News Story

Mormon Missionary Performs Organ Recital at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church

Elder Nicholas Welch, an 18-year-old missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave a masterful and inspiring organ performance at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church on February 1, 2017. Recital arrangements were made through William Maddox, director of music at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church.

Organ recitals at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church have been a noon-hour weekly tradition for nearly 40 years and are open to the public each Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. The church’s Casavant organ is one of the finest in the country and has the largest pipe chamber in Toronto. It measures 68 feet wide, 24 feet deep and 35 feet tall.

Maddox says, “Performers come from around the world, but it’s not very often that I get to work with such young talented musicians as [Nicholas Welch].”

Elder Nicholas Welch, from Palo Alto, California, is currently participating in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ missionary program. At the age of six, he took a strong interest in the piano. After he became proficient at the piano, his father, James Welch, who is a concert organist, introduced him to the pipe organ. Elder Welch took full advantage of his father’s tutelage and his own natural ability and is now able to perform with great expression and professionalism. His parents exclaim, “We are proud of his incredible talent that he so freely offers.”

Because of his deep desire to serve the Lord, Elder Welch has put his education on hold for 24 months. Similar Mormon missionaries can be seen on the streets of hundreds of major cities throughout the world as well as in thousands of smaller communities. Elder Welch says, “We serve as missionaries to invite people to come unto Jesus Christ, and I am grateful for this opportunity to use my love of music as a means of sharing my testimony.”

William Maddox is an active recitalist and a performance graduate of Queen’s University, Trinity College of Music, and of the Central Academy of Music, London. He has held recitals in Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as on the CBC.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe inspirational music is an essential part of worship. Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, teaches, “Sacred music has a unique capacity to communicate our feelings of love for the Lord. This kind of communication is a wonderful aid to our worship” (“Worship Through Music,” Oct. 1994 general conference).

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