Biographical

Dr. Steven Monrotus was born in 1949 in Saint Louis, Missouri.  When he was a year old his parents moved to Affton, Missouri, where he grew up.  Upon graduation from the Affton public schools in 1967, completion of four additional years of pre-dental studies at Saint Louis Community College and Southern Illinois University, and having earned from the latter a degree in physiology, he entered Washington University where in 1975 he graduated with the degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine.

At the age of 13 Dr. Monrotus began study of Organ fundamentals and harmony with Robert Thompson and continued study of Piano and Organ privately with Henri DeKiersgieter and Organ with Dr. Mario Salvador, all in Saint Louis, resuming study of Organ in Milwaukee with John Weissrock.  He served as organist for his church for several years, and, after many years as a choir rehearsal pianist and staff organist at the Saint Louis Scottish Rite Cathedral he was appointed Principal Organist there in 2018.  He holds memberships in the Saint Louis Chapter American Guild of Organists (A.G.O.), Saint Louis Theatre Organ Society, and American Composers Forum.  He is also a founding member of the Panel of Advisors for the Committee on the New Organist (CONO) of the A.G.O., and his travels have taken him to or through thirty-five states and two Canadian provinces to perform at over forty Masonic venues.

Dr. Monrotus remains heavily involved in the music ministry.  In 2015 he became webmaster of OrganBench, an online conceptual learning resource for organists.  Having received over 408K visits to date, this web site has become a widely used tool and continues to occupy several hundred visitors daily.  He also has given to the world five collections of original compositions for Organ inspired by the sound of the historic Kimball instrument of the Saint Louis Scottish Rite Cathedral.  These copyrighted scores in PDF format suitable for download and printing along with computer generated audio clips and suggestions for performance for each are not for sale.  They have been deposited with the Saint Louis Scottish Rite Cathedral library, the American Guild of Organists national library in the School of Theology at Boston University, and the Missouri Grand Lodge library in Columbia, for the use of musicians without charge.  The scores also have been made available on this web site for FREE download, printing, and storage.

Organists are always looking for new material to learn and play, but the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many places where organists meet and work to either close or curtail normal activities.  This has had consequences relative to the income of musicians, and in this new economic environment any new material needs to be made as cost-effective for musicians as possible.  Accordingly, these scores are being offered free of charge as a courtesy to organists and as a reward for visiting.  This gesture of appreciation is NOT to be interpreted however as a devaluing of the compositions of others or as a universal example that all composers should be following in shipping their work to the public.  It's important for that same public to understand that CREATING MUSIC IS WORK:  musicians earn every penny of their salary and every fee they need to charge to advance their art and serve their audiences. 

NOTICE:  Anyone writing for the organ these days is writing for a medium whose core repertoire spans hundreds of years and is automatically entering into a dialogue with the past and having enduring works for models.  This makes one acutely aware that counterpoint is the arterial life's blood of music, thus, it should not be surprising that fugue and passages with canonic imitation figure prominently in this music.  Nineteen of the pieces are in fact 4-voice fugues, seven of which (Op. 6, 10, 13, 18, 20, 25, 26) have real answers and the remaining twelve (Op. 7, 11, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31) tonal answers.

For those who believe new contemporary organ scores should be weighed by their thematic material, how solidly they're put together, and how they stand up under usage, music like this has been known to appeal in time to a broad group of musicians and music lovers over a span of cultures and places, to have a life beyond its original premiere, and possibly labored over, loved, interrogated, and admired by future generations.

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