May 27, 2008
NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) will bestow its two highest awards of national distinction at its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 25, during the AGO National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. AGO President Frederick Swann will preside over the award ceremonies.
The AGO PRESIDENT’S AWARD will be presented to Mr. and Mrs. Wesley C. Dudley of Williamsburg, Va. The prestigious award, created in 1988, is presented biennially to recognize outstanding contributions to the art of the organ in the United States. The 2008 President’s Award will recognize the Dudleys’ dedicated support of the AGO and generous patronage of the King of Instruments, particularly through Pipedreams broadcasts, bringing the voice of the organ into American homes from coast to coast and beyond. Past recipients of the President’s Award include: Clementine Miller Tangeman, Alice Tully, Mr. and Mrs. A.D. Hulings, Amelia Lay Hodges, J. Michael Barone, Roberta Bitgood, FAGO, CHM, Edward A. Hansen, AAGO (posthumously awarded), Anthony Baglivi, Craig R. Whitney, and Pleasant T. Rowland.
The AGO EDWARD A. HANSEN LEADERSHIP AWARD will be presented to Marianne Webb of Carbondale, Ill. Created by the AGO National Council in 1999 to honor the memory of the Guild’s distinguished past president, Edward A. Hansen, AAGO, the prestigious award is presented biennially to recognize individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the AGO. The 2008 Edward A. Hansen Award will be presented in recognition of Miss Webb’s stellar career as a concert artist and distinguished teacher, and in gratitude for her lifetime of leadership, devoted service, and extraordinary generosity to the AGO. Previous award recipients include: Karen McFarlane Holtkamp, Ruth M. Caswell, Joyce S. Hesketh, Betty Jean Bartholomew, and D. DeWitt Wasson, CHM.
Wesley C. Dudley’s interest in organ music began as a child at Trinity Church, Buffalo, N.Y. Following grade school, he enrolled at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H. Channing Lefebvre played a concert there every Sunday night, rarely repeating a program. This was truly fascinating to Wes. His college years were spent at Yale where organ music was plentiful. Following graduation, two years in the Navy, and marriage to Lucinda (at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Minneapolis), he and Cinda returned to Buffalo where they lived for 20 years.
Wes met Herman Schlicker there and the next thing he knew, he was raising funds and preparing a space at Calvary Church outside of Buffalo for a new Schlicker organ, which was dedicated in 1970. That was also the year Russell Saunders certified him an official "organ nut." Wes made many recordings at churches in the area, some of which were roadcast on the University of Buffalo station. Eventually, he built an organ in his basement.
In 1980, Wes suggested to Minnesota Public Radio that they record some of the AGO National Convention for possible broadcast. Because Cinda’s brother, Nick Nash, was program director, this only required a simple phone call. That telephone conversation was the beginning of Pipedreams. In his Virginia retirement Wes has continued his interest in the organ world and remains a quiet and supportive presence in the organ community.
Cinda has been a camp follower and party giver for most of their marriage. She freely admits she will do almost anything for a few days in a hotel with room service. She has heard a lot of organ music and once thought she could trade attendance at organ concerts for attendance at the opera. It didn’t work. She continues to enjoy the people who make the organ world so interesting.
Marianne Webb has maintained a balanced career as an internationally recognized performer and teacher. She is Distinguished University Organist at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), where she has taught organ and music theory since 1965. She built a thriving organ department and established, organized, and directed the nationally acclaimed SIUC Organ Festival (1966–1980), the first of its kind in the country. She sought funding for and designed the 58-rank Reuter pipe organ in Shryock Auditorium in 1969. The instrument is named in her honor. Together with her husband, David N. Bateman, she established the endowed Marianne Webb and David N. Bateman Distinguished Organ Recital Series.
Miss Webb is a graduate of Washburn University in Topeka, Kans., and obtained the master of music degree, with highest distinction, from the University of Michigan in 1959. Her teachers were Jerald Hamilton, Marilyn Mason, Max Miller, and Robert Noehren. In 1961, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to continue her studies in Paris with André Marchal. While in Paris she served as supply organist for the American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal). Further graduate study was with Arthur Poister at Syracuse University and Russell Saunders at the Eastman School of Music.
As a concert artist and clinician, Miss Webb toured extensively throughout the United States performing at AGO regional and national conventions, and for the national conventions of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity and the Fellowship of American Baptist Musicians, as well as for local AGO chapters, churches, colleges, and universities. She has recorded on the Pro Organo and Pleiades labels and was featured on American Public Media’s Pipedreams.
An active member of the AGO, Miss Webb served as a member of the national committees on Educational Resources, Chapter Development, and Membership Development and Chapter Support. She re-established the Southern Illinois AGO Chapter in 1983 and served as its dean for six years. She is a member of the Clarence Dickinson Society and founded the AGO St. Cecilia Recital series in 2007. Through this magnanimous gift to the American Guild of Organists, Marianne Webb will be remembered, in perpetuity, for her musical artistry, excellence in teaching, and as a woman of quiet strength, courage, generosity, and abiding faith.
The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. Founded in 1896 as both an educational and service organization, it sets and maintains high musical standards and promotes the understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music. The mission of the AGO is to enrich lives through organ and choral music. The Guild currently serves approximately 19,000 members in more than 300 local chapters throughout the United States and abroad. The American Organist Magazine, the official journal of the AGO and the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, reaches an audience of more than 20,000 readers each month.
This information is submitted by F. Anthony Thurman, Director of Development and Communications at the National Headquarters of the American Guild of Organists and The American Organist Magazine. For further information, please contact Dr. Thurman by TEL (212) 870-2310, FAX (212) 870-2163 or E-MAIL email@example.com.