Chemung Valley Chapter

Last updated: November 27, 2015 at 14:33 pm


The Dulciana
Newsletter of the Chemung Valley Chapter
Of The American Guild of Organists

December 2015

Dean’s Message:

Hello Everyone!  Happy Halloween.

We had a very interesting organ crawl this past Saturday (10/24).  We traveled to Watsontown, PA, southeast of Williamsport, to the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Ravert.  Mr. Ravert is the owner of a business which makes automatic musical instruments.  He has quite an extensive and impressive collection, beginning with a big band box outside in his driveway.  It’s like a calliope, but it has a bigger sound and a better tone quality.  Inside his home, in his studio, he has several grand pianos, an electronic organ and several nickelodeons or other automatic musical instruments, which he played for us.  I used one of the grand pianos to accompany Carrie Hooper, who sang “Bless This House”.  We also toured his workshop out in back, where he has many more nickelodeons.
I was unable to stay for the rest of the organ crawl, so I will let Beth Briggs fill you in on that.  Thanks, Beth.  And thanks also to Dave Lenington for his organization of the crawl.
Following our visit to John Ravert’s home we had a delightful Lunch at D & D Family Restaurant followed by a visit to Trinity United Church of Christ to see, hear and play an 1892 Felgemaker Organ of 12 Ranks. I noticed a Baptismal Font from 1909. Our final stop was First Lutheran Church where they have a 1995 Parsons Organ of 23 ranks. The afternoon also included a Hymn Sing led by Carrie Hooper. A great time was held by all.
Our next event will be an organ recital by Peter Sykes, which will take place on Sunday, November 8 at 4:00 PM at Grace
Episcopal Church, corner of Church and Davis Streets, Elmira.  You can find his bio and program elsewhere in this newsletter.  I hope you will mark the date and make plans to attend.

Thank you all.  Hope to see you at the recital.
Pipe Organ Available:
1971 Gress-Miles pipe organ, 14 ranks, good condition.  Price is negotiable.  Available after Christmas.  Can be played at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Ithaca.  Contact Erik Kibelsbeck at PH: 607-725-1334 for additional information.
Organist Position Available:

My name is Jessica Rutledge, I am the music director for Christ the Redeemer Parish in Elmira, NY. We are currently seeking an organist, preferably a permanent one, but right now we would also take interested substitutes.

Would it be possible for you to pass the word along to anyone that you know might be interested? I would really appreciate it. I will happily answer any questions.

My number is: 607-425-4464

Thank you, Jessica Rutledge

Chapter Events:

12/12/15: Chemung Valley Chapter’s Annual Christmas Concert.
Elcor Health Services Maple Creek Building. 48 Colonial
Drive Horseheads, NY 2:00 PM. There will be a Christmas
Message by Rev. Bill Klees, Soprano Solos by Carrie Hooper,
Resident’s Sing-a-Long, and Piano selections by the students
of Dr. Dan LaBar.

1/24/16: Annual Winter Gathering at the home of Gerald Parkhouse
1643 W. Water Street Elmira, NY 3:00 PM. Please bring
CD’s, Records and Tapes to share. Refreshments will be
Served. It is always a very enjoyable time.

Community Events:

From The Park Church 208 W. Gray Street Elmira, NY:

Presents Two Advent Lunch Recitals:
Thursday December 3, 2015 @ 12:10 PM Featuring: Charlotte Cook,
Organist and Thursday December 17, 2015 @ 12:15 PM Featuring:
The Park Church Bell Choir. Following the short concert, a soup and
Sandwich luncheon will be served in Beecher Hall. Tickets available at the door.
On Friday, December 4 at 8:00 pm, Jonathan Biggers will present his annual Holiday celebration “First Friday Organ Concert” at United Presbyterian Church 42 Chenango Street in Binghamton.  Organ solos will include Craig Phillips’s Toccata on Antioch (Joy to the World).  The audience will be invited to sing four Christmas and Advent carols accompanied by special introductions and reharmonizations (as only JB can do).  Jonathan will be joined by Timothy Perry (Clarinet) and Margaret Reitz (piano), along with a french horn quartet, and two vocal soloists from the Tri-Cities Opera. Admission will be $5.00 at the door.  This event has always been well attended, well received, and should not be missed.

