Dr. Bill Wharton Featured in Organ Recital Oct. 21


Dr. Bill Wharton, longtime local musician and teacher, will perform an organ recital at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 3 pm. The performance, the second of this season’s Sunday afternoon community concerts, is free and open to the public.

Dr. Wharton, who has served as St. Mark’s organist for 51 years, has arranged a program that makes use of the many sounds, ensembles and unique colors of the St. Mark’s pipe organ. During the concert, the organ console and performer will be clearly visible to the audience.

His concert selections include works by famous classical composers such as Bach, Franck, Hohvaness, Mouret, Mozart and a newly-composed work celebrating Wharton’s 50 years as organist at the church. That commissioned work was composed by Dr. Mark Miller of Drew Theology School in Madison, N.J.

Dr. Bill Wharton at the St. Mark’s organ console.

Musical selections will span such styles as trumpet tones, fugues, instrumental song-like arias, a French processional and lighter works. The 45-minute program will include some audience participation, with two well-known hymns.

The organ, which was installed in 1962 and upgraded in 2007, contains 2,400 pipes, ranging in length from one inch to 16 feet. There are five divisions of pipes placed around the sanctuary with 50 stops controlling 41 ranks of pipes and effects, including chimes and cymbelstern. Unique features of this organ include an “antiphonal” pipe division which is located in the balcony and a variety of reed pipes — trumpets, clarinet, English horn oboe, trombone and tuba.

Dr. Bill, as he is affectionately known, grew up in Queen Anne’s County and came to Talbot County five decades ago to serve as St. Mark’s organist. He also became a music educator in the Talbot public schools and later, a professor of music at Chesapeake Col-lege. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Catholic University of America and holds the certification of “associate” and “choir master” of the American Guild of Organists.

The concert, part of the St. Mark’s concert series, is supported by the Talbot County Arts Council and based on a grant by the Maryland State Arts Council.

A love offering will be received to help cover costs.

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