April 2017 AGO Chapter News

Greater Bridgeport, Conn. Oct. 30, the chapter held its 15th annual Pipescreams concert at the United Congregational Church, Bridgeport. John Michniewicz, minister of music, was the host. Frank Martignetti, sub-dean, was chairperson of the event. The Rev. Sara Smith brought greetings to the audience. The featured performers included choirs from Sacred Heart University and the University of Bridgeport, as well as organists and other musicians from area churches.
As always, people came dressed in costumes for Halloween. A silent movie, accompanied by David Harris, concluded the program. A reception followed. Net proceeds from the concert benefitted the M. Louise Miller–Paul E. Knox Organ Music Scholarship Fund. • Jan. 7, the chapter held a Service Playing Certificate class at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church in Bridgeport on the II/22 Austin. Members interested in taking the exam in February, March, or in the fall were encouraged to come to listen, play, and ask questions. All classes have been conducted at each participant’s church, so everyone gets a chance to play colleagues’ instruments • Jan. 13, the annual Epiphany Party was held at the home of Juliann Janowski in Trumbull, Conn. Following an executive board meeting chaired by co-deans Bernadette Allan and Dottie Cameron, members and friends were reminded of the remaining 2017 programs, and plans were begun for the new year. As always, members enjoyed entertaining for each other at the party. —Carole J. Fanslow and
Dottie Cameron
Greater Hartford, Conn. Jan. 28, six members of the chapter presented a recital on the magnificent four-manual Austin at Trinity College Chapel. Ezequiel Menendez opened the program with the ever-popular Choral in A Minor of César Franck, followed by a performance by Vaughn Mauren of two movements from Bairstow’s Sonata in E-flat. Natasha Ulyanovsky played the Prelude and Fugue in A Minor of Bach and Reger’s Consolation. Christa Rakich was joined by cellist Kathy Schiano in a performance of a new work by Margreeth Chr. de Jong, the Sonate for Cello and Organ. Peter Niedmann offered renditions of Callahan’s Partita on Slane and Keith Emerson’s ‘Clotho’ from The Three Fates. Susan Carroll brought the evening to a close with a performance of Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d’Alain by Duruflé. The concert was dedicated to David Spicer (1946–2017), “our beloved colleague and friend”—a longtime member of the chapter and co-founder of the Albert Schweitzer Organ
Festival. —Kari Miller Magg

Waterbury, Conn. Jan. 16, the chapter held its annual organ crawl on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The event was chaired by Ken Beyer and Jerry Davidson, and featured six pipe organs in Torrington and Litchfield. A group of 20 visited Trinity Episcopal Church in Torrington (three-manual organ being reconditioned by Austin Pipe Organ Services), Jerry Davidson, host; First Congregational Church in Torrington (two-manual, four-rank organ), Ken Beyer, host; St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Litchfield (three-manual 1993 Quimby), Kari Miller, host; First Congregational Church in Litchfield (two-manual 1971 Reuter), Laurie Hall, host; Litchfield United Meth-odist Church (two-manual 1893 Tallman), Anne Voglewede-Green, host; and Trinity Episcopal Church in Milton (one-man- ual 1823 Thomas Hall organ recently restored by Scot Huntington), David Davidson, host. The group also enjoyed lunch at Twin Colony Diner in Torrington before traveling to Litchfield.
—William Degan
Merrimack Valley, Mass. Jan. 8, the chapter held its annual Twelfth Night Celebration at the home of past dean Maggie Marshall. The party was a potluck dinner as members met old and new friends and caught up on events. The festive dinner was followed with a lively sing-along as attendees sang carols and brought Christmas/holiday music to share. Barbara Owen also outlined the program of the February mini-convention.
—Jodi Templer

Worcester, Mass. The chapter celebrated Twelfth Night at the 1748 historic home of Sean Redrow. The menu was a registrant’s delight: Aeoline Celeste Artisanal Cheeses; Baked Artichoke Cheese Chamade Dip; Bourdon 8′ Baroque Bread; Quint Quiches; Mixture IV-Bean Flageolet salad; Scharf Chiffon Apricot Cheesecake; and Choralbass Chocolate Coronet Coconut Cadenza Cheesecake.
—Will Sherwood

New Hampshire. Oct. 2, the chapter held the opening program for its 70th Anniversary year in the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul at St. Paul’s School with Choral Evensong, Installation of Officers, and a members’ recital. The Evensong service, directed by host Nicholas White and accompanied by newly appointed organist and associate director of chapel music Mary Dolch, featured music by Tallis, Hogan, Barnby, Walmisley, and S.S. Wesley. Officers Kevin Lindsay (dean), Nicholas Girgus (sub-dean), Phillip Becker (secretary/registrar), and Shirley Boucher (represented by Patricia Cauchon), treasurer, were installed by Northeast Regional Councillor Cheryl Duerr. The members’ recital featured organists Adam Peithmann, Bruce Adami, Mary Dolch, Eric Dolch, and Rob St. Cyr performing works by Bolcom, Hampton, Duruflé, Guilmant, and Widor. A light reception followed in the Chapel foyer. • Dec. 9, a Festival of Advent Lessons and Carols was held in the Chapel of the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Man-chester, with Diocesan and
Cathedral Director of Music Eric J. Bermani conducting the Cathedral Schola and Chamber Choir in seasonal hymns, chants, and choral music by Franck, Manz, Handel, Goss, Willan, and Poston. Organists Adam
Peithmann and Charles Woodbury assisted with organ accompaniments as did the Rev. Jim Howard as minister of the liturgy. —Nicholas Girgus

Binghamton, N.Y. Jan. 21, for the last three years, the chapter has sponsored some of its best and most interesting programs that were all based on the excellent series of DVDs produced by Fugue State Films (FSF) on Cavaillé-Coll, Franck, and Widor. This year, the chapter held the first of two sessions screening FSF’s newly issued six-DVD set titled: Max Reger: The Last Giant. Three of the discs are biographical documentaries, and three are video performances of many Reger works, only a few of which are organ music. Reger, like Widor, wrote only a small percentage of his total compositions for the organ. FSF provides a comprehensive overview of the wide variety of forms and genres that Reger used to produce his enormous output of works over his short 43-year life. Chapters that are planning events would be well served to look into the FSF library of DVDs as source material for their programs. • Jan. 22, some Binghamton members attended a recital performed by pediatrician and Ithaca chapter member, Dr. Jeff Snedeker, on the new II/21 Juget-Sinclair at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Ithaca. Snedeker performed the entire Widor Symphony No. 2, as well as six opera transcriptions by various arrangers. The organ, dedicated in September by Michel Bouvard, was built in the French Romantic style of Cavaillé-Coll. Snedeker was part of the committee that helped select the builder and also the particular Cavaillé-Coll organ in France upon which the design of the instrument is based. —John Holt
Ithaca, N.Y. Members of the new chapter attended opening weekend events Sept. 16–18 at St. Luke Lutheran Church (Erik Kibelsbeck, music director), inaugurating the new Juget-Sinclair organ built in the style of Cavaillé- Coll. Michel Bouvard was featured in the dedicatory recital. A masterclass with Bouvard was held with student participants from the Eastman School of Music, Syracuse University, Cornell University, and Ithaca College. • Oct. 1, Ithaca members joined members from the Chemung Valley and Binghamton chapters in the Chemung Valley annual fall organ crawl. Members from Ithaca, Chemung Valley, and Binghamton visited Tabernacle Methodist and First Congregational Churches in Binghamton, as well as St. Luke Lutheran Church in Ithaca. • Nov. 5, a workshop on hymn playing was held at Ithaca College presented by Barbara Adler, national treasurer and member of the chapter. —Jean Radice

Rhode Island. Nov. 18, the chapter sponsored a “Next Generation” recital featuring Colin MacKnight and Edward Landin at Central Congregational Church in Providence (Patrick Aiken, host organist). The church’s landmark 1965 57-rank Aeolian-Skinner organ was put through its paces in a program of 19th-, 20th-, and 21st–century works by Mendelssohn, Harris, Rachel Laurin, Katheen Scheide, Craig Phillips, Carson Cooman (who was in attendance), Pamela Decker, and Edward Landin. MacKnight is a doctoral candidate at the Juilliard School and assistant organist at the Church of the Resurrection in New York City, and Landin is assistant director of music at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr, Pa. At the reception following the recital, former National AGO Vice President Christian Lane moderated a panel discussion with the performers on their early musical training, how they became inspired to study the organ, the work of the young organist in the professional church music world today, the need for churches and schools to foster and support rising talent, and new organ repertoire. —John Brooks

Central Maryland. Jan. 8, on a very cold January evening, the chapter enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of a Twelfth Night social gathering at the home of member Miriam Meglan in Frederick. Members enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and the camaraderie in this less-rushed time of year. Members also participated in a music swap with the opportunity of finding a “new” old treasure. —Peggy Brengle

Ocean County, N.J. Jan. 29, the 38th annual Festival of Sacred Organ and Choral Music was presented at Christ Episcopal Church in Toms River. The program began with the processional, Festive March (Tellman), played by organist Andrew Van Buskirk. Other organ soloists were Barbara D’Ippolito, Praise the Lord with Drums and Cymbals (Karg-Elert) and Rigaudon (Campra) with brass; Erica Sayer, Galeries Ancien (Janzer); and Richard Christen, It Is Well with My Soul (Varner). A massed choir of 70 voices from 21 area churches sang anthems in a variety of styles by Handel, Raney, Fettke, Hayes, Dillworth, and Nygard, closing with Wilhousky’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic” as directed by Christine Urban and accompanied by organ, piano, drums, brass, and string bass. The assembly responded with an enthusiastic standing ovation. Other members who directed or accompanied anthems were Bernice Kephart, Peggy Bendel, Esther Graham, Polly Moore, Jack Milkovitz, Barbara Taranto, and Dee Lepley. Guest musicians included Jim McIlvain and John Luckenbill, trumpets; Tom Avakian and Al Lubchansky, trombones; Justine Lee, string bass; and Robert Grady, snare drum. During the program, the two winners of the chapter’s Elsie Madsen Fischer Grant for Organ Studies for 2016, Keith Reilly and Erika Sayer, were introduced to the assembly and received applause. Barbara Taranto and Barbara D’Ippolito coordinated the festival. —Peggy Bendel

