Camilla von Bergen: Looking Back Over Four Decades

When I first came to St. Philip's, more than 40 years ago, the organist was a lovely lady but perhaps past her musical prime.  I was very discouraged, but we had Harry Pierrepont and his wife, as well as Edgar and Mort and Adele Williams,and did the best we could. When Frank  came on, he said that a new organist  and a focus on improving our musical standards, to the greater glory of God, would be a priority.  This was a welcome change,  since Frank's predecessor had said that he found  music  distracting.

We were fortunate to find Lana Kollath, who over the next 10 years, helped those of us who had survived a chance to watch, join and hear a steadily improving choir,  not to mention her astounding keyboard virtuosity. A good number of those who came to "shop" for a  church liked what they found with us.  Some of them were, and are, fine musicians.  Happily,  our choir grew and learned.  When Lana received an offer she could not afford to refuse, I and I think others were devastated. However, our search found Woody. The rest, as they say, is history.

Music, particularly musical devotion, has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have often said , and still believe, that group music, with or without orchestra, is the only team sport I love. Each of us is made better in concert.  The whole is a blessing. It is my hope that those who listen will also  feel closer to God.