Dr. Rändel Wolfe joined the staff of historic Trinity Lutheran Church in October 1999. He served as the Director of Music & the Arts through 2010. Rändel was named Director of Music & the Arts Emeritus when an illness prevented him from continuing his ministry. He joined the church triumphant in April 2013. As an on-going testimony to the musical gifts of our brother in Christ, we established the Rändel L. Wolfe Memorial Concert Series to provide support for organ recitals and concerts throughout the year.
These concerts are supported through patron contributions. If you would like to make a gift to support the Rändel L. Wolfe Memorial Concert Series please mail contributions to the church office.
September 29, 2019 at 4 PM – Dancing around the Cross: A Hymn Festival
This concert is presented in partnership with Centro Hispano
Omaldo Perez is Cantor at Zoar Lutheran Church in Perrysburg Ohio. He is a board member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians and has collaborated and coordinated regional and national worship services for the ELCA and ALCM. Join us as Omaldo leads our festival choir, guest musicians, and audience members in song. Come and hear how Mr. Perez brings to Reading hymns from around the world re-cast in styles ranging from Jazz to Salsa. On this day, we may recall how, as the bible tells us, King David, “danced before the Lord with all his might.” This will be an afternoon of reimagined tunes and perhaps even a few surprises.
This event is part of Trinity’s Randel Wolfe Concert Series. A free-will offering will support Reading’s Centro Hispano Daniel Torres, whose mission is to support and enhance the acculturation of the Latino population in the Greater Reading area through collaborative initiatives designed to enable individuals and families to improve their quality of life and the quality of life in their communities.
Our guest musicians include A.J. Merlino, drums, Andy Mohler, sax, and Skip Moyer, bass.
A. J. Merlino, Percussion
Hailed as, “One of New York’s most exciting musicians…” A.J. Merlino’s versatile performing style has made him a highly sought after percussionist and educator. Merlino, currently the Music Department Co-Chair, Director of Music Industry Studies, and Assistant Professor of Music at Albright College, performed on the “strip” with various music artists while living and earning his Doctor in Music Arts Degree in Las Vegas. While touring, he performed around the world, including Scotland, Australia and Argentina.
A strong supporter of new music, Merlino uses his diverse skills on dozens of percussion instruments to commission new works from up-and-coming composers, such as a work for six-mallet marimba and choir by Los Angeles composer Justin Raines and works for marimba by Casey Cangelosi and Pius Cheung. His work with new music also extends to numerous premieres utilizing various instrumentations by David T. Little, Virko Bailey, Jim Barnes, Scott Steele, Eric Whitacre, and Michael Daugherty.
Andy Mohler, saxophone
A native of Berks County, Mohler is an active performer, music educator, and clinician in the Southeast Pennsylvania area. As a youth, he was an active participant in many of the musical opportunities that Berks County schools had to offer. Since this time, his career and higher education have taken him across the United States and internationally, including studies at Temple University, The Conservatory of Amsterdam, and finally Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Mohler has had the privilege of performing in a host of US cities and states, as well as Germany, The Netherlands, and Russia. He has shared the stage with such greats as Dick Oatts, Terell Stafford, Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Phil Woods, Maria Schneider, John Riley, The Temptations, and Aretha Franklin, to name a few. Additionally, he has held teaching positions at the middle school, high school, and university levels, and currently maintains an active teaching and performing schedule around southeastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas.
Skip Moyer, bass
Paul “Skip” Moyer started to study bass with Wes Fisher at the age of 15. At age 17 he studied with Frederick Zimmerman while at a string conference at West Chester University. During his senior year at Reading High School he started to play with the Reading Symphony Orchestra and the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra. During this time, Skip’s first professional jazz gig was with Joe Miller and the Reading Jazz Quartet. He also won a scholarship sponsored by the National Musicians Union for the Congress of Strings. At Michigan State University, he studied with Warren Benfield of the Chicago Symphony.
Skip has had an eclectic and interesting musical career playing all over the world in every musical venue from Arthur Fiedler, Eugene Ormandy, Broadway Theatre in New York to the “Hunch Boogie Band” and The Mischief Makers German Polka Band. Skip has been playing with the Reading Symphony for 41 years. He has also played in the Filharmonica de Caracas in Caracas, Venezuela for one year.
While living in New York, Skip played in a band with Nell Carter. He also played with Dave Bromberg and Kenny Kosek, James Cotton, Al Kooper, Elliot Randal and John Hall. Some jazz notables Skip has performed with include Dave Stahl, Jimmy Dorsey, Sammy Kaye and Les Elgart Big Bands, Walt Levinsky, Larry McKenna, Nathan Davis, Al Grey, Don Patterson, Gerry Mulligan, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Tim Warfield, Ron Thomas, Brian Wilson, Jimmy Bruno, Mark O’Conner, Dennis DeBlasio, Tim Price, Dave Lalama, Ralph Lalama and Nicole Pasternak.
Wednesday, October 9 at 7 PM – Hickory Cathedral
Hickory Cathedral is the chamber folk duo of David Mahler and Paul Friesen-Carper. They met in 2017 touring some of the best halls in China and the US as part of Silk Cedar, a Chinese-American folk-jazz fusion dulcimer band that paired 2004 American Hammered Dulcimer Champion, David Mahler, with world-renowned yangqin (chinese dulcimer) virtuoso, Liu Yuening. Working together they discovered a shared love of folk music and hatched the plan for Hickory Cathedral.
This new collaboration explores the unique combination of David’s masterful hammered dulcimer playing and Paul’s fiddle-influenced cello style– and occasionally draws on their talents as multi-instrumentalists. Their playing brings to life the fire and warmth of North American and Celtic traditional music with prowess, exuberance, and intimacy. The soul of Hickory Cathedral is building community through shared music-making and inspiring the imagination with virtuosity.
This special Wolfe Series concert is sure to inspire your imagination with prowess, exuberance, and intimacy. A free will offering will be received in support of the Wolfe Concert Series.
David Mahler, a Lynchburg, Virginia based musician, began playing the hammered dulcimer at the age of ten. Four years later, in 2004, he competed and won the title of US National Champion (setting the record for the youngest contestant to ever win). David is quite versatile on the dulcimer, playing and teaching various genres from American folk, Celtic, Contemporary, to even Classical. He has recorded with Folk, Country, Rock, Indie, pop, and even a metal band. He is part of an American-Chinese-Jazz-Folk-Fusion group called, “Silk Cedar”, with whom he has toured music halls throughout China, and in the US. He also plays with a folk duo called “Hickory Cathedral”, with cellist and multi-instrumentalist, Paul Friesen-Carper. Aside from producing several albums of original content, he has put out one instructional dulcimer book. Each of his instrumental recordings have within them refreshing, heart-opening melodies which reveal different seasons he has had with the hammered dulcimer. Always, he remains open to ideas and opportunities that incorporate the hammered dulcimer into new avenues of music and the arts.
Paul Friesen-Carper is a cellist and multi-instrumentalist based in St. Paul, Minnesota. He grew up as the son of an orchestra conductor, composer, and jazz pianist, and hung around the local folk music store far too frequently. His fascination with that variety of colors, textures, and rhythms matured into his multi-instrumental interests and love of communal music-making. He loves traditional and improvisational music and combines these interests in his work with Hickory Cathedral and in Silk Cedar, where he plays 6-string e-cello, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and guitar. The lineage of his teachers includes concert cellists Leonard Rose and Alfredo Piatti, as well as master fiddlers Alasdair Fraser and Buddy MacMaster. He has led music for gatherings of local and national church bodies, as well as the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. He currently serves as Assistant Director of Music at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul.