April 2016 Chapter News

Northeast Region

Greater Bridgeport, CT

July 1, members and friends of the chapter gathered in New Haven at the Greek Olive restaurant for the annual meeting, prior to a re­cital by Thomas Murray at Woolsey Hall as part of the AGO Northeast Regional Convention. Past deans present were David Yoder, RoseAnne Homola, Flora Major, John Michniewicz, Carole Fanslow, and Barbara Bayers. The Rev. Meg B. Williams (current dean) pre­sided at the meeting.

• October 18, the 14th annual Pipescreams program was held at United Congregational Church. Host organist was John Michniewicz; Frank Martignetti chaired the event, ably assisted by other chapter members. Included in the program were the Norma Pfriem Children’s Choir of the host church, the Sacred Heart University choirs, and the University of Bridgeport Chamber and University Singers. Other musicians included Krista Adams-Santilli, Jeff Albright, Gregory Chase, Thomas Cuffari, Anna DeVeau-Jalbert, Peter Frost, Rian Grimmer, David Harris, James Lindsay, Darwin Shen, Joe Utterback, Frank Zilinyi, and Aymeric Dupré la Tour. The program ended with the silent film Yes, Yes, Nanette with Laurel and Hardy, accompanied by David Harris on the organ. Prizes were awarded for best costumes. Proceeds benefited the M. Louise Miller/Paul E. Knox Scholarship Fund. The Rev. Sara Smith was host pastor. A reception followed.

• November 8, a program titled “A Mighty For­tress” was held at First Church Congregational, Fairfield. It was a celebration of the life of Paul E. Knox, who was a “mighty fortress” among us, and whose musical influence will live on with us forever. He died in 2015. Performers included Aymeric Dupré la Tour of the host church, Rebecca Craig, Helena Brown, Karl Scully, Mi­chael Costantino, Paul Jacobson, Michael Lantowski, John Michniewicz, Galen Tate, Joe Utterback, Tho­mas Woodman, Darren Ziller, and the Paul Knox Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Choir. The Rev. David Spollett of the host church and the Rev. Meg B. Williams brought greetings.

• January 10, members and friends gathered for an Epiphany party at the home of Juliann Janowski. The executive board met and made plans for the remaining programs in 2016.

—Carole J. Fanslow

Greater Hartford, CT

January 23, the chapter hosted a workshop called “Pianists’ Introduction to the Organ” at St. James’s Episcopal Church in West Hartford. Presenters included host Vaughn Mauren (member at large), Cheryl Wadsworth, and Peter Niedmann (sub-dean); 19 people signed up for the workshop. The chapter purchased Wayne Leupold’s First Organ Book for the first 15 participants, and presenters utilized the text to demonstrate how to “drive” an unfamiliar instrument. Topics included console terminology, how to practice, pedal technique/instrument ergonomics, legato/articulate styles, repeated notes/phrasing/common tones, registration and hymn playing/text interpretation. Handouts included a guide to service playing, lists of method books and easy repertoire, organ shoe sources, and piston-setting guidelines. The workshop was well received, and several attendees said they planned to join our chapter. Many thanks to our host and John Coghill for providing lunch for all, and to the board for their support and attendance. (photo: Kari Magg, dean)

—Cheryl R. Wadsworth

Waterbury, CT

January 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the chapter held an organ crawl in Naugatuck. The day began at Naugatuck Congregational Church (Fred Backhaus, host), where the instrument is a three-manual Austin (1970). Next was the Naugatuck United Methodist Church (Daniel Santos, host), where participants saw the two-manual Odell organ (1875). Lunch was held at a local restaurant (and paid for by the chapter). Afterward, the group visited St. Vincent Ferrer Church (Cornell Bailicki, host), home of a two-manual Möller (1982). Next up was St. Francis Assisi Church (Nancy Stewart, host), with its three-manual Ryder (1890) with reversed console. Finally, the group went to Grace Lutheran Church at the Salem Street build­­ing (Wendy Ruggeri, music director) to view the two-manual Geddes (1972).

—William Degan

Binghamton, NY

January 3, members met at a local restaurant to celebrate the end of the holiday season and look forward to upcoming Lent and Easter events.

