Youngstown Chapter

Last updated: November 29, 2014 at 6:04 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



3 Wed    CAROLS & COCOA and DANA HOLIDAY CONCERT . . . 7:00 pm
Stambaugh Auditorium          $10 / $5
100 Fifth Avenue, Youngstown

5 Fri        DAUGHTERS OF ST. PAUL CHOIR . . . 7:00 pm
(Boston, MA)
Cathedral of St. John
1007 Superior-E 9th, Cleveland

7 Sun      NATHAN LAUBE, Organ . . . 12:00 pm
St. Vitus Church
6019 Lausche, Cleveland
Holtkamp Restoration Project

7 Sun     CIRCLEFEST CAROL SING . . . 4:00 pm
The annual standing-room only holiday concert and
sing-along features the choirs and orchestra of Case
Western Reserve University and the Church of the Covenant.
Church of the Covenant
11205 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland

7 Sun      MESSIAH – G.F. Handel . . .  4:00 & 7:00 pm
Warren Civic Chorus
Dr. Hae-Jong Lee, Director
Blessed Sacrament Church
3020 Reeves Road, Warren

7 Sun      WEST SHORE CHORALE . . . 7:30 pm
Fuller Sounds Bell Choir from Rocky River Methodist
Carmen Massaro, Director
John Drotleff, Musical Director
Carols and Choruses of Christmas
Magnificat Center for the Performing Arts
20770 Hilliard Boulevard, Rocky River

14 Sun     GREENVILLE “MESSIAH” . . . 3:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church
323 Main Street, Greenville, PA
Dan Hogan, Director — Kevin Dill, Organist

14 Sun    MASTER SINGERS, INC. . . . 4:00 pm
Christmas Concert
Fairlawn Lutheran Church
3415 W. Market Street, Akron

14 Sun     FESTIVAL OF LESSONS & CAROLS . . . 7:00 pm
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
2427 Tuscarawas Street W., Canton
Jon Simsic, Organist-Choirmaster

20 Sat     GREENVILLE SYMPHONY “NUTCRACKER”  . . . 3:00 pm
Passavant Center, Thiel College
Micahel Gelfand, Director
Ticket info: or 724.588.6164

21 Sun    FESTIVAL OF LESSONS & CAROLS . . . 7:00 pm
Sung by the combined Episcopal Choirs of the area
Dr. Richard Konzen, Organ – Gary P. Richards, Director
Christ Episcopal Church
2627 Atlantic Street, Warren

4 Sun      54th BOAR’S HEAD & YULE LOG FESTIVAL . . . 1:30 & 4:30 pm
St. John’s Episcopal Church
323 Wick Avenue, Youngstown
For ticket information:  330.743.3175

6 Tue      EPIPHANY FEAST OF THE LIGHTS . . . 7:30 pm
Bringing the Christmas season to a meaningful close: Johnathon  Moyer presents
Messiaen’s evocative organ cycle La Nativite du Seigneur followed by the liturgy for the Feast of Lights.
Church of the Covenant
11205 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland

Boar’s Head & Yule Log Festival . . .  4:30 & 6:30 pm
Orangeville United Methodist Church
Orangeville, OH
For FREE tickets call 330.772.5315

Todd Wilson, Clinician
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
425 Cleveland SW, Canto

A Night in Medieval Spain
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
2230 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland





December 2014


Our past two meetings of the Guild have been incredible! If you were unable to be with us for either of these events, we did miss you! Yun Kim’s performance at Stambaugh Auditorium was simply delightful.  She played with such grace and finesse.  I particularly enjoyed hearing her play Elfes by Bonnet.  Her interpretation of Saint Saens’ Carnival of the Animals was simply wonderful!  My personal thanks to Stambaugh Auditorium for hosting this event and for including Yun’s performance into the Auditorium’s mailing of programming. Thank you to Kathi Miller for hosting Yun in her home for the weekend.  As always, a special thanks to our Sub-Dean, Adam Zagotti, for contacting Yun Kim and arranging this recital.  To learn more about Yun Kim, please refer to her website at