Philadelphia, Pa. Jan. 14, the chapter hosted its annual January JumpStart at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church with more than 100 people attending from Philadelphia and area chapters. The featured clinician for this all-day event was composer and organist Craig Phillips, whose choral and organ music was featured throughout the day. In
addition, a number of topics, varying from improvisation to managing finances to ornamentation and more, were offered by ten presenters in morning and afternoon sessions. All attendees gathered for a midday lunch, at which Michael Stairs was presented with the Philadelphia chapter’s Member of Honor award. Brantley Duddy was announced as the recipient of the chapter’s Distinguished Service Award. The day ended with a festive celebration of the music of Phillips, performed by the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church Chamber Singers, Brandywine Brass, and organists Edward Landin and Phillips. The highlight of this event was the premiere performance of Phillips’s Paean, a solo organ work commissioned for January JumpStart 2017. • The chapter has created a new scholarship program called “AGO Next” to provide financial assistance and encouragement for young people to study the organ. After successful auditions and interviews on Dec. 17, four young organists were granted scholarships for the winter/spring semester of 2017. The recipients are between 14 and 19 years old and are studying organ with members of the chapter. These students have worthy aspirations and bright futures in their pursuit of organ studies, all with intentions of studying organ at the college level. The “AGO Next” scholarship program is fulfilling its purpose of supporting the next generation of organists!
—David Furniss

Pittsburgh, Pa. Jan. 8, members enjoyed a holiday party at the home of Ed Halo. His beautifully restored Victorian home was handsomely decorated for the season. As well as the usual festivities, members also enjoyed playing the Allen organ in the parlor and the grand piano in the living room. • Jan. 23, the monthly dinner meeting was held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. The host and leader for the program was organist and choirmaster Peter Luley. The previous summer, students from Duquesne University, many of them dual members of the Pittsburgh chapter, and several members took a cathedral tour of England organized by Ann Labounsky, professor of organ and sacred music at Duquesne. Following Mr. Luley’s brief talk about the trip and the cathedrals and organs visited, available students and members from the trip along with St. Andrew’s Schola Cantorum Choir offered Choral Evensong for the chapter. Choral and organ music used during the service was music the group either heard on the tour or had some connection to places and people visited.
—J. Barbara McKelway

Southeastern Pennsylvania. Jan. 14, members of the chapter attended the annual January JumpStart sponsored by the Philadelphia chapter at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. The day offered an engaging array of presentations and featured the music of organist and composer Craig Phillips, using organ, brass, and choir. —Nancy Brown

Williamsport, Pa. The chapter celebrated its 70th anniversary at a banquet held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church on Nov. 18. The Williamsport chapter was formed by area musicians on Feb. 25, 1946. The program included the honoring of our past deans and a PowerPoint presentation of our history edited by Sub-dean Donna Elkin. Commemorative pens were distributed by organizers Leatha Kieser and Carol Waltz, secretary and treasurer. —Leatha Kieser

Richmond, Va. The chapter held its first meeting of the year on Jan. 10, at BonAir United Methodist Church in the historic BonAir section of Richmond. In addition to the business meeting and dinner, Sub-dean Tom Bailey presented a 150th Anniversary celebration program of the life and works of composer T. Tertius Noble. Tom recently returned from his studies at the Noble Archives, housed at the Boston University School of Theology and managed by the Boston chapter. The program included demonstrations of Noble’s works, which Bailey performed on the 2001 III/40 Schantz in the main sanctuary.
—John DeMajo
St. Petersburg, Fla. Chapter members gathered at St. Mary Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church for a program titled “Epiphany Gift,” featuring the church’s newly installed Viscount organ. The Voices of Grace Choir, under the direction of Michelle Rego, sang Vierne’s Messe Solennelle, accompanied by Dwight Thomas, organist. Performers and chapter members gathered afterward for a
reception. —Michelle Thomas

Space Coast, Fla. Jan. 29, the chapter presented a Pipe Organ Recital, cosponsored with Ascension Lutheran Church, Satellite Beach. Members played a wide range of repertoire representing various classical music periods. The thematic nature of the program made for an enjoyable listening experience. The church’s organ was built by Wendhack, Redeker, and Kreuzer of Munich, Germany. Its tonal qualities represent those found in Northern European organs during the Baroque period. Although the instrument is situated in the rear choir loft, Jim Rindelaub (music director) and Wayne Savold provided a screen in front of the church to watch the performance. A buffet reception furnished by the ladies of Ascension Church followed the recital.
—Barbara Burgess

Treasure Coast, Fla. Oct. 16, the 20th Anniversary Season of the chapter kicked off with our annual massed choir event, the Treasure Coast Choral Festival, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Vero Beach. The Festival brought together nearly 80 singers, drawn from 15 different churches and civic ensembles, and was directed by guest conductor David Hill. Renowned in his native Britain, Hill is principal conductor of the London Bach Choir (having succeeded Sir David Willcocks), and the BBC Singers, and crosses the Atlantic several times a year to conduct Yale’s Schola Cantorum. The service for the event was Choral Evensong, drawn from the Book of Common Prayer, with music by Byrd, Tallis, Parry, Stanford, Purcell, Berkeley, Wesley, and Vaughan Williams. Organists for the event included chapter members Andrew Galuska, host Neal Campbell, James Guyer, Judith Taylor, and Brady Johnson. Former Treasure Coast scholarship student and Stetson University organ major Thomas Ingui (a student of Boyd Jones) performed Duruflé’s Toccata (from Suite, Op. 5) as the concluding voluntary. During the service, the Rev. Dr. Michael Carter, chaplain, formally installed the new officers: Brady Johnson (dean), Megan Mash (sub-dean), Jill Truax (secretary), and Jeffrey Edwards (treasurer). A congregation of 350 attended the Festival service, the largest of any choral event that the chapter has sponsored. The Festival collection raised over $1,500 for the chapter’s scholarship fund for young organists’ lessons. • Oct. 30, Phantasies & Phugues, the chapter’s annual Halloween concert, was performed with scary results at the Sebastian United Methodist Church to a costumed audience, both frivolous and frightening. A total of 14 performers contributed to the hourlong program, including the two scholarship students, 16-year-old Hannah Spector (playing an arrangement of the song “Thriller”) and 14-year-old Joseph Parr (performing Callaerts’s Invention No. 3). Host Megan Mash performed two pieces with the church’s flute quartet, including a setting of Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King. • Nov. 20, chapter member Marcos Daniel Flores and former chapter member (and his brother) José Daniel Flores delighted audiences in matinee and evening recitals, titled “Dueling Brothers in Concert” at Christ-by-the-Sea United Meth-odist Church, where Marcos is worship arts director. With Marcos performing on the church’s Steinway B and José performing on the church’s converted Hauptwerk instrument, the brothers individually played pieces by Bach, Chopin, Franck, Liszt, and many others, culminating with them combining in
a transcribed version of Flor Peeters’s Concerto, Op. 52. The concert was humorously presided over by the brothers’ older brother, Eliut, and judged by their parents, who flew to Florida from Puerto Rico for the occasion. The concert was part of the church’s special music series.
—Brady Johnson

