Recital: Crista Miller


Crista Miller, Organist
Friday, June 30 – 2:00 pm
Parish of Christ the King

Marcel Dupré (1887 – 1970)
Prelude and Fugue in B Major, Op. 7 No. 1 (1914)

Christa Rakich (b. 1950)
Hommage à J. S. Bach (2021)
Variations on Heinlein

Fela Sowande (1905 – 1987)
Two Preludes on Yoruba Sacred Folk Melodies (1945)
2. Jesu Olugbala
Jesu olugbala mo f’ori fun I dedicate my head to Jesus, the Saviour

Louis W. Ballard (1931 – 2007)
Awakening of Love (1992)
From the ballet Koshare, transcribed by the composer
With gratitude to Simone Ballard and Karl Eric Ettinger

Naji Hakim (b. 1955)
Ouverture Libanaise (2001)

Florence Price (1887 – 1953)
Air from Suite No. 1 (1942)

Brenda Portman (b. 1980)
Aspects of Light (2020)

  1. Lux solis
  2. Lumen Christi

Rolande Falcinelli (1920 – 2006)
Priére a la Très Sainte Vierge Marie (1948)

Louis Vierne (1870 – 1937)
Symphonie No. 6, Op. 59 (1930)

V.  Finale

Program Notes

This program celebrates the Art Deco in Tulsa and includes two AGO Southwest composers, Oklahoma’s Louis W. Ballard and Arkansas’ Florence Price.  Like the design of the iconic Christ the King Parish, today’s musical bookends are sturdy traditional forms: prelude, fugue, variation, sonata.  Dupré’s and Vierne’s chipper jaunts of B Major style moderne hail from the French origin of the Art Deco movement.  The second quarter of the program highlights composers who are each described as “the first (Nigerian, American Indian, Lebanese) composer to meld musical styles of his own cultural heritage into Western organ music.”  The third quarter salutes S. E. Hinton, author of The Outsiders, a novel about rival students of various labels in Tulsa’s Will Rogers High School, also an Art Deco building.  In 1967, Hinton was advised to use initials because male publishers would likely reject Susan Eloise.  In 2023, happily, here in our music are the full names of Price, Portman, Falcinelli, Rakich (and Miller!).

About the Performer

Crista Miller

Hailed by Gramophone Magazine for her “superlative artistry” and “effortless virtuosity and musical intelligence,” Crista MILLER is the Director of Music at Houston’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.  There she led the Committee responsible for Martin Pasi’s landmark Opus 19 organ.  She directs the Schola Cantorum, Cor Jesu, concert series and a growing staff post-pandemic.  She is founder and Artistic Director for the non-profit Amicis Cor Musica, seeking to connect choral and organ music to the broader community.  

An active solo organist and member of the cohort East-West Organists, Dr. Miller has performed in 11 countries and 27 states of the USA.  Her double-CD Bonjour and Willkommen: A Franco-German Debut, features nearly 500 years of two national schools. Available from Acis Productions, this recording is “ambitious, admirable and a very good advocate for the performer” according to Choir and Organ and International Organists’ Review.  Her research on Middle Eastern elements in Naji Hakim’s music is found in the book Mystic Modern: The Music, Thought, and Legacy of Charles Tournemire and in ORGAN: Journal für die Orgel. She is a sought-after conference presenter, organ consultant, executive board member and an advocate of contemporary composition.

Crista earned the DMA in organ performance from the Eastman School of Music, the Master of Music from the University of Houston, and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Oklahoma State University, where she studied organ with Gerald Frank.  After many years away, she is pleased to return “home” to this Tulsa convention, having fallen in love with organ playing and the AGO as a teenager in Northwest Arkansas.

About the Venue

Parish of Christ the King
1520 S. Rockford Ave., Tulsa, Oklahoma

Reuter Organ III/33 (1977) Opus 1940
Click here to download the Stoplist.