Archives for January 2017

February 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

The Second Time Around S.L. Huntington & Co. • Stonington, Conn. By Scot L. Huntington In 1816, a two-manual organ built in 1680 by Arp Schnitger—the most celebrated organbuilder of the Baroque era—was moved to the remote North Sea village of Cappel on the North Sea. This organ is now a mecca for builders and organists alike. In America, Hook & Hastings maintained an ever-changing catalog of second-hand instruments. William Johnson moved one of his early organs when he replaced it in 1874—it in turn being moved a third time in 1914. This month’s cover story features legacy instruments given a new lease on life in new and appreciative homes, acquired for a fraction of the cost of a new, purpose-built organ. When New … [Read more...]

Round Lake Organ Declared National Monument

The 1847 Ferris organ in the Round Lake Auditorium in Round Lake, NY has been designated a National Historic Landmark, believed to be the first such honor for any organ in North America. AGO member Agnes Armstrong wrote a letter in support of the designation to the National Park Service. "I'm thrilled. This is really exciting," she said in an interview with the Times Union newspaper. She has played recitals on the organ for more than 30 years and released a CD of organ music played on the Ferris titled "Victorian Christmas in Round Lake." Read the full article on the Ferris organ National Historic Landmark designation. … [Read more...]

AGO Receives Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has been awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support educational programs and career development for organists, choral conductors, and composers in 2017, including new music commissioned for the AGO National Convention in Kansas City, MO July 2–6, 2018. While the AGO has received regular support from the NEA since 2005, the $25,000 “Art Works” award is the largest grant the arts endowment has ever given to the Guild. “This grant covers the full breadth of the AGO’s educational activities for current and prospective members as well as our programs of outreach to the public,” stated AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “The NEA’s funding sends an uplifting message to … [Read more...]

December 2016 TAO Chapter News

Northeast Region New London County, CT June 11, members and guests of the chapter enjoyed food and fellowship at the lovely waterside home of Shari Lucas, in spite of heavy rain. Officers were elected, followed by an inspiring performance by our host’s Dixieland Band. —Elizabeth Limkemann Waterbury, CT September 9, the chapter organized a dinner at a Middletown restaurant, followed by the annual “Bach to School” organ concert at Memorial Chapel on the campus of Wesleyan University. In his program on the Holtkamp organ, university organist and professor Ronald Ebrecht played several pieces by Maurice Duruflé, noting that Duruflé died 30 years ago. Ebrecht, who has studied and written extensively about the composer, provided … [Read more...]

November 2016 TAO Chapter News

Northeast Region Binghamton, NY August 9, sixteen Binghamton chapter members enjoyed an all-day organ crawl in Albany, NY, thanks to the efforts and planning of hosts Roberta Rowland-Raybold and David Vredenburg of the Eastern New York chapter. The group visited five churches, beginning with Westminster Presbyterian Church. Al Fedak, minister of music and arts, provided opening remarks about the history of the IV/42 1929 E.M. Skinner, and then demonstrated the instrument by playing some of his own published compositions. He then opened the console to the members to play. In 1976, the organ was removed to a private residence and replaced by an electronic organ. Twenty years later, upon the failure of the electronic, the Skinner organ was … [Read more...]

January 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

Emmanuel Episcopal Church Southern Pines, N.C. C.B. Fisk, Inc. • Gloucester, Mass. by David C. Pike At Fisk, our mission is not only to build superb musical instruments, but also to be collaborative partners in all aspects of a project, to ensure the best and most practical musical solutions for our clients. In December 2013, our firm was formally commissioned by Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Southern Pines to build a new mechanical-action pipe organ for the church sanctuary. The signing of a contract represented a true milestone after several years of brainstorming and in-depth discussion between Emmanuel’s organist and choirmaster Homer Ferguson III, church governance, and members of the Fisk team. For a time, church leaders had … [Read more...]