Westminster to honor Berhow with new music by Kallman

Published 7:41 am Friday, May 5, 2017


Westminster Presbyterian Church will celebrate Darlene Berhow’s 50 years of musical contributions to the church. Photo provided

At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday,  the congregation of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin will celebrate the over-50 years of  musical contributions of Darlene Peterson Berhow with the premier of a haunting piece of choral music composed in her honor by a native son of Austin — Dan Kallman.

The melody and harmonization of this piece, “Be Thou My Vision,” are newly composed, but the gorgeous cello obligato, played by Eszter Barati, contains fragments of the melody “Slane,” (the Irish folk tune with which this ancient text is often paired). Eszter, on sabbatical from the Budapest Opera this year, is a world-class cellist. Eszter’s connection with Austin is that her husband is Zoltan Kiss, a scientist here in Austin.


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Another accomplished musician, Dori Kallman Schou, will be the pianist accompanying the choir in this premier of “Be Thou My Vision.”  Dori is Dan’s sister. Dan and Dori’s father, Dave Kallman, was a band director in the Austin Public Schools for many years. His children carry on the amazing legacy of joyful, uplifting music that this family has shared with the Austin community throughout the years.

Dan Kallman, who now lives in Northfield, has composed music for the National Symphony Orchestra, the Air Force Academy Band, the Hong Kong Children’s Choir, the Minnesota Orchestra, A Prairie Home Companion, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and a wide variety of vocal and instrumental ensembles.

Members at Westminster Presbyterian say they feel privileged to acknowledge Darlene Berhow’s gift of music with Dan Kallman’s original piece of music. Darlene has been involved in music ministry since she was a teenager and was the lead organist at Westminster Presbyterian from 1968-2016.

Although she retired in September 2016, Darlene still offers the comfort and strength beautiful music provides, by playing at funerals.

The community is invited to hear this premier on Sunday at the church, 802 Fourth St. SW.