Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter

Last updated: September 9, 2014 at 17:36 pm

Message from the Dean 

Welcome to the Metro New Jersey Chapter of the AGO!

We are celebrating our 94th year and are very excited about our upcoming programs and the new energy in our chapter. We have planned a variety of entertaining and informative events for the 2013-14 season, as listed below.

New members, both organists and organ aficionados, are always welcome. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

Jim Little, Dean


Local Events






Friday, September 19 – 7:00 PM
Kickoff Potluck at Bruce Lockhart’s home
120 Sherman Avenue
Teaneck, NJ 07666
RSVP to Bev McGregor at

Monday, October 21 – 7:30 PM
Members’ Music Sharing Event
Also, BYO Music to Swap: proceeds benefit the
George Markey Scholarship Fund
United Methodist Church in Morristown
50 South Park Place
Morristown, NJ 07960

Monday, 19, 9 AM – 4:00 PM
(Snowdate: Saturday, January 24)

First United Methodist Church
130 Ferris Place
Westfield, NJ 07090
Deborah Simpkin King, guest clinician
$15 admission

Friday, April 10 – 7 PM
Organ Recital by Jeffrey Brillhart
The Presbyterian Church in Morristown
57 E. Park Place
Morristown, NJ 07960

Saturday, April 11 – 10 AM to 12 Noon
Masterclass by Jeffrey Brillhart
The Presbyterian Church in Morristown
57 E. Park Place
Morristown, NJ 07960

Monday, May 11 – 12:00 PM Noon
Metro Mid-day Munch in May
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
119 Main Street
Millburn, NJ 07041
Joseph Arndt, organist
Lunch to follow

Monday, June 8 – 6:00 PM
Organ Crawl
Time and Locations to be announced
Reservations required


Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m.


Fall Kick-Off event with Potluck. At the home of Bruce Lockhart,
120 Sherman Ave. Teaneck, NJ 07666. Please RSVP with your contribution to Bev McGregor at or

Sunday, September 21, 4:00 p.m.

Organ Recital with Jennifer Pascual, Works of Bach, Duruflé, and Purvis. Suggested donation $15. The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, 89 Ridge Street, Newark, NJ 07104

Sunday, September 28, 3:30 p.m.

Treble Evensong for St. Michael and All Angels, Anne Matlack, director. Music by Bairstow, Archer, and Roihl. Free, reception follows. Grace Church, 4 Madison Avenue at Kings Road, Madison, NJ 07940.



The chapter newsletter is The Metro Mixtures and the Newsletter Editor is Chris Hatcher. He can be reached at


* * * September 2014 METRO MIXTURES NEWSLETTER * * *



Greetings, all. Hope you had a wonderful summer! My wife, Nancy and I spent the larger part of it driving to and from Alaska in our aging motorhome, with the usual problems driving such a rig, but overall having a wonderful time. It was a great beginning to our retirement! The best part of it all is that our marriage is still intact after so much togetherness! I am delighted to be chosen as your Dean, and will be looking to all of the members for guidance in what exactly I’m supposed to be doing. My last elected office was as fraternity president as a college undergrad, and I don’t want to admit how long ago that was.

Many thanks are due to Sub-Dean Joe Arndt and the program committee who put together a marvelous schedule for the upcoming year, while Nancy and I were out tearing up the roads, and our motorhome, in Alaska. We are opening, as you will read, with a pot-luck dinner on Friday evening, September 19th. Details can be found in this newsletter. I hope all of us can be present to meet and greet, and generate some excitement about the upcoming year. Thanks to Bruce Lockhart for opening his home in Teaneck for this event. Please be sure to respond to the request in this issue and let us know what you are planning to bring for dinner. I understand that it is a requirement that I provide Mother Little’s famous devilled eggs, so will go on record as doing so.

If you hear of anyone who might be interested in joining our chapter, or simply coming to one of our events to try us out, please do let me know (908.403.5825) so I can give them a call or send an email. It’s important, obviously, that we be as welcoming and proactive as possible in order to attract more members. I am sure that our varied and interesting programs for the year should also help to bring people in. Also, please be aware that my Calvary Church email is no longer operative, so I can only be reached through

I’m very excited about the upcoming year with the Guild, as well as beginning a totally new chapter in my own life. It’s going to be quite a change—the first time since 1963 that I haven’t had at least a part time church job. But, substitute jobs are already coming in, and it’s kind of a luxury to be able to pick and choose which ones to take on. I’m also teaching high school vocal music for the first three months of this school year, covering a maternity leave, and also have accepted an accompanist position at the New Jersey Youth Chorus, playing for two new boy’s and young men’s ensembles. So much for what passes as retirement! I look forward to seeing you all very soon.

–Jim Little, Dean


It is a privilege to serve as your new Sub-Dean. The Program Committee and I have been hard at work creating another season of chapter events. It has been my personal goal to have chapter programs that are both educational and practical. I believe we have accomplished that this year, and I hope you will spread the word!

Many organists, particularly in my generation, spend lots of time practicing while in college and graduate school. Many curricula are focused on turning out virtuoso organists. This is wonderful and something for which we should be grateful. However, many organists graduate and soon discover that much of their careers will be spent in churches conducting choirs of amateur singers. And many of them are not well-prepared to do this. If you think about it, our role in churches is important, and not just in a religious or congregational way. Music education is not as valued today as it has been in the past. Consequently, many of us may offer our congregations their most significant cultural experience all week. The church is likely the only place they will hear live music and be a part of communal singing. This makes our skills and our mission all the more crucial. We must be advocates for not only the organ, but also for choral music and the performing arts in general.

It is my goal that our chapter members will be mindful of how important our role as choral conductors is. With this in mind, our next chapter convention will be devoted exclusively to this. On MLK Day in 2015, our guest clinician will be Deborah Simpkin King, founder and director of Schola Cantorum on Hudson. Dr. King is a wonderful musician and educator, and I have collaborated with her on several projects.

Dr. King will lead two sessions for us. The morning session will be a master class format in which four of our chapter members will conduct for her, and the rest of us will serve as the choir. The goal is for four people to be coached on a piece they conduct in their churches. We hope to have a variety of repertoire (in both style and difficulty level). If you are interested in conducting, please contact me at my personal email address found at the end of this article.

When you contact me, please give me your name and what piece you would like to conduct. And please bear in mind we may not be able to accommodate all interested people. All of us will benefit from this masterclass, whether we are singing in the choir or conducting.

Dr. King’s afternoon session will be more open-ended. She will be discussing various aspects of working with singers, including vocal technique and warm-ups. If there is anything you hope she might cover, please contact me.

I am also looking forward to a recital and improvisation masterclass next spring with Jeffrey Brillhart. Mr. Brillhart teaches improvisation at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. There is space for a few participants in his masterclass. If this interests you, please contact me or Matthew Webb at the Presbyterian Church in Morristown.

Our program year will conclude with an organ crawl in June. Specific information will be provided in the coming weeks.

I wish you each a wonderful new program year, and I hope to see you at our first event in September.

Joe Arndt, Sub-Dean


Bruce Lockhart has graciously agreed to open his home for our first meeting on Friday, September 19th, at 7PM. This meeting (open only to members) will be an opportunity to simply spend time together without any other agenda! As it will be a potluck, you may call or email Bev McGregor to let her know what you would like to bring. Bev’s contact information is: 973.478.2400 or

Like last year, our October meeting on Monday, October 20th, at 7PM will be an opportunity to share some of your favorite music with your fellow AGO members. You can play a whole piece or just a portion of it. Also, like last year, we will publish the list of pieces performed (with publisher information) in the newsletter following the event. If you’d like to send any information in advance (composer, title, and publisher) to Joe Arndt, please do so at


Our chapter currently has 87 members. We are excited to welcome several new members as we start a new year: William Alford lives in Pennington and is a Dual member with us from the Central NJ Chapter; Dr. David Bower resides in Jersey City, is Director of Music & Organist at St. Michael in Cranford, and a Dual member from the NYC Chapter; Frank Fano is from Bayonne and is Assoc. Pastor at St. Helen Church in Westfield; Fred Frabotta lives in Weehawken and plays at St. Anne’s in Jersey City; Genevieve Petruccelli, from Watchung, joined us as a student member in April. We look forward to being able to say “welcome” in person!

In other member news, Michael Rosin graduated from the Cali School at MSU and has moved to San Francisco where he is working on a MA in composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Michael has joined the San Francisco chapter. Scott Ziegler has moved to Gainesville, FL and joined the Gainesville Chapter, but will retain a Dual membership with us. Scott is doing grad work in Organ Performance at the University of Florida while serving as a Graduate Assistant.

Long time Metro NJ Chapter member and Past Dean Ann Lewis has moved to Pennsylvania but will keep her Metro NJ Chapter membership! We send our very best wishes to Ann in her new home. New contact info:
Ann C. Lewis
2417 Brittany Pointe
Lansdale, PA 19446

Nixon Bicknell, another long time Metro NJ Chapter member, church musician, educator and former resident of Montclair, has a new address within New Hampshire:
10 Greystone Pl.
Laconia, NH 03246-2558

Also, please note the following e-mail changes from last year’s directory:
Jonathan Hall
Dean Jim Little
Scott Ziegler

In June we had 140 members in our chapter, so about 50 people still need to renew their AGO memberships. Please try to complete this ASAP. A delay may cause an interruption in your American Organist magazine subscription. As I have shared in earlier articles, all memberships are now processed at AGO Headquarters in Manhattan, using the new ONCARD (Online National Collection and Remittal of Dues) system. Information was also provided in several TAO articles leading up to the conversion. It is easy to update your information and pay your dues online. (Members without email were to receive a paper form from NY in the early summer.)
• Please go to
• From the home screen click on the “Membership” tab
• From the drop-down select “Renew Your Membership”
• This will take you to the new ONCARD log in page
• You will use your first initial and full last name. (Do not include apostrophes, hyphens, or spaces.) Password is your AGO ID# from your TAO magazine label (four or five digits, just to the left of your expiration date.)
• The process begins with a page of personal information and some questions from me about the chapter (sub status, email vs. US mail, etc.)
• On another screen you select your primary and any secondary chapters, if you wish
• There is a place to donate to the AGO annual fund and our own George Markey scholarship fund
• You will work your way through several screens, each time clicking at the bottom when done. Several times they ask you to verify the information. Some who have had questions just did not believe the number of screens involved.
• Finally, you will get to a payment page. There you may pay by credit card, or use the option to print the form and mail it with a check. Either is fine. If you mail, it goes to AGO in NYC–the address is given or it’s in the TAO.

Please let me know if you have any questions or problems with the membership process.
If you are not sure if your dues are current, follow the first steps and log in to the ONCARD system. Check your information and click on “post changes.” If the page does not change, you are paid and up to date! Members who need to renew will walk through the entire process outlined above. It would be helpful if everyone would take a look at their personal information. In many cases degree, certificates, phone numbers and/or employment information has been omitted. I need to have the chapter specific questions answered as well—most are boxes to check and pertain to substitute work, etc. You may think “Scott has my information” but I will use the ONCARD information in preparing the next directory. Please make sure everything is complete and correct. Anyone can log in and update their personal information page. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you!

–Scott Jones, Treasurer and Membership Chair



We can accept advertisements in the newsletter for goods and services which are for sale. Besides text ads, we can place business card-size ads for inclusion in the Metro Mixtures.Ads may be purchased for $10 (for Metro NJ AGO members), and $20 (for non-members) per issue of Metro Mixtures. Business card ads must be “camera-ready.” Memorial tributes and “best wishes” may also be placed by members for $10 per issue. To place a text ad, send your ad (or business card) along with a check (payable to Metro NJ AGO) to the newsletter editor. Please note that text ads may need to be edited due to space constraints. If you would like more information about placing an ad please contact

Past Dean, Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter


The Membership Chairperson is Scott Jones. You may contact him via e-mail at



The Placement Chairperson is Chris Hatcher. To submit a listing, please contact him via e-mail at

Employers and job seekers are invited to post and search listings of available positions on the Guild’s National Website.



As a chapter, we are committed to the certification process, which can be found in the July Issue of our national ‘house organ’ The American Organist.

We have members who have achieved certification in all of the programs offered, including: Service Playing, Colleague, Choir Master, Associateship and Fellowship. With our location in Central New Jersey, we are sometimes asked to accomodate candidates from surrounding chapters, and do so gladly. Certification chairman is Dennis Dell, 732 750-2960, or via e-mail at


Contact Us

Dean: James Little –
Sub-Dean: Joseph Arndt –
Secretary: Eric Fahner –
Treasurer: Scott Jones –
Financial Advisor: Michael Newman
Membership: Scott Jones –
Hospitality: Yvonne Sonnenwald –
Placement: Chris Hatcher – chris.hatcher01[at]
Professional Concerns: Yvonne Sonnenwald –
Newsletter Editor: Chris Hatcher –
Publicity: Beverly McGregor –
Exam Coordinator: Dennis Dell –
TAO Events Reporter: Yvonne Sonnenwald –
Chapter Photographer: Beverly McGregor –
Markey Scholarship: Charles Banks
New Organist Committee – Vincent Carr –

Executive Board

Class of 2012-2016
Brian Harlow
Holland Jancaitis
Linda Loria

Class of 2014-2018
Gretchen Bilson
Kristin Dabaghian
Matthew Webb

Member ex officio
Yvonne Sonnenwald-Melin



AGO National website