• January 23, the chapter held the first of two sessions in tribute to the life and work of Charles-Marie Widor by showing two of the three hourlong biographical documentaries from the superb DVD/CD set recently issued by Fugue State Films titled Widor: Master of the Organ Symphony. The set includes two DVD discs. The first contains three chronological biographical segments, narrated in large part by John Near, author of the comprehensive 2011 Wi­dor biography Widor: A Life Beyond the Toccata. The second DVD contains video performances of the entire fifth and sixth symphonies, as well as selected movements from several other Widor symphonies, played by Daniel Roth, Gerald Brooks, and Carolyn Shuster Fournier on various Cavaillé-Coll instruments. The set also includes two CDs that contain audio performances of the pieces played on the DVD. In previous years, the chapter has shown Fugue State Films’ The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll and Franck: Father of the Organ Symphony. All three sets are exceedingly well done and provide interesting and educational material for chapter programs. The Binghamton chapter is listed in the credits of the Franck and Widor sets as “recognized subscribers.”

—John Holt

Westchester County, NY

January 3, an Epiphany party was held at the home of Bob and Jenny Chase. Dinner chair was Frank Miller. Following a delicious meal, guests were entertained by Jenny Chase playing the gu zheng, a Chinese string instrument. Carols sung at the Steinway, accompanied by Miller, rounded out a delightful evening.

—Joyce Gardner

Mid-Atlantic Region

Mid-Shore Maryland

January 17, the chapter presented a Festival of Hymns at Christ Church, St. Peter’s Parish in Easton. The program featured a variety of choral arrangements, organ settings, and congregational sing­ing, all showcasing the newly installed four-manual Rodgers Infinity organ. The choir was composed of area church singers and chapter members. Participating organists included Wes Lockfaw (dean), Dale Krider (sub-dean), and Richard Strattan (treasurer and registrar). Also in January, the chapter celebrated its first anniversary.

—Amy Morgan

Potomac, MD

January 4, the chapter invited the Northern Virginia and District of Columbia chapters to join in a Twelfth Night service at All Saints Episcopal Church, Chevy Chase. The service, preceded by a choir rehearsal, was led by the Rev. Edward Kelaher of All Saints; Peter Crisafulli, minister of music, served as cantor and led the chants. Thaddeus Cavuoti conducted his own works in the service. Afterward, participants enjoyed a delightful dinner, cour­- tesy of Office Caterers, with wine provided by Carl Schwartz of Austin Organs. The event was planned by Sub-dean Brenda Weiser, assisted by Northern Virginia’s Dean Michael Lodico, who arranged online registrations.

—Gerald Piercey

Ocean County, NJ

January 31, singers from 22 area churches joined the massed choir at the 37th annual Festival of Sacred Organ and Choral Music at Christ Episcopal Church, Toms River. The festival was coordinated by Dean Sara Hoey and Barbara Taranto. Three choral selections featured the St. Paul Bell Ringers directed by Barbara D’Ippolito, with organ accompaniment by Karin Gargone and piano accompaniment by Don McFarland and Peggy Bendel. The remaining nine choral anthems encompassed various musical styles from sacred classic to contemporary, including Charles Gounod’s “Sanctus,” directed by Christine Urban with Jonathan Yount as tenor soloist, and Mark A. Miller’s “I Believe,” directed by Esther Graham with Becky Sherman as soprano soloist. The three organ soloists were Andrew VanBuskirk, who played Léon Boëllmann’s Offertoire; Karin Gargone, who accompanied the assembly in singing “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” before playing Kevin Norris’s toccata on the hymn tune “Grosser Gott”; and Don McFarland, who played three movements from Edward Elgar’s Vesper Voluntaries. McFarland also played an organ improvisation on “Duke Street” for the recessional, which incorporated handbells ringing randomly. Other chapter members participating as directors were Ernest Milkovitz, William Shoppel, Polly Moore, and Dee Lepley.

—Peggy Bendel

Erie, PA October 10 and 11, the chapter hosted a workshop titled “Adventure of Creative Hym­nody” and a hymn festival conducted by David Cherwien at First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant (organist-choir director Leslie Weber and Dean Sue Mohnkern, hosts). Cherwien is cantor at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minn., and artistic director of the well-known National Lutheran Choir. Both events highlighted Cherwien’s improvisation abilities, and the workshop also enabled him to share his knowledge of new hymns and playing techniques for leading congregational singing. A volunteer choir of musicians from local churches participated in the hymn festival.

