Frederick Hohman has enjoyed an international career as a concert organist, in addition to being an award-winning composer of choral music, and a producer of critically-acclaimed organ and choral recordings.
He is a native of Saint Louis, Missouri, and the son of a music educator, band-leader and music arranger, Marvin H. Hohman, Sr., with early formal keyboard training taken with Charles Cordeal of Webster Groves. One of his very first solo organ recitals was given on the Third Baptist Church organ in February, 1972. He served as Assistant Organist at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Webster Groves until, in August, 1974, he left Saint Louis to enroll, under a full scholarship, at the Eastman School of Music. At Eastman (University of Rochester, New York) he earned the Performer’s Certificate, Mus.B., M.M. and D.M.A. degrees while in the organ class of David Craighead. In 1984, he won First Prizes in both the Mader and Poister national organ-playing competitions.
Throughout his college years and early career, Fred has been involved with performing on radio and television broadcasts. His weekly radio series, Pro Organo, aired from 1977 to 1980, including KFUO-FM in St. Louis, and his television series about organs and organ music, Midnight Pipes, aired from 1998 to 2002. From 1974 to 1993, Fred also served as a church musician, with weekly organist and choirmaster duties for churches in Missouri, North Carolina and New York. Between 1989 and 2012, he produced more than 300 CDs for a variety of recording labels, with over 200 for the Pro Organo label. Today, he is one of the world’s most popular of organists seen on YouTube, where his performance of Widor’s famous Toccata in F has tallied nearly 750,000 views.
Since 1984, Fred’s concert tours have taken him throughout the USA, and to the Caribbean, Australia, the UK and Finland. He has performed before regional and national conventions of the Organ Historical Society (OHS), the American Institute of Organbuilders (AIO), and the American Guild of Organists (AGO), and he has served as the Director of the AGO’s Committee on Educational Resources.
Fred’s original compositions and organ transcriptions are published by Wayne Leupold Editions and by Zarex Scores. His 1990 doctoral essay “The Art of the Symphonic Organist” and his many CD recordings of original organ works and organ transcriptions by Edwin Lemare have established him as a leading organist in the symphonic organ-playing style.
Fred has served as an adjudicator at several noted national and international organ-playing competitions, including the Arthur Poister (2011-AGO), Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition and Festival / USA (1997-2011 ASOF), the Fort Wayne National Organ-Playing Competition, and the Herbert Davis State Organ Prize (2000-Victoria, Australia).
In 2013 and 2014, Fred is completing a few new large compositions, including an organ concerto, an organ rhapsody and a choral mass. In addition to annual touring in the USA, his plans include return tours to the UK, EU and Australia in 2015 and 2016.
Frederick’s CDs and DVDs are available from www.proorgano.com
Frederick’s website is www.frederickhohman.net
Jean Sibelius, Opus 26 (1900)
transcribed for organ by Herbert Austin Fricker
Hymn-Sing Medley: Three Hymns of the Church
Please join in singing as directed. There will be organ interludes between all stanzas.
LOBE DE HERRN (Praise to the Lord, the Almighty)
MUSIC: Stralsund Gesangbuch, 1665; WORDS: Joachim Neander, tr. By Catherine Winkworth
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
The King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him,
For He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear,
Now to His temple draw near;
Join me in glad adoration!
Praise ye the Lord!
O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath,
Come now with praises before Him!
Let the Amen
Sound from His people again:
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
EVENTIDE (Abide With Me)
MUSIC: William H. Monk; WORDS: Henry F. Lyte
Fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens;
Lord with me abide!
When other helpers fail,
And comforts flee,
Help of the helpless,
O abide with me.
I fear no foe,
With Thee at hand to bless:
Ills have no weight,
And tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting?
Where, grace, thy victory?
I triumph still,
If Thou abide with me.
DIADEMATA (Crown Him with Many Crowns)
MUSIC: George J. Elvey; WORDS: Matthew Bridges
Crown Him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon His throne:
Hark! How the heav’nly anthem drowns
All music but it’s own:
Awake, my soul and sing
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity.
Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time:
Creator of the rolling spheres.
All hail, Redeemer, hail,
For Thou hast died for me:
Thy praise shall never, never fail
“Air on G String” from Orchestral Suite #o. 3 in D, BWV 1068, c. 1730
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
transcribed and embellished by Frederick Hohman
Toccata in F major
Johann Sebastian Bach
Tu es Petra
“Thou Art the Rock” from Byzantine Sketches
Henri Mulet (1878-1967)
Festival Anthem on the Hymn-Tune “GERMANY”
Third Baptist Church Chancel Choir, Webster Groves Emmanuel Episcopal Church Choir
Commissioned by Third Baptist Church in celebration of the re-dedication of the organ.
