Episode 17 October 7, 2017   Stephen Salts, Singer, Conductor, and the Creator of “HOWELLS 125”

Stephen Salts is one of the busiest musicians in Southern California, singing in many choirs and ensembles, conducting choirs, and even running the Children’s Choir program at St. Wilfrid Episcopal Church. Yet this Fulbright Scholar in the Anglican Choral Tradition had time and the vision to create a year-long festival celebrating the English Composer, Herbert Howells’ 125th birthday!! Listen as Stephen talks about his background and education, his study in London, hear him sing on several recordings, learn about his involvement in “Golden Bridge” project, and especially find out all about the many performances of the great music of Herbert Howells which took place, all because of his foresight and drive to create this spectacular festival. Enjoy this exciting episode of MUSIC FROM THE TOWER showcasing this superb musician, innovator, and scholar.

MUSIC:   “My love is fair” Henry Leslie Choir of Royal Holloway. (Stephen is singing the bass solo on this recording) (Hyperion Records: 2016 English Romantic Madrigals)

MUSIC:   “Spiritus Mundi” Dale Trumbore recorded live at the 2016 Golden Bridge Concert

MUSIC:   “Coelos ascendit hodie” Charles V. Stanford   Trinity College Choir recording of this piece by a teacher of Herbert Howells (Hyperion Records: 2017 Stanford Choral Works)

MUSIC: “Behold, O God, our defender” Herbert Howells Trinity College Choir (Hyperion Records: Howells: Collegium Regale and other choral works)


Episode 16 September 30, 2017   Richard Unfried, First official Organist of the Garden Grove Community Church, the Hour of Power and later the Crystal Cathedral.

Hear from the very first organist, following Arvella Schuller, at what was to become the Crystal Cathedral. Mr. Unfried recounts his early years, his training, seeing an ad in the Diapason Magazine, meeting the Schullers, and his audition for the Garden Grove Community Church and its 23-rank Wicks Organ. He then moves on to the beginning of the Hour of Power, the 1969 crusade with Dr. Billy Graham with Dr. Schuller, which may have actually named the “Hour of Power”. In these Pre-Ruffatti Organ years of the Hour of Power, he remembers what those early TV years were like, and even a bomb scare at the Offertory! Next hear about choosing the Ruffatti organ for the Arboretum, the three years waiting for its installation, and the dedication by famed organist Virgil Fox. Finally find out who named this organ “Big Buddha” and why. It is an hour filled with memories of the early years of the Crystal Cathedral that you won’t want to miss.

MUSIC: Fugue and Prelude (1965) Rayner Brown (1912 – 1999) Dedicated to Richard Unfried Recorded on the 5 Manual 116-rank Ruffatti Organ on the album, Thou Art A Rock, recorded by Richard Unfried.

MUSIC: The Church’s One Foundation (Aurelia) Recorded on the 5 Manual 116-rank Ruffatti Organ on the album, Hymns of Hope and Power, recorded by Richard Unfried.

MUSIC: Toccata (Fifth Symphony) Charles Marie Widor Recorded on the 5 Manual 116-rank Ruffatti Organ on the album, Thou Art A Rock, recorded by Richard Unfried.

MUSIC: God of Our Fathers (National Hymn) Recorded on the 5 Manual 116-rank Ruffatti Organ on the album, Hymns of Hope and Power, recorded by Richard Unfried.


Episode 15 September 23, 2017   Dr. Robert Istad, NEW Artistic Director and Conductor for Pacific Chorale, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies, California State University, Fullerton.

Hear all about Pacific Chorale from its new conductor, Dr. Robert Istad, as he takes over the Chorale just in time to celebrate their 50th Anniversary Season. Dr. Istad talks about the group, its singers, and some of the highlights of the past seasons. He also spends a bit of time on his own musical journey and what lead him to Southern California to continue his musical education. As a busy college professor, Dr. Tstad talks about his Cal State Fullerton choirs as well. He is currently the president of the California Choral Directors Association. Finally, Rob explains in detail about the great concerts in the Chorale’s 50th Anniversary season and other concerts they will be singing with the Pacific Symphony, including one in Carnegie Hall! For information on the Pacific Chorale, visit www.pacificchorale.org.