—Kathrine Swanson

Pittsburgh, PA

December 29, members gathered at the residence of Edward Halo (hospitality chair) for a gala Christmas party. The home, a beautifully restored Victorian house, was decked out for the holidays. Dean Edward Alan Moore announced that only fun and fellowship were scheduled for the evening. Members enjoyed appetizers and desserts, and many played the newly installed Allen organ in the parlor.

• Jan. 25, the monthly chapter dinner meeting was at St. Ber­nard Roman Catholic Church (host organists Chaz Bowers and Aaron Sproul). During a brief business meeting after dinner, Cynthia Pock (education director) presented the AGO Choir Master Certificate to Sarah Wan­namaker, FAGO. As a prelude to the program, Regina Fenton —a Pittsburgh Organ Academy scholarship student who studied with Chaz Bowers—played “Praise and Thanksgiving” from Thanksgiving Suite by Charles Callahan. She currently studies with chapter member Ed Highberger at Seton Hill University. The program for the evening, “Vocal Production and Choral Preparation” was presented by Susan Rice, conductor of the Heinz Chapel Choir of the University of Pittsburgh, where she is a senior lecturer in music. It was a hands-on, lively presentation that covered a large amount of well-organized material.

—Cynthia Pock  and Barbara McKelway

Winchester, VA

December 27, the chapter, Winchester Ministerial Association, and Old Town Win­chester sponsored a Candlelight Tour of Winchester Historic Houses of Worship to benefit the Winchester Area Tem­por­ary Thermal Shelter. Mini-organ recitals were played on the hour and half hour at eight historical churches in downtown Winchester. In addition to these musical offerings, attendees were given short history lessons by docents stationed at churches. Judy Connelly (sub-dean for programs and director of music, Braddock Street United Methodist Church) and Heather An­kerbrand (sub-dean for membership and director of music, Wes­ley UMC) played Braddock Street’s III/40 Létourneau organ. They played a duet and carol arrangements, among other pieces. Connelly also introduced a special presentation for children in the afternoon. James Kriewald (organist-choirmaster, Christ Episcopal Church) and James Laster (professor emeritus, Shen­andoah University) played the newly renovated II/25 Möller tracker instrument at the 200-year-old Christ Episcopal. At Grace Lutheran, Daniel Hannemann (chapter secretary and the church’s director of music) played carols and other works on the II/28 Schantz organ. Linda Beville (director of music, Emmanuel Episcopal, Woodstock) also played. Dean Steven Cooksey (organist-choirmaster at St. James Episcopal in Leesburg) and Frances Averitt (both have professor emeritus status at Shen­andoah University) collaborated at Centenary United Church of Christ, home of a 1920 Möller organ. They presented a short program that included Three Carols for Harpsichord and Flute by Washington, D.C., composer Peter Crisafulli. Playing First Presbyterian’s III/35 Austin were Pat Byers (the church’s organist) and Dan Miller (treasurer and director of music, St. Paul’s on-the-Hill Episcopal). At First Baptist, Larry Correll (organist) and Aaron Shows (organist, West Market Street UMC, Greensboro, N.C.) played the II/25 Randall Dyer organ. Dan Miller and Bill Baber, organist at Market Street UMC, played Market Street’s III/29 Möller organ. Ricky Gearhart (director of music, Trinity Lutheran, Stephens City) and Jason Largent (director of music, Charlestown Presbyterian, Charlestown, W.Va.) gave mini-recitals at First United Methodist Church. All churches were decorated for the season. The performances were well attended by the public, and generous contributions were collected for the shelter. Pictured are Pat Kofalt (left), president of WATTS, accepting a check for over $2,200 from Steven Cooksey (dean); Daniel Hannemann (secretary and one of the many recitalists) is pictured in the rear.

