Thomas A. Neenan
Music Theory; Music History
Thomas Neenan is Lecturer in Music History and Music Theory, a position he has held since 1991.
Mr. Neenan holds degrees from California State University, Northridge (organ performance) and from UCLA (Baroque performance practices and choral conducting) where he was honored with an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award and was a prizewinner in the Atwater-Kent Performance Competition. He includes among his teachers David Britton, Thomas Harmon, Delores Stevens, Jean Langlais, Donn Weiss and Ernst-Ulrich von Kameke. As a recital organist he has performed in the United States as well as in Germany, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland.
He has authored several articles on performance practices in the North German Baroque school of organ playing, with emphasis on the music of Dietrich Buxtehude. As the result of a research grant from the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance, he contributed an article, "Music in New Netherlands" to a collection of essays celebrating the 300th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and The Netherlands. More recently, he has written on a variety of topics ranging from the performance of plainsong (Gregorian chant) at the abbey of St-Pierre, Solesmnes, (France) to the organ music of György Ligeti.
In 2001 he was honored by the Associated Students of California Institute of Technology with an ASCIT Excellence in Teaching Award. He is a featured speaker on the Los Angeles Philharmonic's "Upbeat Live" pre-concert presentations and the Philharmonic's Organ Recital Series.
Since 1981, Neenan has served as Music Director at the (Episcopal) Parish of St. Matthew, Pacific Palisades, and, since 1985, Music Director and Conductor of the St. Matthew's Chamber Orchestra - a critically acclaimed chamber orchestra which has been in residence at St. Matthew's since 1985 and which has performed over 200 concerts. With the St. Matthew Parish Choir and St. Matthew's Chamber Orchestra he has premiered more than three dozen works, including those by Miklos Rozsa, Maria Newman, Mark Falcone, David Newman, Mary Lou Newmark, Paul Chihara, Peter Davison, Sasha Matson, Thomas Pasatieri, Craig Phillips, Joseph Curiale, Roger Bourland, Dwayne Milburn, Gerald Near and John O'Reilly.
Neenan and the Choir of St. Matthew's Parish toured Central Europe during the summer of 2003 performing in Budapest, Tabor (CZ), Prague, Leipzig, Dresden, and Naumburg. The choir toured Southern Ireland (Killarney and Dublin), Southern Wales (St. Davids) and Southwest England (Tavistock, Salisbury, Wimborne Minster) in 2006.