MUSIC: A Celestial Map of the Sky Tarik O’Regan (Pacific Chorale’s Composer in Residence)

MUSIC: Herr, unser Herrscher (St. John Passion) Johann Sebastian Bach

MUSIC: Sanctus (Mass) Leonard Bernstein

MUSIC: III. Peace My Heart (Songs of Eternity for Chorus and Orchestra) James Hopkins


Episode 14 September 16, 2017   Matthew Gray, Founder and Director of DeAngelis Vocal Ensemble, Director of Music at the Mission Basilica of San Juan Capistrano, Assistant Director of the Diocesan Choir of Orange.

Enjoy a visit with Matthew Gray, one of Southern California’s busiest Music Directors. Hear especially about his profession ensemble, DeAngelis Vocal Ensemble, as they begin their 13th Season of creating beauty through Choral Music! Hear from Matthew about the founded the organization, his own interesting musical history, and what lead him to create one of the finest musical groups in Southern California. Learn about the amazing concerts coming this season, from a birthday celebration for composer Herbert Howells, their annual Christmas Concert, a festive concert celebrating St. Cecilia with the music of Handel and a partnership with the instrumental group Kontrapunktus, and finally Sacré France featuring the spectacular choral music of French composers. All concerts, except for Sacré France are held in the historic Mission Basilica in San Juan. Sacré France is part of their annual partnership with Christ Cathedral Concerts.   Complete details and to obtain tickets: http://deangelisensemble.org     Enjoy their latest CD: http://deangelisensemble.org/music/


MUSIC: Ave Maris Stella Fredrik Sixten (De Angelis Vocal Ensemble)

MUSIC: Ave Maria Robert Parsons   (De Angelis Vocal Ensemble)

MUSIC: In Youth is Pleasure   Herbert Howells

MUSIC: Salve Regina   Alfred Desenclos

MUSIC: O Salutais Hostia   Pierre Villette


Episode 13   September 9, 2017   Fr. Christopher Smith, Pastor and Rector of Christ Cathedral; David Ball, Assistant Director and Organist, Christ Cathedral; and Lauren McCaul, Cathedral Music Administrator and Cathedral Cantor.

Hear first hand from the folks at Christ Cathedral about all of the exciting musical happenings. Joining Dr. John Romeri, your host and Cathedral Director of Music Ministries, are the Pastor and Rector, and fellow Musicians in this enormous project of creating a new cathedral parish. An explanation of the Cathedral Choirs, details of the 2nd Season of the Christ Cathedral Concert Series artists, and the many plans for the dedication of this world renowned building as it becomes a Roman Catholic Cathedral.   There are many ways for you to get involved at Christ Cathedral, either as a choir member or even just as an audience member enjoying artists from France, England and right here in Southern California. Tune in and get all of the latest details.

MUSIC: Johann Vexo playing Johann Sebastian Bach’s Trio Sonata No. 3, movement 3 on the Choir Organ at Notre Dame. Mr. Vexo will perform at Christ Cathedral on Monday, October 9, 2017 at 7:30 PM.

MUSIC: O Clap Your Hands sung by Stile Antico. Early Music Ensemble, Stile Antico from London, will perform at Christ Cathedral, Friday, October 27, 2017 at 7:30 PM.

MUSIC: Sanctus from the Mass in G, Francis Poulenc This Mass and many other French pieces will be performed by Southern California’s DeAngelis Vocal Ensemble on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8 PM at Christ Cathedral in a program entitled, SACRÉ FRANCE.

MUSIC: Magnificat, John Rutter will be performed at Christmas at the Cathedral, Friday, December 15, 2017 at 7:30 PM by all of the choirs of Christ Cathedral and orchestra.

For information about the Music Ministry of Christ Cathedral or tickets to Christ Cathedral Concerts visitwww.ChristCathedralMusic.org or Christ Cathedral Music on Facebook.


Episode 12 September 2, 2017   Dr. Steven Ball, Organist Extraordinaire! Whether playing the largest organ in the world at Boardwalk Hall in New Jersey or the largest outdoor organ in the world in San Diego, there is no-one who knows municipal pipe organs like Dr. Ball. Hear a fascinating program on pipe organs, especially municipal organs and great music to go with it.