Al Fedak’s presentation of his choral and organ compositions was another wonderful evening together.  I personally have played a number of his pieces and my own little choir has performed his work “Shepherd of Souls”. I enjoyed meeting and talking with the man behind the music. For those of you who were not familiar with his music, you were all able to leave the meeting with a complimentary packet of his choral works to peruse at you leisure!  Thanks to David Schaap, president and founder of Selah Publishing, for traveling from Pittsburgh to be with us, supply us with copies of Mr. Fedak’s choral works and setting up a display of music available for purchase.  Our thanks to Dr. Richard Konzen and the good people of St. John’s for hosting the event and again to our Sub-Dean Adam Zagotti for inviting Mr. Fedak to join us in Youngstown.  After talking with him briefly after the program he commented on how he would love to come back! If you are interested in learning more about Mr. Fedak or Selah Publishing, please go to or

I want to take this opportunity as well to thank all of you who helped underwrite either or both  of  these events with a monetary donation.  If you have not done so, but would still like to contribute, please send your donation (large or small) to our Treasurer, Nancy Brescia.

While we have no program slated for December, please mark your calendars now and plan on joining us at Christ Episcopal Church in Warren on January 26, 2015 for our Pedals, Pipes and Pinot program. This plans to be another exciting opportunity for us to network with each other, learn more about our art and spend quality time with each other.  For more information, please see further information in upcoming newsletter articles.

A reminder to our Executive Committee members that we will be conducting a brief meeting of this board that evening prior to our January program.

On a final note, as you read this….Advent has arrived.  That only means that in four short weeks we will be in Christmas celebration modes.  I hope all of your preparations and planning are going well and that you all have incredible experiences this holiday season. My prayer for all of you at this time is that your Advent and Christmas celebrations be filled with wonder and awe, beauty and peace, and hope and light.  Please make sure you take time for yourself to enjoy this season of grace and love!

I leave you with words from the A Stable Lamp Is Lighted (ANDUJAR)

A stable lamp is lighted
Whose glow shall wake the sky;
The stars shall bend their voices,
And ev’ry stone shall cry.
And ev’ry stone shall cry,
And straw like gold shall shine;
A barn shall harbor heaven,
a stall become a shrine.

My family and I wish all of you the most blessed of Holiday seasons.

Tim L. Elder, Dean


2017 Convention Planning Update

Enclosed you will find the fundraising letter and pledge card for our membership and friends. Our fundraising efforts have begun and it will take donations of all sizes from just a couple dollars to a couple thousand dollars to make this convention as great of a success as possible. Even the smallest donation helps!  AZ
Checks should be made payable to AGO YOUNGSTOWN 2017 and sent to Richard Stevenson, 148 Plum Street, Greenville PA 16125.




Monday, 26 – 7:00 pm
An adult masterclass for local organists
Wine and cheese reception
Christ Episcopal Church
2627 Atlantic Street NE, Warren

First Presbyterian Church
201 Wick Avenue, Youngstown


Friday27th  — TBA
Dr. Michael Bray, Director
St. Columba Cathedral
159 W. Rayen, Youngstown



Wednesday, December 3 . . .  7:00 / 8:15 pm
Stambaugh Auditorium                                          $10 / $5
1000 Fifth Avenue, Youngstown

The Dana Holiday Concert will feature portions of Handel’s Messiah performed by Festival Chorus and Dana Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dr. Hae-Jong Lee and Three Holiday Songs from Home Alone performed by the Festival Chorus and orchestra conducted by Dr. Stephen L. Gage. Soloists will include Dr. Misook Yun, soprano and Jason Budd, bass.  Guest ensembles will include the Boardman High School Chorale and Stambaugh Chorus.


Warren Civic Chorus
Messiah – George Frederic Handel
Blessed Sacrament Church
3020 Reeves Road, Warren

Sunday, December 7, 2014 – 4:00 & 7:00 pm
Misook Yun, Soprano                      Leonard Suzelis, Tenor
Karen Emmett, Alto                                   Max Pivik, Bass
Dr. Hae-Jong Lee, Director

Assisted by members of the Warren Philharmonic
Kathy Miller, Continuo/Rehearsal Accompanist

Sunday, December 14, 2014 — 3:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church
323 Main Street, Greenville, PA
Dan Hogan Director
Kevin Dill, Organist


Sunday, December 14,  2014  — 7:00pm
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
2427 Tuscarawas Street W., Canton
Jon Simsic, Organist and Choirmaster
Featuring the St. Joseph Raphael Choir, Handbell Choir and guest artists, The Salem Youth Chorus.
Works by Palestrina, Sweelinck, Praetorius, Biebl, Willcocks, Whitacre and others.
A free-will offering will be received to benefit the music program.


