Casavant Opus Organ

Summer Organ Concert Series at Sinsinawa

Concerts featuring a different guest musician will be held at Queen of the Rosary Chapel at Sinsinawa Mound Wednesdays throughout June, July, and August, except for July 17 and 24.

Peter Szeibel of Dubuque will play the opening concert of Sinsinawa Mound’s 2019 Summer Organ Concert series at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 5. Szeibel began playing organ for church services at age 12 in New York City, where he studied piano and organ at the precollege division of the Juilliard School. He has served as church organist for numerous denominations and composed works for organ, harpsichord, piano, and voice. Szeibel has given recitals in New York, the Midwest, and Hungary. He studied organ with Jon Gillock, who is one of today’s leading interpreters of the organ music of Olivier Messiaen. Szeibel also plays the harpsichord and enjoys the wide variety of classical repertoire these two instruments offer, spanning over 400 years of music, including works by William Byrd, Frescobaldi, Sweelinck, Buxtehude, J. S. Bach, Couperin, Scarlatti, Mozart, Franck, Vierne, and the 20th-century French organ masters. Professionally, he is a practicing psychiatrist at Hillcrest Family Services in Dubuque.   

Bruce Bengtson of Madison, Wis., returns to Sinsinawa Mound’s Summer Organ Concert series at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 12. He retired June 2018 after 40 years as director of music at Luther Memorial Church in Madison, WI. Bengtson continues to play services and concerts; accompany vocalists and instrumentalists; and is active in the Organ Historical Society, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and the American Guild of Organists. Beginning organ study in Salem, Ore., at the age of 11, he went on to earn degrees in organ performance at Southern Methodist University and Valparaiso University. Bengtson has been featured in concerts in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Europe.

Mark Brampton Smith, the organist at Grace Episcopal Church, Madison, Wis., is the guest organist at Sinsinawa Mound’s Summer Organ Concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 19. He has served on the music staff of churches in seven states. Brampton Smith began organ studies with William Watkins in Washington, D.C., and continued with Russell Saunders at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y., where he earned a bachelor of music degree in organ performance and the performer's certificate. He received his master of music degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he studied organ with Robert Glasgow. A prize winner in several national organ competitions, he has given solo concerts in numerous churches and auditoriums, including Madison's Overture Hall. 

Sister Patricia Gallagher, OP, Wisconsin is the featured organist for the Wednesday, June 26, Summer Organ Concert at Sinsinawa Mound. Joining her will be a vocal group led by Sister Anita Smisek, OP. The music for the evening’s program shall be based on Gregorian chant melodies, with a chant sung before each piece is played. Of special interest will be “Gloria” by Girolamo Cavazzoni (1510-1580). Many of the chant melodies are familiar tunes in today’s hymns. The concert begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. A freewill offering will be accepted. Sister Patricia currently assists with music at the Sinsinawa Dominican Motherhouse and St. Dominic Villa. She has performed in Illinois, Wisconsin, American Samoa, and France. Sister Patricia has a Master of Music Education from Indiana University, Bloomington, and has studied organ with Robert Rayfield, Kenneth Sotak, and Charles Barland. She served as the liturgy and music director at Chicago-area parishes and as campus minister at universities in Florence, Italy; Washington, D.C.; and River Forest, IL.

Jillian Gardner, Texas, is an award-winning performing organist with an international touring schedule that spans the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. She is the National Convener for the American Guild of Organists Young Organists as well as the Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Huntsville, AL, where she serves as primary organist and oversees more than 10 ensembles for adults and children. Gardner, a native of Rome, NY, was selected by Diapason magazine as one of the inaugural “Top 20 under 30” organists in the nation.

