On Saturday, November 17, at 4 p.m., organist Devon Howard and soprano Karla Rivera Bucklew presented a program of original compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, Ovid Young, Hall Johnson and Felix Mendelssohn.
A native of southern New Jersey, Karla Rivera Bucklew was brought up in a musical home. She pursued piano and violin before focusing on vocal studies. Karla holds a degree in Vocal performance from Columbia Union College, Takoma Park, Maryland (B.M.), and University of Maryland, College Park (M.M.) As a vocal soloist, she has performed around the world in opera and oratorio roles, including her Carnegie Hall debut under the baton of renowned composer, John Rutter, singing Monteverdi’s Gloria. The Washington Post described Karla’s performance of Vaughn-Williams Serenade to Music as “exquisite.” She is currently a member of the choir of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, and has an active vocal studio.
Organist Devon Howard was born in Colorado and began piano studies at the age of eight and organ at 13. He has degrees in music from Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tennessee (B.M.), and Arizona State University (D.MA.) where he studied with Dr. Kimberly Marshall. In 2005, Devon received a Fulbright scholarship to study organ with Professor Aart Bergwerff at Codarts Conservatorium in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He elected to stay for a further year to study improvisation with Sietze de Vries on the historic organs of the Groningen provence. His interest in improvisation influenced his doctoral dissertation topic: Organ Improvisation in Context: Historical and Practical Influences on the Craft of Improvisation at the Organ. Currently, Devon is serving as Director of Worship and Music for Victory Lutheran Church in Mesa, Arizona, as well as maintaining an active studio of piano and organ students.