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St. Luke’s Organ Recital To Celebrate Music Of Richard Corbin

Local native Sharon R. Peterson, pianist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, will present an evening of music featuring the works of the late Richard R. Corbin on Saturday, April 23, at 8 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 410 N. Main St., Jamestown.

Peterson studied with Elizabeth Buccheri at North Park College and Robert Weirich at Northwestern University and has pursued a career as collaborative pianist with singers, classical saxophonists and other instrumentalists, and as vocal coach. She began her organ studies at age 12 as a student of Corbin, becoming a member of the Chautauqua Chapter American Guild of Organists. She is currently Sub-Dean of the North Shore Chapter AGO in the Chicago area. She is in demand as substitute/interim organist in the Chicago area and serves as the organist for the North Park Theological Seminary.

Crediting Corbin’s encouragement as a driving force behind her decision to pursue music as a career, Peterson chose to present the concert in honor of her former mentor.

“R. Richard Corbin’s contributions to Jamestown’s musical life have had – and continue to have – a deep impact,” she said. “Many young musicians, like me, were nurtured and challenged by his insightful teaching.”

Corbin was the organist and choir director at St. Luke’s for 31 years. He was also an accomplished performer and composer as well as a teacher. The concert will feature several of his original compositions, including two anthems, to be performed by the St. Luke’s Chancel Choir, conducted by Andrew Schmidt, director of music.

“The Corbin family has generously given me Richard’s scores as well as several of his compositions. I have chosen pieces to play that highlight his wide tastes and acknowledge the importance of the congregational setting for organ music,” Peterson said of the program. “As his former student I will primarily play from the exact scores I have inherited.”

Peterson also praises the vision of St. Luke’s with regards to their contributions to music education in the Jamestown area. “This concert is a tribute to St. Luke’s support of music and the development of God-given talents. An organist rarely has his own (pipe) instrument on which to practice and perform. Organists are dependent upon churches (and performance spaces) to provide instruments. The King of Instruments can lead worship in a uniquely qualified manner, making this symbiotic relationship of congregation and organists one to be treasured.”

The event is free and open to the public. A free-will offering will be collected, a portion of which will benefit the Richard C. Corbin Scholarship Fund, through the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The scholarship is intended to assist students from area school districts with the cost of instruction in music with an emphasis in piano, organ, musical theater or music education. A reception in the church undercroft will follow the performance.

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