Youngstown Chapter

Last updated: January 30, 2015 at 5:46 am

Message from the Dean 


Welcome to Youngstown, Ohio, and to our local chapter of the American Guild of Organists web page. A chapter of 52 members, we serve Youngstown and its surrounding areas.

Our membership is not limited only to organists, but embraces all who enjoy and promote worship through music and song. Together we work to improve the quality of musical and liturgical performance within our community.

Annually, we provide a variety of educational programs to enrich our personal skills which are free to members and friends. These events include recitals, lectures, workshops, and choral presentations. Light refreshments follow the events for interaction among those in attendance. We have an exciting listing of upcoming events for March, April, and May. Please refer to our Events Section for details.

We encourage any musician from student to retiree to join us and enhance our endeavors towards achieving our motto: “Soli Deo Gloria.”


Local Events


7 Sat       JACKIE WARREN TRIO . . .7:30 pm
Cleveland’s Queen of Piano Jazz     $15 per person
 Christ Episcopal Church    Ticket Info: (330.372.4998)
2627 Atlantic Street NE, Warren OH  44483

27 Fri      QUIRE CLEVELAND . . . 7:30 pm
Ross Duffin, Artistic Director
David Falls, Toronto Consort, Guest Conductor
Cathedral of St. John
1107 Superior-E 9th, Cleveland

6  Fri       JAMES O’DONNELL, Organ . . . 7:30 pm
Organist/Master of Choristers – Westminster Abbey, London
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
3747 Fairmount, Cl. Heights
Akron Chapter AGO – Co-sponsor

7  Sat      JAMES O’DONNELL, Clinician . . . 9:00 am
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
2230 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland

13 Fri      CONTRAPUNCTUS (Cleveland, OH) . . . 7:30 pm
Angel Voices ever Singing
David Acres, Director
Cathedral of St. John
1007-E 9th, Cleveland

15 Sun    WEST SHORE CHORALE  . . . 7:30 pm
John Drotleff, Musical Director
Haydn: Mass #13 (Creation Mass) & Choral Favorites
Memorial Hall, Rocky River City Hall Complex
Wagar and Hilliard, Rocky River

22 Sun    BALDWIN-WALLACE MEN’S CHORUS . . . 4:00 pm
Fairlawn Lutheran Church
3415 W. Market Street, Akron

22 Sun    BARBARA BRUNS, Organist  . . . 4:00 pm
From the Parish of Christ Church, Andover MA
St. Paul Cathedral
108 North Dithridge, Pittsburgh PA

27 Fri      BURNING RIVER BAROQUE . . . 8:00 pm
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
50 N. Prospect, Akron

30 Mon  DANA CHORALE . . . 7:30 pm
University Chorus, Women’s Chorus
Dr. Hae-Jong Lee, Director
Christ Episcopal Church
2627 Atlantic Street NE, Warren



February 2015


Tuesday, February 24 – 7:00 pm

First Presbyterian Church
201 Wick Avenue, Youngstown

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Richard “Dick” W. Stevenson, 77, Greenville, PA, passed away at 3:35 pm on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at UPMC Horizon Hospital in Greenville, PA. Dick was born in Greenville, PA on April 6, 1937 to the late, Williard W. and Mildred E. (Gathmann) Stevenson.

Dick was a 1955 graduate of Penn High School. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Dick managed his family business, Stevenson Motor Co., for twenty-five years. He retired in October of 2010 as a manufacturer representative for fire/rescue equipment, selling fire trucks, after fifty years. Dick was honorably discharged with the rank of S/Sgt. from the U.S. Army reserve.

Dick was a member of the American Guild of Organists, Youngstown, Ohio Chapter, for over sixty years. He was an avocational organist with occasional subbing. Dick served on the Greenville Symphony Society, Inc. Board of Directors for twelve years, holding positions of treasurer, grants officer and personnel director. He served on the Advisory Board of Directors at First Seneca/Integra Bank in the Greenville office, for sixteen years. Dick was an active member of the Greenville Volunteer Fire Co. for ten years, serving as Treasurer, Secretary and Trustee of The Relief Association, where had been an honorary member since 1972. He was the current organist at the Presbyterian Church of Conneaut Lake.

He was married to the former Marjorie L. (Jordan) Stevenson on April 15, 1961 and she preceded him in death on September 9, 2011.

Dick is survived by: daughter, Carolyn L. Miller of Kinsman, OH; son, James S. Stevenson, and his wife, Rita, of Greenville; two granddaughters, Chelsey Miller of Murrieta, CA, and Mackenzie Jane Stevenson of Greenville; and grandson, James “JT” Stevenson of Greenville.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his son, David W. Stevenson.

