Nathan J. Laube Portrait

Organist 'In A Class By Himself'

Tampa Tribune

By Joyce McKenzie


Organist 'In A Class By Himself'




TEMPLE TERRACE - University of South Florida music professor Robert Summer is a connoisseur of musical compositions.


The former director of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay has conducted the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and serves as frequent guest conductor of the Florida Orchestra.


Summer also enjoys being a spectator at concerts, including those held in the sanctuary of St. Catherine's Episcopal Church. The musical talents of 20-year-old organist Nathan Laube, who has twice performed at the church and will appear again Sunday , have left an indelible mark in Summer's psyche.


"I do believe that he could become one of the great organists of our time," Summer said. "Many of the organists in the area have heard him and agree that he is in a class by himself."


Laube, a classical musician from Chicago, began piano lessons at the age 5 and at 15 received a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He is nearing the completion of his studies. While attending the conservatory, he has been an accompanist for the Philadelphia Choral Society, an assistant organist at both Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and on the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, the world's largest pipe organ, which is in the Wanamaker Building in Philadelphia.


"He has played recitals in many of the great venues already and has won several prestigious awards," Summer said.

St. Catherine's pastor, the Rev. Edward Rich, has Laube's recital marked on his calendar as an event not to miss.


"He's is a delightful and extraordinarily gifted young man," said Rich, who was in attendance at Laube's first two presentations. "In between playing, he uses his wonderful sense of humor to explain the pieces so that even I can understand."


St. Petersburg College organ instructor Paul Dixon is also familiar with Laube's talent and was instrumental in bringing the organist to its campus on four occasions.


"There is a reason I bring him back year after year. Simply put, I regard Nathan as one of the most outstanding young artists of our time," Dixon said. "The zest and enthusiasm he brings to his audience serves to underscore the impression that this young man was born for one purpose - to play the organ as God intends it to be played."


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