Episode No. 49. Lukas Hasler, Organist, Composer, Conductor from Graz Austria

Enjoy a delightful conversation with this young Organ Superstar, Lukas Hasler.  Born in 1996, he is certainly one of the youngest touring concert artists in the pipe organ world. He is still currently studying organ at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria and cultural management at the University of Hamburg, Germany. In addition to his participation in the opening ceremony of the Salzburg Festival, he has already performed at the Tyrolean Festival Erl as well as at the International Organ Festival in Düsseldorf. Lukas has won the “Prima la musica” competition for organ twice. The second time, he also won the “Bärenreiter-Special” prize for his interpretation of a work by J. S. Bach. A year later, “Jugend komponiert”, a competition for young composers, named Lukas as a finalist for his piano and violin suites. The 22-year-old organist, composer and choral conductor has attended master classes with Jean Guillou, Ton Koopman, Ludger Lohmann and Skip Sempé.  Lukas is gaining recognition for his colourful and passionate musicality. He has performed many organ recitals in Austria, as well as internationally in Germany, France, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. For this year alone, his plans include performances in Los Angeles, Paris and Moscow.  We caught up with him on his latest tour in Los Angeles. You will love hearing his fascinating story as well as his artistry on the organ. www.LukasHasler.com

MUSIC: Prelude and Fugue on BACH. Franz Liszt
MUSIC:  Fugue in d minor  Felix Mendelssohn
MUSIC:  Sonata No. III movement II.  Felix Mendelssohn
MUSIC:  Prelude and Fugue in F major.   Dietrich Buxtehude
MUSIC:  Introduction and Passacaglia  Max Reger


Episode No. 48  Saturday, October 13, 2018  Libera!  Robert Prizeman, Founder, Conductor, Arranger and three of their amazing Choristers, Leo Barron, Alex Gula, David White.

The fantastic Boy Choir, LIBERA, makes another return to Christ Cathedral and on this visit they made another appearance on MUSIC FROM THE TOWER.  It is a fascinating look at this world-wide phenomenon through the eyes of their founder and conductor Robert Prizeman.  The distinctive sound of Libera has travelled the world in the last few years. The group’s albums have topped both mainstream and classical charts in many countries, and their recordings hold their place in top-tens alongside major artists like Bocelli.  They speak a lot about their latest CD, BEYOND.  All of this episode’s music is from BEYOND.

The boys who make up the vocal band Libera have been described as “normal” and “ordinary”. However, as their recordings and performances demonstrate, the music they produce is truly extraordinary. With shimmering, mystical chords and ecstatic harmonies, they are unlike any other group you have ever heard. These are truly sounds to lift the soul. Celestial sounds for a new time.

The singers of Libera who are aged seven to sixteen attend many different local schools in South London and come from a variety of backgrounds. Although they are boys and they sing, they do not think of themselves as choirboys, but rather as an alternative kind of boy band.

While the unique sound of Libera may be impossible to pigeonhole, its universal appeal has endeared the group to fans all over the world, particularly in the US, the UK, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan, where their CDs top the mainstream and classical charts and where they pack concert halls appearing in their trademark flowing white robes on imaginatively lit stages.

www.libera.org.uk  for complete information about Libera, their tours and the CD’s including BEYOND

MUSIC:  Ave Maria   Giulio Caccini       Libera from their new CD, BEYOND
MUSIC:  Lacrymosa  (Based upon Saint-Saens “Aquarium”)  Leo Barron. (high “ah’s”), Alex Gula, soloist
MUSIC:  The Prayer  Céline Dion.        Libera from their new CD, BEYOND. Daniel White, soloist
MUSIC:  Ave Maria    Robert Prizeman
MUSIC:  Sanctus based on the Canon   Johann Pachelbel  arr. Robert Prizeman


Episode No. 47. Saturday, October 6, 2018 Michael Hey, Concert Organist and Associate Director of Music and Organist, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City and Concert Violinist Christiana Liberis

This episode of Music From The Tower features brilliant young organist, Michael Hey. He is often described as “scintillating” and “tremendously virtuosic” (The Straits Times, Singapore, 2016). This fantastic concert organist Michael Hey has been increasingly visible on U.S. and international concert stages.

In September 2017, Michael received first prize in the First Shanghai Conservatory of Music International Organ Competition, held at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Theater. Released in October 2017, Michael’s premiere solo CD recording Michael T. C. Hey plays the Great Organ of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York is available for purchase by the JAV recording label.

In 2016 and 2017, Michael appeared with the San Francisco Symphony and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas in Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra. In 2014 he was the featured organ soloist for the New York City Ballet’s newly commissioned work Acheron. Set to the music of Francis Poulenc’s Organ Concerto, his performance at its premiere was “vividly played” (The New York Times). Michael has also performed at notable venues such as Lincoln Center (New York), Carnegie Hall (New York), Madison Square Garden (New York), the Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), the Esplanade (Singapore), and the New World Symphony (Miami).

Not exclusively a solo organist, Michael enjoys a varied career that includes collaborations with other musicians, solo piano recitals, improvising, and transcribing works. He has performed with renowned soloists including soprano Renée Fleming, tenor Matthew Polenzani, and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard. In 2016 he recorded an anthology with baritone Tim Krol entitled Robert Franz: Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Songs.

Also featured on this program is virtuoso violinist Christiana Liberis. Michael has been performing duos for organ or piano with Christiana. You will enjoy a few on this program. You will hear all about Christiana’s amazing career with performances from Carnegie Hall to television, to concert tours with Earth Wind and Fire!! Together they are a spectacular Duo!!

In 2015 Michael was appointed Associate Director of Music and Organist of the famed Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, where one of his first major tasks was to perform for the first U.S. visit of Pope Francis. Michael plays at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral for services throughout the week, which can be heard on Sirius XM radio, television, and online.

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Michael graduated from the accelerated five-year degree program at The Juilliard School where he received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in organ performance under Paul Jacobs. He is represented in North America exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC. http://www.christianaliberis.com www.michaelhey.com

MUSIC: The Dancing Pipes Jonathan Dove. Michael Hey, organist
MUSIC: Allemande from D minor Violin Partita No 2 Johann Sebastian Bach. Christiana Liberis, violinist
MUSIC. Capriccio for violin and organ Naji Hakim Christiana Liberis, violinist, Michael Hey, Organist
MUSIC: Pavane pour une infante defunte Maurice Ravel. Christiana Liberis, violinist, Michael Hey, Organist
MUSIC: Praeludium and Allegro Fritz Kreisler Christiana Liberis, violinist, Michael Hey, Organist


Episode No. 46. Saturday, September 22, 2018. Normand Gouin, Pastoral Musician, Composer, Educator.

Normand Gouin has served the Church as a pastoral musician and liturgist for over 25 years.  An active and accomplished composer, he has been commissioned to write works for cathedrals, churches, and religious communities throughout the country. In 2015, his hymn “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom” written in collaboration with Rev. Andrew Ciferni, O. Praem, was selected as the official hymn of the World Meeting of Families, an event that marked Pope Francis’s first official visit to the United States.  The Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians selected his two works “Canticle of Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer” and “I Will Sing, Forever of Your Mercies, O Lord” in 2016 as the winning entries of their annual propers composition contest. Gouin’s publishers include GIA Publications and MorningStar Music Publishers. He has been a contributing writer for the liturgy and music journal, the GIA Quarterly, as well as a workshop presenter for the National Pastoral Musicians Association. He has served on several diocesan liturgical commissions and has led workshops on liturgy and pastoral music throughout the country.  He holds degrees from The Catholic University of America and the University of Notre Dame. On today’s show we hear how this brilliant musician/composer came to his career and enjoy some of his beautiful music written for the Church. Norm’s music can be purchased at Morningstar Music
MUSIC: Christ Has Become our Paschal Sacrifice. (Communion Antiphon for Easter Sunday). Normand Gouin Morningstar Music
MUSIC: May Light Eternal. (Communion Antiphon for Funerals). Normand Gouin Morningstar Music
MUSIC: Canticle of Jesus Christ. (Entrance Antiphon for Chrism Mass). Normand Gouin Morningstar Music
MUSIC: I Will Sing Forever of Your Mercies. (Communion Antiphon for Chrism Mass). Normand Gouin Morningstar Music
MUSIC: Up to the Hills. Ps 122. Normand Gouin Morningstar Music
MUSIC: Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom. Official Hymn of the World Meetings of Families. Normand Gouin Morningstar Music