Rest in peace dear friend.
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Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
2230 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland
Wednesdays at 12:10 pm

Todd Wilson and the talented CIM organists pull out all the stops on Trinity’s two Flentrop pipe organs.

Cleveland’s Queen of Piano Jazz
Jackie offers a program of favorites, concluding with Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (organist Todd Wilson).

18 ASH WED (No concert)

 CSU pianists share their talents in a widely varied program.

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Sympathies are extended to Laura and Tim Elder and their family on the death of Laura’s mother, Mary Ellen Leshinsky, who died on Thursday, January 22.
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Happy 330th Birthday,
George Frideric Handel

Before there was Handel’s Ice Cream, there was George Frideric Handel. Both Handels have been giving us pleasure for a long while and no doubt will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

He was born Georg Friedrich Handel on February 23, 1685 in Halle, Duchy of Magdeburg. His father was a barber-surgeon who wanted his son to study law and ordered him not to play musical instruments. Young Handel’s interest in music overcame filial piety and somehow Georg smuggled a clavichord into the house, practicing late at night when others were asleep. His nocturnal practices paid off when on a visit to Weissenfels Georg surprised onlookers by competently playing a pipe organ. With the support of Duke Johann Adolf I, young Handel convinced his father to allow him to study composition, keyboard, and a variety of instruments with the esteemed Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow, organist at Halle’s Marienkirche.

Filial piety then took over when Georg acceded to his father’s wishes and began to study law at the University of Halle. Yet he also had a position as organist, superseded in 1703 by a job playing violin and harpsichord with an orchestra in Hamburg. He was also composing operas by this time. A trip to Italy gave Handel knowledge of Italian music and by 1710 Handel was Kapellmeister to the Elector of Hanover, who in 1714 would become King George I of Great Britain and Ireland, the British having run out of candidates they deemed suitable heirs to the throne. Handel moved to England before the other George did, and before long Georg had become George. Queen Anne gave Handel a yearly stipend of 200 pounds, a reward for the Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate, composed for Her Majesty.

In 1717 Handel was appointed house composer at Cannons in Middlesex; here he wrote the twelve Chandos Anthems. Handel was a prolific composer of operas, instrumental music (think Water Music), oratorios (think Messiah), and delightful organ concertos. The Great Mr. Handel, a 1942 British film, is an enjoyable movie, though not as great as Handel himself. The film does a fine job of portraying Handel’s financial difficulties, the fickleness of the public, and, above all, his passionate devotion to his music. The scene in which Handel and two orphan boys play the famous Largo and are joined by soprano Susannah Cibber is totally moving.

Handel died on April 14, 1759, having earned fame and respect from the music-loving public. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. Beethoven said of Handel that “he is the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel before his tomb.” Mozart also praised him: “Handel understands effect better than any of us—when he chooses, he strikes like a thunderbolt.”

Remember: ice cream melts in minutes. Music lasts longer. (AG)




































2012-2013 Membership Fees

$97.00 Regular Member
$72.00 Special (Senior/Disabled,over 65)
$37.00 Student
$72.00 Partner/ Second Member
$38.00 Dual (indicate primary chapter)
$15.00 Student dual member
$15.00 Chapter Friend

A special feature that our chapter offers for first year members is a discounted membership fee of $57.

Contact Nancy Brescia at for a membership form.



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



The Youngstown Chapter AGO has a strong performance record when it comes to the guild exams: over one-third of the current membership holds at least one guild certificate. The requirements for professional certification appear in the July issue of “The American Organist.” The Service Playing exam can be taken in the Youngstown Chapter anytime before April 30, 2007; the Colleague exam can also be taken locally, on either May 11 or November 16, 2007. The Choir Master, Associate, and Fellowship exams are administered at nearby examination centers in Cleveland or Pittsburgh. Examination materials and repertoire are kept in the Cathedral Music Library and are available to chapter members. For further information, please contact Daniel Laginya, examination coordinator, at


Contact Us

Dean: Tim Elder
Sub-Dean: Adam Zagotti
Secretary: Gary P. Richards
Treasurer: Nancy Brescia

Newsletter editor: Gary Richards

Executive Board Members 
Bradley A. Bonam. .
Jeannine Morris. .
Mary Ann Bilas Bush. .
Susanne Mayerchak. .
Sean Baran. . .
Nancy McNeal



Hemry Pipe Organ Company
Kegg Organ Company
Schantz Organ Company
Youngstown State University Concert Series

AGO National website