—Gloria Harris

Southeast Region

Miami, FL

January 18, the chapter held an organ crawl in Naples. First stop was Bower Chapel, Moorings Park, where John Fenstermaker, director of the Chapel Concerts, demonstrated the magnificent 39-rank Taylor & Boody organ (2001). The next stop was at Moorings Presbyterian Church, which has a large 63-rank Nichols & Simpson organ (2008). Tom Goetz, the newly appointed minister of music, had played his first service the previous day. The largest instrument visited was the five-manual Ruffatti organ (108 ranks) in First Presbyterian Church. The Antiphonal organ was completed in 2009. Following lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, the group assembled at Trinity-by-the-Cove (John Fenstermaker, organist) to learn about the 30-rank Casavant (1971, 1983, 2007), a four-rank antique chamber organ (c. 1700), and a spectacular calliope of 43 solid brass whistles. Throughout the tour, participants were invited to play the instruments and investigate what was behind the cases. Special thanks to Jim Coch­ran of Naples and Joanne Schulte of Miami for making all the arrangements.

—Frederick Kent

Sarasota-Manatee, FL

January 29, nearly 60 singers participated in a massed choir, under the leadership of David Cherwien, that presented a hymn festival at Pine Shores Presbyterian Church. Titled “To Everything There Is a Season,” the festival featured the tremendous creative talent of Cherwien as a composer and improviser with reflections that had been penned by his wife, Susan Palo, a well-respected writer of prose and poetry. Cherwien is known for his ability to play an entire church service with little reference to printed music, and this was the format of the program as he led choir and congregation through varied presentations of hymns representing the themes of birth, love, seeking, death, silence, healing, dance, remembrance, peace, and singing. It was an inspiring evening of sacred music through the vehicles of spoken and sung texts, capped off by a rousing Cherwien-composed postlude on “When in Our Music God Is Glorified.”

—Nancy Siebecker

Atlanta, GA

January 9, the chapter met at Northside United Methodist Church (host Gwyn Bacon, associate director of music-organist). A symposium on professional development was led by Roy Roberts. Formerly the Region IV coordinator for professional development, Ro­berts is director of liturgy and music, and organist at Sacred Heart Church in Pinellas Park, Fla. The session was very informative and included a question-and-answer period. A luncheon followed the symposium.

—Rachel Ficklin

Augusta, GA

January 8, members met at the home of John and Lisa Wilson (co-sub-deans) in Martinez. Participants experienced a reduced version of an Epiphany Boar’s Head Feast, complete with madrigal dinner music (sung in parts by everyone), costumes, and a court jester sharing musical jokes. The menu included pork roast, soup, salad, wassail, and apple pastry. The program was taken from the Compleet Madrigal Dinner Booke (Paul Brand­-vik) and included frivolity plus a Boar’s Head Procession as well as a more serious spiritual litany with the Christmas message. It was great fellowship after an exhausting Christmas musical season!

—John Wilson

Savannah, GA

January 16, the chapter enjoyed a choral reading session at First Presbyterian Church (Bill and Anne McNair, hosts). The session included recent publications from MorningStar Music. MorningStar representative Mark Kemp conducted the session, and chapter members Monica Harper and Justin Addington accompanied on the piano. The morning also included refreshments, a time for fellowship, and the opportunity to purchase music from MorningStar at a discounted rate.

—Justin L. Addington

Charleston, S.C

January 8, members gathered at Doug Ludlum’s Radcliffeboro single house for their annual Epiphany party. Absolutely no business was transacted, but much gossip was exchanged.

—Edmund LeRoy

Greater Columbia, SC

January 4, the chapter met for a Twelfth Night dinner at a local restaurant. Greg Stone was recognized for completing the AGO Service Playing Exam in October. In December, he received notification from the national office that he passed the examination handily and will receive an engraved certificate in the near future. Following a delicious meal, AGO members and guests exchanged humorous stories from their experiences as church organists. After the holidays, the group enjoyed the camaraderie of colleagues in a relaxed setting.

—Frances Webb

Knoxville, TN

December 7, following a delicious dinner in the fellowship hall of St. John’s Lutheran Church, members moved to the sanctuary to hear a concert by the Webb School Madrigal Singers, directed by LeAnne Johnson. Costumed in the manner of the Elizabethan era, the group sang both novelty numbers and seasonal standards such as “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” and “Comfort, Comfort, Ye My People.” Following “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” the singers recessed to “Silent Night.”

