- Lecturer in Organ and Harpsichord
Gregory Eaton is a conductor, organist, harpsichordist, and recorderist active in both sacred and secular music. After an early start at the keyboard, he was privileged to study for five years with Dr. Leslie Spelman in organ. Dr. Spelman was himself a pupil of Joseph Bonnet and Charles-Marie Widor in Paris, and one of the great organ pedagogues of the 20th century. His graduate and post-grad musical studies were at the University of Redlands and Manhattan School of Music. He considers his most formative teachers to have been Jeffrey Rickard in church music and conducting, Lila Stuart in voice, and Dr. Spelman in organ.
At his last organ lesson with Spelman, his teacher said, “My boy, French organists play French music, German organists play German music, and British organists play British music. It is only Americans who seem to be allergic to their own music. Always remember that you are an American organist of the 20th century, and that is your primary music.” Taking that to heart, Gregory has always played and promoted music by American composers of all periods, while also having a great deal of both ‘standard’ and less-famous European and other organ music in his large repertoire.
Gregory is currently the Organist/Choirmaster at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, in Austin, TX, where he has been since November of 2014. He conducts the parish’s two vocal choirs and handbell choir, and provides music for Sunday services, monthly Evensong, and other special events. He is also the director of School Liturgical Music for St. Theresa’s Catholic School, and director of the Damenchor (women’s choir) of the Austin Saengerrunde (German singing society). He is a member of the Austin Recorder Quartet, which plays instruments ranging from the 7" sopranino to 6' contrabass recorder. Gregory is on the Board of La Follia Austin Baroque Orchestra, and president of the Board of Ensemble VIII. Mr. Eaton is a member of the American Guild of Organists, and has served as Dean of both the Austin and Brooklyn Chapters of the Guild. In the Brooklyn Chapter of the AGO, he served as a member of the Executive Board, three terms as Sub-Dean, and three terms as Dean. In the fall of 2019, he was invited to play and conduct at Austin Presbyterian Seminary, during the sabbatical of the director of the Chapel.
Prior to Austin, Gregory was in New York from 1984 to 2014, where he moved upon being invited to be a part of the music staff at Trinity Church, Wall Street. Following Trinity, he was director of music for the Church of the Epiphany on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. In addition, he served as lecturer in Church Music at the General Theological Seminary for 24 years, concurrent with his position as director of music at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church for 21 years. At St. Ann’s, he founded a weekly organ concert series on the church’s historic E.M. Skinner organ, on which he played over 600 concerts in a 15-year span, utilizing a repertoire of more than 650 works, from short chorales to full-scale organ symphonies. Gregory was also co-founder, with David Hurd, of Chelsea Winds recorder ensemble. He is active as a recitalist, conductor, and private teacher in organ, harpsichord, conducting and recorder.