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. For the next forty-one years he worked as a
trusted and respected doctor of dentistry in Missouri until his retirement in 2016. During that time he was listed in the Guide To America's Top Dentists, taught part-time at Saint Louis Community College, and served on the courtesy staff of several
his younger years Dr. Monrotus helped to make a difference in the life of a boy, many times over. At the time he served the Ozark Trailblazers District, Greater Saint Louis Area Council B.S.A, for seven consecutive years alongside dozens of other dedicated,
morally upright volunteers as an assistant scoutmaster, unit commissioner, assistant district commissioner, and merit badge counselor. During that time he was privileged to counsel thirty-three different Boy Scouts through seventy-four merit badges in
twelve separate skill areas. He served faithfully for many years as Secretary of the Advisory Council of Ronald M. Compton Brotherhood Chapter, Order of DeMolay and is a recipient of the Honorary Legion of Honor from Missouri DeMolay. He also served
for a time as Associate Guardian of Bethel 34, Missouri Job's Daughters.
Many years ago Dr. Monrotus experienced
firsthand a generous helping hand from a family of very special parental friends of long standing who happened to be affiliated with the Masonic fraternity. The last surviving member of this family passed away not long thereafter and before he had a
chance to repay them for their kind generosity. A child of his who had been born with multiple developmental disabilities was also accepted for treatment and underwent two major bone and joint surgeries and had three leg braces constructed, all free
of charge, at the Saint Louis Shriners Hospital for Children. These experiences prompted Dr. Monrotus to do what he could to return some of the favor shown to him and his family by joining, and sharing his
specialized music ministry as an organist with, the oldest fraternity in the world.
the course of over a quarter century of deep and active involvement with it Dr. Monrotus has found Freemasonry to be exactly what it purports to be, nothing more, nothing less -- a fraternal organization of a social nature composed of good men of high moral
character who believe in God and work for the benefit of their fellow man, an organization unique in that its effect is upon the individual man, an institution which gives away over four million dollars a day to charity, mostly to the familes of non-Masons,
and that the Holy Bible is the rule and guide of a Mason's faith and practice.
Dr. Monrotus also joined a great
many appendant Masonic and Trinitarian Christian organizations and has received certain awards and honors for dedicated service, charitable work, and community involvement. He learned and verified for himself from this spread of experience that Masonic
thought had much to do with the formation and then building of this great nation ... that the overwhelming majority of Masons from around the world are devout Christians, some in fact being trusted and respected Christian ministers ... that this gentle Craft
has attracted to its membership fourteen U.S. Presidents, eighteen U.S. Vice-Presidents, multiple Supreme Court justices, governors, and members of Congress, scores of patriots, pioneers, decorated veterans, business leaders, and a vast company of others who
have made extraordinary contributions to advance the arts and sciences or to improve the human condition ... that its system of morals veiled in alleghory and illustrated by symbols, when considered with an open mind without any preconceived bias and properly
understood in its intent, is so basic that it is not, and never has been, incompatible with biblical Christianity or his own Christian faith ... that it has done nothing to add to or subtract from the inerrant Word of God or presume to misinterpret it or alloy
it with fiction ... that it has no religious or political agenda other than requiring Masons to believe in God, to have been a law-abiding citizen, and to continue that way ... that it is not a religion, not a cult, has never conspired against any religion,
or implied that all religions are the same ... that it encourages a Mason to attend his worship center regularly, leaves the convicting of a man's conscience to the Holy Spirit, and has never attempted to interfere with, hinder, undermine, contradict, misdirect,
dilute, or replace his own Christian beliefs or to so influence any other person, ever. His association with its principles and the caliber of honorable, fiercely law-abiding, faith-conscious, and charitable men it attracts, from whom he would have remained
at a perpetual distance were it not for the fraternity, has been for him a blessing which has enriched his life in many ways.
