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Eleanor Whitsett

View Music by Eleanor Whitsett

Organ  |  Organ with Instruments


Biography

Eleanor Whitsett, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, has been a resident of the Oklahoma City area since 1972. She graduated from Asbury College, with a major in piano, and was a featured alumni performer at the college's Centennial Celebration. She also holds an M. Mus. degree from the University of Missouri/Kansas City with a major in organ performance, where her study was with John Obetz. She has done additional graduate work at the University of Southern California and Oklahoma City University, studying with Wilma Jensen. She studied improvisation at the Summer Academy for Organ at Haarlem, the Netherlands and also studied organ and improvisation with Uwe Karsten Gross at the Westfälische Landeskirchenmusikshüle, Herford, Germany. She was College Organist and Adjunct Professor of Organ at Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Oklahoma for twenty seven years.

Eleanor is a member of the American Guild of Organists, in which she holds the associate certificate (A.A.G.O.), and is a past-Dean of the Oklahoma City chapter. Other memberships include Mu Phi Epsilon, the Hymn Society of America and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). She has keyboard and choral works published by Breitkopf & Härtel, Hinshaw Music, Lillenas Publishing Company, MorningStar and National Music Publishers. She is involved in volunteer activities as well, presently serving on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma City Orchestra League.

She has served a number of Oklahoma City churches on an interim basis as well as being the former organist at Our Lord's Community Church (Reformed Church in America). She was guest recitalist for the General Synod of the RCA in New York City, presenting music composed by Hungarian-born Reformed church musicians, father and son, Zoltán and Zsolt Gárdonyi. She has played the United States premiere of more than a dozen compositions by these two men. Twice she has been a Showcase recitalist at the OK Mozart Festival, Bartlesville, Oklahoma. At this festival in June, 1996, she premiered a new organ work written especially for her by Zsolt Gárdonyi, entitled "Mozart Changes."

She is the wife of Lowell Don Whitsett, D.D.S., professor emeritus of the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, where he was chairman of the Department of Occlusion from the founding of the school in 1971 until his retirement January 1, 1995. They have two sons, John, pastor of North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene, North Carolina and Jeffrey, an ophthalmologist practicing in Houston, Texas, and six beloved grandchildren.

 

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