Nunc dimittis

February 27, 2020

Richard S. Hedgebeth, 75, died November 3, 2019. He was born in Avon, Florida, and grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Medfield, Massachusetts. He attended Elon College in North Carolina as a physics major before transferring to the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, as an organ performance major. Before founding his own companies, the Stuart Organ Company and Westminster Organ Works, he worked with several pipe organ companies, including Foley-Baker, Tolland, Connecticut; Andover Organ Company, Andover, Massachusetts; and Guilbault-Therien in Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada.

In Binghamton, New York, Hedgebeth serviced pipe organs in several area churches, with projects including a renovation of the Aeolian-Skinner organ at First Congregational Church. He also serviced the theatre organ at the Broome County Forum. He was a licensed agent for Hauptwerk, a digital organ software company, having recently completed the installation of a four-manual Hauptwerk in a church in San Diego, California. At the time of his death, he was working on a four-manual Hauptwerk installation for a new concert hall being built at Indian Hill Music School, Groton, Massachusetts.

Over his career, Hedgebeth serviced, built, and rebuilt hundreds of pipe organs throughout the Northeast. He was a member of the Organ Historical Society and was a member, sub-dean, and webmaster for the Binghamton Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Picture is of Richard S. Hedgebeth.


Steven Alan Williams, 63, died December 18, 2019, in Asheville, North Carolina. Born May 10, 1956, in Asheville, he graduated from Asheville High School, completed his bachelor’s degree at Mars Hill College, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in music at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He accepted his first paid position as a church organist at the age of 13. He was awarded the Prix d’Excellence in 1980 while studying under Marie-Claire Alain at the Conservatoire National de Musique, France, and won the 1981 National Organ Playing Competition at First Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Williams began his professional career at Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, in 1981 as the chapel and college organist and accepted a faculty position in the music department in 1982. He served as chair of the music department from 1985 until 1989 and again from 1992 until 2007. In 1990, he was the first Warren Wilson faculty member awarded the honor of Teacher of the Year. Throughout most of his years at the college, he also served as the Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church organist, music director, and chapel choir director. He was assistant conductor and accompanist for the University of North Carolina Asheville Community Chorus from 1989 until 1990, and for the Asheville Symphony Chorus from 1999 until 2009. Active for many years in the American Guild of Organists, he served as dean of the Western North Carolina chapter from 1999 until 2001.

Steven Alan Williams is survived by his brother Ed Williams (Jan), sister Patsy Williams Agee (Royce), as well as an uncle, seven cousins, two nephews, six nieces, three great-nephews, and two great-nieces. ν