Welcome to the 2016 Houston, TX workshop! The Workshop was held on June 24-25, 2016 at the Houston Stake Center and had classes for pianists and organists of all ages and experience. There were 67 attendees from 15 stakes (20 initially invited) at the organ training on Saturday morning. Huge thank you to the local coordinator, Andrea Slack, for all the hard work she put into making this workshop happen!
Performers and presenters from left to right: Kymberly Stone, Dr. Brian Mathias, Andrea Slack, Tyler Boehmer, Nora Hess
Meet the Presenters
Tyler Boehmer – With international acclaim for his keyboard abilities, Tyler Boehmer carries much promise as a future organ virtuoso. His studies began with piano at age four under Alonna Leavitt in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. But his fascination with organ took over after an inspiring performance by organist Lisa Glade (MM), and he decided to study organ with her at age fourteen.
It wasn’t long before Boehmer received national attention for his organ performance. In 2011, Tyler was the runner-up in the Regional Competition for Young Organists (RCYO) chapter level competition, sponsored by the American Guild of Organists. After a two year church service mission in Houston, TX, Tyler returned to organ studies at Brigham Young University, and appeared on the Tantara record label as organ accompanist for the BYU Men’s Chorus, under the direction of Professor Rosalind Hall. In 2015, Tyler earned first place at the RCYO West Region competition, and was recently featured as a Rising Star at the 2016 AGO National Convention in Houston, TX. His performance during the competition was hailed as “consistently good and expressive” (John Karl Hirten, MM), “accurate, musical, controlled, with good attention to detail” (Dr. John Longhurst, Tabernacle Organist Emeritus). Shortly thereafter, Boehmer held an organ recital in Werdau, Germany, by which the Press heralded him as a “highly accomplished organist.”
In addition to solo performing, Tyler actively works as a collaborative pianist. In 2015, he was accepted as one of twelve pianists to perform with the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. While there, he was chosen to perform in a masterclass with the internationally acclaimed soprano Barbara Bonney. Tyler hopes to continue his education by getting masters and doctorate degrees, and he would like to be a university professor.
Nora Hess grew up studying the piano, working with Paul Pollei at BYU from age 9 until she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree. She began playing the organ in her 20’s after the only organist in her small Iowa congregation moved away. She was active as a piano teacher, an amateur organist, an accompanist, and a member of community choirs for many years, eventually serving in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from 2094-2914. A few years ago, Nora began more serious organ studies at BYU, and has performed two solo recitals in the past 2 years. This fall she will begin pursuing a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance at BYU. Nora and her husband, Bret, have been married for 35 years and are the parents of 10 children and 7 grandchildren.
Dr. Brian Mathias Adjunct Professor of Music at Brigham Young University, where he teaches applied organ and carillon, as well as courses in organ literature, keyboard harmony, and hymn playing. Before coming to BYU in 2014, he taught at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and was Associate Organist at Country Club Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri. A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dr. Mathias earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organ performance at BYU before completing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Kansas, where he studied with James Higdon.
Dr. Mathias’s recent solo performances include recitals at Washington National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.), Texas A&M International University (Laredo, Texas), and the Community of Christ Temple (Independence, Missouri). He has performed regularly as a guest organist at the Salt Lake Tabernacle since 2007. He has also been a competitor in major international competitions, including the Canadian International Organ Competition (Montreal, Quebec) and the Grand Prix de Chartres International Organ Competition (Paris, France).
Dr. Mathias currently resides in Provo with his wife, Alicia, and daughters Claire (4) and Evie (2).
Andrea Pedersen Slack has been a church organist from the age of 12 and a choir director since 18. A native of Seattle, WA, she graduated from Brigham Young University in 1979 where she studied with organ with John Longhurst, Tabernacle Organist. She has sung with the Houston Symphony Chorus since 1999 where she has served as a section leader and as the Chorus President, and is a member of the Chamber Ensemble. She is frequently seen playing the piano or harpsichord around Houston, and is the organist for the Memorial Park 1st Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She and her husband Corwin are the parents of 3 grown sons and a daughter, and are the grandparents of a beautiful granddaughter and another on the way. She also has a degree in fashion design.
Kymberly Stone recently completed her masters in organ performance at Brigham Young University. Her first introduction to the organ started at BYU in 2009 when she took Music 115: Basic Organ Skills from Don Cook. Her love of the organ blossomed during an evensong service in Oxford that next summer. She started the music program in 2010 and graduated Magna Cum Laude August 2013. As part of her graduate assistantship, Kymberly taught group organ classes, sightsinging and dictation classes, as well as private carillon and organ lessons. In January, she began her new position as Organ Department Executive Assistant, and is continuing her work as adjunct faculty for BYU after graduation.
Teaching LDS organ workshops is her passion! She has taught various workshops around Utah County (including the annual BYU Organ Workshop), as well as in Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, California, Idaho, Arizona and Nevada.
In addition to teaching, Kymberly was an Associate Carillonneur at Brigham Young University and also assisted in organ tuning and repair on campus. Kymberly currently serves as Ward and Stake Organist, and is an organist at Orem Community Church. She also serves as temple organist in the Provo Temple. She is a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), the Organ Historical Society (OHS) and the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA). Kymberly is currently serving as Historian to the Utah Valley Chapter of the AGO and previously served as Student Coordinator. Her newest service through the organ opportunity is her appointment as Guest Organist at the Tabernacle on Temple Square.