Atlanta, Ga. Jan. 14, the chapter held its event at St. James Episcopal Church, hosted by Peter Waggoner. Pam Radford, organist and choirmaster at First Presbyterian Church, Cartersville, presented a choral workshop. The participants enjoyed a time of fellowship at brunch before the workshop. —Don Land

Augusta, Ga. Jan. 24, the chapter held its meeting at the Convent of St. Helena (Episcopal) in North Augusta, S.C. (Sr. Faith Anthony, host musician). The members attended Vespers sung and chanted by the Sisters. After Vespers, a delicious meal prepared by Sr. Faith was served in the reception hall of the convent. Members enjoyed getting to know the Sisters as well as more about the Episcopal Convent and the service and ministry of its members. Following a brief business meeting, we returned to the chapel for Compline. Our members were very impressed by services and enjoyed seeing the new chapel and hearing its wonderful acoustics. —David Salter

Macon, Ga. The chapter met on Jan. 10 at Vineville United Methodist Church. Jeffery Seeley, associate professor of church music at Mercer University, and director of music at the church, presented a program titled “Rehearsal Techniques for the Church Choir.” Interactive in nature, the seminar provided an overview of the issues faced in leading church choir rehearsals, namely getting the rehearsals started, devotions, warm-ups, repertoire presentations and pedagogy, organist and choir director dynamics, placement of announcements, community building, attendance, recruitment, and social interactions. Participants were encouraged to present their unique challenges and situations as well as stories of success. —Jane Kimbrel

Jackson, Miss. Nov. 18, the chapter presented young organist Jean-Baptiste Monnot, organist at Saint-Ouen in Rouen, France, in recital at Northminster Baptist Church. His program was titled “The Art of Transcription” and included his own transcriptions of two of Scriabin’s piano pieces, in addition to Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Liszt’s Fantasy and Fugue on BACH, and Bach’s transcription of Vivaldi’s Concerto in D Minor. • Jan. 19, young organist Chelsea Chen was presented in recital also at Northminster Baptist Church. Her program opened with a piece by Ola Gjeilo and Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite. She then played Langlais’s Cantilène and her own Taiwanese Suite. The second half included Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in D Major and Wammes’ Miroirs, and concluded with a transcription of the Finale from Saint-Saëns’s Organ Symphony No. 3. Both programs utilized the full resources of the organ and showcased two accomplished performers. • Jan. 21, First Presbyterian Church in Jackson hosted the annual Pedals, Pipes & Pizza for area students. Fifty people, including students, piano teachers, parents, and AGO helpers were in attendance. Glenn Gentry, Carol Durham, and Bill Wymond (host) led the presentations. Each of the students had the opportunity to play the organ and participate in a pipe demonstration. Area piano teachers and students expressed their thanks for the workshop. —Barbara Tracy

Wilmington, N.C. Nov. 13, the chapter presented a hymn festival at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Chapter Dean Justin Smith, St. John’s organist and choirmaster, was the host for the festival. Members played hymns for All Saints’ Day, Thanksgiving, and Christ the King. People attending sang the hymns and listened to chorale preludes based on the hymns. Organists were Martha Hayes, David Heinzman,
Lisa Nichol, William Remele, Matthew Rosendahl, and Justin Smith. —Sara Bryant

Spartanburg, S.C. Jan. 24, the chapter met in the Parish Life Center of the Episcopal Church of the Advent for a delicious meal served by the church’s dining staff. Afterward, the documentary film Sacred Sound was shown. Film producer Robin Arcus of Durham, N.C., introduced the documentary and entertained questions and comments at the end of the showing. The film presents the story of 50 girl choristers who come together and prepare 16 pieces of music for two Sunday worship services. The weeklong music camp in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., was under the direction of David Hill, director of the BBC Singers and London Bach Choir. The website for this documentary is Sacredsoundmovie.com.
—Bill Cooper

Nashville, Tenn. 2017’s first program featured Jonathan Rudy in a recital highlighting West End United Methodist’s V/136 Möller. Rudy was the first- and audience-prize winner in the 2014 NYACOP. Matt Phelps, Andrew Risinger, and Caitlin Dowling hosted the recital and preceding dinner.
—Rhonda Swanson

