Saturday, November 19, 2016, 7 p.m.
Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica
Stephen Buzard is assistant organist at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue in New York City. At Saint Thomas, Mr. Buzard accompanies the world-famous choir of men and boys in their rigorous schedule of choral services and assists in the training of the choristers at their unique residential choir school.
In addition to his career as a church musician, Mr. Buzard keeps a busy schedule as a concert organist, offering organ concerts and workshops on service-playing and accompanying.
Born and raised in Urbana, Illinois, Buzard grew up around the pipe organ and the Episcopal Church. Linda, his mother, is the organist-choirmaster of the Chapel of St. John the Divine, Champaign, Illinois; his father, John-Paul is president and artistic director of Buzard Pipe Organ Builders. Stephen began organ studies in high school with Dana Robinson, professor of organ at the University of Illinois. During this time he served as organist of First Presbyterian Church of Urbana.
In 2006, Buzard moved to Princeton, New Jersey to study with virtuoso Ken Cowan at Westminster Choir College. As an undergraduate, Buzard served as organ scholar at Trinity Episcopal Church, Princeton, and as director of music for the Episcopal Church at Princeton University. Following graduation in 2010, he moved to England where he served as senior organ scholar at Wells Cathedral. At Wells, Buzard accompanied and conducted many of the daily choral services, rehearsed the boy and girl choristers, and managed the substantial library of choral music.
In 2011, Buzard returned to the States to study with Thomas Murray at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. As a graduate student, he served as organ scholar at Trinity on the Green Episcopal Church, as organist at Marquand Chapel at Yale Divinity School, and as principal organist for Berkeley Divinity School. Buzard has studied improvisation with Jeff Brillhart and Bruce Neswick; additional teachers include Larry Smith, Alan Morrison, and Martin Jean.
Buzard was the winner of the 2010 Arthur Poister Competition and the 2009 Joan Lippincott Competition for Excellence in Organ Performance. Recent engagements have included the 2012 Organ Historical Society Convention; the 2013 Midwinter Organ Conference at Baylor University; the 2009 and 2013 conventions of the American Institute of Organbuilders; Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana; Woolsey Hall, Yale University; Saint Thomas Church, New York City; and Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
His premier recording “In Light or Darkness,” available through Delos Records, has received wide critical acclaim. A Diapason reviewer wrote: “Buzard paints the color and shape of every phrase with a maturity belying his youthfulness… if this level of skill doesn't dazzle you, then I do not know what will.”