Recital brings “old friends” together for performance at Bethany College

By Bethany College
October 21, 2014

“Old Friends Making New Music,” the upcoming faculty recital at Bethany College, will be performed on Sunday, November 9 at 3 p.m. in Presser Hall auditorium. The organ recital will feature Melody Steed, assistant academic dean and professor of organ at Bethany College. Admission to the recital is free and open to all.

Guest artists joining Steed on stage will be Keith Benjamin on trumpet, JoDee Davis, trombone, and Patricia Higdon on piano. Steed, Benjamin and Davis all met as students at the University of Northern Iowa.

A native Iowan, Steed received degrees in Organ Performance from the University of Northern Iowa, University of Cincinnati, and the University of Southern California. She has studied organ with Marilou Kratzenstein, Jesse Eschbach, Roberta Gary, and Cherry Rhodes.

Prior to her appointment at Bethany College, Steed served as the organist at the prestigious Westwood United Methodist Church where she presided at the Shaffer Memorial Organ. An active recitalist, she has performed at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the International Trumpet Guild.

Along with trumpeter, Benjamin, she performs as the trumpet/organ duo, Clarion. The duo has recorded two compact discs Clarion, New Music for Trumpet and Organ (1994), and New Vintage (2001) and been featured on the National Public Radio program, Pipe Dreams!..

Steed has most recently been honored for her service to Bethany College as a 2013 recipient of the Mortvedt Award for Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership. Along with her other roles at Bethany, she also coordinates the sacred music program on campus and directs the Bethany College Handbell Ensemble.

The guest artists performing with Steed are all faculty members at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance and are all accomplished musicians.