Chemung Valley Chapter

Last updated: January 28, 2018 at 20:46 pm


The Dulciana

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

February 2018

Newsletter Editor’s Message:


Happy New Year to All,

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.  My Sister and Brother-in-Law and dog Molly were here from Indiana and we had a nice visit. It is hard to believe that the New Year is already upon us. We had our Annual Christmas Concert on December 9, 2017.  It took place in the Dayspring I Community Room, 101 Columbia St., Corning, NY.  We want to thank Dave Lenington for organizing this event.  It was a success and Thank you so much to all the performers.

There is a change in the schedule for February.  The workshop by Richard Van Auken, entitled “Ideas & Inspiration for the Service Organist”, has a new date.  That date is Saturday, February 17 from 9:00 AM-12:00 Noon.  Everything else is the same.  It will still be at First United Methodist Church, 1034 West Broad St., Horseheads, NY.  Please let us know if you plan to attend.  We need to have an exact count because there will be a special handout for everyone.  Please take note of the flyer which is enclosed in this newsletter. Our March event will be our Annual Winter Gather it will be held Sunday March 18, 2018 at the home of Dan LaBar 353 Lovell Avenue Elmira, NY. Please bring CD’s, Tapes and records and a snack to share also. The date is set for our Annual Member’s Recital it will be Sunday April 15, 2018 at 4 PM at Grace Episcopal Church in Elmira. Performers are needed. Please contact Dan if you are interested in performing at 607-846-8411 or

There are other events that might be of interest elsewhere in the Newsletter.

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year !!

Beth Briggs

From Carrie Hooper:

Hello.  My name is Carrie Hooper and I offer private voice and piano lessons.  I could teach Monday through Friday morning or afternoon, even Saturday if necessary.  I could also offer private language lessons in German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Albanian, or Romanian to anyone interested.  For more information please contact Carrie Hooper at 607-732-6788.
Chapter Events:

Note Date Change:
Guest Clinician: Richard Van Auken
9:30 – Noon at First United Methodist Church
1034 West Broad St., Horseheads, NY
A Flyer is enclosed.

3/18/18: Annual Winter Gathering at the home of Dan LaBar
353 Lovell Avenue Elmira, NY. Please bring CD’s, Records
and Tapes and a snack to share.

4/15/18: Annual Member’s Recital Grace Episcopal Church
375 W. Church St. Elmira, NY 4:00 PM Performers are
needed please contact Dan LaBar at 607-846-8411 or

Community Events:

2/18/18: The Elmira Keyboard Ensemble will present a Concert at the
Park Church 208 W. Gray St. Elmira, NY on Sunday, February
18 at 3:00 PM. It will be a concert featuring music for
Valentine’s Day. The Member’s of the Group are: Dan LaBar,
Janice Brown, Onalee Nixon, and Charlotte Cook. The concert
is free.

From the Cantata Singers of Elmira:

Sunday, February 25, 2018, 4 pm – The Music of Breesport Native Dan Forrest, Grace Episcopal Church,375 W. Church Street Elmira, NY (free)
Join us in the music of Dan Forrest. We’ll be featuring his beautiful Te Deum and an encore performance of Requiem for the Living.

Sunday, March 4, 2018, 3 pm – The Music of Breesport Native Dan Forrest, The Church of the Redeemer, 201 S. Wilbur Ave. Sayre,PA (free) Join us in the music of Dan Forrest. We’ll be featuring his beautiful Te Deum and an encore performance of Requiem for the Living.
Sunday, April 29, 2018, 4 pm – Music at the Museum – A Musical 60th Anniversary Celebration for Corning Community College CMOG Auditorium, 1 Museum Way Corning, NY (free)

July, 2018, Where Sacred Waters Divide, date and time to be announced(free)

From St. Luke Lutheran Church 109 Oak Avenue Ithaca, NY:

Wednesday, February 28 at 12:30 pm
Cornell’s Midday Music Series
Michael Plagerman, organ
Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Jacob Dassa, organ
This progressive organ recital will begin at Anabel Taylor Chapel on the Cornell Baroque Organ, then move to St. Luke’s French Romantic Organ at intermission.  The same repertoire by Müthel, Pachelbel, and Bach will be played on both organs.  Co-presented with the American Guild of Organists Ithaca Chapter.

Friday, March 9, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Schola Cantorum of Syracuse
“Ein Feste Burg”
Early Lutheran Music from Walter to Schütz — those in between including Senfl, Stolzer, Eccard, and Praetorius, among others. Music inspired by Luther’s revolution and by the new chorale tunes that Lutheranism generated.  Featured will be Schütz’s Musikalische Exequiem,  a 17th-century “German Requiem.”




Note Date Change: Saturday February 17, 2018

9:30 – Noon at First United Methodist Church

1034 West Broad St., Horseheads, NY


This workshop-seminar will cover subjects such as Transitioning from Piano to Organ/Organ Registration/Hymn Playing/Practice Ideas/Organ &Piano/Harpsichord literature/Pedal Technique….and much more.


Guest Clinician:


As an arranger, Richard has set many well-known hymn tunes with special accompaniment for congregational singing.  Every organist attending this workshop will receive a complimentary copy of one of his books.

Coffee and Donuts will be served at 9:00 AM.

You are cordially invited to be with us for this event sponsored by the Chemung Valley Chapter AGO

Add some ideas to your understanding regarding Church music by attending this session.

Please RSVP to Dan LaBar if you are interested in attending. or 607-846-8411.

Richard Van Auken Biography:

Richard Van Auken, a native of Quakertown, PA, began piano lessons at age eleven and organ at age 13. Shortly thereafter he was appointed organist at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Kellers Church, PA Following graduation from high school and service with the U.S. Marine Corps in Korea he studied at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music as an organ major with Dr. Robert Elmore.

His piano teachers include Eleanor Sokoloff( of Curtis Institute), Susan Starr, Kenneth Amada, and Natalie Hinderas. He has spent many years as an Organist & Choir Director, teacher of workshops and seminars in both piano and organ, and for nearly 30 years as an Artist-Teacher in the Music Department of Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA and a Visiting Instructor at Lafayette College, Easton PA

As a recitalist and conductor of workshops, having performed throughout much of the United States, he also served as a recitalist for a major organ building firm and recorded several CD’s of organ music. In addition to teaching, performing, and conducting workshops, he has written articles dealing with piano and organ pedagogy which have been published by the American Piano Teachers Association as well as the Music Teacher National Magazine .
Included among his writings is a book of eighteen hymn arrangements for organ that have been published and are based on traditional hymns. These are meant to accompany congregational singing with the idea of helping to generate some excitement and avoid the too often tepid participation.

His understanding in the teaching field has brought many rewards in the form of having students win competitions and scholarships at various levels which have included local, state and national first prize winners.

Van Auken’s performances have drawn excellent attendance at such places as Longwood gardens, National Presbyterian Church, and the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. During the 2001 season of the New York City Ballet he served as a consultant and musical coach for a production of a ballet at Lincoln Center in New York City.









New Dues Rates

AGO National has established the following dues rates for the upcoming 2017-18 year.
Regular member                 $105
Special member                  $  80
Young Organist                  $  50

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.



David Peckham named Theatre Organist of the Year by the American Theatre
Organ Society:

David is well-known to theatre organ audiences throughout the world and has served as resident organist at the Clemens Center in Elmira, NY since its opening. Hearing theatre organ music even before he was born, he was fortunate to grow up in a home packed with a modest theatre organ and all sorts of automatic musical instruments. Like so many child prodigies, Dave began taking piano lessons at age eight, then moved to the pipe organ when he was 11. He studied liberal arts and music at the Eastman School of Music, then returned to his home in Horseheads, New York, to work at his family’s pipe organ repair shop, L.A. Peckham and Son Pipe Organ Service. He credits his parents with giving him a musical background. ’’I was going to concerts, apparently, before I was born,’’ he said.


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