AGO New London County Chapter
|Last updated: October 4, 2013|
Message from the Dean
Welcome to the New London Chapter! Our mission is to support and promote sacred music and musicians through their work as organists, choral conductors and church musicians or anyone who just loves to listen to organ and choral music. Please check back soon to see a list of events for the whole year here, based on the new annual directory members received by mail. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to seeing many of you on the Essex Steam Train!
As everyone is settling into their fall schedules, don't forget to mark your calendars for the January Jubilee on Saturday, January 25, 2014. Registration materials will be available soon.
Also, please visit our new chapter website at www.newlondonago.org. Many registration materials, calendar info, and other helpful information is available on the site. You can also see a detailed schedule for the January Jubilee. The password for the 'members' page is organist.
September News: AGO New London Expands Web Presence
We're delighted to announce that, as of August 2013, we now have established our own domain on the web! Please visit AGO New London County Chapter's new site at:
--Joseph Ripka, Dean
Report on Charles Callahanís Workshop on the Art of Hymn Playing (May 5, 2012)
by Elizabeth Limkemann
I enjoyed Mr. Callahanís relaxed style. I felt at ease, and ready to listen and participate. He presented us with some "P" words, starting with Preparation. He strongly recommended studying the TEXT of each hymn we are going to play, to get a sense of the feeling and mood of each verse (which could help in selecting registration), and also where to insert rests for breathing. He suggested
doing this away from the organ, reading the text out loud, as poetry.
When playing hymns, organ stops should reflect the nature of the hymn. There are 2 basic types of hymns: hymns of praise and hymns of meditation. Find different stops and combinations of stops to use, for variety. For example, play melody only on one or two lines of the introduction, sometimes in a different octave. It is often useful to build from softer sounds to louder sounds. Don't use
pedal all the time. Do use the expression pedal(s). I noticed that he used the expression pedals a lot. If you play a wrong note, keep the rhythm going.
Some other useful "P" words he mentioned: Poetry, Pacing, Practice and Pulse. Also Philosophy. He asked the question, "What is rhythm?" and after several AGO members attempted to answer that he gave us his favorite definition, from St. Augustine: "Rhythm is the art of well-ordered movement."
He also told us that, in his opinion, there are only 2 kinds of rhythm, 2 beats and 3 beats. He even suggested that our hearts beat in a 3 rhythm. I thought about that and realized that one of the beats is a rest!
Altogether, he gave me a lot to think about and incorporate into my hymn playing. Many thanks to Central Baptist Church and the New London County AGO for this excellent workshop.
The purpose of the American Guild of Organists is to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for the mutual support, inspiration, education and certification of Guild members.
Membership in the New London County AGO Chapter is open to all who support these ideals including working professionals, students, clergy, amateur musicians and friends. Likewise, our chapter members are full and part time musicians, musicians for large and small congregations, recitalists and people who love organ music but don't necessarily play. We have close to 100 members in our chapter.
We maintain two library collections for our members' use: a selection of individual copies of choral music, which may be borrowed for study; and a collection of selected organ repertoire, also available for borrowing by members. Contact Doug Green for more information.
About the Roberta Bitgood Organ Scholarship
The New London County Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is very pleased to sponsor the Roberta Bitgood Scholarship, which endeavors to assist pianists and beginning organists who would like to study the organ in depth and who intend to seek employment as a church musician. This year, $750 is to be awarded. The deadline for applications is Friday, May 4th; those received after may not be considered. Requirements for the applicant include: applicants must be Connecticut residents; the applicant must have some type of previous keyboard experience and an enthusiasm for the organ; he or she must demonstrate a degree of musical potential and commitment;
the applicant must have an interview with the three scholarship judges and play two (2) pieces that differ in style in a live performance for the judges. These pieces may be for piano or organ, or both.
Some terms of the award include: No cash will be given to the scholarship winner; the award is given on a per lesson basis directly to the organ teacher. The Chapter expects in good faith that the organ teacher will be reasonable in the fee charged for each lesson. We would expect that the recipient receive a minimum of 25-30 lessons. The recipient should realize that the award is for lessons only. Books and other sheet music are to be purchased at the studentís own expense. If the student decides to discontinue taking organ lessons, the teacher should notify the treasurer
and the balance of the award will remain in the Roberta Bitgood Scholarship Fund. After one (1) year of study the recipient may choose to appear as a performer in the New London County Chapter Memberís Recital, date and time to be announced. It is a special joy for the chapter
members to witness the progress and accomplishment of the student. The recipient has the right to reapply for the scholarship the following year, though no individual may receive the scholarship for more than two (2) years.
