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Ohio Wesleyan to Celebrate 30th Anniversary of Rexford Keller Memorial Organ
Free Oct. 9 Recital to Feature Acclaimed Organist Thomas Brown Performing on the Klais Concert Organ

September 20, 2010

Thomas Brown
DELAWARE, OH – The Ohio Wesleyan University Department of Music will sponsor a free community concert at 8 p.m. Oct. 9 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its Rexford Keller Memorial Organ—among the largest of twelve pipe organs in the United States designed by Johannes Klais Orgelbau of Bonn, Germany. Housed in Gray Chapel in University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St., the large four manual tracker organ has 55 stops, 82 ranks, and 4,522 pipes.

During the community event, internationally acclaimed organist Thomas Brown will perform music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Charles-Marie Widor, Eugène Gigout, and Marcel Dupré.

Brown’s performances have been heard on National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and on the American Public Media program “Pipedreams.” He has recorded for The Repertoire Recording Society, RBW Records, Viennola Gramophone Austria and Raven Recordings. He is also an award-winning composer and improviser and has written articles for “The American Organist,” “The Diapason,” “The Herald,” and “The Northeast Organist.”

Brown is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and is a recipient of the University’s Alumni Achievement Award. He holds the Master of Music degree from The Julliard School in New York City. He was named an Outstanding Young Artist of America by the Editors of Musical America Magazine while studying at Julliard.

The Rexford Keller Memorial Organ is named in memory of the late Rexford Keller, who taught  organ, music theory, and directed OWU’s internationally-renowned A Cappella Choir from 1934-1969. He also served as chairman of the Department of Music for 34 years. This organ, and four practice organs, are available for use by applied organ students.

The recital is sponsored by the Homer D. Blanchard Memorial Organ Recital Series. Blanchard (OWU Class of ’33) taught foreign languages at various institutions before returning to Ohio Wesleyan to teach German in 1963. His doctoral dissertation at The Ohio State University was a philosophical study of German organ-building terminology. In addition to teaching, he operated a pipe organ service, repair, and building business. He served as an organ consultant for churches and institutions, and was a major force behind the acquisition and design of the Klais organ in Gray Chapel.

Read more information about OWU’s Department of Music.

Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 45 states and 52 countries. Ohio Wesleyan earned a 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in General Community Service, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.