CLU organ concert to mark anniversary

University honored late composer 20 years ago

James Welch will present a free recital of the organ works of California composer Dale Wood.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., – Aug. 23, 2013) A prominent Santa Clara University organist will open the 2013-2014 Orvil and Gloria Franzen Organ Program Series at California Lutheran University.

James Welch will present a free recital of the organ works of California composer Dale Wood in Samuelson Chapel at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10.

In 1993, CLU awarded Wood the Exemplar Medallion for his extraordinary contributions to the world of music. The concert will celebrate the 20th anniversary of this event and commemorate 10 years since Wood’s death in 2003.

Welch received a Fulbright award to research historical Cavaille-Coll organs in Brazil and presented related lectures and recitals at conventions of the American Guild of Organists. He has performed in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico and edited three volumes of organ works by Mexican composers. Other international appearances include recitals at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, St. Stefans Cathedral in Vienna, Wellington Cathedral in New Zealand, Taipei’s National Theater and Beijing Concert Hall. Many of his recorded performances have been aired on Public Radio International’s “Pipedreams.”

He has been active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ music program. One of his compositions, “Bless Our Fast, We Pray,” appears in the church’s hymnal. He is a frequent guest recitalist at the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City and has taught as a guest professor at the Church Music Workshop held at Brigham Young University.

Welch is the university organist and a music lecturer at Santa Clara University and was previously the university organist at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Wood, the late composer to be honored at the concert, has been called one of the most prominent figures in church music in the 20th century. His career as a composer began at the age of 13 when he won a national hymn-writing competition for the American Lutheran Church. His first choral anthem was accepted for publication the following year. He was a distinguished editor, author, organist and conductor, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers honored him multiple times for his contributions to the development of contemporary American music.

Samuelson Chapel is located south of Olsen Road near Campus Drive on the Thousand Oaks campus.

For more information, call the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or visit