Rising star, Greg Zelek

Greg Zelek will play two concerts in Hawaii.

Greg Zelek will play two concerts in Hawaii, one in Honolulu and the other in Maui.

Once a year, the Hawaii Chapter of the American Guild of Organists brings a “rising star” organist to play a concert in our island state. This coming Sunday, March 6 at 2:00 pm, we will hear Greg Zelek play on the 4-manual Aeolian-Skinner organ at Central Union Church, 1660 South Beretania Street, Honolulu.

Here’s what we know about Greg from his website:

Greg appears in this ad for Juilliard.

Greg appears in this ad for Juilliard.

Praised for his “effortless facility on the instrument” (South Florida Classical Review), Greg Zelek is increasingly recognized as one of the most exciting young organists in the American organ scene. In addition to concertizing throughout the United States, he has performed with orchestras as both a soloist and professional ensemble member.

A native of Miami, Florida, Greg is a graduate student of Paul Jacobs at the Juilliard School, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree. Also at Juilliard, Greg is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship, having been one of nineteen selected for the inaugural fellowship that covers full cost of attendance.

Greg Zelek with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas

Greg Zelek with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas

Greg is the Music Director and Organist at the Episcopal Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy in New York City. Prior to this appointment, he served as Organ Scholar at Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale, New York. Greg, who is a Cuban-American and a native Spanish speaker, was the Music Director of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Miami, and has served as the summer organist for San Pedro Apostol Church in Ramales de la Victoria, Spain. 

As you might guess, I designed the postcard which was sent out to the AGO mailing list. In case you’re wondering, the pipework which appeared on the front was from Greg’s church position, the Episcopal Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy in New York City.

Greg Zelek postcard

Greg Zelek postcard

No surprise, this weekend I will be hosting a “Meet and Greet” cocktail and heavy pupu party for Greg and his girlfriend with the members of the AGO Executive Board. Our concert chair, Karl Bachman, will be helping with the food preparation so at least I won’t have to do it all myself. Thanks, Karl!

And guess what — last weekend Greg was at the Yale University graduate school auditions and saw my former student, Joey Fala, who was in charge of the practice room schedule for Yale candidates!

Here’s a YouTube video of the 2012 Rodgers competition in which Greg took first place. He is the last performer and is wearing a blue long-sleeved shirt with a dark vest, as shown below.

In addition to Sunday’s 2 pm recital at Central Union Church, Greg will play a concert on Tuesday, March 8 at 6:30 pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Kula, on the island of Maui.

Both concerts are free and open to the public. (We will welcome donations, however!)


About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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