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Organ Addition Donated in Honor of Former University Professor

Jan. 27, 1997

By Kristin Nelson

Lariat Staff Writer

A standing room only crowd of organ enthusiasts listened to a special recital yesterday at the Markham Organ Studio in the Glennis McCrary Music Building.

The recital marked the dedication of the recently donated zimbelstern that has been installed on the Letourneau Organ.

Baylor music school alumnea Herbert and Mary Ila Colvin, Walter and Shirley Corrie, and Jack and Nancy Henson donated the zimbelstern in honor of Martha Barkema, a voice professor at Baylor from 1937-1972.

The zimbelstern is an extension to the normal organ. It helps to produce a delicate, bell-like sound similar to a glockenspiel. According to organists, it is most often used during the holidays or in festive pieces.

The dedication ceremony consisted of nine musical pieces performed by three organists and two soloists.

Dr. Joyce Jones, the Joyce Oliver professor of music and organist-in-residence, accepted the gift on behalf of the music school and opened the dedication service.

'Martha Barkema , known affectionately as 'Berkie,' was choir director at First Baptist Church of Waco when Dr. Robert Markham was the church organist there,' Jones said. 'Therefore, it is particularly appropriate for this gift to be used in the Markham Organ Studio.'

Jones described the zimbelstern as 'angel chimes.'

'They remind us of the happiness Berkie brought to her students and colleagues,' she said.

Each of the five performers chosen to perform at the concert had some connection to Barkema including the current holders of some of Barkema's past jobs, Jones said.

Many of Barkema's students were present at the recital. C. Wallace Christian, an early student of Barkema, sang the ending dedication piece.

'She was one of the most amazing women I've ever known,' Christian said.

He added that Barkema had two loves, music and the students she worked with, whom she affectionately referred to as 'her boys and girls.'

The zimbelstern dedication was followed by a reception honoring the donors.

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