Episode No. 45.  Saturday, September 8, 2018.    Michael Silhavy, Musician and Senior Editor at GIA Publications, does a Tribute show to the Cathedral Musician and Composer, Richard Thomas Proulx.

Richard Thomas Proulx was one of the most important composers of liturgical music in the twentieth century. Modern Liturgy Magazine called him the “most significant liturgical composer of the last twenty years.” Originally from Saint Paul, Proulx was born on April 3rd, 1937 to Raymond and Helen Proulx. He began piano studies at the age of six followed soon after by composition lessons in middle school. Both outside sources and Proulx himself recognized the benefits of the outstanding musical education offered at St. Patrick’s Parochial School located in St. Paul, MN. Proulx later studied at McPhail College in Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota receiving a degree in organ performance. Following graduate studies, he received honorary doctorates from the University of St. Thomas in 1989 and the General Theological Seminary in 1994.

Proulx began his professional career at Church of the Holy Childhood in Saint Paul, MN where he worked and directed for 15 years. Following his time in St. Paul, he directed and played for ten years at Saint Thomas Church in Seattle (1970-1980) before moving to the Cathedral of the Holy Name in Chicago where he played the organ and directed music for twenty years. Beyond his compositional pursuits, Proulx worked hard as an educator and clinician, teaching abroad in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, Switzerland , and throughout the United States.

Proulx was prolific, writing more than 300 works in five plus decades as a professional musician and composer. His compositional abilities were broad, spanning the realms of instrumental, choral, and mixed ensemble works. He is well-known for many of his substantial works including his church opera, The Pilgrim, his Concerto for Organ and Strings, and The Child’s Book of Beasts. He also composed pieces and hymns familiar to many congregations, such as I Received the Living God (tune composed by the French Benedictine, Dom Clément Jacob (1906-1977), harmonization that appear in hymnals published by GIA Publications (Chicago) composed by Richard), and a Community Mass. Beyond his compositional endeavors, Proulx also consulted and contributed to Hymnal 1982 and The New Yale Hymnal among many others.

Proulx is also known for his founding of The Cathedral Singers in 1991. He directed the independent recording ensemble and spurred the release of more than twenty recordings of sacred music. The Cathedral singers have performed both in the US and abroad.

Proulx’s talents also reached into the secular world. He composed an orchestral score for documentary film The Golden Door, and his organ arrangement of Veni Creator was featured in the 1997 film The Devil’s Own. Work from The Cathedral Singers, made two television debuts on NBC’s hit show ER. Aside from appearances in television and film, Proulx put his composing talents to work in jingle writing and advertisement, composing the theme song for Union Pacific Railroad in 1971.

Proulx passed away on Thursday Feb 18th, 2010 in Chicago, but his spirit lives on in the works and music he left to the world. With the generosity of Richard and the Proulx family, St. John’s Alcuin Library is committed to the preservation of his work and legacy.

On this episode of MFTT, Michael Silhavy helps us remember the great life of this exceptional Church Musician and Composer.  Michael helps us explore Richard’s life in Minneapolis, Seattle, and of course in Chicago.  The amazing influence of this great musician, conductor, and educator is really beyond calculation.  Mr. Silhavy examines the life of Richard Proulx from the prospective of publisher, catholic musician, and personal friend.  Michael has just completed an exhaustive inventory of the works and life of Richard Proulx.  MFTT is grateful for helping us all remember this giant of sacred music.  All of the music is by Richard Proulx and is recorded by the Cathedral Singers, conducted by the composer.  It is available from GIA Publications.