With degrees from the University of Michigan, Dr. Steven Ball is a Fulbright Scholar and one of America’s leading organ performers in all types of music for the pipe organ. From classical, to pop, to theatre organ, to accompanying silent films, Steven does it all like no one else! Just having played two days of concerts at the Spreckles Organ in Balboa Park in San Diego, including being the featured performer in the 2017 International Summer Organ Festival Silent Movie Night, he play before several hundreds. Steven was kind enough to come to Orange and record an episode of MUSIC FROM THE TOWER all about the great pipe organs of another era.   Dr. Ball is no stranger to the Christ Cathedral campus, as he is also a famous Carillonneur and is the consultant for the restoration of the Arvilla Schuller Carillon on our campus.

MUSIC: Medley Of The Alfred Burt Carols from the album “Fox Noel” recorded at the Atlanta Fox by Dr. Steven Ball

MUSIC: The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship from Scheherazade, Op.35 (Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolay) from the album “1001 Nights” recorded at the Atlanta Fox by Dr. Steven Ball.

MUSIC: The Sunken Cathedral (Claude Debussy) from the album “No Place Like OZ” recorded at Century II in Wichita, KS on the former NY Paramount Theatre Wurlitzer Organ by Dr. Steven Ball

MUSIC: March Gothique (René Becker) recorded in Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Detroit, MI from the album “Steven Ball presents the Music of René Becker”All recordings are available at StevenBall.com

As always the complete musical clips and photos are available at www.ChristCathedralMusic.org


Episode 11 August 26, 2017   A Tribute show to PAUL SALAMUNOVICH, with guests James Drollinger, Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Charles Borromeo in North Hollywood and Dominic MacAller, Director of Music at Padre Serra Church in Camarillo. Both Jim and Dom were lifelong friends and students of Paul.

1 – Paul Early Career:   Born in 1927. St James Catholic Church & School, Redondo Beach – a young priest, Father Louis Buechner, began a boy’s choir. They sang nothing but chant – which, by his own admission, influenced his music making throughout his entire conducting career. Roger Wagner – gave a concert at St James. Paul was drawn to Roger – use to ride the streetcar to downtown LA at attend rehearsals. St Joseph Church, downtown LA Richard Keyes Biggs, Blessed Sacrament Church – Family moved to Hollywood, when Paul was a young teen. Began attending Blessed Sacrament. He was allowed to join the men and boys choir. Biggs was Wagner’s organ teacher. Los Angeles Concert Youth Chorus – conducted by Roger Wagner; joined in 1946. 2 years later it became the Roger Wagner Chorale. Paul became the Assistant Conductor. Roger Wagner Chorale became the Los Angeles master Chorale in 1964. Paul continued as Assistant Conductor until 1977.

MUSIC – Panis Angelicus (Franck) – Paul Salamunovich, soloist

2 – St. Charles Borromeo Church – hired as music director in 1949. Retired in 2009. (60 Years!)   Adult Choir 100% Volunteer – avg. 50-75 voices   Children’s/School Choir – the choir on the original Disney Small World LP     1949 – Roger needed to move on from St Charles. Told Paul to take the job – Paul didn’t want it, but Roger said he did. Gave Paul 1 conducting lesson and taught him one hymn on organ (Msgr Harry Meade’ favorite). Introduced Paul to Msgr Meade, told him Paul could play organ and conduct, and he was hired.   Rough going in the early years – singers were loyal to Roger. He eventually “fired” the entire soprano section and replaced them with the School Choir.

MUSIC – THE LAMB (Ken Neufeld; text William Blake)   St Charles Choir Christmas CD – PEACE ON EARTH   Available at: PeaceOnEarthCD@StCharlesChoir.org

3 – Loyola Marymont University – 27 Years as Director of Choral Activities & Professor of Music 1964-1991   Loyola University – Men’s Glee – quickly changed to Men’s Chorus;   Loyola Marymount University – The Mount Singers was a combined effort of women from The Mount & men from Loyola. The sudden presence of women on campus led to the establishment of the LMU Women’s Chorus and the inevitable birth of the LMU Consort Singers.

Almost 900 clinics, festivals, and honor choirs in his career, all over the world.