Heartland of Kentucky. Dec. 7, the chapter held its first Christmas event since the chapter’s formation last July. The evening
began at St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church, New Haven, Ky. Dean Lawrence V. McCrobie, archdiocesan liturgical music consultant, hosted the event serving as director of music with David K. Lamb serving as organist. The event was comprised of 90 minutes worth of selections from Handel’s Messiah that featured the chapter’s Sacred Choir. Since its formation just six months prior, chapter attendance at the monthly events has grown to average between 50 to 250, and has produced a great deal of renewed interest in the organ and the art of playing. The mission of the chapter is to encourage a generation of new organists. It has begun to provide beginning organ lessons to children around the region. “Many great things have started to happen in the area, and we are just on the edge of creating something remarkable about the organ, and its many uses,” McCrobie stated in addressing the members of the chapter’s January meeting. “It is our goal not to celebrate the current organists of the chapter, but rather to encourage and foster the growth and development of future organists so that 100 years from now there is a desire to hear these remarkable instruments.” We welcome new members regardless of playing ability, and hope to continue to present events that are not only performance based, but also incorporate a broad range of interests through conferences, workshops, and organ performance competitions. St. Catherine’s, New Haven, is home to an 1890s Pilcher in original condition. Though the organ is not used in the weekly worship service, it is maintained by the local chapter, and is used for concerts and teaching.
—Lawrence V. McCrobie

Ann Arbor, Mich. Dec. 2 featured the annual Organist’s Christmas Concert held at First Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor. Hosted by chapter member and director of music Tom Granum, the recital featured three faithful members: Joshua Boyd, Shin-Ae Chun, and former dean Timothy Huth. A crowd of over 200 thoroughly enjoyed the Advent and Christmas organ selections and the beautiful voices of the Boychoir of Ann Arbor led by chapter member Thomas Strode. • On Jan. 8 a collegial group of members joined University of Michigan carillonneur Tiffany Ng in Burton Memorial Tower on the campus of the University for an Epiphany party—a time of fellowship after a busy Christmas season. —Sipkje Pesnichak

Grand Rapids, Mich. Jan. 16, members John Tiemstra, Raymond Haan, Jonathan Tuuk, Brian Bartusch, Bruce Klanderman, Norma deWaal Malefyt, and Barbara Dulmage presented a program of wedding music at Central Reformed Church in downtown Grand Rapids. The program showcased preludes, processionals, vocal solos, and hymnody for use in the celebration of marriage. The organists were joined by soprano Mary Tuuk and trumpeter Jimmy Leach. —Peter Kurdziel

Greater Lansing, Mich. Jan. 20, Hae Won Jang (Greater Lansing chapter) and Jeong-Suk Bae (Houston chapter), performed an exciting and eclectic duo organ concert at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in East Lansing. There couldn’t have been a finer offering of compositions
to warm up a chilly January evening. Featured duo performances were Fantasia in F Minor by Mozart, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Bach, and the pièce de résistance of the evening, Jupiter from The Planets by Holst. Many audience members were delighted to learn that the melody of the hymn tune Thaxted was extracted from this movement. Hae Won and Jeong-Suk also played solo selections. These included Sonata in E-flat Major, BWV 525, by Bach (Hae Won) and Naïades by Vierne (Jeong-Suk). The concert concluded with an exuberant rendition of John Phillip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. Hae Won and Jeong-Suk plan to perform a similar duo program in Houston this August.
—Barbara Hiranpradist

Canton, Ohio. Sept. 16, members met for dinner at the Hartville Kitchen and then traveled to
Advent Lutheran Church in Hartville where they played duets on the II/13 Moller/Schantz/
Kegg organ. • Oct. 24, the chapter convened at Trinity UCC in Canton for a 30-minute recital by Anthony Montagno, the church’s organist, on the IV/62 Schantz. After the recital, handbell choirs from Trinity and Zion UCC of North Canton combined for a handbell festival directed by Ralph Morrison. • Nov. 21, the Organist and Clergy Banquet was held at the Massillon Woman’s Club. Members were encouraged to invite their clergy to this meeting. After the meal, the Camarada Brass Quintet performed a concert featuring soloists as well as works arranged by members of the quintet. • Jan. 23, the chapter presented Ann Labounsky, professor of organ and sacred music at Duquesne University, in a program titled “Jean Langlais: The Man and His Music.” Labounsky is one of the only living specialists in the U.S. who had the opportunity to study privately with Langlais. She provided interesting facts about his music, and played a variety of works by the composer on the IV/49 E.M. Skinner/Kegg organ at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Canton. A reception followed the program. —Vicki Ryan

Cleveland, Ohio. Jan. 29, the chapter celebrated Karel Paukert with a program titled “Karel Paukert: Up Close and Personal” at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, where Paukert has been organist and choirmaster since 1979. Tim Robson began the afternoon by leading an interview and Q & A session about Paukert’s early life in Czechoslovakia, his time in Western Europe (including a stint as oboist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra), and finally his immigration to the United States. The session included conversation about Karel’s musical mentors, and anecdotes about the many famous musicians he hosted during his career at the Cleveland Museum of Art, focusing particularly on organists. Paukert then played selections by Domenico Zipoli on the Hradetzky organ in the gallery, followed by J.S. Bach on the renowned 1952 Holtkamp. The premiere of Frank Wiley’s stunning Labyrinths preceded Janáˇcek’s Postludium from his Glagolitic Mass. An elegant reception lasted well into the evening.
—Rick Nelson