• Jan. 4, members gathered for a party at the home of Deborah Sousa, immediate past dean of the chapter. Mindful that the Christmas season had not yet ended, the group concluded the evening with the singing of a number of Advent and Christmas hymns and carols, with Sousa accompanying at the piano.

—Allison Ensor

Nashville, TN

January 4, noted musicologist and author Barbara Owen presented “The Organ Works of Johannes Brahms” at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Murfreesboro (Angela Tipps, host). She included background information on organs that Brahms would have known, commentary on 19th-century German registration practices, and a detailed bibliography for future reading. She also spoke in depth about the Eleven Chorale Preludes. A dinner preceded the presentation.

—Rhonda Swanson

Great Lakes Region

Southern Indiana

November 23, chapter members and the Jennie Gebhart Hedden Music Study Club presented “We Can Handel Messiah,” a sing-a-long for the community at Trinity United Methodist Church, New Albany, with David Lamb (conductor), Sara Cortolillo (organist), and Sharon Herndon (pian­- ist). Some members of both organizations, in addition to several guest singers and musicians, participated either as soloist, chorister, or member of the orchestra. The Rev. William Shannon, pastor of Trinity UMC, gave a prayer and a reading. There was a public reception following the performance.

• December 27, the chapter held a Christmas party at the home of David Lamb. After a catered dinner, music included organ-piano duets with Lamb (organist) and Madlen Batchvarova (pianist), organ solos played by Lamb, and a sing-along for chapter members and guests.

—Judith E. Miller

North Central Region

Hutchinson, KS

January 28, the chapter met at Bethany Luther­an Church in Lindsborg. The honored guest was Walter Pelz, who spoke on hymn concerta­tos. Participants included Shirley Brandyberry, Steve Gustafson, Joyce Hall, Ellen Neufeld, Jan Peak, Hildred Schmidt, Amy Warner, and Judy Wineland.

—Jan Peak

Greater Kansas City, MO

January 18, Rainbow Mennonite Church of Kansas City, Kans., hosted the chapter in its community room (Roseanne Penner Kaufman, director of music). The presenter for the evening was Tepring Crocker, who gave a workshop on “Internet Promotion and Social Media,” particularly as applicable for organists. This is also useful for the venues with which the chapter is associated and for our respective performing ensembles. Crocker has BM and MM degrees in music composition and is director of the orchestra for Country Club Christian Church in Kansas City, Mo. She is also the copywriting project manager for social media and website development at Netmud, LLC.

—Norm Kinnaugh

St. Louis, MO

January 30, nearly 50 members and guests attend­-ed a masterclass conducted by Na­than Laube, who teaches at Eastman School of Music. Members shared time together and conducted business over breakfast, then moved to the chancel of First Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood to observe the masterclass on a three-manual Casa­vant instrument. Ethan Schueler, a student of Barbara Raedeke, played Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. The Trio Sonata in C Minor was presented by Da­vid Sinden, organist-director of music at St. Peter’s Episcopal in Ladue. William Sullivan, AAGO, recitalist and organist at Laclede Groves Chap­el, played Max Reger’s Toccata and Fugue in D. Laube’s intense energy provided a steady stream of colorful imagery and stimulating concepts. From articulation to style, registration to tempo, Laube’s comments and coaching energized and informed the participants and observers. Architectural references, relational asides, and scene painting to make musical points abounded. Listeners delighted in phrases such as “Bach is reminding us that he knows where the circle of fifths goes,” “They [two registrations] are getting along well,” and “Imagine you are traveling on a motorcycle through the narrow streets of Rome . . .” Many members also attended Laube’s performance the next afternoon at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

—Dawn Riske

Madison, WI

December 26, chapter members and friends gathered at the state capitol to sing Christmas carols. WKOW-TV, Madison’s ABC affiliate, showed a video clip of their performance on the evening news. • Jan. 23, the chapter hosted a choral reading session at First Congregational Church. Chapter members Cheryl Dietzman Licary, Ken Stancer, Deborah Krauss Smith, and Mark Miller presented choral works favored by their church choirs. A variety of songs, from Baroque to contemporary, were featured; most were accessible for smaller choirs.