You’re invited to a
Festival of Lessons & Carols
    Sung by the Episcopal Choir of the area.

Sunday, December 21 – 7:00 pm
Christ Episcopal Church
2627 Atlantic Street NE, Warren
Dr. Richard Konzen, Organist
Gary P. Richards, Director


Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
2230 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland
Wednesdays at 12:10 pm

3     A Jazzy Christmas, with the Gateway Band

10   A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten,
featuring the sopranos and altos of the Trinity Cathedral Choir, with harpist Jody Guinn.

17    Annual Messiah Sing
with the Trinity Chamber Orchestra, soloists and YOU as the massed choir!

24    NO Concert – Christmas & New Year Week


St. John’s Episcopal Church


Sunday, January 4, 2015
1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Optional dinner between the performances at 3:15 p.m.

Dinner with Performance Ticket (includes Preferred Performance Seating): $17.50 * (*projected)
Performance Only Tickets: $6
PARISH & PUBLIC TICKETS are available beginning Monday, November 24.
IN PERSON: Come into the church office Monday through Thursday, 9AM- 3PM or Friday until Noon (closed Friday November 28).
BY MAIL: (Available through Monday, December 29)
Send a check made payable to St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Mail to: St. John’s Episcopal Church, Attn.: Boar’s Head, 323 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44503
Please include: stamped, self-addressed envelope, level of giving/ticket request, performance time, if you will be attending the dinner, phone number
For futher information, contact the church office  330.743.3175.

Happy 285th Birthday, Antonio Soler!

Antonio Francisco Javier José Soler Ramos was born in Olot, Gerona, in Catalonia, Spain and baptized on December 3, 1729. When he was only six years old he began studying music at the Montserrat monastery. In 1744 he became organist and subdeacon at the Cathedral of La Se d’Urgell. He was ordained to the priesthood at the age of 23. On September 25, 1752 Soler joined the Hieronymite order at El Escorial and became the organist there. After a period of probation, he was described (according to the New Grove Dictionary) as “satisfactory in Latin” and as one with “a famous ability at the organ and in composition.”

Soler was a diligent composer and wrote over 500 compositions, including 150 keyboard sonatas. He may have studied with Domenico Scarlatti, and some of his works reflect the style of Scarlatti. In the twentieth century Father Samuel Rubio catalogued Soler’s sonatas. Soler “required little sleep, retiring at midnight or 1a.m. and rising for Mass at 4 a.m., and he built a small table so that he could compose even when lying ill in bed” (New Grove Dictionary). Soler’s interest in theory and in the division of tones also led him to construct a small square, stringed keyboard instrument, which he called the ‘Afinador o Templante.” On this instrument, Soler divided each pitch into nine micro-pitches, anticipating by two hundred years the experiments in micro-tonality conducted by Harry Partch and Conlon Nancarrow” (Hayk Arsenyan, University of Iowa DMA thesis,

Padre Soler (as he was known) also composed concertos, works for solo organ, quintets for organ and strings, and Masses. In 1762 he added music theory to his works when he wrote “Llave de la modulación (“The Key to Modulation”). The Six Concertos for Two Organs have been recorded a number of times. One of Soler’s best known works is the Fandango, written for harpsichord, “a lengthy work of 462 bars, build on an A major-D minor ostinato bass and rising from a quiet introduction, through dissonances, syncopations and flamboyant variations to a thunderous climax” (New Grove Dictionary). Some scholars now believe that Soler did not compose this interesting—and somewhat uncharacteristic—piece.

Antonio Soler died on December 20, 1783, just two weeks after his fifty-fourth birthday. A number of his works are available online at the IMSLP Petrucci Music Library (  (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