Three selections from the Organ Symphonies of Charles-Marie Widor
Intermezzo from Sixth Organ Symphony, Opus 42 #2
Meditation from First Organ Symphony, Opus 13 #1
Toccata from Fifth Organ Symphony, Opus 42 #1
Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937)
Finlandia is one of the best known compositions of the Finnish composer from the late romantic period, Jean Sibelius. Sibelius played an important role in establishing the Finnish national identity in music. Finlandia is a tone poem, originally scored for full orchestra, but which is performed on this program as an organ transcription made about 1910 by Herbert Austin Fricker (1884-1952), an English-trained organist, composer and conductor who spent much of his career in Canada. Finlandia contrasts festive outer sections with a quiet and contemplative middle section, where a chorale tune appears. This chorale is actually known by us today as the hymn we sing to the text “Be Still, My Soul.”
We shall sing a medley of Three Great Hymns of the Church. Each of the hymns will have a full stanza of organ introduction. Please watch, as Dr. Hohman shall use a free arm to clearly direct us to sing at the beginning of each stanza. This organ in this hymn-sing is played in the symphonic style, which gained popularity first in England during the 1890s, and which took root for a time in America through the 1960s. Between each of the stanzas of each of the three hymns, there is an organ interlude and a passage which takes us from one key to another key. Modulations and interludes can serve a very appropriate, and spiritual function when singing hymns with sacred texts.
Johann Sebastian Bach‘s very familiar “Arioso,” originally for string orchestra, and containing no chorale melody, has been adapted for the organ by Frederick Hohman. While this piece has a simple structure in two nearly-equal length parts, this arrangements takes a musical detour about 1/2 of the way through the repeat of the second part. It is a quasi fantasia that adds the arranger’s own spiritual and musical comment upon Bach’s original.
Oddly, Bach was not as well known during his lifetime as a monumental composer, but rather his primary fame was as an organ virtuoso. There are Leipzig newspaper accounts of his playing that describe his fabulous pedal virtuosity. One writer commented that J. S. Bach had “wings on his feet” at the organ console. One of these virtuosic works, preserved by Bach, comes to us today as the Toccata in F major. It not only demonstrates Bach’s prowess at the pedalboard, with two extended pedal solos at the outset of the piece, but it also demonstrates the newfound equal temperament of the keyboard instruments of his day. After the pedal solos, the main body of the piece contains 3 episodes, one each in the keys of D minor, A minor and G minor. The equal temperament (recall to mind here also the “Well-Tempered Clavier” pieces) made it possible for all of these episodes in differing keys to be presented in equally pleasing tune.
Bach’s gentle and pastoral setting of the chorale melody “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” is often used for preludes at weddings as well as at memorial services. The chorale serves as the basis for Bach’s Cantata No. 147, and is heard here in an organ solo arrangement. Today, Dr. Hohman plays the majority of the piece on the Antiphonal Organ, located in the ceiling above the rear of the balcony, while the chorale tune is played on the Great Trumpet stop on the main organ, which is on each side of the choir area.
Tu es Petra (translated: Thou Art the Rock), one of ten organ selections, known collectively as Byzantine Sketches, and written around the year 1918 by post-Romantic Parisian organist Henri Mulet, is a dramatic organ narrative that is inspired by the Gospel. The piece musically depicts the verse of Matthew, chapter 16, verse 18: “You are Peter, and on this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not overcome it.” The chattering toccata represents a struggle between forces of good and evil. The toccata concludes with a brilliant flourish. At the very end, the notes are written so the organist’s forearms must overlap to form a cross, which in itself is a physical, symbolic gesture confirming the religious nature of the work.
Charles-Marie Widor was the longest-serving substitute church organist in music history. He was appointed as an interim substitute organist at the Parisian church of St. Sulpice in 1863, and he stayed there in that temporary capacity for 63 years!. During that time he composed music for the complete range of musical instruments. Among his vast output he compiled 10 organ symphonies, all of which became published by the first years of the 20th century. His most famous organ piece is the Toccata from his Fifth Organ Symphony, dating from 1878. To illustrate the scope of moods contained within Widor’s symphonies, we will hear the Intermezzo from his Sixth Organ Symphony, which is very animated, and the Meditation from his First Organ Symphony, which is slow and beautifully lyrical, and then the popular Toccata.
Mark Hasenstab, Vicky Smolik, Bob Ceccarini – Trumpet
Tom Vincent – Trombone
Steve Lawson – Bass Trombone
Chris Treloar – Timpani