Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 160 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Farewell to Organ Scholar Abe Wallace - Rector's Rambling for July 16, 2023

     In 2005 St. John’s received a bequest from the estate of siblings John and Eleanor Edwards,  the children of the former organist of St. John’s, John L. Edwards, from 1905 to 1947.   The gift was given in support of music at St. John’s.  With that gift we endowed the Edwards Organ Scholarship.  Since that time we have had wonderful organists join the staff under the tutelage of Dr. Huw Lewis, where they learn the art and science of a world class Anglican music program.  It is generally a 2 to 3 year appointment while the Organ Scholar is studying for an advanced degree.  The goal of the scholarship is to prepare them for a career in church music at the highest level.

As wonderful as it is to have these talented organists come to us for a period of time, it also means that they also move on after a period of time.  And unfortunately this is the last weekend for our current organ scholar, Abe Wallace.  It has been a joy to have Abe with us as we have transitioned out of the covid-restrictions and back to normal top-notch musical offerings. 

Abe has received a special recognition from the Association of Anglican Musicians, who have awarded him the Gere Hancock Internship Scholarship.  He will be pausing his doctoral studies at the University of Michigan to work at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee.  Abe is the second St. John’s Edward’s Organ Scholar to receive this prestigious award!  David Heinze received it in 2018.

Abe came to us after studying at the University of Oklahoma and Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and was recommend to us by the then current Organ Scholar Jackson Merrell, who studied with Abe at Yale.  The incoming Edwards Organ Scholar, Grace Jackson, is also from Oklahoma and is coming to us by way of Notre Dame’s Masters Degree program.  She will be studying for her doctorate at the University of Michigan and will be joining us later in the summer.

We bid Abe farewell and best wishes as he heads on his way to Nashville, and we hope that when he returns to University of Michigan to complete his doctoral work he will be able to join us occasionally for worship or to play for us.