Lester H. Groom (1929–2000) was born in Chicago and received his early keyboard training from both his mother and father. His father later became his major professor in organ and composition at Wheaton College (Illinois), where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in 1951. He earned the Master of Music degree in organ performance from Northwestern University in 1952. Groom held teaching positions at Moody Bible Institute (Chicago), Blue Mountain College (Mississippi), and Baker University (Kansas). He joined the faculty of Seattle Pacific University in 1969, where he taught organ, harpsichord, music theory, and composition. He retired from SPU in 1991 and was named Professor Emeritus the following year. Throughout his career, he held positions as church organist and choir director. He served as organist of First Presbyterian Church, Seattle from 1979 until his retirement in 1996.
His published works include organ and choral compositions, articles, and music reviews. He was a specialist in the art of organ improvisation and was a frequent lecturer at church music workshops and for thirteen summers he served on the faculty of the Evergreen Conference School of Church Music (Colorado).
The "Meditation on 'Amazing Grace'" is a brief and reflective work. The textures are spare and slender, and this enhances the mood. The Cor Anglais of the Solo takes most of the work, accompanied by the Swell Oboe.
For some reason, this work reminded me somewhat of the works of Aaron Copland, although I confess that I am at a loss as to say just why it did. :-)
The piece is part of an upcoming collection of selected works by Lester Groom, very soon to be published by Lorenz. Over the next few days, I'll be uploading the remaining items and "completing" the book.
A photo of Lester Groom is attached below.