Delbert Saman, longtime organist for Cantores in Ecclesia, died Feb. 10. He was 73.
Mr. Saman was born in 1940 in Myrtle, Minn. He attended Austin High School and he went on to Oberlin Conservatory to study organ. He moved to Portland in 1966. His first music positions were as organist at Fremont Methodist Church and accompanist for Portland Parks and Recreation musical productions. He married Helen Susan Carter, and studied organ and harpsichord at the University of Oregon. In 1974 he and wife Helen became novices in the Holy Order of Mans. For six years the couple lived in semi-monastic “brother houses” in Wichita and Omaha. They returned to Portland in 1983, and he served at Trinity Lutheran in Gresham and became organist for Cantores in Ecclesia, a position he held for 25 years.
For Cantores, he accompanied weekly Masses at St. Patrick Church and toured with the group to Europe and Mexico. He also played with the Oregon Opera Ensemble, Male Ensemble Northwest, Pacific University, and had organist positions at First Congregational Church and St. Mary's Cathedral, and concert performances with countless other musicians and groups.
He is survived by his wife Helen Saman; and sisters, Victoria Bjortant and Susan Woodle.
A memorial service will be celebrated by Father Frank Knusel at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, March 2, at St. Patrick Church. Cantores in Ecclesia will sing Maurice Duruflé's
Requiem, conducted by Blake Applegate and accompanied by organist Hannah Brewer.