Archives for March 2015

Wilbur Held Dead at Age 100

Wilbur Held, a resident of Claremont, California, passed into life everlasting on March 24, 2015, at age 100. The AGO remembers with gratitude his service as a National Councillor (1968–1971) and dean of the Columbus (Ohio) Chapter. A celebration of his lifetime of music composition resulted in a Centenary Edition of his organ works, published by MorningStar Music in 2014. Wilbur Held was born on August 20, 1914, in Des Plaines, Illinois. He enrolled at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, studying organ with Frank van Dusen and theory/composition with John Palmer, and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees there. Midway through his studies, he became Leo Sowerby’s assistant at St. James Church—an association that lasted … [Read more...]

AGO Welcomes a New Chapter

AGO President John Walker welcomed the Indiana, Pennsylvania Chapter to the Guild during the intermission of his recital on the Pogorzelski-Yankee Organ on Sunday, March 16, 2015, at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Christine Clewell, Professor of Music and chapter Dean, and Jonathan Petty, chapter Secretary, joined him on stage to receive the chapter’s charter. The recital included “Voluntary on the Old 100th” by Henry Purcell; “Toccata und Fugue in E-Dur” by Johann Krebs; “Concerto del Sigr. Meck” by Johann Walther; “Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam, BWV 684” and “Prelude and Fugue in G Major, BWV 541” by J.S. Bach; “Sonata VI in D Minor” by Felix Mendelssohn; “Canon in B Minor” by Robert Schumann; and “Voluntary for Trumpet … [Read more...]

March 2015 TAO Feature Article

St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, PA Buzard Pipe Organ Builders, Champaign, IL by John-Paul Buzard It has been a high honor to design and build this organ for the Basilica Church of St. Vincent Archabbey. The new gallery organ of 51 stops and 72 ranks of pipes was installed beginning in July 2014 and completed in October. St. Vincent is home to the oldest American Benedictine abbey, a parish, seminary, and St. Vincent College, a coeducational four-year institution. In 1998, I recommended replacement of the organ previously installed in the basilica. Mechanical failure spelled its demise; but it was only 30% as large as necessary to fill the building with sound and provide a generous variety of tone colors and volume levels to meet the … [Read more...]

February 2015 TAO Feature Article

Two-Manual Organs in Liturgical Settings By David C. Pike Note: This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of The American Organist As 21st-century organbuilders we face the question of how to maintain our work as desirable, central, and perhaps imperative to our greatest patron—the Church. At the Fisk workshop, organbuilding is firmly rooted in proven building practices of the past, even as we strive to create instruments that will ensure the pipe organ’s continued role as a vital and relevant part of modern-day Christian worship. Our belief is that sensitive contextual visual design, deftly conceived mechanical key action, and attentive, historically informed voicing will best serve the requirements of sacred … [Read more...]