Fine Arts Series at St. Marcus
The St. Marcus Fine Arts Series launched in September of 2019 shortly after the rebuild of its spectacular 34-rank pipe organ. The series aims at bringing together the greater community to hear notable music by expert talent. Concerts take place in the beautiful church sanctuary built in 1913, with its wonderful acoustics. Concerts are followed by a beer and wine reception to visit with artists and fellow attendees. Concerts are free and open to the community.
Fine Arts Series Committee Members: Joel Schwartz, Mark Jeske, Lenny Hanson, Jerry Seigmann, Alex Randazzo and David Porth
Donations are appreciated to offset the cost of these events.
2020 SeasonEvent 2 - Friday, March 20, at 7:00 pm - Mark Davidson, Organ
has served as Minister of Music and Principal Organist for Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Waukesha, WI since 2011. For the past 26 years, he has served Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
(WELS) parishes as visiting organist both in the greater Milwaukee area and throughout the United States. Community music involvement has included serving as organist and accompanist with the Bach Chamber Choir of Milwaukee, the Lutheran A Cappella Choir of Milwaukee, the Concert Choir of Wisconsin Lutheran College, and Canticum Novum: a WELS Chamber Choir. Professional music certifications and memberships include the Service Playing and Colleague Certificates from the American Guild of Organists and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. Mark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Church Music from Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, MN, and a Master of Science degree in Accounting & Auditing from Kaplan University, Davenport, IA. He has studied organ with Dr. Aaron Burmeister, Sister Mary Jane Wagner, and Karen Beaumont.
Special Event - May 3, at 2:00 pm & 4:30 pm - The Lutheran Chorale of Milwaukee
The Lutheran Chorale of Milwaukee’s Spring Concert will feature music from the "new world" including early American music, modern arrangements of old favorites by American composers, gospel music and spirituals. We hope you will join us! https://www.lutheranchorale.org/events
Event 3 - Friday, July 24, at 7:00 pm - Cecilia Davis, Soprano
is honored, blessed and delighted to participate in the St. Marcus Fine Arts Series! Cecilia most recently appeared in Skylight Music Theatre’s concert production of Evita. Other notable appearances include principal roles in the Skylight Music Theatre/Milwaukee Opera Theatre productions of Carmina Burana (soloist) and The Tales of Hoffmann (Olympia, Dr. Miracle). She has also appeared in Skylight’s productions of Porgy and Bess (Clara), and Les Misérables (ensemble). In addition, Cecilia has performed roles in Milwaukee Opera Theatre’s productions of Handel’s Bestiary, Victory for Victoria, Ernest in Love and Fairy Queen Fantasy. She has appeared in recital and as a soloist with a variety of local choral groups, chamber ensembles and recital series. Off stage, Cecilia is passionate about arts education and youth development. She is proud to currently serve on the Mission Advancement Team for St. Marcus Ministries, and has previously held community engagement, education and development positions with several of Milwaukee’s finest youth arts and educational organizations. In the meantime, Cecilia and her husband Jon barely keep up with their spirited young sons Owen and Milo.
Event 4 - Friday, September 18, at 7:00 pm - John Behnke, OrganJohn Behnke
is Emeritus Professor of Music of Concordia University, in Mequon, Wisconsin where for 29 years he taught organ, church music courses, and directed The Alleluia Ringers, Concordia’s touring handbell choir. He was the organist and choir director at Historic Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church in downtown Milwaukee, from 1990 until 2019, and the director of the Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble and Music Editor of AGEHR Publishing – Handbell Musicians of America from 2003 until 2019.
Dr. Behnke is also a frequent organ recitalist, handbell clinician, and festival director. He enjoys composing and arranging, having over 450+ handbell, choral, and organ compositions in print with seventeen different publishers in the United States, Germany, and Taiwan. A complete works listing can be found online at www.johnbehnke.com. He was honored in December of 1993 being named “MVP” Most Valuable Player in the Milwaukee area by Milwaukee Sentinel music critic, Nancy Raabe. In May of 1994 he was named Concordia’s “Faculty Laureate.” He has also received an ASCAP Composers Award every year since 1998. In March of 2004, he was selected by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel as one of the “10 Beautiful Minds” of scholars who help make Milwaukee a brighter place. In March of 2009, he was selected as one of 103 notable people who live and work in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. A 1974 graduate of Concordia-River Forest, IL. he received his M. Mus. in Church Music and Organ from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. in 1978. His D. Mus. was awarded to him in 1984 by Northwestern University where he was elected into the Alpha Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda, a National Honorary Music Society. From August 1978 to July 1979 Dr. Behnke studied at the Westphalian Church Music Institute in Herford, W. Germany, where he passed the “A” Exam in Organ with the grade of “1-Excellent”.
Event 5 - Friday, November 20, at 7:00 pm - Amy Balza, OrganAmy Balza
had an early start with the keyboard, beginning piano lessons at age 4 and playing for church services by age 12. She hopped onto the organ bench in high school and hasn’t looked back. She studied vocal and instrumental music at Martin Luther College, but honed in on a degree in church music from Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2007. Amy enjoys the expressive qualities of the organ and it’s superior capabilities in leading worship. She is blessed to have served as a church musician for over 20 years and has enjoyed learning from mentors such as Bill Braun, Lynn Kozlowski and David Porth. Her current instructor is Sister Mary Jane Wagner. She currently lives in Lisbon with her husband Jon and their children Ethan (9) and Audrey (6). The Balzas are members of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Menomonee Falls.