Davidson College: Jane Cain

Davidson College: Jane Cain
For thirty-five years, Jane Dimmock Cain has held the post of Director of Music at Davidson College Presbyterian Church, in a small college town near Charlotte, NC. Situated on the corner of the campus of Davidson College, a highly selective, Presbyterian-affiliated liberal arts college, the church has seen tremendous growth in this time period as the area has developed. What began as a part-time job playing the organ and directing two choirs has mushroomed into a full-time job with a half-time associate, and oversight of a program that involves seven singing choirs and three handbell choirs, with nearly 200 participants. The main service is broadcast weekly on the classical music radio station, WDAV.

Two organs can be credited to Ms. Cain’s tenure. In 1996 a one-manual Martin Ott tracker was purchased for the chapel, and in 2006 the three-manual Wicks organ from 1969 was completely rebuilt by Wicks. The dedicatory series that year was so well received that an ongoing Organ at Davidson series was established, which feature six concerts a year by local, national, and international organists. A favorite element is the annual Bach Birthday Bash, which has included a staged version of Bach’s Coffee Cantata; the multimedia “The Words of Albert Schweitzer and the Music of J. S. Bach;” and a guessing game for the audience as to which pieces were by Bach and which by his sons.

The Chancel Choir under Ms. Cain’s direction has made three tours in Europe, the most recent to Ireland this past May. They have also recently collaborated with the local college choir singing Brahms’ Requiem and with the choir of men and boys from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, England in a concert at the church. Each year they perform two major works with orchestra. Previous major undertakings for the entire music program include “Amahl and the Night Visitors” and “Noye’s Fludde.”

Organ recitals by Ms. Cain include many local concerts as well as Washington, DC, San Francisco, New York City, and Vienna, Austria. As a teacher, Ms. Cain has guided one particularly talented high school girl to acceptance at Curtis Institute of Music as well as at many other major organ programs. She begins study at Curtis this fall.

The Presbyterian Association of Musicians tapped her to be the Conference Director for the 2012 Montreat Conferences on Worship and Music. This national conference involved a three-year planning process, a faculty of forty, and 1800 conferees of all ages over two weeks. Additional professional activities have included serving the Charlotte Chapter of the American Guild of Organists as board member, education chair, and coordinator of the summer recital series. She has published articles in “Reformed Liturgy and Music,” “Call to Worship,” and “The HORP report” (Historic Organ Research Project)

Jane Cain received the B.Mus. from Salem College, studying organ with John Mueller, and the M.Mus. from UNC-Chapel Hill, where her teacher was Rudolph Kremer. She is certified as Associate of the American Guild of Organists. Coming from a musical family, two of her three brothers are organists: Herb Dimmock directed both a Handel Choir and a Bach Choir in Baltimore, and Jonathan Dimmock enjoys an international concert organ career based in San Francisco. Jonathan and Jane recorded the Gustav Merkel Sonata in D Minor for four hands and have enjoyed playing duet recitals together, including at Piccolo Spoleto. Both of her children are orchestral musicians.

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