MUSIC:  Jesu, the Very Thought of Thee
MUSIC:  Happy are Those
MUSIC:  He is the Way
MUSIC:  O Lord, Support Us
MUSIC:  Crown Him With Many Crowns. A Concertato setting by Richard Proulx


Episode No. 44 Saturday, August 18, 2018

This is a great Episode of MFTT as we learn about the London (Brompton) Oratory and their music program.  Charles Cole began his musical training as a chorister at Westminster Cathedral. We will enjoy hearing what it was like as a young chorister at Westminster Cathedral and how Mr. Cole tries to give his choristers that same kind of experience at the Oratory School. He went on to win a major music scholarship to Ampleforth and organ scholarships at Exeter College, Oxford, and Westminster Cathedral.  Charles is Assistant Director of Music here at the London Oratory where he directs the London Oratory Junior Choir. He is Director of Music and Director of the Schola at St Philip’s School. He was appointed Director of the Schola Cantorum at the London Oratory School in 2012.   The Schola Cantorum of The London Oratory School sings at the London Oratory every Saturday evening in term time and on major feast days for School Mass throughout the year. Founded in 1996, the choir gives Catholic boys the opportunity of a choral education within the state education system from age 7 to 18.
In July 2019 it is their hope to tour in Southern California and perhaps even be the first visiting choir in the new Christ Cathedral.  All of today’s music is from their new CD,  Sacred Treasures of England, London Oratory Schola Cantorum Boys Choir, Charles Cole, Director (available on iTunes )

MUSIC:  Haec Dies John Sheppard
MUSIC:  Agnus Dei  from Missa Eug beon   Christopher Tye
MUSIC:  O Nata Lux  Thomas Tallis
MUSIC: Ave Verum  William Byrd
MUSIC: Salvator Mundi  Thomas Tallis



Episode No. 43  Saturday, July 28, 2018  Maria Cristina (Kit) Navarro, Soprano soloist, Soprano Section Leader, Teacher, Performer

Superstar Soprano Maria Cristina (“Kit”) Navarro is in high demand everywhere!  Not only is she a busy staff soprano and cantor at Christ Cathedral, but is a frequent soloist at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, with Pacific Chorale and the one-time Pacific Opera.  She performs in her native Philippines, in Europe, and all-over Southern California!  She is at home on the opera stage as well as singing sacred oratorios, singing in choirs and serving as a cantor at church.  On the show, she describes the differences between opera and oratorio, and even speaks of her favorite roles!  She is a teacher of music and fitness.   She has several upcoming performances:   Cristine will again be the featured soloist with Pacific Chorale’s annual Choral Festival, August 12, 2018, under the baton of Dr. Robert Istad.  This year’s Choral Festival concert is all Mozart and Ms. Navarro will have solos in the Mozart Vespers, and sing the famous Alleluia from “Exsultate Jubilate”.   For free tickets to this performance:  https://www.scfta.org/events/2018/pacific-chorales-choral-festival.
She will be performing with the Philippine Chamber Singers this coming August 17, 2018 at the Disney Concert Hall.  You can also hear Kit almost any Sunday here at Christ Cathedral at the 930 AM Mass and she will be featured in the “Gloria” by Antonio Vivaldi in this year’s Christmas at the Cathedral, December 14, 2018 at 7:30 PM.  For tickets and information: ChristCathedralMusic.org