Ann Marie Rigler, Missouri. Sinsinawa Mound welcomes Ann Marie Rigler back for a Summer Organ Concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 10. Her first concert at Sinsinawa was in 2017. She is professor of music and college organist at William Jewell College, Liberty, Mo. Rigler is nationally recognized as a specialist in 20th-century American organ pedagogy and has served on the faculties of eight American Guild of Organists Pipe Organ Encounters. She maintains an active schedule as a solo recitalist, presenter, choral accompanist, chamber musician and adjudicator. Rigler holds degrees from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and the University of Iowa, Iowa City. There will not be an organ concert Wednesday, July 17 or 24. Sinsinawa Mound, the Motherhouse for the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, is located in southwest Wisconsin on County Road Z, off Highway 11, about five miles northeast of Dubuque.

Michael Emmerich, Nebraska. Sinsinawa Mound welcomes Michael Emmerich for his first Summer Organ Concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 31. Emmerich serves as associate music director and rural music minister for the Archdiocese of Omaha, Neb., traveling the archdiocese to bolster musical and liturgical literacy among the parishes in rural communities. He previously worked in music ministry in Texas, Kansas and Indiana. His recent choral and organ compositions have been performed throughout the United States as well as internationally in England, Spain and Poland. Emmerich is currently a doctoral candidate in church music at the University of Kansas and has studied organ with James Higdon, Craig Cramer and Delbert Disselhorst. His undergraduate degree in organ performance is from University of Nebraska, and his Master of Sacred Music is from University of Notre Dame. Performances have included American Public Media’s “Pipedreams Live!”

Karen Black Waverly, IA, comes to Sinsinawa Mound at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, for the free Summer Organ Concert. She is the Rudi Inselmann endowed professor of organ at Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa. Black teaches organ and church music, music theory, and aural skills, and serves as organist for weekday chapel and Sunday worship services. She holds the Bachelor of Music in church music from St. Olaf College, the Master of Music in organ and church music from Indiana University, and the Doctor of Music in organ performance and literature from Indiana University. Her organ teachers include Larry Smith, Marilyn Keiser, John Ferguson, Robert Kendall, Dennis Schmidt and Gene Janssen. Black is active as a recitalist and clinician and has performed throughout the United States and Germany. Her essay, “J. S. Bach as Theologian-Musician,” appears in “Together by Grace: Introducing the Lutherans”(Augsburg Fortress, 2016), and she has published organ and choral arrangements with Augsburg Fortress.

Jeff Verkuilen, Wisconsin

David Jonies, Illinois. David Jonies is the associate director of music and organist at Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago, where he plays the four-manual Flentrop organ, one of the largest tracker-action instruments in the country. He also directs the Holy Name Cathedral Summer Organ Series. He has performed in Great Britain, South Korea, France, Germany, and the United States. A native of Germany, Jonies has studied at Metten Abbey, Bavaria, Germany; Hochschule für Musik Würzburg (University of Music), Würzburg, Germany; and the Royal Academy of Music, London, England. His teachers include Gerhard Weinberger, Günther Kaunzinger, David Titterington, and James O'Donnell.

Aaron David Miller, Minnesota. Sinsinawa Mound’s Summer Organ Concert series has saved one of the best for the last in their final concert of this summer. Aaron David Miller, known as one of the finest organ improvisers in the country, is playing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28. He is music director at House of Hope Presbyterian Church, St. Paul, Minn., as well a forensic musicologist for Donato Music, Scarsdale, N.Y. Miller maintains an active recital schedule, and his performances have been heard on America Public Media's "Pipedreams" radio show and numerous television programs. He has composed organ, choral, and orchestral works that have been performed by such ensembles as the Seattle, Chicago, and Zurich Symphony orchestras as well as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Miller’s early organ studies were with Carlene Neihart and David Schrader. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied organ performance with David Craighead, Russell Saunders, David Higgs and Michael Farris, as well as composition with Samuel Adler and Joseph Schwantner. His graduate studies were taken at the Manhattan School of Music, where he completed his Master and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees, studying composition and organ performance with McNeil Robinson.

For more information, contact Guest Services at 608-748-4411 or visit our website at

Sinsinawa Mound, the Motherhouse for the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, is located in southwest Wisconsin on County Road Z, off Highway 11, about five miles northeast of Dubuque.

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