On April 26, 2008, Michael Long M’95, James Riggs M’95, and Vincent Ryan ’94, M’95 presented a recital at Latrobe Presbyterian Church. Coordinated with the assistance of IUP professor of organ Christine Clewell, the concert had a two-fold purpose.
The three musicians all studied and completed their Master of Arts in organ performance with the late Dr. Carol Teti, who died in 2000. As students, they presented a combined recital at Zion Lutheran Church (Indiana) in 1994. All three now hold positions as Directors of Music in churches. In the recent concert, Long, Riggs, and Ryan once again took turns at the console of the church’s new fifty-seven-rank, three-manual Schantz pipe organ. Each recitalist presented a piece of music they had studied with Dr. Teti, and each briefly spoke about a memory of her.
(From left: Michael Long, James Riggs, Vincent Ryan)
The other purpose of the concert was to raise community awareness about the widespread reach of the music department at IUP. Michael Long stated that as organists, they have the opportunity to present recitals like the one presented on April 26, but the most important work done is for the churches they serve on a daily basis. “Combining our resources in a concert venue allows us the opportunity to call attention to the ministry of music in the church,” said Long. “The two are deeply intertwined. We hope to present similar events at various locations in the future.”
The Carol Teti Memorial Organ Scholarship Committee has also done remarkable work raising awareness of the need for organists. To date, several organ students at IUP have benefited from the scholarship. More recently, the committee has hosted an organ competition for student organists (not necessarily IUP students) to compete for cash prizes.
Michael Long is Director of Music/Organist at Latrobe Presbyterian Church, Latrobe, Pa. James Riggs is currently Director of Music/Organist at Plymouth United Church of Christ, Shaker Heights, Ohio. Vincent Ryan is Minister of Music at Advent Lutheran Church, Harleysville, Pa.