From the Cantata Singers of Elmira:
Christmas Lights: Luminosity and Music of Christmas

Saturday December 5, 2015 7:30pm at North Presbyterian Church 921
College Ave. Elmira, NY & Sunday December 6, 2015 3:00 PM
At First Presbyterian Church 520 N. Decatur St. Watkins Glen, NY

Join us in the Horseheads-Elmira area on Saturday evening or the Watkins Glen Area on Sunday afternoon to welcome Advent and Christmas, the season of light. Musical selections include Morten Lauridsen’s gorgeous setting of Magnum Mysterium, a not to be missed performance of the incomparable Luminosity by James Whitbourn, John Rutter’s I Wish You Christmas, The Darkest Midnight in December, an award-winning composition by Stephen Main, Mark Hayes’s Welcome the Child of Light and the beautiful Heavenly Star by Pepper Choplin, along with traditional music and popular carols to get the season started on a bright note!

On Sunday, December 6 at 2:00 pm,  Nancy Wildoner will be playing a recital celebrating the recent restoration work on the Aeolian Skinner organ (done by Richard Hedgebeth)  at First Congregational Church, 30 Main Street Binghamton, NY .The program includes works of Searle Wright (former organist of the church), J.S. Bach, César Franck and Leroy Anderson.

12/6/15: Advent Service of Lessons and Carols Featuring Horseheads
area Church Choirs with Organ and Brass. First United
Methodist Church of Horseheads, NY 1034 W. Broad St.
5:00 PM It is a very popular event so try and come early.






New Dues Rates

AGO National has established the following dues rates for the upcoming 2015-16 membership year.  Each category will increase $3.
Regular member                 $100
Special member                  $  75
Student member                 $  40
Partner                                $  75

Local membership will remain the same.
Chapter Friend                    $  20

The new rates will appear on the April 1 renewal notices that AGO Headquarters will send to current chapter members renewing for the 2015-2016 membership year.



The Chemung Valley Chapter
of the American Guild of Organists
invites you to an autumn jaunt to

Watsontown, Pennsylvania

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hhh Meet: Mr. and Mrs. John Ravert 10:00 a.m.
9 Meadowvale Drive
Watsontown, Pennsylvania

Lunch: D & D Family Restaurant Noon
219 Main Street
Watsontown, Pennsylvania

Trinity United Church of Christ 2:00 p.m.
602 Main Street
Watsontown, Pennsylvania

First Lutheran Church 2:45 p.m.
400 Main Street
Watsontown, Pennsylvania


Wurlitzer Band Organ
Style 125
Wurlitzer Band Organ
Style 153
Page & Howard
Street Organ
Allen Theatre Organ

1892 Felgemaker
12 ranks

1995 Parsons
23 ranks
Please phone 570-268-5035 for car pooling, directions, and gasoline card.


Peter Sykes serves as Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Historical Performance Department at Boston University, where he teaches organ, harpsichord, clavichord, performance practice, and continuo realization, Music Director of First Church in Cambridge, and principal instructor of harpsichord at the Juilliard School in New York City. He performs extensively on the harpsichord, clavichord, and organ, and has made ten solo recordings of organ and harpsichord repertoire ranging from Buxtehude, Couperin and Bach to Reger and Hindemith and his acclaimed organ transcription of Holst’s “The Planets.” Newly released is a recording of the complete Bach harpsichord partitas on the Centaur label, and an all-Bach clavichord recording on the Raven label; soon to be released will be the complete Bach obbligato violin sonatas with Daniel Stepner. He also performs and records with Boston Baroque and Aston Magna. A founding board member and president of the Boston Clavichord Society as well as president of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies, he is the recipient of the Chadwick Medal (1978) and Outstanding Alumni Award (2005) from the New England Conservatory, the Erwin Bodky Prize (1993) from the Cambridge Society for Early Music, and the Distinguished Artist Award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation (2011).


Peter Sykes, organ
Grace Church, Elmira, NY
November 8, 2015

Toccata in F, BuxVW 137 Dieterich Buxtehude

All Creatures of Our God and King (2000) James Woodman
Five meditations for organ on “Lasst uns erfreuen” b. 1957
I. Sister Moon
II. Brother Sun
III. Mother Earth
IV. All of Tender Heart
V. Alleluia

Scherzetto (Pièces en style libre, 1914)
Lied Louis Vierne
Arabesque 187o-1937
Sonata, op. 65, no. 4 in B-Flat Major Felix Mendelssohn
Allegro con brio 1809-1847
Andante religioso
Allegro maestoso e vivace

Chorale Prelude: “Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele,” BWV 654 Johann Sebastian Bach

Passcaglia and Fugue in c minor, BWV 582 Bach








For Information on joining our chapter please contact:

David Lenington, Treasurer Chemung Valley AGO Chapter
211 Laning Creek Road
Towanda,PA 18848





Employers and job seekers are invited to post and search listings of available positions on the Guild’s National Website.





Contact Us

Chapter Officers
Daniel LaBar (Home 607-846-8411) or

David Lenington or (570-268-5035)

Elizabeth Briggs
607-377-5363 or



AGO National website