Bach and Beyond 2
Charles Olegar is presently in his fifth decade as a professional church musician, having begun his career at age fifteen in his native Akron, Ohio, where he studied piano with Nicholas Constantinidis and organ with Farley K. Hutchins. Following conservatory and graduate study in Cleve-land and Kent, Olegar entered the profession full-time in 1975, serving a variety of denominations in the Great Lakes and the South, including heading the music program at Mobile's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Cincinnati, and serving as University Organist at the University of Southern Mississippi. Since 2003 Olegar has resided in the Capital Region of New York State, combining organ performance and church music activity with work in the legal profession. Over the course of two decades in western Michigan, Olegar concentrated largely on choral music, forming two community-based performing organizations that earned a number of awards and international recog-nition, including first prizes in two consecutive Elgar Festival competi- tions in England. During his years as a touring musician, Charles Olegar performed widely in the eastern USA, Canada, and in England. In addition to such concert venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan, and Interlochen, he has conducted and played in an array of cathedrals and churches in Boston, New York, Washington, Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, Toronto, and Montreal, among other American cities. In England he has performed at Westminster Abbey, Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, as well as Worcester and St. Alban's cathedrals. In 1990, the Wessex Theological Seminary in England made Olegar an honorary fellow in recognition of his representation of the English choral tradition in America.