For complete guidelines and application forms, please contact:
Mr. Jesse N. Glaude, Director of Music
Christ Episcopal Church
78 Washington St.
Norwich, CT 06360
ccsartsmail [at] yahoo [dot] com
For more information about the history of the Roberta Bitgood Organ Scholarship, including the 2012 announcement and application form, and a list of past and current winners, please visit the Roberta Bitgood Commons.
2013-2014 New London County Chapter Program Calendar--Coming Soon!
October Event--See You There!
Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
Chapter members old and new will meet to enjoy the fall foliage at its peak on the beautiful Essex steam train and boat ride. Following we will then go to lunch at Oliver's Restaurant in Essex. Sorry, deadline to book seats is already past--if you missed it, please watch this space for further events, especially the January Jubilee on Saturday, January 25, 2014!
In Retrospect: Last Year's Events
ORGAN RECITAL BY JOSEPH RIPKA
October 12 (2012), 7 pm
St John's Episcopal Church, Niantic
*Organ music of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)
LECTURE ON THE LIFE OF LOUIS VIERNE
BY FRENCH MUSICOLOGIST BRIGITTE DE LEERSNYDER
November 9 (2012), 6:30 pm
St Patrick's Cathedral, Norwich
*Short recital by JEAN GALLARD, titular organist,
ANNUAL CHILDREN'S CHOIR FESTIVAL
January 27 (2013), 4 pm
Second Congregational Church, New London
*Advance registration required for participating choirs!
AGO WORKSHOP DAY
March 2, 2013, 9 am-12:15 pm
Catered lunch immediately following
Noank Baptist Church
*Workshop 1: "Fitness for Organists"
MEMBERS DUO-RECITAL & ANNUAL MEETING
June 9, 2013
St James Episcopal Church, New London
*Choose a Partner to Play 4-Hands/4-Feet
|Our newsletter, "Things Great & Swell," is published monthly except for the months of July and August. Submission deadline is the 20th of each prior month.
To publish a notice of your local musical event, or submit an article for publication in "Things Great & Swell," contact our Newsletter Editor Maryann McCary: maryann0320 [at] aol [dot] com
TG&S is now distributed to members as an electronic document. We continue to mail the paper newsletter to those who still wish to receive it in paper format. If you would prefer not to receive the paper newsletter, contact one of our chapter officers.
|If you are an organist interested in local news about possible employment in or around New London County, be advised that one benefit of AGO membership is that you can receive regular e-mail updates on this topic as well as other timely chapter news. Why don't you join us!
Download our membership application form here
|You are welcome to contact the chapter's placement coordinator for information about current job openings in our area.
llozis [at] att [dot] net
Note that access to the National Positions Available job list has changed! As of Monday, December 15th, when you go to view the details of a Position Available online, you will be asked to fill in a User Name and Password. Your User Name and Password will be your unique AGO identification number. This number is located above your name on the address label that appears on your copy of TAO each month. When prompted to fill in the User Name and Password fields, please enter your ID number in both fields to gain access to the details of all job openings.
Employers and job seekers are invited to post and search listings of available positions on the Guild's National Website.
|Our past Dean, Dr. John P. Anthony, serves as chapter liaison for all AGO examinations. Contact him if you would like information about how to prepare for an AGO exam, or details on when and where a particular exam may be taken.
New London County Chapter
A "local treasure" of Southeastern Connecticut, providing exemplary programs and training relevant to the interests of AGO members everywhere. For information about the Anglican Singers, detailed program information, announcements about auditions, and more, visit their home page.
Jazz buffs...Check out Chapter member Nathan Bayreuther's home page at:
"Pipedreams" update! The broadcast is on the air again in Connecticut. Listen up on Sunday nights!
Or, listen online to the current program, and download earlier ones, by visiting the Pipedreams program archives at:
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