Toledo, Ohio. Sept. 11, Brent Neuenschwander, CAGO,
music director at the First Presbyterian Church in Findlay, Ohio, played a recital for members of the chapter and guests at Holy Rosary Cathedral (host Paul Monachino) on the IV/76 1930 E.M. Skinner, Opus 820, including Paine’s Concert Variations on The Star-Spangled Banner, the fourth of Schumann’s Six Etudes, and the last movement of Guilmant’s First Sonata. Mr. Neuenschwander was a finalist in the 2014 Poister Competition, and holds a BM degree and Injury Preventative Keyboard Technique Certification from Salem College, and an MM degree from the UNC School of the Arts. The recital was followed by a potluck dinner in the social hall. • Oct. 15, the chapter visited Bowling Green for their
annual Progressive Dinner and Organ Crawl to visit three mechanical-action organs with dinner courses at each location. The organists performing chose music to fit each instrument’s strengths. The appetizer course featured the 2015 Beckerath (II/6) at St. John’s Episcopal, played by Curtis King, director of music and organist at First Lutheran Church in Tiffin, performing the music of Clérambault, Stanley, and hymn arrangements by Manz. Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church Neil Kraft, and Heidelberg University Organ Instructor Joan McConnell, served the “main course” on the Létourneau (II/32, 1998) at St. Aloysius, with selections by Couperin and Dupré, the Fanfare by Lemmens, and a hymn arrangement by Robert Hobby. At the dessert stop at First Presbyterian, the church’s organist, Ed Duling, played a 20th–century trumpet tune by Gilbert Martin, and a piano and organ duet with choir director Josh Wang, on the Ohio-made, Dutch-style Leek organ (II/22). David Saunders, associate organist at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Toledo, ended the evening with renditions of Pachelbel, Handel, and Ravenscroft, including both Bach’s Schmüke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654, and his Fugue in E-flat, BWV 552 (“St. Anne”). Saunders reminded attendees of the teaching and influence of Vernon Wolcott, retired professor of organ at Bowling Green State University, and organist at St. John’s Episcopal, who taught many northwest Ohio organists including Saunders and King, and directly affected the acquisition of both the Christ the King Leek organ at First Presbyterian during his long tenure there, as well as the Beckerath at St. John’s. —Ed Duling

Kansas State University, Kans. Jan. 22, the chapter sponsored the annual members’ recital at First United Methodist Church in Manhattan, Kans. Recitalists were Robert Edwards, Dottie Kvasnica, Ruth Ann Warren, Mary Ellen Sutton, and Natalie Rawlings. —Mary Ann Buhler

Topeka, Kans. Oct. 30, the chapter presented “Organ Plus,” a recital featuring organist members with friends. With the addition of trumpet, vocal soloists, and piano, all with organ, plus a demonstration of a hymn becoming a full-blown improvisation by Matt Gender, the program ended with a delicious reception at Countryside United Methodist Church in Topeka. • Jan. 3, the chapter enjoyed its annual woo-woo party and looked forward to “An Introduction to the King of Instruments” for children ages four and up, that was held on Feb. 12 at First Presbyterian Church.
—Sharon L. Hettinger

Wichita, Kans. Oct. 16, 60 people journeyed to Eden Mennonite Church near Moundridge, Kans., to participate and enjoy “Organ Plus”—a concert featuring organ, instruments, and voice. The 26-rank Martin Ott Opus 53 mechanical action organ sits in the front of the sanctuary and was commissioned in 1988 when the new church was built. The casework is made of red oak. Several former Hutchinson, Kans., chapter members who are now members of the Wichita chapter participated in the concert. Derek King, lead pastor of Eden Mennonite Church, welcomed the group, gave the opening prayer and closing benediction. Organists participating in the concert were Tyler Breneman, Marlene Hallstrom, Shirley Brandyberry, Jan Peak, Steven Gustafson, and Christopher Shaw. Instrumentalists were Jeanne Kroeker (oboe), Amy Warner (flute and piccolo), Ellen Neufeld (oboe), Camille Burrow (cello), and Donna Stucky (piano). Alan Lindal was the vocalist. Everyone enjoyed cookies and iced tea following the concert. Annette Lindal, sub-dean of the Wichita chapter, coordinated the concert, which included the hymn “When in Our Music God Is Glorified,” and the closing stanza serves as a summary of the afternoon: “Let ev’ry instrument be tuned for praise! Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise! And may God give us faith to sing always: Alleluia!” • Jan. 8, the chapter held its annual Epiphany celebration at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita, Kans. Fifteen middle and high school students presented a recital in the sanctuary to a gathering of 125 listeners. The Cathedral was renovated in 2012 as part of its centennial celebration, and the Kilgen pipe organ was refurbished at that time. The altar area, decorated for Christmas with trees, lights, and poinsettias, provided a beautiful setting for the recital. Instructors of the students are chapter members Marlene Hallstrom, Anna Jeter, Carole Pracht, and Shirley Wiebe. The Altar Society of the Cathedral provided a light meal in Good Shepherd Hall following the concert.
—Christopher M. Shaw and
Annette Lindal

Central Missouri. Jan. 22, the chapter met for its annual Epiphany dinner and music exchange at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Moberly, Mo., after it was postponed from an earlier date because of an ice storm. Chapter members Andy and Samantha Rowland hosted the event. The chapter provided deliciously marinated brisket and homemade rolls, and the members each brought their favorite dish. Members brought music they were no longer using to exchange with each other, each transaction yielding $1.00 to the chapter treasury. Following a short business meeting, members adjourned to the sanctuary to see and play the Rodgers digital organ. The meeting was well attended and everyone enjoyed good food and fellowship.
—Tom Perkins

