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Late Organist To Be Remembered During Concert

Pictured are Ron McEntire, St. Luke’s minister of music, and Judd Demers of Warren, Pa., a young organist who will play Sunday at Randolph’s Grace Episcopal Church in memory of Shirley Fellows Nagle. Submitted photos

RANDOLPH — Grace Episcopal Church will be hosting a unique and enriching organ concert this Sunday to honor its late organist, Shirley Fellows Nagle.

What will make the concert unique is the fact that various teenage organists will be performing for the recital, all of whom have been filling in at the church in Nagle’s absence. The concert and fill-in organist program is all due to the church’s partnership with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown.

Ron McEntire, St. Luke’s minister of music, is overseeing the musical selection each week to find music that is appropriate to the level of each student and that fits with the week’s lessons.

Two of the three students who are in rotation are McEntire’s organ students, Judd Demers of Warren, Pa., and Maddie DeJoy of Jamestown. McEntire recruited the third organist, Owen Reyda of Westfield, who is a student of East Randolph resident, Donna Gatz. While the schedule is not set in stone, Owen generally plays on the first and third Sundays, Judd plays on the second and fourth Sundays, and Maddie fills in as needed.

Nagle died Nov. 4 of last year. She was a former school nurse and teacher at Randolph Central School for 31 years and had also been the co-owner of Nagles Cider Mill in East Randolph. Nagle was a member of Grace Episcopal Church and was the long-time organist and choir director.

Shirley Fellows Nagle

The Rev. Luke Fodor of St. Luke’s Church in Jamestown said she was a beloved member of the church and is greatly missed. He added that the church greatly appreciates the ability of the students to take part in the music program at Grace Episcopal Church and share their musical abilities through worship.

“One thing the church can do is really provide a positive environment for young people to really come into their own, to acknowledge their gifts and celebrate those gifts,” Fodor said. “I think it goes far beyond the musical arena and really goes into their whole personhood. Shirley’s husband, Fred, is still a member of Grace Church, and every week he goes over and thanks whoever plays. To be seen for who you are and to be seen in the right light, I think, has incredible value. All of us just want to be seen and accepted, acknowledged and valued.”

Fodor said while it is often talked about in church that “we are all made in the image of God, it is not often expressed openly. In this case, he said the students’ gifts and talents have been recognized by the church.”

“I think it allows for them to really continue to have more confidence in life,” Fodor added.

On Sunday at 4 p.m., the first annual Shirley Nagle Memorial Recital, funded by memorial gifts, will allow the young organists to perform and showcase their work on both the organ and piano. Afterward, the students will be presented with a musical scholarship to help pay for their lessons.

The public is welcome to attend the event, which is located at 21 N. Washington Street in Randolph. For more information, call 358-6124.

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