MUSIC:  Requiem.(movement 5)  Johannes Brahms.   Soprano Cristine Navarro
MUSIC:  Opera, Magic Flute. (Der Holle Rache). Wolfgang Mozart. Soprano Cristine Navarro
MUSIC:  La Capinera. Italian Art Song.  Soprano Cristine Navarro
MUSIC:  La Boheme. (Quando m’en vo) Puccini  Soprano Cristine Navarro
MUSIC:  Carmina Burana. (#17 In Trutina – Tempis Est Locumdum) Carl Orf  Pacific Choral Choral Festival Choir 2017,  Soprano Cristine Navarro


Episode No. 42  Saturday, July 21, 2018  Daniel Ficarri, Organist, Composer, Juilliard student, Organ Scholar at St. Paul the Apostle in NYC, Founder of “Sacred sounds at St. Paul’s”; David L. Ball. Assistant Director of Music and Organist, Christ Cathedral

Daniel is another of the many success stories of the great Juilliard teacher, Paul Jacobs.  However, unlike the incredible organists who have filled America’s greatest churches and have come from this great institution and this amazing teacher, Daniel is not just another super-star organist.  Daniel is an already famed composer;  a commissioned composer at that!  You will hear from this spectacular young musician, as he talks about his latest commission, this time, a piece for the dedication of the new Dobson pipe organ at the famed St. Thomas Church in New York.  This piece was commissioned by the British music journal, Choir and Organ, for this very special occasion.  Daniel was featured in the latest issue of this magazine with a great article and even the possibility of downloading his latest piece.  On the radio, he is joined by our very own organist and Juilliard graduate, David L. Ball.  It is David who actually commissioned Daniel to write two other organ pieces. Enjoy these two wonderful young organists as they talk about commissioning music, composing it and performing it.  One of our best shows yet.  You will no doubt hear lots more about both of these astonishing talents!

http://www.danielficarri.com  http://www.davidballorgan.com

MUSIC: Carillon de Westminster Louis Vierne   Daniel Ficarri, Organist
MUSIC: Prelude in D Major  Daniel Ficarri, Composer and Organist  recorded at Hitchcock Presbyterian Church, Scarsdale, NY   Commissioned by David L. Ball
MUSIC: Suite for Organ No. 1  Adagio   Daniel Ficarri, Composer and Organist  recorded at St. Paul the Apostle, New York City    Commissioned by David L. Ball
MUSIC: Suite for Organ No. 1  Toccata   Daniel Ficarri, Composer and Organist  recorded at St. Paul the Apostle, New York City    Commissioned by David L. Ball
MUSIC:  Exsultation  Daniel Ficarri, Composer and Organist  recorded at St. Vincent Ferrer, New York City    Commissioned by Choir and Organ Magazine


Episode No. 41  Saturday, July 14, 2018 Brian Sawyers, Organ Curator of the great Hazel Wright Organ, Musician, Composer.   

Enjoy a wonderful discussion with one of the busiest organ men in the world.  Brian takes care of the Hazel Wright Organ, 5th largest organ in the world, and the Fred Swann Organ in the Arboretum.  And if Hazel and Fred were not enough, he cares for several other huge organs here in Southern California and elsewhere.  They include First Congregational, Covenant Church in Long Beach, Segerstrom Music Center and several others.  Brian has a long history with the Crystal Cathedral hearing the organs of the cathedral with Richard Unfried, Fred Swann.  Brian took his first organ lesson with Cathedral Organist, Mark Thallander.  His first tuning experiences were with Richard Unfried holding keys and his beginning tuning.  He later worked under John Wilson with the Henderson Wilson Organ Company.  Most of all, Brain talks about just what it will take to put Hazel back in Christ Cathedral.  He will no doubt be a frequent guest as we get closer to Hazel’s great re-dedication.  Brian began piano as a 6 year old, organ at 13, and his constant fascination with switches and buttons!!  He is the PERFECT person to care for Hazel.  Some of todays was even composed by Brian!!