—Naomi Matthees

Southwest Region

Las Cruces, NM

December 19, the chapter sponsored a Community Christmas Carol Sing-along at Peace Lutheran Church. The program included a brief opening litany followed by the singing of Advent and Christmas carols from the Evangelical Lu­theran Worship hymnal. Traditional carols as well as African-American, Cameroon, and His­- panic folk carols were sung. Organists and instrumental accompanists included Karen Billings, June Briggs (coordinator), Monte Coleman, Erin Espinosa (cello), Steve Helmreich, and Howard Smollek. Jared Carson is pastor of the church. Hot cider and biscochitos were served in the fellowship hall afterward.

—June Briggs

Austin, TX

December 13, members gathered at the home of Bob Lemens for the annual holiday party and enjoyed delicious food prepared by his wife, Sandy, and daughter Jenny. Several members enjoyed playing the four-manual Lemens house organ. The organ has seven divisions (one of which is floating), 40 ranks, and 66 stops; an additional five ranks are currently planned. It was designed and constructed by Austin organbuilder Broocke Eubank and voiced in accordance with the tastes of the owner. • Jan. 15, members gathered at Grace Episcopal Church (David Polley, host) in Georgetown for a recital by Monica Czausz, who was the first-prize winner of the 2015 AGO Southwest Regional Competition for Young Organists. Her performance was underwritten by a generous donation from Don McManus, FAGO, who recently retired from Grace. A reception hosted by Joy and Glenn Chandler was held after the recital.

—Jack Martin

West Region

Central Arizona

October 18, organist Anthony Newman gave a recital for a capacity audience at Arizona State University in Tempe. The chapter cosponsored the event in conjunction with the university’s organ series. Newman played his program on the Fritts pipe organ, displaying his virtuosity in a number of Bach’s major organ works. He also played two of his own compositions. • Jan. 8, the chapter cosponsored the Arizona Bach Festival’s organ recital by Chris­topher Houlihan. The event took place at All Saints Episcopal Church, Phoenix, featuring the church’s Visser & Associates organ. Houlihan played his impressive all-Bach program en­tirely from memory. James Gerber, sub-dean, gave the precon­­cert lecture to more than 100 atten­dees. The evening opened the monthlong Arizona Bach Festival.

—Skye Hart

Kern County, CA

January 22, the chapter held a recital at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Bakersfield. The featured artist was Karissa Lystrup, director of worship and music arts, playing the church’s Bosch organ. Additional instrumentalists were Brent Williams (trumpet) and Sue Dockweiler (flute). Others present included Nelson Dodge, Phil Dodson, Shirley Foster, Doug Heinrichs (treasurer), Marcia Krause (dean), Sue Wagner (secretary), and Meg Wise (sub-dean).

—Shirley Foster

Long Beach, CA

January 17, Timothy Howard presented a recital cosponsored by the chapter and Music at Four at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church. How­ard’s program included longtime favorites as well as contemporary compositions. His precise technique and musicianship made for a very pleasant and musical afternoon.

—David Feit-Pretzer

Sacramento, CA

November 21, the chapter hosted Ken Cowan for a workshop at All Saints Episcopal Church. He focused on topics of interest to church organists, emphasizing practice techniques for learning new music and accompanying. The following day, he played a recital at Fremont Presbyterian Church, which cosponsored the event. Cowan’s program included works by Bach, Liszt, and Wagner, including a thrilling “Ride of the Valkyries” that merited a standing ovation from the large, enthusiastic audience.

—Sue Miller

San Diego, CA

January 9, members gathered at the home of Jenny and Bill Nolan for a post-holiday dinner party/potluck. Christmas musical adventures were shared around the firepit while enjoying Jenny’s special glögg.

• January 16, the chapter held a workshop at All Souls’ Episcopal Church (Ruben Valenzuela, director of music-organist). Valenzuela, who is also the founder and music director of Bach Collegium San Diego, presented “Encountering a Historic Instrument and Its Repertoire.” Those in attendance were treat­ed to the beautiful, clear, and robust sounds 
of the Fritts-Rich­ards organ, learned a great deal about how to perform, register, and interpret early music, and went home with a lengthy list 
of resources for further study.

