Pilgrim Congregational in Tremont is one of the survivors and it is a gem. The restored organ speaks with the character and integrity of a noble instrument that has withstood the ravages of time. It serves the music of its period with an authentic voice and it restores a missing piece to the city’s musical resources.“