MUSIC:  Symphony No 6, finale (movement V)    Charles Marie Widor     Peter Baicchi, organist   CD:  Music Under Glass, recorded on “Hazel”
MUSIC:  Toccata on “Amazing Grace”  Christopher Pardini, composer and performer   CD:  Chris Pardini and Friends, recorded on “Hazel”
MUSIC:  Clazz   a Jazz composition by Brian Sawyers, with Brian at the organ!
MUSIC:  Symphony No. 6, cantible (movement IV)  Charles Marie Widor   Peter Baicchi, organist   (you will hear some of the birds who lived in the Crystal Cathedral on the recording.  CD:  Music Under Glass
MUSIC: Rising Sun  Brian Sawyers, composer   Peter Baicchi, organist   CD:  Music Under Glass


Episode No. 40 Saturday June 23, 2018 Dr. Christoph Bull, Organist-in-Residence at First Congregational Church, Los Angeles, Composer, Musician Extraordinaire.

Enjoy a fascinating hour with one of Los Angeles’ most interesting and versatile musicians!! Born in Mannheim, Germany, Christoph Bull has performed and recorded around the world, including France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Russia, India, Taiwan and El Salvador, at national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists and at venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Lincoln Center in New York City, Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, the Cathedrals of Moscow, Saint-Denis and Salzburg as well as rock clubs like The Viper Room, The Roxy and The Whisky in Los Angeles.

Hear how a musician of this caliber comes to be a musician. Christoph improvised his first melodies on the piano at the age of five and gave his first organ recitals and rock concerts with a band at the age of twelve. He’s collaborated with leading orchestras, conductors, choirs and ensembles including the Los Angeles Master Chorale, James Conlon, Carl St.Clair, Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony and Grammy-winning Southwest Chamber Music.

His organ teachers were Cherry Rhodes, Hermann Schäffer, Ludwig Dörr, Samuel Swartz, Christoph Schöner and Paul Jordan. He also participated in master courses with Marie-Claire Alain, Guy Bovet, Craig Cramer and Rudi Lutz.

Christoph Bull is the creator of the genre-crossing, collaborative multi-media series organica, combining traditional and contemporary music. His collaborators include DJs, video artists, live painter, instrumentalists and singers. He has also contributed to projects by Steven Spielberg, Robin Williams, Harry Connick Jr., George Clinton and Bootsy Collins (Parliament Funkadelic), Cindy Lauper, Lili Haydn and Nishat Khan and opened the organ series at Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa and Villa Aurora in the Pacific Palisades.

His solo album First & Grand, the world premiere recording of the Walt Disney Concert Hall Organ, was celebrated by the international trade press and showcases the stylistic versatility and expressiveness of his playing. His original song “Peace” was featured on the benefit album 2 Unite All together with songs by Peter Gabriel, Stewart Copeland and others. His song “Ali” was featured on the website for the collector’s book about Muhammad Ali by Taschen.

Christoph Bull is based in Los Angeles. In addition to his activities as a concert organist, composer, singer-songwriter, speaker, university organist and organ professor at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), he is organist-in-residence at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, playing one of the largest pipe organs in the world.

Outside of music, Christoph is interested in politics, theology, cinema and sports. He’s read the whole Bible, Koran, Bhagavad Gita and Tao Te Ching, watched every Seinfeld episode and all Star Wars movies in a row in the chronological order of the storyline. He’s run the L.A. Marathon several times and won the National German Youth Championship in Baseball with his team BC Tornados Mannheim.

Information & Contact: www.christophbull.com


MUSIC: Prelude in G Major BWV 541 Johann Sebastian Bach. recorded on Bach’s 333rd birthday!! Christoph Bull, organist. First Congregation Church organ.

MUSIC: Jupiter Symphony Wolfgang Mozart transcribed and performed by Christoph Bull performed at Royce Hall, UCLA.

MUSIC: Nothing Compares to Prince arranged and performed by Christoph Bull on the First Congregational church organ.

MUSIC: Victimae Paschali Laudes Gregorian chant improvised by Christoph Bull at Hollywood United Methodist Church

MUSIC: Psalm 69   Christoph Bull, composer and performed on a Hammond B3.