In Memoriam:  For all the fans that were introduced to soprano Kathleen Battle through the documentary “Baroque Duet” there was a sweet organist that we all took to as well, Marion Parker who passed away on April 19.

by Patrick D. McCoy

The still celebrated documentary “Baroque Duet” that featured soprano Kathleen Battle and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis remains both a visual and audio feast for the music lover.  There were quite a few cameo appearances throughout the film that are quite touching:  Ellis Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis and the great vocal coach, Sylvia Olden Lee.

But there was yet another beautifully humble musician that appeared sort of quietly in the background.  In the film, Ms. Battle returns to her hometown and sings the hymn “I Trust in God” accompanied by Marion Parker on the organ at the Allen Chapel AME Church on Easter Sunday. Parker served as organist there for 50 years.

Watch this clip which further highlights Marion Parker and her friendship with soprano Kathleen Battle.

Read the full obituary of Marion Parker

–A native of Petersburg, Virginia, Patrick D. McCoy is a graduate of Virginia State University and Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia.  He has been an arts contributor for, CBS Washington, The Afro American Newspaper and most recently was the Performing Arts Columnist at Washington Life Magazine for four years. As a church musician, he currently serves as Organist/Choirmaster at Saint John’s Episcopal Church (Zion Parish) in Beltsville, Maryland.   Visit for all of your arts news and send press releases and ideas to