Stover was born in Latrobe, PA in 1946. He was graduated
from the Juilliard School in New York, NY, in 1969 with a
major in organ, having also previously attended Carnegie-Mellon
University in Pittsburgh, PA. His principal teachers were
Vernon de Tar, John R. Lively, Robert Ivey, and Donald G.
Wilkins in organ and church music, Nikolai Lopatnikoff and
Carlos Surinach in music theory, composition, and orchestration,
and Abraham Kaplan and Richard Strange in choral and orchestral
conducting. In addition to his degree studies, he pursued
independent studies at Westminster Choir College in Princeton,
NJ and the New School for Social Research in New York City.
1968 to 1992 he served as Organist and Choirmaster of Second
Presbyterian Church in New York City, where he directed the
church’s amateur and Professional choirs and was founder
and director of the “Music at Second” concerts,
which presented a wide variety of choral, instrumental, and
keyboard music, including many first performances of new
works. In 1986 the church’s music program was the subject
of an hour-long profile on the nationally syndicated radio
program IBM Salute to the Arts. During this time, he also
served as Director of Music of the Alexander Robertson School,
a private elementary school in New York, and as organist
of the St. Andrew’s Society of the State of New York.
In 1992 he was appointed Organist and Director of Music of Woodfords Congregational
Church in Portland, ME, where he directs the adult choir in service music and
in concerts of major choral works with orchestra, and serves as producer of
the choir’s compact disc recordings. His duties at Woodfords Church also
include the direction of one youth choir and the supervision of the directors
other choirs. He also directs the Portland-based chamber chorus Renaissance
Voices, a position to which he was appointed in 2001.
From 1977 to 1992 he served on the faculty of the New York School of Liturgical
Music, where he taught organ, choral conducting, sight singing, music theory
and church music history. In 1995 he was appointed to the faculty of the Portland
Conservatory of Music, where he teaches organ and music theory.
He has played organ recitals to critical acclaim in both the US and Europe,
appearing in many distinguished church recitals series including those of the
Riverside Church and St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York, the National
Cathedral in Washington, DC, Westminster Abbey in London, St. Mary’s
Cathedral in Edinburgh, and many others. His concert hall organ recitals include
appearances at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua NY, Longwood Gardens
in Kennett Square, PA, the Methuen Memorial Music Hall in Methuen, MA, and
Merrill Auditorium at City Hall in Portland, ME. The New York Times called
his playing “splendid” and praised his “multiplicity of talents” as
both performer and composer. He has been featured in both capacities in appearances
on Pipedreams, Public Radio International’s syndicated program
of organ music. He has frequently appeared as organist in a variety of orchestral
and chamber ensembles, including concerts with the New York Philharmonic.
His compositions include keyboard music, choral and vocal music, chamber and
orchestral music, electronic music, and film scores. His liturgical music has
been widely performed by choirs across America. His music is recorded on the
Albany and ACA Digital labels.
He holds the Choirmaster Certificate (ChM) from the American Guild of Organists.
He served two terms as Sub-Dean and two terms as Dean of both the New York
City and Portland, ME chapters of the Guild. In 1989 he was chairman of the
New York City chapter’s “Organists Against AIDS” benefit,
and twice served as chairman of that chapter’s Presidents’ Day
Conference. In 2001 he served as program chairman for the AGO Region I convention
in Portland. His writings on organ and church music have been published in The
American Organist, The Diapason, The New England Organist, Reformed Liturgy
and Music, and The Tracker music journals, and he has been featured
as performer, composer, and lecturer at regional and national conventions of
He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers
(ASCAP), the Organ Historical Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia honorary music
fraternity, the Maine Composers Forum, and the American Music Center, and served
as President of the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ, Inc. from 2003 till 2006.
He was listed in The International Who’s Who of Music and Musicians in
1984 and in 1989 was named an Anniversary Associate of the Albert Schweitzer
music by Harold Stover