Christopher J. Howerter, organist and conductor, performed organ in the United States and Europe. Among these engagements, he performed at St. Mary the Virgin and Brick Church in New York City, Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont (Philadelphia), Pennsylvania, Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, Ohio, and Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he served on faculty for their 2005 Pipe Organ Encounter. Mr. Howerter also performed at conventions held by the American Guild of Organists (AGO), the Organ Historical Society (OHS), and the annual Organ Festival in Tallinn, Estonia. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington, where he is pursuing a Doctor of the Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance under Professor of Organ and Harpsichord, Dr. Carole Terry. Mr. Howerter received his Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance and Master of Music in Historical Performance at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, studying with Professor of Organ, James David Christie. Mr. Howerter is a native of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and studied organ since age thirteen and piano since age three. His former organ teachers include Stephen Williams and Michael Krentz.
Mr. Howerter won first prize in several competitions in organ performance and participated in master classes with Naji Hakim, Ben van Oosten, Pieter van Dijk, David Higgs, Jon Gillock, Jean-Baptiste Robin, Jonathan Biggers, and Mark Laubach. At age fifteen, Mr. Howerter studied choral conducting with Marie Miller during his post as Student Conductor of the Community Music School Chorus of Allentown, Pennsylvania. At that time, he became one of the youngest people to be awarded the Service Playing Certificate (SPC) from the AGO. Mr. Howerter was also pianist of the Young People’s Philharmonic of the Lehigh Valley for two years, performing demanding repertoire with the renowned youth orchestra. More recently, he performed organ with the Oberlin Orchestra (Vaughn Williams’s Sea Symphony), Oberlin College Community Winds (Wood’s Manin Veen), and the University of Washington Orchestra (Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection” and Gubaidulina’s The Rider on the White Horse).
Mr. Howerter held positions as Sacred Music Intern at Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City (where he was also Summer Substitute Director of Music and Organist) and Glens Falls Presbyterian Church in Glens Falls, New York. Mr. Howerter worked extensively in the Lutheran and Methodist churches and was the Organ Scholar at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Cleveland, Ohio. In addition, he directed significant music programs that encompass multiple choirs and services. As part of his duties as Director of Music and Organist of Bethel United Methodist in Bethel, Connecticut, Mr. Howerter conducted his choir and members of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria, which received great local acclaim. While at Oberlin, he was Artistic Director of the Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences Orchestra (OCASO). Currently, as Minister of Music and Organist, he directs the music program at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church, Seattle (Phinney Ridge).