Festival of Music Announces Schedule of concerts for 2018-2019 Season

October 14, 2018 4:00 p.m.

David Baskeyfield

English organist                                            

Rochester, New York

David Baskeyfield is an English concert organist and church musician living in upstate New York.  Mr. Baskeyfield specializes in the music of the French composers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Hallmarks of his music are a compelling sense of rhythm, crystalline articulation and a truly seamless soaring legato.  His first album features music by Canadian, English and French composers recorded on the landmark Casavant organ of 1914 at St Paul’s church in Toronto.

Mr. Baskeyfield studied law and organ at St. John’s College, Oxford.  His doctorate is from Eastman School of Music in New York.  Between Oxford and Eastman he spent a year as organ scholar of Christ Church Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, accompanying or directing their choirs.  He is currently Director of Music at Christ Episcopal Church, Pittsford, New York.  He has received many prizes in competition, including winning the Canadian International Organ Competition in 2014.

Aside from solo performances he enjoys work as a collaborative pianist, continuo player, and occasional cocktail pianist.  He has been broadcast on American Public Media’s Pipedreams, as well as NPR’s With Heart and Voice and as part of the daily playlist on the classical station WXXl.


November 11, 2018 4:00 p.m.

Brass Roots Trio

A Return Engagement

In April of 2017 BRASS ROOTS TRIO appeared in our A Festival of Music series – we are delighted to welcome them back to First Presbyterian Church! With trumpet, French horn and piano, this trio creates symphonic sounds making three instruments sound like a small orchestra.  Instrumental virtuosity plus a brilliant operatic tenor thrill the audience.

Their lively program “American Impressions” is a musical travelogue that takes the listener from the Old West to New York with music ranging from Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo” to Leonard Bernstein’s  “West Side Story.” The trio brings to life memories of the Mississippi River boats and musical legends that they carried from New Orleans, the southern gospel revivals and the haunting beauty of the Native American Flute.  “American Impressions” is a heartwarming program that will stir the emotions.

Now in its 14th season of concerts, BRASS ROOTS TRIO has played to standing ovations and rave reviews in every corner of the US and UK, including a performance at the White House in 2009.

Travis Heath (trumpet & flugelhorn), Douglas Lundeen (French horn, Native American Flute & vocalist) and Rosetta Senkus Bacon (piano) infuse their music with passion and exuberant energy, and their warmhearted presentation establishes an immediate connection with the audience.  Exhilarating performances and imaginative programming have established BRASS ROOTS TRIO as one of the most compelling ensembles of the 21st century.


February 24, 2019 4:00 p.m.

Annual Lee and Friends Concert

Lee J. Afdahl, Organist and Pianist

Rochester, Minnesota

Lee Afdahl is Director of Music and Organist of First Presbyterian Church of Rochester, MN, a position he has held since 1991.  A graduate of Luther College in Decorah, IA, Lee is a church musician with forty years of experience in leading choral and handbell ensembles in Michigan and Minnesota.  Currently he and his two part-time assistants are responsible for leading four vocal and three handbell choirs, an elementary instrumental program, and a church orchestra.  He also advises the church’s annual concert series.

Lee Afdahl is frequently a conductor and clinician for handbell conferences, choral workshops and church music conferences internationally.  He has conducted festival conferences for the Handbell Musicians of America (HMA) at the local, area, and national levels.  He has also conducted handbell classes and events in England, Japan, South Korea and Australia.  Lee has taught intermediate and advanced conducting for HMA Seminars and currently teaches conducting for certification. Lee is an active organ recitalist and published composer and arranger of handbell, instrumental, and choral music with over seventy compositions and arrangements in print.

Joining Lee this season will be Ronald Beitel, horn; Christopher Boswell, handbells; Dwight Jennings, Janine Yanish and Katie Kuisle, saxophone; Kristina Lantz, violin; Jan Matson, piano; Mary Schneekloth, harp.

March 24, 2019 4:00 p.m.

Bemidji State University Concert Choir

DR. Dwight Jilek, Conductor

Bemidji, Minnesota

The Bemidji Choir, founded in 1937 by Carl O. Thompson, is the premier ensemble at Bemidji State University. Membership is by audition and is open to all majors. The Bemidji Choir was accepted by audition to perform at multiple state conventions as well as the 2003 ACDA National Convention in New York City. The choir has also gained an international reputation of excellence, representing the United States five times at the international choral festival, The Europa Cantat in France, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, and Spain; and at the Zimriya World Assembly of Choirs in Israel.

Each year the Bemidji Choir takes a regional tour during the spring semester and an international tour every third year.  This year, the choir is traveling to Latvia and Estonia in May.

Dr. Dwight Jilek is the director of Choral Activities at Bemidji State University and conducts the Bemidji Choir, Chamber singers, Darnenstimmen Women’s Choir and Musikanten Men’s Chorus.  He also teaches conducting, choral literature, and choral arranging.



April 28, 2019 4:00 p.m.

Bells of the Lake Handbell Choir

William Mathis, conductor

Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota

Lenten Organ Recital Series 2019

Noon-day thirty minute recitals, 12:15-12:45 PM

March 13, 2019

Graeme Shields, Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church, South Haven, Michigan

Tyler Pimm, St Peter Catholic Parish, Ashton, Wisconsin

March 20, 2019

Brian Williams, Director of Music and Arts, Calvary Episcopal Church, Rochester, Minnesota

March 27, 2019

Ruth Benning, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Rochester Minnesota

April 3, 2019

John Varona, Associate Organist, Christ United Methodist Church, Rochester, Minnesota

April 10, 2019

Lois Marsh,  freelance organist, Rochester, MN