Coker United Methodist Church
Friday, July 31, 2015
Director of the Arts at Coker
Elaine George Ehlers, a native of Oklahoma, is a free-lance organist and Director of the Arts at Coker - a series of programs that celebrate the performing and visual arts. Mrs. Ehlers and Minister of Music Dave Collett envisioned and created the Arts at Coker (AAC) for the 1986-1987 season using mostly local area musicians. When Dave accepted a new position in North Texas in 1987, Elaine took on sole leadership of AAC. Along with Coker's music ministers through the years, Elaine has engineered a series that is one of the area's finest church-based concert venues. Now in its 25th season, Elaine has been the primary force behind The Arts at Coker. The Arts at Coker now routinely attracts national and international performing artists to its series and has become a showcase for up and coming solo performers on piano, organ, voice and numerous chamber ensembles.
Mrs. Ehlers studied organ at the University of Oklahoma as a student of Mildred Andrews Boggess. While at the University, she was president of Mu Phi Epsilon, a member of Pi Kappa Lambda Honorary Music Fraternity, Mortar Board, Chi Omega, and was a finalist in the American Guild of Organists national student competition. After receiving a bachelor of music degree, she continued her organ studies in Paris, France, on a Fulbright scholarship. She studied with the late Pierre Cochereau, organist of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, and with Michel Chapuis. She also coached with Maurice Duruflé and Jean Langlais. She has served as organist of United Methodist churches in Kermit, Fort Worth and Dallas. She has been elected by Mu Phi Epsilon International to ACME - distinguished Artists, Composers, Musicians, and Educators. Also, Elaine is serving on the Board of Visitors for the College of Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma and is the artist booking chairman for the 89 year old Tuesday Musical Club Artist Series. Her family includes her husband, John, three grown children and their spouses, and four grandchildren.