Acclaimed organist to play Advent recital

Kealey recognized by American Guild of Organists

James Kealy acclaimed organist

The Annual Advent and Christmas Organ Recital on the Sarah B. Dorn Organ in Harriett B. Wick Chapel returns this year at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

James Kealey, an internationally acclaimed organist and doctoral candidate at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., will play at noon Dec. 9.

Winner of the First Prize and Audience Prize at the 2022 American Guild of Organists’ National Young Artists Competition in Organ performance, Kealey is a young artist of great distinction who has appeared in recital in England, the United States and in Europe. Previous engagements include recitals at Westminster Abbey in London, Methuen Memorial Music Hall in Methuen, Mass., the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, and recitals for guild chapters around the country. Upcoming engagements include concerts across the U.S., including a solo organ recital at the 2024 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in San Francisco.

A native of Great Britain, Kealey came to the U.S. having held positions at notable English cathedrals. He received his undergraduate degree from Royal Holloway, University of London, and worked as senior organ scholar to the Chapel Choir there in its series of live broadcasts, international tours, recordings, weekly services and concerts.

In the spring of 2020, Kealey completed his Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in organ performance and literature. Last year The Diapason, an international journal devoted to the organ, harpsichord, carillon and church music, named him to its “20 under 30 list, an accolade awarded to the most successful young artists in the field.

This is the 11th year the university has hosted the recital. The Sarah B. Dorn Organ was built by Schantz Organ Co. in Orrville, Ohio, in 2010. The organ contains 1,020 pipes that were voiced and tuned on site in the chapel.

Dorn was a philanthropist who supported Pitt-Bradford and former co-owner of Zippo Manufacturing Co. and W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co.