Levente Medveczky (1991-2019) passed from this life on Sunday, February 24, 2019, just eight days after his 28th birthday, from an aggressive form of colon cancer. He will be remembered as a gentle giant, a masterful organist, and a friend to all, who gave the greatest, most loving and healing bear hugs! He will be greatly missed by his many friends and family and especially by his fiancée, Hannah.

Levente had a bright and promising future in the organ world. At the time of his death, he was a master’s candidate on a Jerome L. Greene Scholarship at Juilliard, studying with Paul Jacobs. Originally from Budapest, Hungary, he received his early training in the studio of Zsuzsa Elekes at the Béla Bartók Conservatory. In 2017 he received a bachelor’s degree in organ studies at Brigham Young University, under the supervision of Dr. Don Cook. With a love for sacred music, Levente served as an organ scholar at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City and then as interim director of music at the Church of Incarnation in New York City until the time of his illness.

Dr. Parley L. Belnap (1928-2018) was a long-time leader and supporter in the Utah Valley chapter. He served on the organ faculty of the Brigham Young University School of Music between 1965 and 1998. Hundreds of organists enjoyed his caring mentorship.

His musical training was excellent; he had a way of inspiring his students and guiding them skillfully into excellence in performance. Even more valuable, though, was his life-skills training, reminding his students to balance their passion for music with other important priorities, such as their relationships with family and with God.

At BYU he instigated the group organ program with its organ lab and the Independent Study organ courses. The wonderfully varied practice organs were designed and installed under his leadership. His Hymn Studies for Organists is still an excellent resource for hymn playing. Many of his students have become teachers and strive to pass along his teaching legacy.

View student tributes and listen to the memorial recital here

Click here to see “Dr. Parley L. Belnap: A Selection of Papers and Music”

 

 

Paul Duncombe (1946-2018) served the chapter as a sub-dean. He was a loving husband, father, brother, uncle, and a hands-on grandpa. He served faithfully in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all his life.

Paul’s treasures in life were his faith, family, and his love of sacred music and the organ. He began playing the organ at the tender age of 12, and it became a life-long passion. All those who know and love him have been touched by his dedication to sharing his musical talent.

 

Carol Deanne Peine Dean (1947-2018) was an avid teacher and student of the organ for over 30 years. She played her first solo organ recital at age 40 and, at age 51, received a Master of Music in Organ Performance and Pedagogy from Brigham Young University.

In 1986 she became a protégé and private student of Dr. Douglas Bush. Carol once stated that “Dr. Bush’s knowledge of and respect and love for Johann Sebastian Bach and his music changed my life forever.” Her other respected mentors and teachers were Dr. Darwin K. Wolford, Dr. Richard Elliott, Dr. Don Cook, and Dr. Parley Belnap.

Carol was a popular instructor at church, chapter, and BYU organ workshops. She also taught hundreds of young people in group organ classes at BYU, which, she said “was the most defining preparation I could have possibly had for ‘my life’s calling’—to teach the hymns of the Church, especially to beginners, and to help as many pianists as possible become proficient, service-playing organists.” She regularly traveled from Draper to Santaquin to her students’ churches and homes to give private lessons.

Carol served the chapter, beginning in 1988, as secretary/newsletter editor (twice for a total of 14 years), officer over educational concerns from 1990 to 1991, dean from 1992 to 1994, and board member at large until her death. She was always ready and willing to help the guild in any way that was needed, organizing events, such as the annual Bach recitals, and preparing refreshments for many chapter meetings. Carol is a certified Collegue in the AGO.

Carol published and distributed at cost, Hymns from the LDS Hymnal Marked for the Organ, a landmark collection of every hymn in the 1985 hymnal, with notations for fingering, articulation, and pedaling to assist pianists to learn how to correctly play the hymns on the organ. The book is available through a former student, Jennifer Morgan, by emailing ldsorganistblog. Read Carol’s 2013 Super Saturday keynote address, Forge Ahead with Faith, here.