Greater Kansas City, Mo. Jan. 16, Immanuel Lutheran Church of Kansas City (Mi Ou Lee, organist) hosted a certification workshop “Eavesdropping on AGO Exams.” Chapter Certification Chair Claudette Schiratti, AAGO, briefly interviewed the five participants who spoke about their exam preparations and demonstrated some of the skills and repertoire upon which each of the five certification examinations are based. Nancy Custead, CAGO, spoke about her examinations for both SPC and CAGO. Nancy demonstrated some of the hymn playing tests for the SPC level. Ray Smith, CAGO, demonstrated the sight-reading skills examination for CAGO. John Schaefer, ChM, brought four chorister friends to demonstrate the
choral conducting examination (choristers Will Brubaker, Gayle Hathorne, Doug Maag, and Leona Schaefer). Kevin Kissinger, AAGO, demonstrated the skill of transposition along with sight reading. Kevin also discussed how the various sections of the examinations may be repeated over a multiyear duration, and strongly encouraged all to follow whatever pathway is required. Kevin had passed his skills examinations in the first year, but required two additional repeated years to pass the written examinations. Elisa Bickers, FAGO, demonstrated the skills of modulation and improvisation upon a theme provided during the exam-
ination. Each participant strongly extolled the improvements in their own musicianship and performance capabilities that they derived from their participation in the certification examinations.
—Norm Kinnaugh

St. Louis, Mo. Jan. 7 and 8, the weekend included a workshop and hymn festival with acclaimed organist and composer John Ferguson, who is also known as a choral conductor, improviser, and leader of congregational song. Minister of Music Andrew Peters welcomed chapter members to Second Presbyterian Church on Saturday morning for breakfast and a workshop titled “What Is Relevant for the Typical Church Choir?” Ferguson began by reminding those present to “. . . look where you are with your choir. See what needs to be built.” Through sharing his experiences in parishes and university settings, he demonstrated the wealth of techniques and strategies that make choirs the best they can be. When recruiting, he suggested that directors might use the term “interview” rather than “audition.” Claiming an identity for each choral group can be done in a variety of ways. He reiterated the importance of substantial and well-prepared vocal warm-ups, and reviewed strategies for making the most of that time. Many wise gems were shared: Let the choir laugh; train wrecks in rehearsal are okay; no preaching is necessary—just do; quality literature attracts quality singers. He gave clear and concise strategies for seating singers, preparing melodies and texts, scheduling sectionals, improving tone and intonation, and many pragmatic approaches to leading a choir. Specific points were made as those present sang portions of three choral anthems. His demonstration of how proper placement of voices can create the best choral blend was swift and unerring. The workshop confirmed the importance of skillful leadership in building choirs that lead, energize, and inspire singing of congregational hymns. • The Epiphany Hymn Festival on Jan. 8 was also presented at Second Presbyterian Church. Ferguson made full use of the four-manual Schantz, restored in 2015. He skillfully conducted the choir and led from the organ bench, using the 60 ranks to great effect. His improvisations and accompaniments were surrounded by prayer, Scripture, and strong singing from the choir and those assembled. The artistry and diversity of music and sounds made for a grand conclusion to the holiday season. —Dawn Riske

Madison, Wis. Jan. 27, a group of about 30 chapter members and friends gathered at St. James Lutheran Church in Verona for a Church Musician Appreciation dinner. Attendees enjoyed a catered buffet dinner and a talk by guest speaker Jonathan Aigner titled “Being Thoughtful about Worship in the 21st Century.” Aigner is director of music at Community Presbyterian Church in Woodlands, Tex., and is author of the blog “Ponder Anew,” which can be found on the Evangelical channel on the Patheos website. Aigner discussed his impressions of the so-called worship wars and the drawbacks of worship styles that attempt to imitate pop culture. The fact that he is a young adult who attended a megachurch in his youth that featured contemporary worship made his perspective particularly significant. Members had the opportunity to converse with Aigner and his wife, Kelsey, before and after the dinner.
—Naomi Matthees

Central Arkansas. Jan. 13, the chapter gathered at Christ Episcopal Church, Little Rock, for dinner, business meeting, and organ recital by Joshua Stafford. Steve Bullock, organist and choirmaster at the church, was host for the dinner. Following dinner, a brief business meeting was held, presided over Mike Metzler, dean. Richard Hixson, longtime member, sponsored the recital as his gift to the chapter, and as a celebration of his birthday. Richard has sponsored a birthday concert for the chapter for the past 23 years. Happy birthday, Richard, and thank you for this very special gift to us! This year’s recitalist was Joshua Stafford, 2016 Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition first-prize winner. Stafford presented a program of works by Bach, Krebs, Dvorˇák, Shearing, Saint-Saëns, and Jongen. Following the recital a reception was held in the home of Carl Miller. —Betty Cohen

