Nunc dimittis

November 1, 2016

Nunc Dimittis

Raymond Daveluy, Canadian organist, composer and teacher, died September 1. He was 89. As a youth he studied with his father, organist and bandmaster Lucien Daveluy. Daveluy studied music theory with Gabriel Cusson and organ with Conrad Letendre in Montréal and with Hugh Giles in New York City. Daveluy presided over the 5-manual 1960 Beckerath organ at the Oratoire Saint-Joseph on Mont-Royal in Montréal from 1960 until 2002. He served as president of the Académie de musique du Québec and director of the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Trois-Rivières.


Peter Jay Hopkins, 57, died September 26. Born April 14, 1959, in Frankfort, Michigan, he was a singer, conductor, organist, harpsichordist, and a noted music and biblical scholar. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees with subsequent doctoral work at Michigan State University and studied with Helmuth Rilling in Stuttgart, Germany. He served the Oregon Bach Festival for thirty years as chorus master, harpsichordist, organist, vocal coach, and singer, winning a Grammy Award in 1997. He served as associate professor of music at Kalamazoo College and artistic director and conductor of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival. With his wife, Paula Pugh Romanaux, he moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to serve as minister of music for Westminster Presbyterian Church, director of the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys, chorus master of the Grand Rapids Symphony, and founder of the Michigan Bach Collegium. Peter and Paula moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be co-directors of music for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church for 12 years. In 2014, Hopkins became director of music for St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia; he directed the Virginia Girls Choir and founded the Virginia Boys Choir. Peter Jay Hopkins is survived by his wife, Paula Pugh Romanaux, daughter Hannah Grace Hopkins, brothers James, Randy, Jeff, Paul, and Verne, sisters, Linda and Lynn, and their spouses and partners. 


Robert Burns King, 78, died September 27 in Burlington, North Carolina. Born in 1938, he grew up in Conway, South Carolina, where he began to play for Episcopal and Methodist churches. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music and French at Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina, and a master of sacred music degree from Union Theological Seminary, New York City, where he studied organ with Vernon de Tar. He studied as a Fulbright Scholar in 1961–62 with Maurice Duruflé and Jean Langlais and was the first American to win the Prix de Virtuosité from the Schola Cantorum in Paris. Later, he studied in Germany with Michael Schneider.

His early career was spent as organist for churches in Greenville, South Carolina, Rockaway Beach, New York, and in Paris. After a year of teaching at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, he served for 45 years as organist-choirmaster for an extensive music program at Burlington’s First Presbyterian Church, retiring in 2007. During this time he taught at Elon College (now University), Elon, North Carolina, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC-G). He was a consultant for various new organ projects, including Schantz and Andover organs at the First Presbyterian Church and for an Andover organ at UNC-G. He performed recitals across the United States as well as in Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, and Portugal.

Robert Burns King is survived by a brother-in-law, Daniel Burn Shelley, Jr., a niece and nephew, Susan Shelley Sisk and husband Mike, and Daniel Burn Shelley, III, and wife April, and extended family. 


Arthur D. Rhea Jr., former organist and choirmaster for 23 years at the Church of the Redeemer in Baltimore and organ faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory, died August 14 of cancer at his home. He was 97. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Rhea studied music for two years at what is now Carnegie Mellon University, and also studied organ for two years with Carl Weinrich at the Delacroze School of Music in New York City. During World War II, Rhea served in Europe as a field artillery officer with Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.’s 3rd Army. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of captain. In 1949, he earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Yale University and in 1950 received a master’s in music from Yale. He studied further at the Berkshire Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and the Salzburg Music Festival, where he studied conducting under Herbert von Karajan.

In 1950, Rhea was named organist and choirmaster at historic Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, Virginia. In 1951 he was appointed music consultant and resident harpsichordist for Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., which provided him in 1953 a research grant to study 18th-century music at the British Museum in London. He was also instructor in organ at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg and performed regularly at the Governor’s Palace, including command performances for such figures as England’s Queen Mother and the Crown Prince of Belgium.

Rhea came to Baltimore in 1961 when he was appointed organist and choirmaster at Redeemer. In 1963 he joined the Peabody Conservatory organ faculty, retiring in 1984. Rhea’s compositions included Toccata on an American Folk Tune, Te Deum Laudamus, and Psalm T wenty-Four. He also served on the Service Music Committee, which compiled and edited The Hymnal 1982 of the Episcopal Church. He was a past president of the Association of Anglican Musicians.

Arthur D. Rhea, Jr., is survived by his wife, Dorothea Rhea, sons Clifton L. Rhea and R. Douglas Rhea, and eight grandchildren. He was predeceased by a son, Arthur D. Rhea, III, in 2004.