MARVIN MILLS, organist and assistant choral director, is organist at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Kensington, Maryland. He is also music director of the acclaimed National Spiritual Ensemble. Previous positions include associate minister of music at National City Christian Church, director of music at All Souls Church, Unitarian, and university organist at Howard University, all in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Mills has performed for numerous chapters of The American Guild of Organists, and was a featured recitalist in the Guild’s 1992 National and 1996 Centennial National conventions. He opened the 1989 Wendell P. Whalum Concert Series at Morehouse College, performing for the entire student body.
Presented in recital by the Washington National Cathedral in observance of Black History Month 1989, he returned to appear on its 1995 and 2002 Summer Festival Series. As clinician, he has given workshops for the Unitarian-Universalists Musician’s Network, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians and at the regional and chapter levels of the American Guild of Organists spanning topics from the Negro Spiritual and organ music of Black composers, to hymn playing, organ accompaniment and organ repertoire.
In a seminar on the Sights and Sounds of the Pipe Organ sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute, he discussed the art of organ transcription using Moussorgsky‘s Pictures at an Exhibition as a model. He has performed in churches, universities and concert halls throughout the United States. In the spring of 1992 Mr. Mills performed the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach in a weekly series of fourteen programs on the 96 Rieger organ at All Souls Church, Unitarian. He made his west coast debut in July 1992 at the Spreckles‘ Organ Pavilion International Organ Summer Concert Series in Balboa Park, San Diego, his New York City recital debut in July 1993 at the Riverside Church.
Since 1999 Mr. Mills has been a featured artist at the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. Active as a vocal coach/accompanist, he can be heard as arranger and accompanist on a disc of spirituals with mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, Angels Watching Over Me.