Friday, April 13, 2018

“I believe in the power of music to create community— to touch, to heal, and to transform.” These words of J. Reilly Lewis will come to life once more on Sunday, April 15, 2018, when Virginia Seminary gratefully dedicates the J. Reilly Lewis Music Collection at the Bishop Payne Library to the glory of God.
 
Recognized internationally as a leading conductor and gifted keyboard artist as well as a foremost specialist of baroque music, J. Reilly Lewis (1944-2016) was the founder and artistic director of the Washington Bach Consort, long-time music director of the Cathedral Choral Society, and organist and choirmaster at Clarendon United Methodist Church in Arlington, Virginia. His widow, Beth Lewis, donated his collection of over 12,500 discrete items to Bishop Payne Library. Among its holdings are his annotated conductor’s scores, piano-vocal scores, octavos, books, CDs, and his extensive Bach library.
 
Bishop Payne Library has mounted an exhibit of some of the highlights of the Lewis collection, including his conducting baton, his annotations on Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and Britten’s War Requiem, and Reilly’s original composition of a fugue on “Happy Birthday.” This exhibit will be up through graduation. The scores that have been cataloged may be searched at http://vtsbpl-eresources.us/SpecialMusic/
 
On Sunday at 3:00 p.m., a dedicatory concert will be presented in the chapel by Todd Fickley, organist, and seven instrumentalists and singers from the Washington Bach Consort. The concert is sold out, but some seats may be available to non-ticket holders after 2:50 p.m. The concert will include a brief liturgy of dedication and a homily by the Rev. William Bradley Roberts, D.M.A.
 
We are enormously grateful to Mrs. Beth Lewis for making this amazing collection of materials available for students, musicians, and researchers for posterity at Bishop Payne Library.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President
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