As timing would have it he's the only Missouri Freemason in history to have officially served as Grand Musician for the Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. and for the General Grand Council Cryptic Masons International ... to have served the longest
simultaneously as Grand Organist for the Missouri Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons, Grand Council Cryptic Masons, and Grand Commandery Knights Templar ... to have served as Grand Organist for the General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons International, York Rite
Sovereign College of North America, and Provincial Grand Court for the United States of America Masonic Order of Athelstan ... and to serve in all eight of these offices simultaneously, as he does currently. In addition he is the only musician in history
to have performed all five armed services songs as a tribute to American veterans during an annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Missouri and at a triennial convocation of the General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons International. He is also the
only musician in Missouri history to have performed live the musical accompaniment for a public exemplification of a Masonic degree.
When he was 13 years old Dr. Monrotus began study of harmony and the fundamentals of organ playing privately with Robert Thompson, was given private
coaching two years later in theatre/cinema organ playing from James Frazier, went on to study Piano and Organ privately that same year with Henri DeKiersgieter, and three years later resumed private Organ study with Dr. Mario Salvador, all in Saint Louis.
Much later in life, at the age of 48, he resumed private Organ study with John Weissrock in Milwaukee. After serving many years on the organist staff and as a choir rehearsal pianist at the Saint Louis Scottish Rite Cathedral he was officially appointed
in 2018 as Principal Organist there. 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 blog for organists. This web site receives over 600 visitors a day, has enjoyed over 377K visits to date, and has become a widely-used tool. He also has given to the world five collections of original compositions for Organ solo which have been published online and with several libraries. Written in 2015-2018 these pieces are in various styles and pitched at all
levels of proficiency with four of them being dedicated to the memories of his former teachers.
He is also a hymn-writer in that, after he wrote a 4-voice Fugue in triple counterpoint and paired it with a French Romantic Toccata in crescendo style having its 1st hymn-like theme
built upon the Fugue's subject, 1st countersubject, and their inversions, he took that same theme and made it into a Christian hymn of praise. This hymn score has 2 variants, one moving at a quicker tempo and louder dynamic for congregational singing
and one moving at a slower tempo and softer dynamic for quiet playing. This music may be previewed using these links:
Slide Show 5 Slide Show 15
All of his organ music in fact was written for the music ministry with the sound of the historic IV/51 Kimball organ of Saint Louis Scottish Rite Cathedral in mind. Whatever fraction of the royalties he might have received from the
sale of his scores is given to support that ministry. The musician in Dr. Monrotus believes that counterpoint is the arterial life's blood of music, thus, fugue and passages with canonic imitation figure prominently. Long subjects,
multiple countersubjects, voices treated in triple or quadruple counterpoint, rapid development, and some very bold moves are all part of the signature style of this writing. While some of these characteristics recall the Bach school, some of this vocabulary is also based upon the methods that Louis Vierne used.
This music requires no explanation to listeners as to what they just heard and can best be
described as what it is not: It isn't formless, jarring, strange-sounding, or incomprehensible ... It isn't something that speaks in an eccentric, erratic language devoid of warmth and meaning ... It isn't deliberately charged
with a high dose of dissonance to prove modernism with a bit of counterpoint thrown in to show good will to pedagogy in a deliberate attempt to win the ears of those judging a prize competition ... It isn't outlandish or unsettling enough to even consider
for submission to such contests as some of them seem to be conducted these days. For those drawn to such things, this music is probably not
for them ... but for those who believe that music should be judged by its thematic material, how solidly it's put together, and how it stands up under usage ... in this case, by the Lord ... these pieces are part of an eternal ministry.
For a complete listing of his compositions and
links to previews, playbacks, and digital downloads of his scores, please use this link:
view photos of Vierne and Notre-Dame de Paris, please use this link:
To listen to a sampling of Vierne's masterful organ and choral writing,
please use this link:
Vierne Kyrie eleison
To view all videos/slide shows, please use this link: