Nunc Dimittis

June 2, 2014
03Jun 2014 Here & There.pdf  
Ruth Ann Hofstad Ferguson died March 23 in Northfield, Minnesota, after a prolonged struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 71. She attended Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, majoring in music education, with a minor in religion. While at Concordia, she studied organ and served churches as a substitute organist. Upon graduation, she taught elementary music in Hawley, Minnesota, and in summers continued her organ studies with Arthur Poister at Syracuse University. Ferguson obtained a master’s degree in organ performance at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Russell Saunders.
 
It was at Eastman that she met John Ferguson; they married in August 1971, moving to Kent, Ohio, where she worked as an adjunct faculty member at Kent State University and served as associate organist at the Kent United Church of Christ. In 1978, the family moved to Minneapolis, where John was appointed organist and director of music at Central Lutheran Church and Ruth as assistant organist. The family moved to Northfield in 1983, where Ruth Ferguson served as organist at St. John’s Lutheran Church for 25 years, and later was their music coordinator. She also taught organ for fifteen years at St. Olaf College as an adjunct faculty member.
 
Ruth Ann Hofstad Ferguson is survived by her husband, John; son, Christopher (Sarah) of Auburn, Alabama; granddaughter, Lucy; sister, Ardis Braaton (David) of Grand Forks; and brother, Philip Hofstad (Carole) of Bemidji; several nieces and nephews, and other relatives and friends.
 
William A. Goodwin passed away December 7, 2013, at the age of 83. A native of Elgin, Illinois, he studied at Knox College in Galesburg. While in service in the United States Army from 1952 to 1954 in Maryland, he studied organ on weekend leaves. He worked for Baird Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts, until he founded his own firm, Keyword Associates, which designed and installed recording systems in courtrooms around the nation.
 
For more than thirty years, he served as organist and music director for the First Congregational Church of Woburn, Massachusetts, where he played the 1860 E. & G. G. Hook Opus 283. Goodwin established an organ restoration fund to maintain the historic instrument there. A memorial concert was presented at the church on May 4.
 
Paul Salamunovich, Grammy-nominated conductor who was music director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale from 1991 to 2001, died April 3. He was 86. He also served as director of music at St. Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood, California, from 1949 to 2009, and taught at Loyola Marymount University, Mount St. Mary’s College, and USC Thornton School of Music. Early in his career he sang for movies and TV shows. Salamunovich never formally studied choral music but sang in a boys’ choir at St. James Elementary School in Redondo Beach. He enlisted in the Navy during World War II and following his discharge in 1946, joined the Los Angeles Concert Youth Chorus, which later became the Roger Wagner Chorale. Wagner named Salamunovich assistant conductor in 1953. When Wagner created the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 1964, Salamunovich served as assistant conductor until 1977; he returned to the group as music director in 1991. His work with composer Morten Lauridsen led to a Grammy nomination for their 1998 recording of “Lux Aeterna,” which Lauridsen wrote for the Master Chorale.
 
Paul Salamunovich is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Dottie; sons John, Stephen, Joseph, and Thomas; 11 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and his brother Joseph. A daughter, Nanette, then 23, died in 1977.
 
William Henry Sprigg, Jr., age 94, died on April 3 in Frederick, Maryland. Born March 7, 1920, in Manchester, New Hampshire, he earned a Bachelor’s degree, majoring in organ and music theory, a Master of Music degree in composition, and a Performer’s Certificate in organ from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, and did additional graduate work at Harvard, Boston University, the Organ Institute, and the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. In the 1950s he won first prize for the symphonic tone poem “Maryland Portraits in Contrast: Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Carroll” in a competition sponsored by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Association; the orchestra performed it several times. Sprigg played many recitals nationwide, and recorded and engineered two LP recordings for the Orion label. For more than forty years Sprigg was professor of organ and music theory at Hood College, where he was instrumental in restoring Brodbeck Music Hall and designing the Coblentz Memorial Organ in Coffman Chapel. He served as organist-choir director at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Frederick, where he designed the organs in 1950 and again in 1981. William Henry Sprigg, Jr. is survived by four nieces and a nephew. 
 
Greg Vey, 51, passed away July 26, 2013, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He directed musical theater productions in the Fort Wayne area, served the University of St. Francis in the music technology program, and was director of music and organist at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, music director for the Fort Wayne Männerchor/Damenchor, and director of operations for the Heartland Chamber Chorale. Dean of the Fort Wayne AGO chapter, Vey was a regular contributor to the Sänger Zeitung auf dem Nord Amerikanisher Sängerbund, the North American journal for German choral singing societies, served as associate director of choral studies at Homestead High School, and on various panels and committees including the Community Arts Council of Fort Wayne. Vey earned BA and MA degrees at Indiana University, and earned certifications to help implement emerging technologies in an arts-based business model for the 21st century. 
 
Greg Vey is survived by his wife, Kathy Vey, daughter Karra (Ian) McCormick, son Kristofer Vey, granddaughter Emma Hackett, and sister, Elaine Layland. 
 
Brett Allan Zumsteg died April 14. Born December 23, 1953, in Burlingame, California, he developed a love of music and the organ at age eight, receiving degrees in organ performance: a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University. Zumsteg held teaching positions at Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska; Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; and Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. He became a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists in 1986. 
 
Brett Zumsteg served for many years as organist and choir director for First United Methodist Church in Park Ridge, Illinois, where he was the driving force behind the design and installation of its organ in 1996. He also accompanied the Lake Forest College Concert Choir and directed its College and Community Chorus. Gifted at improvisation, he had the ability to develop melodies and variations on the spot, even while carrying on a conversation with someone. Zumsteg worked as a senior client services analyst for the Business Information Services division of Smiths Group and John Crane, Inc. for 15 years.
 
Brett Allan Zumsteg is survived by his children, Emily (James) and Benjamin (Michael), granddaughters Zoe and Eva, and innumerable family and friends.