When John Scott, the revered organist and choirmaster at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, programmed Mozart’s Requiem to open the church’s concert season on Thursday evening, he could hardly have anticipated that the performance would be dedicated to his memory. But in August, having returned from the first leg of a triumphant European recital tour, Mr. Scott, a vigorous 59, died of a heart attack.
In the event, his friend Andrew Nethsingha, the director of music at St. John’s College, Cambridge, in England, conducted the concert, which also included Haydn’s “Missa in Angustiis” (“Mass in Times of Distress”), better known as the “Nelson” Mass. Mr. Scott studied at St. John’s College in the 1970s, and Mr. Nethsingha will bring the Choir of St. John’s College to St. Thomas in April.
This must have been a difficult assignment for all concerned, not least the youngsters in the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys who knew and worked under Mr. Scott. The choir was admirably prepared by Stephen Buzard, the church’s acting director of music, and Benjamin Sheen, the acting organist, who also played positive organ.