John L. Edwards Organ Scholar...
Created in September 2005, the John L. Edwards Scholarship is an opportunity for a student who is studying organ to learn a traditional Anglican musical repertoire under the tutelage of the Director of Music at St. John’s, Dr. Huw R. Lewis, FRCO. The scholarship is named after John Leigh Edwards, who served as organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church of Detroit from 1905 until 1947. Financial support for the scholarship has been provided as a gift from the estate of the children of Mr. Edwards, Eleanor and William Edwards. Eleanor passed away in 1999, and William in 2003. Both grew up with St. John’s as their church, and, although William moved to North Carolina after college, working as a chemist at DuPont, Eleanor continued to attend St. John’s through her adult life, moving in with her brother after her retirement from the J. L. Hudson Company.
The current scholar is Dr. Norene Walters, who began her scholarship in September 2017.
A native of Forest Grove, Michigan, Norene Walters holds degrees in organ performance from Hope College and the Yale School of Music. Her principal organ teachers were Roger E. Davis and Robert Baker. She earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of Arizona under the mentorships of Dr. Bruce Chamberlain and Dr. Maurice Skones. She enjoys post-doctoral organ study with Dr. Pamela Decker.
Dr. Walters has held positions in church music and teaching in Connecticut, Michigan, and New York. Before coming to Tucson she was organist and choirmaster for Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown, Connecticut, and was the director of choral activities at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, New York. Most recently she served Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Tucson as director of music and organist, where she conducted vocal and handbell choirs, oversaw a varied program of worship music, and directed a highly acclaimed summer community choir camp week for young musicians. Norene was a featured performer for the Visions: French Inspired Art, Organ and Choral Music program as part of the Catalina Organ Festival, which was held at the Catalina United Methodist Church in April 2016.
We welcome Norene, who is St. John’s sixth organ scholar. As part of her apprenticeship with Dr. Lewis, Norene appears regularly at services as organist and occasionally as conductor.