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Catawba College to Dedicate Organ at Concert by Deux Voix

September 23, 2019

Category: Academics, Alumni, Events, Gifts, Music

DeuxVoix2019.pngCatawba College will hold an Organ Dedicatory Concert in the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 4 p.m. with Deux Voix of Houston, Tex., in concert. Admission is free.

MIND BODY SOUL, Catawba's Campaign for Growth, began the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel Organ Enhancement Project in 2018. The project raised $300,000 to renovate and enhance the Casavant Organ, which is more than 50 years old.

The resulting hybrid product combines a new Rodgers digital electronic instrument with the pipes from the original Casavant Organ installed in 1967. The original Casavant was a gift of Annie Warlick Shuford Rankin. The major donor for the recent addition and refurbishment was the Estate of Elmer B. and Juanita Fisher Lagg. Mrs. Lagg, Class of '46, was a lifelong member of First United Church of Christ in Salisbury, the College's local church affiliation. In honor of these major donors, the organ is named the Annie Warlick Shuford and Elmer B. and Juanita Fisher Lagg Casavant Organ.

Deux Voix ( is composed of Stephen Distad, on organ, and Justin Langham, on trumpet. DeuxVoix, French for "two voices," was formed in 2014. The duo's programming represents a cherished and historical combination of musical sounds, appealing to a wide range of audiences.

Deux Voix has presented concerts in more than 17 states, including St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, The Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Maine, the Mayo Clinic Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., Washington Music Festival in Port Angeles, Wash.; West Point Military Academy, and Myers Park United Methodist Church, Charlotte, N.C.

The musicians also presented a wildly successful headlining program for the L'Organo Series at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C., in May of 2015, where they performed the formal dedication concert for the new organ at The Citadel, and set a new record for the largest crowd for in the over 30-year history of the series.

In August of 2018, Deux Voix toured Denmark, Sweden, and Norway as a part of its Scandinavian Tour, and was a featured artist for the International Organ Festival in Bergen, Norway.

Distad has served as Minister of Music at First Baptist Church in Charleston, S.C., Director of Music at Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester, Minn., and Organist at First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, LA. He has performed in numerous notable and historical locations such as St. Thomas Episcopal in New York, St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, and Notre Dame in Paris.

He is known for his annual "Phantom of the Organ" concert, which includes elaborate multi-media effects and continues to draw large and diverse crowds after more than 20 years. The event has been held in various locations around the United States.

He received his bachelor's degree from Drake University, his master's from Baylor University, and post-graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music. He also studied under Marie-Claire Alain at the Conservaoire de Rueill-Malmasison in Paris and with Robert E. Scoggin, Carl Staplin, Guy Bovet, Joyce Jones, and David Higgs.

Langham has performed with Aperio, Houston Civic Symphony, and Houston Ballet Orchestra. As a composer and arranger, he has written for many instrumentations in a variety of different styles. His Concertino for Euphonium was premiered by virtuoso soloist Kyohei Ando in Tokyo, Japan, in 2013, and a transcription of Cantate Domino by composer David Ashley White for choir and wind ensemble was premiered at the Texas Music Educators Association Conference in February of 2016. He also has written arrangements for collegiate band programs across the country.

An avid educator, he teaches music theory at the University of Houston, is Director of Music at Grace United Methodist Church, Houston, and maintains an active teaching studio both privately and as trumpet faculty at Lone Star College-Montgomery.

Langham earned a double bachelor's degree in trumpet performance and composition from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, earned his master's in trumpet performance at the University of Houston, and is currently working towards a doctoral degree at the University of Houston.

Their Salisbury event is co-sponsored by the Catawba College Office of Development; Al Murrell, Vice President of Daffer Church Organs; and Bill Graham, Class of '83, and Shari Graham, Class of '83.

A reception will follow the Sept. 24 performance in Peeler Crystal Lounge.

On Monday, Sept. 30,.the duo will present two workshops for area students, musicians, and the public, including:

  • "Finding your Musical Niche on the Internet," 3 p.m.
  • "Sunday Comes Twice a Week," 4:30 p.m. will be presented.

For more information, contact the Catawba College Music Department at (704) 647-4345.

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