St. James anniversary concert is Friday evening

In celebration of the congregation’s 150th Anniversary, “An Evening of Music” will be presented at St. James Lutheran Church this Friday, beginning at 7 p.m. Performers for this concert of organ and piano music will be Carlo and Stephanie van Ulft.
The concert is free and open to the public. Contributions will be accepted for the St. James Music Fund, which supports the church’s organ, piano, handbells and choirs. The church is located at 727 W. Gallatin St. in Vandalia. A reception will follow the program.
Dr. Stephanie van Ulft has enjoyed music since taking her first piano lesson from her mother (Natalie Wehrman) at age 5. Her piano teacher for 11 years was Robert Harris, who studied under Madame Rosa Lhevinne (teacher of pianist Van Cliburn and composer John Williams among others).
During her teen years, she competed in numerous piano contests at state, regional and national levels, never earning less than the highest honors. She was accompanist for “Salute to America Singers,” a group that toured North America and behind the Iron Curtain (Romania) during the Bicentennial years.
Stephanie started playing organ at age 13, taking lessons from her mother. She has been a church organist for 43 years at the following Lutheran churches: Immanuel (Lockwood, Mo.), Village Lutheran (Ladue, Mo.), Campus Lutheran (Columbia, MO), Trinity-Soulard (St. Louis, Mo.), King of Kings (Chesterfield, Mo.), Our Redeemer (Greenville) and is currently organist/choir director at St. James in Vandalia.
As an amateur church musician, she has directed and played in handbell choirs, directed adult and children’s choirs, and directed several cantatas.
Years ago, Stephanie had scholarship offers to study saxophone and piano, but she chose to become a biology major instead, graduating from Washington University in St. Louis.
She attended medical school at the University of Missouri-Columbia and completed her residency in psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis.
She has been in the full-time practice of psychiatry since 1986 and is currently employed at St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia. She will begin a new position at SIU-School of Medicine in Springfield in 2016.
Stephanie has been the organist/choir director at St. James Lutheran Church since January 2008.
In the next couple of months, Stephanie and Carlo will be moving to Springfield, where they will both begin new positions.
Carlo van Ulft was appointed in July of this year to the position of carillonneur of the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon in Springfield, a position he assumed this month.
Prior to that, he was director/carillonist of the Centralia Carillon for 18 years, during which he performed three weekly concerts, was responsible for development of the instrument and promoted the carillon through scheduled tours and maintaining media attention.
In 2010, he released the Centralia Carillon’s first CD, “Towering Artistry.”
Carlo is a native of The Netherlands and holds European master’s-level degrees in organ performance, Carillon performance and theatre organ performance. From 1984-97, he served on the faculty of the Royal Carillon School “Jef Denyn” in Mechelen, Belgium.
Prior to his appointment in Centralia, Carlo held the position of municipal carillonist of four cities in The Netherlands and was organist at St. Martinus Church in Venlo, The Netherlands.
As a carillon guest recitalist, he has appeared at all major carillon festivals and carillon summer series in North America and Europe.  
He has served as guest player at Guild of Carillonneurs of North America congresses and was a guest recitalist at the World Carillon Federation congress in Annecy, France. He has served as adjudicator for several prestigious national and international carillon competitions, including the Queen Fabiola Competition in Belgium.
As an organist, Carlo has played guest concerts in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and the United States. He also enjoyed performing a joint organ/tympani concert with professional timpanist Paul Schorsch. He has also accompanied numerous choirs both in The Netherlands and the United States.  
In addition to his recital schedule, Carlo frequently arranges music originally composed for other instruments for use on the carillon. He currently serves as organist/choir master at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hamel.
During the academic year, Carlo plays the carillon and teaches the art of carillon playing at Principia College in Elsah. Recognizing the need for an independent carillon institute that will serve carillonist of all ages and skill levels, he founded the North American Carillon School in 2012.
The program will include music from the 19th and 20th centuries by Karg-Elert, Beethoven, Ravel, Mendelssohn, Nieland, Brahms, Cui, Salome, Tcherepnin, Debussy and Boellmann.

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