MUSIC – Western Medley – LMU Men’s Chorus, ACDA CONV 1987   Roger Wagner “Folk Songs of the Frontier” – available on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/4a9dl2GwjxbLCCK1a2ZS63

4 – LA Master Chorale- Music Director 1991-2001. Had been assistant conductor for Roger Wagner.

MUSIC: Chant Puer Natus Est   LA Master Chorale

MUSIC: Lux Aeterna, Lauridsen   I. Introitus   from Midwinter Songs from Lauridsen CD – 1998 – Lux Aeterna, O Magnum, Chansons de Rose,   https://www.amazon.com/Lauridsen-Lux-Aeterna-Morten/dp/B000006OF1


Episode 10 August 12, 2017   LIBERA , Robert Prizeman, Founder, Conductor, Composer, Arranger and Three of the Singers from Libera: Peter Kiety, Alex Gula and Leo Barron


Libera is a world renowned Boys Choir from South London, England. Unlike of the English Boy Choirs, they are not based in a famous college or English Cathedral, but instead are from many churches in South London. Their founder and conductor, Robert Prizeman, has created a “Boy Band” of sorts and a world-wide phenomenon, now having performed in the US, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. Having sung for the Queen, Popes, on TV shows and TV Specials, and for millions of fans everywhere, their arrangements, many of which are written by Prizeman, help them achieve their unique sound and their lighting effects make their shows unforgettable experiences. In addition to their “shows” and tours they usually sing two Masses per weekend.   They recently performed at Christ Cathedral and sang a Mass at the Cathedral at the close of the annual Diocesan Children’s Choir Camp. Hear from Robert Prizeman and three of the singers all about this amazing choir explain just how all this came to be and just what it is like being a part of this breathtaking choir.


Music: all performed by LIBERA


Sanctus (based upon the Pachelbel Canon)

Angeli Dei   by Robert Prizeman from their new album HOPE

Wayfaring Stranger   from their new album HOPE

Joyful Joyful we adore Thee   Beethoven/ Prizeman


Originally aired on 8/12/17


Episode 9 July 22, 2017   Melissa Weidner, Carillonneur

Melissa is one of the principal performers on the Arvella Schuller Carillon on the Christ Cathedral Campus. In this Episode, find out about the Carillon as an instrument, and what it takes to play one, especially at Christ Cathedral. Enjoy exploring this unusual instrument, its history, the locations of the major carillons in the US, where they are cast, and even who composes for this instrument. Christ Cathedral Carillon is very unusual….find out why! Installed in 1990 its 52 bells weight from 13 pounds to 6,270 pounds. All this and more on this weeks’ Music from the (Bell) Tower!

Music: All performed by Melissa Weidner, Carillonneur

Prelude 8 by Matthias van den Gheyn

Prelude 7 by Joannes Franciscus Volckerick

Image No. 2 by Emilien Allard

“Toccata Festevole” from Suite No. 1 for Carillon by John Courter


Remember: Complete music clips and photos are always available at www.ChristCathedralMusic.org


Originally aired on 7/22/17


Episode 8: Saturday, July 15, 2017. Anne Tomlinson, Artistic Director for the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and Diana Landis, Director of the Apprentice Choir for the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and Director of the Children’s Choir program for Our Lady Queen of Angels, Newport Beach, CA

Hear from Anne Tomlinson, the Artistic Director for 21 seasons of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. Hear the history of this amazing LA institution which serves over 400 children from 50 communities across Southern California. These young singers perform with LA Phil, LA Opera, on numerous TV shows, and more! They have toured North and South America, Africa, China, Cuba, Australia, Japan and Europe! Hear from Anne and Apprentice Choir Director, Diana Landis, about the choir and its many tours and special performances.

Enjoy a bit about how Diane and Anne come to their own musicianship and outstanding careers.

Hear about the audition process and just how to become part of this spectacular program. Hear about WHY a Children’s Choir program is so important. Finally hear about special projects for the choirs and their directors as they enter the final year under Anne Tomlinson’s leadership.


Salve Regina             Josu Elberdin     LACC Concert Choir

Choral Hymns from Rig-Veda       Gustav Holst     LACC Concert Choir

III.   Hymn to the Waters

In these Delightful Pleasant Groves     Henry Purcell   Apprentice Choir

Yo Le Canto             Venezuelan Folk Song     LACC Concert Choir



Originally aired on 7/15/17