210 St Marys Rd
Hillsborough, NC 27278
On January 21, St. Matthew’s Director of Music and Organist, Dr. David Arcus, will present an organ recital on the church’s 1883 Hook & Hastings two-manual pipe organ. The program, entitled “Two Are Plenty,” will feature compositions written expressly for organs for two manual keyboards and one pedal keyboard. It will include Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Dorian” Toccata and Julius Reubke’s Sonata on the 94th Psalm, which latter of which is often thought of as a piece that can only be played on large organs of three or more manual keyboards.
Everyone is cordially invited to attend the recital and the reception which follows it. There is no charge, but donations will be accepted.
St. Matthew’s 1883 Hook and Hasting organ is known for its beauty and sweetness of sound. The tracker-action pipe organ, Opus number 1169, was purchased for $1,040 by the Ladies of the Sewing Society for Miss Lizzie Jones, who served as organist for over fifty years. It has seven ranks of pipes and is affectionately known as “Miss Lizzie” in honor of its first organist. The organ is housed in an oak case. It was disassembled and removed from the church building on June 2, 2004 and completely restored by John Farmer, Pipe Organ Builders of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The facade pipes were re-stenciled in original colors.
A native of Kingston, New York, David Arcus was the Duke University Chapel Organist and Associate University Organist for thirty years.
Dr. Arcus holds the B. Mus. degree from Oberlin Conservatory and the M.Mus. and Mus.A.D. degrees from the Yale University School of Music. Active as a recitalist, he has concertized in the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany, including Washington National Cathedral, London’s St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Leeds Town Hall, Bamberg’s Imperial Cathedral, and Paris’s St. Sulpice. He is in frequent demand as an organ clinician, having taught recently at the national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists. Dr. Arcus has recorded for Gothic Records, and his performances have been heard on the nationally broadcast radio program “Pipedreams.” He frequently includes music by contemporary composers in his recitals and has premiered works by composers such as Aaron Jay Kernis, Dan Locklair, Richard Townley, Peter Paul Olejar, and Marianne Ploger. He has performed with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra and accompanied the Duke Chapel Choir on tours to Great Britain, Poland, The Czech Republic, Spain, Greece, Turkey, and The People’s Republic of China.
A composer himself, Dr. Arcus has received many commissions, including one from the Raleigh Oratorio Society which premiered his Hodie for mixed voices and organ in December, 1997. In August 1998, Hinshaw Music Inc. published his Memorial Festival Overture (based on the hymn-tune CELEBRATE by Carol Saylor), which began as an improvisation performed in 1997 at a memorial concert for Don Hinshaw in Duke Chapel. Dr. Arcus was named winner of the 2000 Holtkamp-AGO Competition in Organ Composition, and performed his winning entry, the Song of Ruth and Naomi, at the 2000 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Seattle. In December of 2001, he premiered his Symphony No. 2 for Solo Organ, commissioned for the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Benjamin N. Duke Memorial Organ (Flentrop) in Duke Chapel. His organ composition Ancient Wonders was recently published by Wayne Leupold Editions.
Recognized internationally as an improviser at the organ, Dr. Arcus was selected as the only American to participate in the International Organ Improvisation Competition of the 1990 Haarlem Organ Festival. He won second prize at the 1994 National Improvisation Competition of the American Guild of Organists National Convention in Dallas. Additional awards include winner of the Lloyd Morisett Contemporary Keyboard Improvisation Competition (Oberlin, 1980), Charles Ives Organ Scholarship (Yale, 1982) and Yale-AGO Organ Composition Competition (1991, Toccata-Fantasia on Hymn to Joy, published by Concordia).
The St. Matthew’s Faith and the Arts Series began in 2010 as a result of the church’s desire to be more intentional in their support of the arts and artists; to challenge and deepen faith through exposure to the arts; and to use sacred space as a setting for artistic expression.