In our last column, we followed the musical journey of the late Steve Myers, a well-known musician who, in the 1960s and ’70s, performed with the rock group Belleau Wood.
They appeared in numerous venues including King Arthur’s Court, Quakertown; Allentown Italian Club; K-Bar, Freemansburg; Black Bear Inn, New York; Dixie Street Saloon; Bill Daniel’s Rock Place; Weona Park, Pen Argyl; high school rock concerts; the Roxy Theatre; and dozens more.
After Belleau Wood played its last concert, Steve entered a new phase in his music odyssey- playing both piano and organ at wineries, casinos, country clubs, private parties and nursing homes. He played, by request, popular, classical and rock music.
The Myers family was very active at Grace United Church of Christ in Northampton. Steve would embrace church music and would devote 40 years of his life as minister of music at Grace. One of his previous music mentors was Mr. Ludwig Lenel, who was the composer in residence at Muhlenberg College. Mr. Lenel had been a student of world-famous Albert Schweitzer.
In order to refine his music experience, he took 10 years of vocal training. Steve continued his training, which included five semesters at Westminster Choir College, completing a church music certificate program. Steve also spent eight consecutive summers at Westminster, concentrating on choral and conducting choral rehearsal techniques, vocal techniques and group vocal techniques.
At Grace, he spent years working with the children’s choir and music programs. In 1994, after two years of study, Steve was awarded the Colleague Certificate from the American Guild of Organists.
During this period, he played piano with the Lehigh Valley Pop Singers.
He wrote music that was purchased by Harpo Studios. On May 27, 1982, Steve started his minister of music position at Grace. The minister was Rev. William MacLachlan.
One of Mr. Myers’ most memorable days was when he played the new $188,000 Schantz organ. The sound of great music by Mendelssohn and Johann Sebastian Bach graced the church in May 1996. At the conclusion of the service, he was given a standing ovation.
By trade, Steve was a mason who worked on some of the largest buildings in the Lehigh Valley, yet he found the time and energy to study and play music for audiences.
This writer resides a block from Grace UCC, and I have attended services at the neighborhood church. I was always looking forward to his inspirational music.
We thank Joan Matura, wife of Steve Myers, for sharing Steve’s musical journey with our readers.
Join us in two weeks.