Music Leadership

The Baldwin church has enjoyed and benefitted from strong music leadership from both Baker University and the community throughout its 150 years. From Lena Elder Fuller's memories of 1858-1862 to the present, talented musicians have been a part of the congregation.


The following list gleaned from worship bulletins, various historical records and personal memories of present members and friends attempts to name the organists and choir directors. Years of service were difficult to ascertain accurately as there were two choirs, one for morning services and one for the evening, for a great many years. A plaque located on the south wall of the choir loft lists "Frank Nelson Hair, Baker Music professor, 1890-1907 as director." The April 10, 1898 Easter order of worship lists his choir: Jennie Bull, soprano; Mabel Knox, contralto; Roy VanLandingham, tenor; W. C. Markham, bass; Margarette Amos, pianist.

 

ORGANISTS CHOIR DIRECTORS
Miriam Welty, 1923 Prof. R. R. Siple, 1923-1925
Thelma Perry, 1925 Prof. L. U. Rowland, 1923-1925
Maude Lawson, 1925 Dean Frank E. Marsh, 1928-1930
Ruth E. Bailey, 1928 Prof. Luke I. Gaskell, 1928-1930
Buena Vista Morgan, 1930 Prof. K. V. Sutphen, 1930-1934
Madge Reynolds, 1934 Luther Leavengood, 1934
Fred Thompson, 1952 Irving Bartley, 1934-1939
Phyllis Flickinger, Asst., 1952 Robert Sedore, 1938-1939
Georgeann Malicky, 1955 Ed Wood, 1939
Mrs. Wendell Hicks, Asst., 1955 Leon Willgus, 1952
William Clark, ______? Clyde Morris, 1952
Lester Groom,  ______? Wendell Hicks, 1955
Ronald L. Dawson, 1961-1962 Frank Purvis, 1959-1967
Dr. Douglas Brown, 1962-1984 Charles Weedman, 1967-1971
Susan Buehler, 1984-1987 Dr. Douglas Brown, 1971-1984
Sara Wentz, 1987-1989 Dr. John Buehler, 1984-1987
Dr. Susan Buehler, 1989-2003 Sara Wentz, 1987-1989
Hyung-Kyu Yi, 2003-2004 Mark Clark, 1989-1991
Matthew Thompson, 2004-2005 Dr. John Buehler, 1991-2003
Sharee Thompson, 2005- Jocelyn Leonard, 2003-2005
Stephanie Richardson, 2004-2005
Matthew Thompson, 2005-

 

Dr. William C. Rice, chair of the Baker University Music Department (1939-1973), also directed the choir when the Baker choir served as the chancel choir. Specific dates were not found. More recently, others who have willingly shared of their talents are: Alice Anne (Callahan) Russell, piano and organ; Charlene (Callahan) Potter, violin; Jan Boyd, flute; Lea Hogsett, violin; Bob Kahle, organ; Carolyn Groves, piano; and a host of devoted choir members. We should also note that Metropolitan Opera star and Kansas University professor, Joyce (Malicky) Castle, grew up in Baldwin and began her musical career in the church and Baker University choirs.


And now the church has come full circle with Sunday evening services begun again in 2002 under the leadership of Rev. Nanette Roberts and continued by Rev. Pam Morrison. Rev. Morrison encouraged the formatioin of a Praise Choir accompanied by piano, guitar and drums. In all probability this innovation has been perceived by some in a similar way as the gentlemen who left the services in 1858 in order that "his religious fervor not be harrowed" by the organ.

 
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