Port Angeles native John Meier is returning to his roots, this time to offer a recital of organ classics from J.S. Bach to Cesar Franck at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave., Port Angeles.
Meier says it will be a particularly special homecoming because his first organ lessons with Pat Churchley took place at the organ at Holy Trinity. Meier has grown since then, but so has Holy Trinity’s organ. Its pipes recently doubled in number, its console was updated and several sanctuary improvements have increased comfort for both organist and audience and improved energy efficiency dramatically. The $15 donation for the concert will benefit the “Air, Pipes and Panes” fund that supports the sanctuary improvements and organ enhancements.
Many residents will remember Meier: Where there was an organ, chances are he played it, not just for practice, but as a substitute on Sunday mornings. He began subbing at the organ while still in middle school, playing his first service at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.
He served as interim organist at St. Matthew Lutheran Church for several months during his sophomore year in high school. He accompanied worship services at Holy Trinity, First Baptist and several other churches in Port Angeles and Sequim before he was old enough to drive.
Throughout middle school and high school, he studied piano with Thelma McCoy as well as organ with Churchley. After high school, he studied at Rice University, graduating with a master’s of music in organ in 2009 under the direction of Clyde Holloway. He also studied with Carole Terry.
Meier now serves as assistant director of music for The Episcopal Church of St. John the Divine in Houston, Texas, where he has been a member of the music staff since 2002. In addition to assisting in the day-to-day operations of music ministry,
he shares organ playing responsibilities for Sunday services, is the principal accompanist for the St. John the Divine Chorale and coordinates the annual Concert/Evensong series.
He recently performed several recitals in Houston, most notably at the Church of St. John the Divine and Palmer Church. He was the featured organist for the recital series “Music of Heaven and Earth: A Centennial Celebration of Olivier Messiaen” held at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. He will be a featured recitalist in Houston Baptist University’s Noon Organ Recital Series in February.
He lives in Houston with his wife, Andrea.
Joy Lingerfelt, minister of music and worship arts at Holy Trinity, is excited about the performance opportunities that the enlarged and refurbished organ has offered Port Angeles and the north Olympic Peninsula.
“Getting to hear organ music ‘live’ is a rare treat in this area but is now made possible with an instrument worthy of the great music to be played and by artists like John who are willing to come and perform,” Lingerfelt said.
“This organ is certainly one of the finest anywhere on the peninsula. With 35 ranks, this redesign and rebuild was completed in 2009, by Bond Organ Builders, of Portland, Oregon.”