—Leslie Wolf Robb

San Jose, CA

November 15, family, friends, and fellow AGO members gathered at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto to hear an outstanding recital featuring 2015 Frasier Scholarship winner Nicholas Welch, who played the organ and piano. A senior at Gunn High School, he studies organ with his father, James Welch, and piano with Russell Hancock. His program of nine pieces spanned the musical periods from J.S. Bach to contemporary, and he played the entire program from memory. Hancock gave commentary between sets. It was amazing to witness the agility of Nicholas’s hands and feet, the speed of his fingers, the clarity of each note, his rhythmic precision, his expressive phrasing, and technique. In Hancock’s commentary before the Widor selection, he spoke about Nich­olas’s talent and his hours of hard work and devoted practice. He said that this recital was a sort of “rite of passage” and that Nicho­las was to be considered no long­er a student, but a colleague. Nicholas received a standing ovation at the end of his recital. A joyous reception followed in the church sanctuary.

—Kay Lee

Ventura County, CA

January 18, the chapter held its annual organ visitation outing. More than 30 members and friends enjoyed a special day seeing and learning about two magnificent organs in Los Angeles. The first was at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Frank Brownstead provided some history of the organ. Manuel Rosales, with assistance from Philip Smith at the console, shared information about the installation and renovation challenges with highlights of some of the stops and registers. Meaghan King, organ doctoral student at University of Southern California, played two beautiful selections, and several members took advantage of the op­portunity for some bench time at the console. At Philippe the Original, the group enjoyed a delicious lunch and a private room for visiting with friends. The final visit was to First Congregational Church, with Chris­toph Bull, organist in residence, hosting. He provided an over­view of the instrument that is considered one of the largest church pipe organs in the world. He highlighted some of the stops and registers; he also discussed his thought process in preparing music for the church service each week and shared the prelude he was working on for the next Sunday. Members had some time at the console with Bull providing ideas and assistance regarding registrations.

—Ivan Shobe

Seattle, WA January 30, the chapter staged its first January Jubilee at Plymouth Church, home of the new French Romantic Fisk, Opus 140. Hosts were Douglas Cleveland (director of music-organist) and Wanda Griffiths (associate director of music). Eighty-eight atten­-dees enjoyed workshops and 
presentations of various kinds, a choral conducting masterclass, organ and choral reading sessions, and music exhibits. Many returned in the evening for a recital in Plymouth’s Inaugural Music Series by Michel Bouvard, professor of organ at the Paris Conservatory, who graciously previewed his program as a Jubilee event. Eighteen Jubilee attendees were nonmembers, counting guest instructors. We also welcomed AGO Regional Councillor Matthew Burt, members of all four western Washington chapters, and six members of the Eugene and Portland, Oreg., chapters. The Seattle chapter provided instructors Norma Aamodt-Nelson, Douglas Cleveland, Michael Kleinschmidt, Stephen Marshall-Ward, and Paul Thornock. Many other chapter members, led by Wanda Griffiths, planned the Jubilee and kept it running smoothly. The chapter greatly appreciates the huge volunteer effort, use of Plymouth Church and a Rodgers organ, a cash contribution from Forrest T. Jones & Company, and the support of our exhibitors. Special thanks are due to the singers of reSound, a Northwest Chamber Ensemble, who made possible the conducting class and the concluding Evensong.

—David Nichols

Tacoma, WA

January 11, the chapter met at the University of Puget Sound, where Robert Bates of the University of Houston gave a class on the origins of the French organ. He shared findings from his extensive research based on contracts, treatises, legal documents, and church records in the area of pre-Classical French organs, giving an overview of the wide variety of stops and of registration practice in France from the 15th to 17th centuries. Four participants performed, giving the opportunity to hear different registration possibilities: Shari Shull played dance pieces from the 1531 publication of Pierre Attaingnant; Naomi Shiga and recent University of Washington DMA degree recipient Sarah Duffy played works by Jehan Titelouze from 1624 and 1626; and Mariko Chiba, a student at Ferris University (Yokohama, Japan), played music of François Roberday from 1660.

—Jonathan Wohlers

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