J.S. Bach Recital and Memories Honoring Carol Dean – March 22, 2019

 

robin-cardon

Robin Cardon (1929-2017) was a founding member of the Utah Valley Chapter of the AGO. She taught individually and in groups to all who had a desire to learn to play the organ. Robin served for decades as a ward and stake organist, but her greatest joy came from being a temple organist. It was her desire to bear her testimony and love of the gospel through her music. She was an example in word and deed to all who knew her. 

doug-bush Douglas E. Bush (1947-2013) was a founding member of the AGO in Utah Valley and served as chapter dean. He was a renowned concert organist and musical scholar, as well as a beloved teacher and friend. Doug was born in rural western Montana. He completed bachelors and masters degrees from Brigham Young University in 1972 and 1974 and joined the faculty at BYU in 1978. He completed a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1982. Dr. Bush concertized extensively in the United States, Mexico, and Europe and was a frequent guest artist at the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. He left a profound legacy as a mentor and colleague at BYU. Over the years, many were touched by his kindness and inspired by his knowledge and wisdom.

Chapter member recital:  A Memorial Tribute in Honor of Dr. Douglas E. Bush

 gerald-dick Gerald Dick (1939-2013) was a founding member and the first dean of the Utah Valley AGO chapter. He received multiple degrees from Brigham Young University, including a masters in organ performance and a masters in library science. Gerald worked at Wicks Organ Company in Highland, Illinois; BYU Hawaii (Church College of Hawaii) in Laie; and then at the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU-Provo for 33 years. After his retirement he pursued his passion of building harps, forming the HR Harps Company. He was the organist at St Mary’s church in Provo for many years and also taught countless organ and piano students. Gerald was a lifelong student of the world’s cultures and religious traditions.
 verena-hatch Verena Ursenbach Hatch (1922-2012) was a founding member of the Utah Valley chapter. An accomplished church organist and teacher, she served in LDS wards and stakes for many years and for ten years as an organist trainer and coordinator over 90 organists in the Provo Temple. She wrote an instruction manual for church organists titled Church Organ Playing: An Independent Study Course, which was later revised into a 182-page manual called The Ward Organist: A Hymn-based Course of Study. She also wrote and published a book titled Worship and Music in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Verena was an active genealogist, historian, and temple worker.
 lujean-moss  LuJean Robinson Moss (1937-2011) was a dedicated student of the organ and a faithful member of the Utah Valley chapter of the AGO. She served as chapter dean from 1998 to 2000. LuJean had a passion for church music and singing and was a loving servant to all around her.
thom-hinckley Thomas K. Hinckley (1933-2010) was a faithful friend to the local chapter of the AGO. He served as chapter dean from 1990 to 1992. Thom was a captain and navigator in the US Air Force for 15 years during the Vietnam War. After 25 years at BYU he retired in 1995 as a geography professor and the cartography lab operator. Thom was an etymologist and scripturian, and was affectionately known as a walking encyclopedia. He was an avid reader, a printer, woodworker, and clockmaker.
claire-rogers Claire B. Rogers (1941-2010) served our chapter diligently for many years, organizing many concerts, including some of the chapter’s annual Bach recitals. She was raised in the San Francisco Bay area by immigrant parents. As a teenager she played for Primary and then served as ward and stake organist—even as priesthood organist—until graduation from high school. She then attended BYU and studied organ with J.J. Keeler and two of his graduate students, John Lyle and Donnell Blackham. Later in life she began listening to Baroque music on the radio. The orderliness and motivic structure spoke peace to her soul at a time of severe turmoil. Upon her return to Utah she studied for a number of years with Dr. Douglas Bush, solidifying her love of Bach and other Baroque composers and the music of earlier periods. Music always played a central role in her life, and she was very involved in mentoring music students. Her favorite past-times were gardening, flower arranging, and counted cross stitch.
 JJ_Keeler J.J. Keeler (1913-1996) was a well-known music educator and organ instructor and a founding member of the Utah Valley AGO chapter. He formed the organ department at BYU, and functioned as its head for forty years. Teaching was his passion. Hundreds of students studied organ performance under his tutelage.

 

My Memories of Alexander Schreiner by Rulon Christiansen, pp. 1-12 PDF