By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Thanks to connections in the music world, St. Anthony Parish will host Stephen Hamilton for a concert May 5 at 3 p.m. inside the church. Proceeds will go towards McAnthony Window, which feeds persons in need five days a week.
Kim Noftsker, music director at St. Anthony’s, said she knows people in the music world and booked him through a mutual contact.
Hamilton has a doctorate and taught organ at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. “This is where I have my music degree from,” she said. Noftsker said she, herself, used to work in New York as a professional opera singer.
“I had heard recordings of Stephen and he has a phenomenal reputation in the music world as an organist. He is on the same level as Philippe Lefebvre, the organist we had at St. Anthony’s from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.”
Both are part of the continuing concert series offered by St. Anthony’s. In addition to bringing in world renowned musicians, the parish also supports its own musical groups several times a year both in the church and out in the community.
According to his biography, Hamilton has earned acclaim as a “thoroughly engaging and popular artist and has firmly established his reputation as a leading and much sought-after personality.” He has performed in London at Westminster Abbey and Saint Paul Cathedral as well as Merton College-Oxford; Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; and at the Cathedral of Saint James in Regensburg, Germany. In the United States Hamilton has appeared at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Columbia University in New York City and Saint Ignatius of Loyola in New York City. In Minneapolis, Hamilton has performed at the organ series at the Cathedral Church of Saint Mark and at Central Lutheran Church.
He is a minister of music emeritus at the Church of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal) in New York City where he conducted the Holy Trinity Choir and was an artistic director of music at the church.
In addition, Hamilton was a member of the artist faculties of Hunter, Manhattan School of Music, and Queens College. Hamilton is a clinician for master classes and workshops, frequently lecturing on issues related to church music as well as organ pedagogy, performance and interpretation.
“This concert is a gift to our parishioners who have supported and paid for our organ and also help support our music program which is growing,” Noftsker said. St. Anthony’s has a string ensemble, ukulele band, children’s choir and the adult choir. Both vocal groups perform seasonal religious musicals twice a year. “We use our music program as part of our evangelism efforts as it is open not only to other Catholic Church members, but to anyone from the community.”
Tickets for the concert, which is open to the public, are $10 in advance for adults or $15 at the door. Tickets for children under 18 years are $5 in advance and at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at stanthonysdavenportiowa.org/concert-tickets.html or by sending a check and information to the parish at 417 N Main St., Davenport, Iowa, 52801.