Denver Rocky Mountain. Dec. 3, chapter members and local fans of the organ joined staff and docents from Historic Denver Inc., for the Fifth Annual Pipe Organ Tour. Shannon Schaefer, outreach and tour director for Historic Denver, arranged the tour sites and was on hand to guide the “flock” of 80 attendees. John Olson, director of preservation, presented not only a thorough historic background for each church, but also a detailed description of the architectural style of the buildings. Our first stop was Holy Ghost Church (Roman Catholic) where Olson gave an interesting overview of the Spanish-Italianate features of the building and noted that it contained over 300 tons of Colorado marble. Daniel Romero, a recitalist at the 2015 OHS convention, demonstrated the capabilities of the 1985 Schantz Opus 1817 (III/46) in the seven-second reverberant acoustic of the church, closing with an exciting performance of the Duruflé Choral varié sur le theme du Veni Creator. The second stop was St. Paul Lutheran and Roman Catholic Community of Faith and its early 20th–century American Gothic Revival building. Cantor Mark Alan Filbert played a variety of pieces fully demonstrating the capabilities of the Möller Opus 4501, R-154 (1984) (III/39). The final stop on the tour was First Baptist Church, a quintessential expression of the Colonial Revival style of church building as adapted from James Gibbs’s St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Graced by four Colorado pink marble columns, the church building with its 160-foot spire is both an architectural and symbolic foil to the Colorado State Capitol building across the street. The organ, Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1047-A (IV/114), was demonstrated by Eric Reagan, First Baptist director of music. Reagan, manager of our chapter website, also provided a visual onscreen presentation of the organ, the largest in Colorado. The instrument was moved in 1949 from the home of State Senator Emerson Richards in Atlantic City, N.J. In fact, the organ was so large it had to be reduced by several ranks to fit into the organ chambers of the church. The chapter thanks Shannon Schaefer and John Olson of Historic Denver Inc. for organizing, leading, and providing very interesting information about the history and architecture of each of the buildings on the tour, and we look forward to many more joint tours in the Mile High City.
—Samuel Chizmar

Tulsa, Okla. Jan. 12, the chapter met for dinner and a meeting at Trinity Episcopal Church. The evening’s program was a recital presented by Melissa Plamann, professor at Oklahoma City University. Plamann played an interesting and varied program as part of the ongoing Oklahoma City–
Tulsa Chapter Exchange Recital Series, in which a member of one chapter performs for the other.
—Karen Rich

Corpus Christi, Tex. Jan. 21, the chapter hosted a handbell
festival and workshop for area churches at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal, in Corpus Christi. The conductor was Michael Mazzatenta and the festival included two of his
compositions. —Brad Kisner

Orange County, Calif. Oct. 10, the chapter and Christ Cathedral cosponsored a major event featuring Peter Richard Conte at Christ Cathedral Arboretum, Garden Grove. The excitement began at 3:30 p.m. with a lecture by Conte featuring the amazing history of the Wanamaker Organ at Macy’s Department Store in Philadelphia. At 5:00 p.m., members enjoyed a delicious dinner at nearby Lucille’s Smokehouse before the concert. Returning to the Arboretum, Conte delivered an energetic recital on the IV/82 Aeolian-Skinner. Works of Guilmant, Kreisler, Dupré, Swinnin, Sowerby, Bach-Widor, Franck, and Sibelius were played with artistry and brilliance.
—Jennifer Puhl

Southern Nevada. Dec. 4, at the chapter’s Advent-Christmas Recital, secretary Kathleen A. Colman was honored with a surprise premiere performance of an anthem commissioned in her honor. Composed by Craig Courtney with an Advent text by Susan Bentall Boersma, “Who But the Lord?” was performed by Choral Artists of Southern Nevada under the direction of Marsha Borovicka and accompanied by Paul S. Hesselink. The dedication to the SATB anthem with organ accompaniment reads “Commissioned by friends in honor of Kathleen A. Colman for her 30 years of dedicated leadership as Music Director of Christ Church Episcopal, Las Vegas, Nevada.” Contributing
to the financial underwriting of the commission were donors
representing 54 friends in 38 gifts. The numerous people involved in the project, headed
by Midgene Spatz, wife of a former rector of Christ Church,
and by Hesselink, former organist of Christ Church, managed
to keep the secret so that the
performance was a total surprise to Mrs. Colman. The anthem will be available from Beckenhorst Press in time for use during Advent 2017.
—Paul S. Hesselink

Seattle, Wash. Dec. 16–18, 14 chapter members and their friends took live organ music to shoppers at three malls in Seattle and Bellevue—one more than last year. Hundreds lingered to hear the chapter’s three-rank pipe organ and watch its mechanical action through windows in the case. Duets with voice, violin, trumpet, flute, and piano added variety to a combined eleven hours of performance. It was a great opportunity for children to move with music made by real people on real instruments. Other members and friends recruited performers, coordinated with mall managers, and did the heavy lifting (literally) to move the organ around the region. Shoppers who wanted to hear more received cards directing them to the chapter’s online event calendar. —David Nichols

Spokane, Wash. Dec. 26, the chapter had its third annual “Christmas Hymn Walk” in downtown Spokane. The general public was invited to this free program that visited three different churches for Christmas hymn singing. About 50 people were in attendance. The first church was Manito Presbyterian Church (Helen Byrne, organist and music director), with husband Leonard on the euphonium.
The second was Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ (choir director Verne Windham with visiting organist Janet Ahrend). The third was Central Lutheran Church (choir director Paul Brueggemeier and organist Alice Hostetter). Each visit lasted approximately 30 minutes, with historical background on each carol provided before singing. At the final church, hot drinks and cookies were served. • On Jan. 6, the chapter’s annual Epiphany party was held at Vince and Carla Roland’s house. Record low temperatures and slick roads made attendance slimmer than usual, but the 22 people that attended had a grand time. After a fine potluck dinner, everyone descended to the pipe organ room for music by members Floyd Czoski (organist and music director at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church), and Robert Carr (organist and music director at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral). After more than a dozen Christmas songs were sung, the music concluded with Mr. Carr playing Widor’s Toccata from Symphony No. 5. —Vince Roland

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