Marvin Mills, organ
Marvin Mills, a native of Philadelphia, attended public schools and the Settlement Music School as a scholarship student. Early music studies were with the violin at age 9, piano three years later, and organ at age 14. He studied at Westminster Choir College as a prize winner in the Alexander McCurdy Organ Competition. He participated in two study tours to Europe, one to East Germany and Paris, and the other to West Germany where he studied art, architecture, and music.
Mr. Mills maintains a schedule of activities including accompanist for various choral groups, vocal coach/accompanist, and organ recitalist. He has performed throughout the eastern United States in such places as the Academy of Music, the Barns, Wolf Trap Farm Park, as well as historic churches in Krakow, Poland, and appeared as guest artist with the Washington Male Chorale, Concert Artists of Baltimore, the Washington Bach Consort, the Cathedral Choral Society, and the Folger Consort. Mr. Mills has performed for the American Guild of Organists (AGO), was twice a featured artist at the annual Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network convention and the Washington Bach Festival, and one of four dedicatory recitalists to perform on the new Schudi organ in the Crypt Church at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in February 1988. He opened the 1989 Wendell P. Whalum Concert Series at Morehouse College, was presented in recital by the Washington National Cathedral in observance of Black History Month in 1989, and returned on its 1995 summer festival series. Mr. Mills has recorded for PBS television, and a CD of music by Marcel Dupre is soon to be released. He can also be heard as arranger/accompanist on a disk of spirituals with mezzo-soprano Denyce Grace, Angels Watching Over Me.
Other accomplishments include a 1986 fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and recitalist at the Organ Historical Society 1991, 1992, and 1994 conventions as well as the AGO 1992 National Convention in Atlanta. In the spring of 1992 he performed the complete organ works of J.S. Bach in a 14-week program at All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington, D.C. Mr Mills made his west coast debut in 1992 at the Spraekels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, San Diego; his New York City debut at the Riverside Church in 1993; and his orchestral debut with the Jacksonville Symphony in 1995. The summer of 1996 saw return engagements with the Jacksonville Symphony, recital workshops for the Prebyterian Association of Musicians in Montreat, NC, and recitals for the Centennial National Convention of the AGO in New York City. In 1997 he was the featured recitalist for the Association of the Disciples Musicians Conference and performed at historic Metheun (MA) Memorial Music Hall. In 1998 Mr. Mills was presented in a recital and lecture on the organ music of African American composers at the University of Floria, premiered a major new work by William Banfield, composer-in-residence at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, and will be a performed lecturer at the 1999 AGO Region III Convention in Pittsburgh.
Influential teachers include James E. Hoy, Joan Lippincott, Donald McDonald, and William Watkins. Mr. Mills served as University Organist and assistant conductor accompanist to the choirs at Howard University. Currently he is Director of Music and Organist at All Souls Church in Washington, D.C.
March 14, 1999