Memories of Steve Lawson
As many of you know, Steve Lawson died last August. Should you be in the New York City area, the memorial service will be on Saturday, October 6, at 11 am. I would like to tell you of my memories of him.
I only met him personally once at an AGO Convention. He was supportive of my work in restoring organ music of American masters, especially those who were from the New York City area. I knew something of the organ history of NYC since I often travelled to the city from my school at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.
I renewed ties with Steve due to his beloved website for the New York City Chapter of AGO — which I considered and still consider the best on the web. He was willing to help me and seemed genuinely interested that I got things right. The site is still concerned with getting details right and quickly correcting anything amiss. Steve helped me with research on organs and their organists, and you can read some of this in the pages of my site, michaelsmusicservice.com, where you are probably reading this post.
My most recent interaction with Steve was quite the reversal! I posted my restoration of an engraving of a Jardine which was destroyed by fire in Dr Talmage’s (Brooklyn) Tabernacle in 1889. He asked if he could have it because it had much more detail than what he had. I was honored and submitted to him the full resolution image. You can see it on a piece I am soon announcing from the organist who took the job at the church only to see it, the organ, and his entire music library burn completely. It is the Meditation by Henry Eyre Browne. (For whatever reason, the staff at nycago.org site have not added my restoration of the organ image as of now but there is another image from a news source.)
For me, there was no one stronger in support of the American organ and its music than Steve.
I have been unable to find an obituary for Steve. If you can help, please post in a comment below. Here is the notice of Steve’s death on the website of Church of the Heavenly rest: