Last updated: March 4, 2014 at 12:36 pm
Message from the Dean
Welcome to the SouthEast Jersey Chapter.
For more than a century, the American Guild of Organists has been the largest, unified voice in the world dedicated to supporting the organ and those who play it. In recent years, the Guild has rededicated its energies toward broadening the appreciation and understanding of organ music, and to restoring the glory of the King of Instruments throughout our society.
With over 18,000 Members, the Guild has a headquarters in New York and over 340 local chapters in the United States and internationally. The SouthEast Jersey Chapter serves Atlantic County, Cape May County, and the southern Delaware Bay portion of Cumberland County.
First and foremost, we welcome you to our musical events. We enjoy making music. We invite you to be part of the experience. We also provide educational programs such as registration workshops, accompaniment classes, and organ “crawls,” to name a few. At times, we participate in ventures with other Chapters. We also participate in events for young people.
If you are not a Member or Chapter Friend, please consider joining us. We welcome your participation. All who are interested in the organ and choral music fields are invited to join. Membership is open to everyone, regardless of religion, denomination, or musical ability. Students, amateurs, hobbyists, professionals, virtuosos, and others make up our ranks.
My thanks to all in our Chapter who volunteer and help out in so many ways. If you have any questions or if our Chapter can be of help to you, please do not hesitate to get in touch. My appreciation, too, to all our Chapter Members and Friends. Without your continued support, our work is not possible.
As Charles Marie Widor states, “Organ playing is the manifestation of a will filled with the vision of eternity.” And according to Honore de Balzac, “The organ is the grandest, the most daring, the most magnificent of all instruments invented by human genius.”
Dennis E. Cook, Dean
Contemplative Music for Lent – John and Judy Curtis – Voice, Organ, Harpsichord: March 23, 2014, Sunday, 3 PM, Saint Barnabas by-the-Bay Episcopal Church, 13 West Bates Avenue (near Bates and Bayshore Avenues), Villas, NJ. Freewill offering.
Lamenta, An Evening of Laments – “The Thirteen” – A Chamber Choir – 13 Artists/One Voice: March 30, 2014, Sunday, 6 PM, Episcopal Church of The Advent, 686 Washington Street (Franklin and Washington Streets), Cape May, NJ; $15 admission.
Organ Recital by Scott Breiner: April 27, 2014, Sunday, 3 PM, Saint Barnabas by-the-Bay Episcopal Church, 13 West Bates Avenue (near Bates and Bayshore Avenues), Villas, NJ. Freewill offering.
Easter Lessons and Carols: May 11, 2014, Sunday, 4 PM, Episcopal Church of The Advent, 686 Washington Street (Franklin and Washington Streets), Cape May, NJ
Spring Concert / Dance Extravaganza – Cape Shore Chorale: June 1, 2014, Sunday, 3 PM, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 2998 Bay Avenue (30th Street and Bay Avenue), Ocean City, NJ. Freewill offering.
“TBA” – Cape Shore Chorale: November 30, 2014, Sunday, Grace Lutheran Church, 11 East Dawes Avenue, Somers Point, NJ. Freewill offering
For sale: recently built wooden chests designed to store organ pipes. For information, please contact Michael Kirk at 856-343-8443.
Congratulations to the Cape Shore Chorale on the celebration of its tenth anniversary in 2014.
Boardwalk Hall organ to be part of Miss America 2013
On July 1, 2013 Steven Ball Ph.D., began work at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall as organist and development director. A Fulbright Scholar leaving the University of Michigan as professor in the music department to move here, Steve is an active member of the AGO, a recitalist, carilloneur, classic and theatre performer, recording artist, and silent film accompanist. He started playing church music on the organ at age 9. He will be assisting at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. His web site iswww.stevenball.com.
Congratulations to John Gottschall on the publication of his work, Bach Chorales Proclaiming the Gospel:http://www.schwenkfelder.com/Heritageshop/folkart.htm
Congratulations to Wade Cooper on his new radio show, Cape May Pops, on 101.5 FM in Cape May:http://www.centerforcommunityarts.org/radio.htm
The SouthEast Jersey Chapter welcomes all interested in the organ, choral activities, and related music. Membership is open to everyone, regardless of religion, denominational affiliation, or musical ability. The Southeast Jersey Chapter serves Atlantic County. Cape May County, and the southern Delaware Bay section of Cumberland County.
Why join the SouthEast Jersey Chapter?
Joining the Chapter benefits you, others like you (musicians and non-musicians alike), those for whom you perform or sponsor musical events, and, in general, all who love organ music.
Must I be an organist or a musician to join?
If I am an organist, must I be a seasoned performer to join?
No. Students, amateurs, hobbyists, professionals, virtuosos, and others make up our ranks.
In what ways can I join?
Two ways: as a Voting Member or as a Chapter Friend. Those who are not organists may join either as a Voting Member or Chapter Friend. Joining as a Chapter Friend does not include all benefits of Voting Membership (e.g. receiving The American Organist).
How are dues used?
Part stays with the SouthEast Jersey Chapter for work we do. Part covers your subscription to The American Organist (if joining as a Member). Part supports the work of national headquarters.
What are the benefits of being a Chapter Member?
- Networking and communication with others like yourself in a friendly group
- Opportunities to interact with those who have concerns and interests similar to yours
- Participation in educational events to assist you as a musician
- Programs for young people
- Promotion of musical performances you present or host
- Access to scholarship funds for Members who want to pursue organ studies
- Assistance locating positions
- Participation in SouthEast Jersey Chapter socials
- A subscription to The American Organist if joining as a Chapter Voting Member
Voting Member or Chapter Friend?
Voting Member:Voting Membership is available to organists, choral conductors, and anyone who supports the mission of the Guild. Voting membership includes participation in all national activities, elections, eligibility for certification examinations and for all insurance plans, and a one-year subscription to The American Organist. Voting Membership is available at reduced rates to those age 65 or older, under 21, the disabled, and full-time students. Dual Voting Membership is available for Members who want to be involved with more than one Chapter. You need not be an organist, choral conductor, singer, or musician to join as a Voting Member.
- Regular Voting Member
- Special Voting Member: 65 and over, under 21, or disabled
- Student Voting Member: full-time student with valid school ID
- Partner Voting Member: must be affiliated with a Regular, Special, or Student Voting Member at same household; one copy The American Organist per household
- Regular or Special Dual Voting Member: paid to second Chapter; Regular or Special voting membership with a primary Chapter required
- Student Dual Voting Member: paid to second Chapter; Student voting membership with primary Chapter required
Another way to be affiliated with our Chapter is to join as a Chapter Friend. Chapter Friends support the local Chapter, receive Chapter newsletters, and participate in Chapter events. A Chapter Friend membership does not include national voting privileges, membership benefits, or a subscription to The American Organist.
Dues / How to Join or Renew Membership
For current dues information and any current special promotions, and for membership applications and membership renewal forms, please contact the Southeast Jersey Chapter Treasurer:
George H. Grover
220 North New Hampshire Avenue – #1411
Atlantic City, NJ 08401-5554
+ Saint James Lutheran Church, Pitman NJ, Organist and Choir Director, 2 manual Wicks organ, 8:30 & 11:00 services, adult and youth choirs. Contact Pastor Daniel Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org (856-589-1180) or Joan Gebhart at email@example.com (856-589-1963.)
+ Saint Michael Roman Catholic Church
Atlantic City, NJ
Organist and Choir Director
To list a post, contact Dennis E. Cook 609-345-7686, firstname.lastname@example.org.
609-884-7068 (H), 609-425-8112 (C), Thebews@comcast.net
Dennis E. Cook
609-641-2330, 609-345-7686, 609-641-6555(F), email@example.com
609-536-8379 (H), firstname.lastname@example.org
John K. Gottschall
609-701-0091 (H), email@example.com
Sallie B. Mellem
609-884-8625 (H), 609-884-3065 (W)
Jean C. Ridgway
609-399-7186 (H), 609-398-3155 (2nd), 609-399-1833 (W)
Employers and job seekers are invited to post and search listings of available positions on the Guild’s National Website.
Education and certification are at the heart of the Guild’s mission and have been since it originally was chartered over a century ago. The Guild’s certification program “is comparable to license and accreditation board standards in other fields, such as medicine, accounting, law, [and] education…
“Preparation for the exams strengthens you in areas that you use all the time: sight-reading, transposition, modulation, improvisation, accompaniment, and hymn-playing. Preparation is completely flexible. You can study on your own; you can work with a teacher; you can prepare as a group.
“The certification process is anonymous and it is fair. No one needs to know anything about it except the one chapter member who makes the arrangements. The examiners never see you and don’t know who you are. You could be a high school student or a college professor.
“You will know exactly what will happen at the exam. There are no surprises. All the procedures are spelled out in detail for all participants…
“The most important reason to become certified, of course, is that you will be a better organist and a better musician. The preparation will make you more skilled and confident. And the certificate will give you the respect of your employer and your peers, and a justified feeling of accomplishment.” (from the Guild’s Certification document)
To pursue certification, please contact Dennis E. Cook, Dean, at 609-345-7686 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SouthEast Jersey Chapter Scholarship Program, and Musical Instruction and Services
Students who want to pursue organ studies as part of their college education may apply for a scholarship from the SouthEast Jersey Chapter. In addition, the Chapter provides scholarships for Members who wish to pursue organ studies with a Member instructor. For information on scholarship programs, please contact Dennis E. Cook, Dean, 609-345-7686, email@example.com.
The following SouthEast Jersey Chapter Members provide musical services and/or instruction.
John Gregory Bate: piano and organ
Helena Bew: piano
609-884-7068 (H), Thebews@comcast.net
JoAnne G. Blackwelder: organ and piano
609-399-7767 (H, F), 917-626-0322 (C), Joanne743@aol.com
Scott J. Breiner: organ, piano, and voice
609-399-6476 (H), 917-822-8036 (C), Scottyjim77@aol.com
Dennis E. Cook: organ instruction, pipe organ restoration and service
John Curtis: piano and voice
SouthEast Jersey Chapter Mailing Address
SouthEast Jersey Chapter AGO
Dennis E. Cook, Dean
54 South La Clede Place
Atlantic City, NJ 08401-5806
- Dean: Dennis E. Cook 609-641-2330, 609-345-7686, 609-641-6555(F), firstname.lastname@example.org (term expires July 2014)
- Sub-Dean: Eric Dolch 609-214-5818, 609-344-1040 ext 29, email@example.com (term expires July 2014)
- Secretary: Joanne Blackwelder (term expires July 2014)
- Treasurer: George H. Grover 609-344-7770 (H) (term expires July 2014)
- Professional Concerns: Richard Bew 609-884-7068 (H), Thebews@comcast.net
- Education: Mary K. Snyder 609-425-4084 (H), firstname.lastname@example.org
- Placement: Helena Bew 609-884-7068 (H), 609-425-8112 (C)Thebews@comcast.net
- Joe Rohr (term expires July 2016)
- Chaplain: The Reverend Father C. Thomas Myers
- Newsletter and website: Anthony_Navarra@comcast.net
Boardwalk Pipes (Atlantic City)