Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter


Last updated: February 11, 2015 at 18:48 pm

Message from the Dean 

Welcome to the Metro New Jersey Chapter of the AGO!

We are celebrating our 94th year and are very excited about our upcoming programs and the new energy in our chapter. We have planned a variety of entertaining and informative events for the 2014-15 season, as listed below.

New members, both organists and organ aficionados, are always welcome. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

Jim Little, Dean


Local Events







Friday, September 19 – 7:00 PM
Kickoff Potluck at Bruce Lockhart’s home
120 Sherman Avenue
Teaneck, NJ 07666
RSVP to Bev McGregor at

Monday, October 20 – 7:30 PM
Members’ Music Sharing Event
Also, BYO Music to Swap: proceeds benefit the
George Markey Scholarship Fund
United Methodist Church in Morristown
50 South Park Place
Morristown, NJ 07960

Monday, January 19, 9 AM – 4:00 PM
(Snowdate: Saturday, January 24)

First United Methodist Church
130 Ferris Place
Westfield, NJ 07090
Deborah Simpkin King, guest clinician
$15 admission No Admission Charge!

Friday, April 10 – 7 PM
Organ Recital by Jeffrey Brillhart
The Presbyterian Church in Morristown
57 E. Park Place
Morristown, NJ 07960

Saturday, April 11 – 10 AM to 12 Noon
Masterclass by Jeffrey Brillhart
The Presbyterian Church in Morristown
57 E. Park Place
Morristown, NJ 07960

Monday, April 27
Organ Crawl
Church of the Ascension, and First Presbyterian Church, NYC
More details to follow

Monday, May 11 – 12:00 PM Noon
Metro Mid-day Munch in May
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
119 Main Street
Millburn, NJ 07041
Joseph Arndt, organist
Lunch to follow


Sunday, January 11, 10:00 a.m.
Music at Saint Peter’s – Britten A Ceremony of Carols combined choirs with harp. John Pivarnik, director. Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church 271 Roseland Ave., Essex Fells, NJ 07021.

Sunday, January 11, 3:00 p.m.
The Carrollton Chorale presents: Love Came Down at Christmas: a cappella music throughout the ages focusing on the Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany Seasons, F. Allen Artz, Conductor/Founder. Suggested donation: $15, Seniors/ Students with ID: $10. Calvary Lutheran Church, 108 Eastman Street, Cranford, NJ 07016.

Sunday, January 11, 3:00 p.m.
Grace Community Music: Annual Baroque Orchestra Wassail Concert, Robert Butts, director. Works for oboe and orchestra by Albinoni and Chopin. Phone: 973.366.8922. Grace Church, 4 Madison Avenue at Kings Road, Madison, NJ 07940.

Thursday, January 15, 12:15 p.m.
Music at Noon: City Winds Trio. Suggested donation: $7/$6 Student Free with ID. Luncheon available 11:30–1:30 p.m. $8/$6. Morristown United Methodist Church (on the Green), 50 S. Park Place, Morristown, NJ 07960.

Monday, January 19, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
(Snow date: Saturday, January 24)
Mini-Convention, First United Methodist Church,
130 Ferris Place, Westfield, NJ 07090. Deborah Simpkin King, guest clinician. FREE!

Thursday, January 22, 12:15 p.m.
Music at Noon: Paul Ziegler, pianist, with Patricia Ruggles, mezzo-soprano. Suggested donation: $7/$6 Student Free with ID. Luncheon available 11:30–1:30 p.m. $8/$6. Morristown United Methodist Church (on the Green), 50 S. Park Place, Morristown, NJ 07960.

Friday, January 23, 7:30 p.m.
Silent Film: The Ten Commandments with live organ accompaniment improvised by Director of Music Joshua Stafford. Tickets: $15 Adult/$10 Student. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 70 Maple Ave., Morristown, NJ 07960.

Sunday, January 25, 3:30 p.m.
Handel’s Messiah Part 1 plus Hallelujah Chorus and Worthy is the Lamb, Henry Repp, director and organist. Unity Choir of approximately 60 voices. Free-will offering. Singers interested in participating may email Henry Repp at or 973-347-0945. First United Methodist Church, 111 Ryerson Ave., Newton, NJ 07860.

Sunday, January 25, 3:30 p.m.
The Joys and Pains of Love: Linda Jones, Soprano, and Charles Weaver, Theorbo. Program to include songs by Purcell, Strozzi, Jones, and Dowland. Free. Grace Church in Newark, 950 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102. 973-623-1733.

Thursday, January 29, 12:15 p.m.
Music at Noon: A Musical Heritage with Nancie Lederer, violin; Pauline Lederer, piano; Marnie Kaller, ‘cello, Rick Kaller, piano. Suggested donation: $7/$6 Student Free with ID. Luncheon available 11:30–1:30 p.m. $8/$6. Morristown United Methodist Church (on the Green), 50 S. Park Place, Morristown, NJ 07960.

Friday, February 6, 7:00 p.m.
Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with NJSO musicians.. Tickets $20/Children under 12 free. Purchase in advance at: St. John’s Lutheran Church, 587 Springfield Ave., Summit NJ 07901.

