Parrott to perform at Wharton memorial concert

The late Dr. Bill Wharton with the Teller organ pipes at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. Wharton celebrated 50 years of serving as the church’s organist on Sept. 17, 2017.

EASTON — Wesley Parrott, a prominent Philadelphia organist and Easton native, will perform in a memorial concert for Dr. Bill Wharton at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 14.

The service and recital at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church will honor Wharton, who was the church’s organist for 52 years.

Wharton, who died May 19 at age 75, was beloved in the community. In addition to his long tenure at St. Mark’s, he was a music teacher at Easton High School and Chesapeake College, and participated in countless programs, workshops and performances throughout the community.

His lifelong passion for teaching and sharing the experience of music touched generations of Eastern Shore residents. This memorial organ concert was requested by Wharton, a final gesture to the community he served so faithfully for over half a century that will celebrate the beauty and grandeur of the instrument he loved.

Parrott has served as organist in several Philadelphia churches, including St. Mark’s Episcopal and St. Mary’s Episcopal, where he collaborated on the design of the Patrick J. Murphy and Associates pipe organ.

Currently organist at Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, Parrott also is liturgical musician at St. Frances DeSales in West Philadelphia.

Parrott studied organ with prominent musicians at the Curtis Institute for Music, University of the South, the Eastman School of Music and University of Rochester.

While a student, Parrott won three national-level competitions in organ playing and was a finalist in the Grand Prix de Chartres in France. His recordings are available through the Organ Historical Society.

Parrott has performed at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia, on the Wanamaker organ at Macy’s in Philadelphia and the National Cathedral in Washington and others. He has accompanied many choirs and soloists in the Philadelphia area and was accompanist for the Princeton Singers during their tour of England.

Parrott’s mother Millie is an Easton resident and has been active member of St. Mark’s.

A concert honoring Wharton by his friends, colleagues and former students is being planned for later in the fall. If you are an alum of Wharton’s programs and would like to be a part of this event, email Scott Clausen, director of worship and music at St. Mark’s at musicdirector@stmarkseaston.org.

Follow me on Twitter @connie_stardem.

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