Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter

Last updated April 7, 2020

Notes from the Dean 

Dear friends,

Through the uncertain times of the past few months, it was wonderful to see how the community of organists and our national AGO organization stepped up to keep organ music alive through virtual technology.  While many may have added an element of livestream to our positions, it has been so impressive to get a glimpse of what many are doing across the country.  In the middle of July, AGO OrganFest was presented virtually at no cost to members and provided fantastic performances that are still available for viewing at  The national organization has been so engaged with chapter leaders in providing innovative ways to move forward virtually through programming and webinars.  Our Metro NJ AGO chapter board and program committees have met virtually and are excited to provide our chapter with several event options for the coming year.

For those members of our chapter that are experiencing financial difficulties during this time, you are encouraged to go to and click on the  Responding to COVID-19 page for resources to help members.  As always, I am available to answer any questions you may have at

My thoughts are with all of you as we face many challenges in the coming months with resuming some means of normalcy.  I hope you will find peace and joy in keeping the organ alive and present in your lives.  What an amazing gift we have to place our hands and feet on such an impressive musical instrument. I look forward to seeing you either virtually or in person at one of our upcoming chapter events.

Kristin Dabaghian, MM, Dean

Notes from the Sub-Dean 

Greetings fellow organists!

What a strange time we are living in; between the changes to our daily and professional lives because of COVID-19, experiencing loss from the virus, not to mention this little election thing happening soon, I hardly know if I am coming or going!  It is the organ, this instrument that we share together, that does keep me grounded in these uncertain times.

Our program committee met virtually last month and decided that we would approach this year in two halves: first the Fall and then the Spring.  While it would appear logical that things will basically stay as they are in terms of safety and restrictions for the next few months, I feel it is premature to imagine what things might look like next Spring.  To that end, for the Fall, we would like to present you with two (but really about 25) different events.  Please allow me to explain.  Chapter members Paul Carroll who is the Director of Music at St. Pius in Montville just had a new organ installation last year; the instrument is a Peragallo with several ranks of pipework and digital voices.  At a date still TBD this Fall we will have both an in person and virtual gathering there with Paul walking us through the instrument and Peragallo Organ Company also offering some wisdom on it’s construction.  It will be possible for members to attend in person if they wish, but it will also be live streamed for all to view from the safety of their living rooms!

As our Dean mentioned in her article, the National Organization has been stellar these past few months and have created an entire platform of digital programs which are available to any chapter and any member.  The entire list can be found here:  You can view any of these programs live or go back and see them later.  This is an invaluable resource and we thought – why reinvent the wheel!?
We journey and look forward to a time ahead where we can ALL gather together, in person, and feel safe.  Until then – make sure your batteries are charged!

Preston Dibble, Sub-Dean •  724-316-2963 (cell)


* * CHAPTER PROGRAMS 2020-2021 * *

Chapter events to be rescheduled pending COVID-19 Guideline updates.


Submit concert listings to Patricia Woolley, newsletter editor –

AGOYO Fridays at Noon EDT

October 9, 2020, Panel Discussion: The Global Organist

November 13, 2020, Organ Crawl at Longwood Gardens

December 11, 2020, Organ Factory Tour at Austin Organ Company

Membership and Directory

These are strange and trying times for families, friends, work places and organizations. It seems so strange not to see people who are normally part of our lives.  I hope and pray that all of you are well.  Since last writing, I do know of two people who died from the virus.

Some sad news from the spring is the passing of former Metro member Ronald (Ron) Cecere on April 13.  Ron and wife Judith were Music Ministry partners at Our Lady of the Lake Church and School in Verona for many years, retiring in 2013.  Judith died a few years ago.

Former Metro member Doris Merrick has relocated to Salem, New Hampshire and we wish her well!

We welcome our newest member, Young Organist Anastasia Song from Short Hills:
Song, Anastasia L.
25 Dameo Place
Short Hills, NJ 07078
C 757-748-0160

Our chapter has 87 members who have renewed memberships simply from the invoice and reminder from headquarters—thank you very much!  Another 20 have missed renewing or will renew for September or October.  I plan to send membership reminders and please renew promptly.  It is easy to renew at “Membership.” Your membership expiration date and member ID # are found on the address label of your American Organist magazine. With a rolling membership year, your renewal will be good for one year from the date of your payment. Let me know if you have questions or need help with AGO ONCARD.

Scott Jones, Membership Chair & Treasurer •  973-338-0267


The Placement Chairperson is Chris Hatcher. To submit a position listing, please contact him via e-mail at

Metropolitan NJ Chapter American Guild of Organists
Executive Board 
 Dean  Kristin Dabaghian
 Sub-Dean Preston Dibble
 Secretary  Eric Fahner
 Treasurer  Scott Jones
 Newsletter Editor Patricia Woolley
 Publicity Coordinator Bev McGregor
Class of 2018-2022
Tiffany Chung
Carol Johnson
Richard Mack
 Class of 2020-2024
Wm. Kevin Davis
 Randall Svane
Roberta TenBroeck