Saturday, February 7, 5:00 p.m.
Grace Community Music: Epiphany Evensong with Gargoyles (teen boys) and Men. Music by Wood & Chesnokov. Free. Reception follows. Grace Church, 4 Madison Avenue at Kings Road, Madison, NJ 07940.

Sunday, February 8, 3:00 p.m.
Crescent Concerts presents: Showcase for Exceptional Young Artists. $20 General admission/$15 Seniors/$5 Students. Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, 716 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060.

Saturday, February 14, 7:30 p.m.
Abendmusik: It’s Love: A Valentine’s Day Concert, Jim Fredericks, Tenor & Pianist, & June Van Thoen, Soprano. $20 Adults/$15 Seniors/Students Free with ID. Advance tickets $17/$12 by calling 973-538-2132. Morristown United Methodist Church (on the Green), 50 S. Park Place, Morristown, NJ 07960.

Sunday, February 15, 3:00 p.m.
Organ Recital: Chelsea Chen. First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford, 1 East Passaic Avenue, Rutherford, NJ 07070. Freewill Donations. Reception following. Phone: 201-438-3569;

Friday, February 20, 12:15 p.m.
Grace Community Music: Friday Lenten Organ Recitals. Free. Lunch available following. Grace Church, 4 Madison Avenue at Kings Road, Madison, NJ 07940.

Friday, February 20, 7:30 p.m.
Ko-Eun Yi, Piano. Tickets: $20 Adult/$10 Student. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 70 Maple Ave., Morristown, NJ 07960.

Sunday, February 22, 3:00 p.m.
Adam J. Brakel, Organ. Featuring the complete Six Études of Jeanne Demessieux, as well as music of J.S. Bach, Bossi, Rameau, Reger and Metro NJ chapter member Vincent Rone. Tickets: $20. Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Avenue, New York, NY.

Friday, February 27, 12:15 p.m.
Grace Community Music: Epiphany Evensong with Gargoyles (teen boys) and Men. Music by Wood & Chesnokov. Free. Reception follows. Grace Church, 4 Madison Avenue at Kings Road, Madison, NJ 07940.

Saturday, February 28, 5:00 p.m.
Grace Community Music: Lenten Evensong. Music by Sumsion, Smith & Mendelssohn. Free. Reception follows. Grace Church, 4 Madison Avenue at Kings Road, Madison, NJ 07940.



The chapter newsletter is The Metro Mixtures and the Newsletter Editor is Chris Hatcher. He can be reached at

* * * January/February 2015 METRO MIXTURES NEWSLETTER * * *



Greetings, and Happy New Year!

I’m eagerly looking forward to the second half of the season. Having finished my teaching stint from the first semester, I’ve got a lot more time on my hands to do some Dean-type duties, and spend more hours at St. Paul’s Chatham, where I’m the interim organist/choirmaster. Lots of fun there, with a small choir (but very good singers) and an equally small organ, not so good, but a wonderful congregation and Rector. At least the most important segments are just fine.

Looking at what’s coming up: The Mini-Convention on Monday, January 19th at the United Methodist Church in Westfield is first on the list. I understand from Joe that we’re looking for another person to conduct in the Master Class. Don’t be afraid to step up, since it’s kind of fun to find out where our strengths and weaknesses are, even if in front of our colleagues. I think (hope) we’re all friendly, and can all learn from the experience of either doing or watching.

I personally am hoping to take a day to visit the Wanamaker Organ at Macy’s in Philadelphia at some point, and would be happy to take a couple of fellow travelers along. It’s an amazing instrument, and if you’ve never heard and seen it, it’s worth the trip. I’d also like to take a Tuesday to go to Atlantic City (not to gamble-that’s not in my genetic makeup) to hear that organ again. The renovations are continuing, and they generally offer a tour on Tuesdays, which is well worth the $20 they ask. It’s hard to conceive of an instrument that large, and I believe they play it at some point every day.

Hope to see lots of members at our upcoming events, so keep an eye on the calendar, as well as member recitals, etc. We are a large chapter, so every event that we do or sponsor should be well attended. Encourage young people to attend as well! I’m also looking forward to Pittsburg this summer, and will continue to push for a large contingent from Metro NJ to attend with me. It’s a wonderful city with lots of really great organs!
I’ll bring copies of the Back Story re the following letter from Michael to the next chapter event.

This from Michael Barone:
Enjoy organ music in its infinite variety each week with PIPEDREAMS from American Public Media, heard Sunday mornings from 7-8 a.m. on the stations of WWFM, the Classical Network or on the internet, where a new 2-hour program is posted each week, available on any day at any time (24/7) at
Please let the station know (with your supporting contribution!) that you appreciate the availability of PIPEDREAMS on WWFM (609.587.8989), made possible with the underwriting of a generous local benefactor.

–Jim Little, Dean


I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year. 2015 has wonderful events in store for our chapter.

I hope many of you are planning to attend our FREE chapter mini convention on Monday, January 19th (MLK Day) in Westfield. Deborah Simpkin King will be our guest clinician. Dr. King is the Artistic Director and Founder of Schola Cantorum on Hudson. She also founded Project ENCORE, an organization dedicated to repeat performances of new music by current composers. I have had the privilege of working with Dr. King on a number of projects, and I can tell you firsthand our chapter is in for a treat on MLK Day.

Dr. King will conduct a master class for our morning session. A few members of our chapter will conduct a piece with the rest of us serving as the choir. Dr. King will coach the master class participants on conducting technique and certain practical issues. We still need one or two more chapter members to conduct for this master class. If you are interested please let me know! Participants should ideally conduct a piece to be used at church or for an upcoming concert. (My goal is for this event to be as practical as possible.)

After lunch, Dr. King will lead a more open-ended afternoon session. Various topics related to conducting will be discussed. You are invited to bring questions for her.

I am also happy to say that because of our chapter’s healthy finances, we are able to offer the mini convention for FREE! I hope you will take advantage of the opportunity for us to learn from each other.

Thank you all for your continued support. I look forward to seeing you all on MLK Day. The schedule for the day:

9:00 a.m. – registration and refreshments
9:30 a.m. – introductory session with Dr. King
10:00 a.m. – masterclass
12:00 p.m. – lunch
1:30 p.m. – afternoon discussion
3:30 p.m. – finish


Happy New Year and welcome to two new Metro NJ members! This month we welcome William T. Blue, Jr. of Plainfield and Joshua Stafford, Director of Music at St. Peter’s, Morristown. Welcome back to renewing members Karen Chiappini and Ryan Malone. Chapter membership is currently at 135.

William T. Blue, Jr.
973-801-2627 cell
Sub Sun, Sat

Joshua Stafford
Sub Sat, M-F

The new chapter directory is very late and I apologize for that. I did not make my November deadline, but will have it printed this month. All members with an email address on record will receive a PDF copy. If you requested a hard copy, it will come by mail in a large manila envelope with my return address in Bloomfield.

–Scott Jones, Treasurer and Membership Chair


Several members are moving into new positions:
Grad Student Scott Ziegler is now working at Gethsemane Lutheran (ELCA) Church in Gainesville, Florida. Dean Jim Little has accepted an interim organist/choirmaster position at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chatham. Newsletter editor Chris Hatcher is leaving the Brooklyn Oratory Church of St. Boniface to take the position at St. Mary’s Abbey/Delbarton in Morristown. Best wishes to all!


NEA Funding Will Support Educational Programming in 2015 and New Music Commissioned for the 2016 AGO National Convention in Houston, Tex.

NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has been awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support educational programming in 2015 and new music commissioned for the AGO National Convention in Houston, Tex., June 19–23, 2016. The $20,000 NEA “Art Works” grant will support Pipe Organ Encounters for youth and adults, performances and workshops at all seven AGO Regional Conventions, the Guild’s professional certification program for organists and choral conductors, and new music commissions. While the Guild has benefitted from NEA support for the past five consecutive AGO National Conventions, the 2015 grant represents the first support the Guild has received for its educational programs and regional conventions.

“This grant covers the full breadth of the AGO’s educational activities for current and prospective members as well as our programs of outreach to the public,” stated AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “The NEA’s funding sends an uplifting message to the entire organ community: our instrument and its music are vitally important to the American people. The award validates the AGO’s ongoing efforts to ensure that music for the organ is created by talented composers, performed by skilled musicians, and appreciated by the widest audience possible. It is an honor for the Guild to be recognized by the NEA, the most prestigious independent federal agency in the United States responsible for funding and promoting artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation.”

NEA Chairman Jane Chu added, “I am pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Art Works including the award to the American Guild of Organists. The arts foster value, connection, creativity, and innovation for the American people. This grant demonstrates those attributes and affirms that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”

Art Works grants support the creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,474 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 919 were recommended for grants for a total of $26.6 million. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at For further information about the AGO’s educational programming, please visit the AGO website at



We can accept advertisements in the newsletter for goods and services which are for sale. Besides text ads, we can place business card-size ads for inclusion in the Metro Mixtures.Ads may be purchased for $10 (for Metro NJ AGO members), and $20 (for non-members) per issue of Metro Mixtures. Business card ads must be “camera-ready.” Memorial tributes and “best wishes” may also be placed by members for $10 per issue. To place a text ad, send your ad (or business card) along with a check (payable to Metro NJ AGO) to the newsletter editor. Please note that text ads may need to be edited due to space constraints. If you would like more information about placing an ad please contact



Past Dean, Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter



The Membership Chairperson is Scott Jones. You may contact him via e-mail at



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

Organist: St. Rocco’s Church, 4206 Kennedy Boulevard, Union City, NJ 07087. Seeking organist who sings from the console for Saturday 6 p.m. Spanish Mass, and Sunday 12 noon English Mass. Contact Fr. Dominic at 201-863-0160. [11/4/14]

Director of Music Ministries: First Baptist Church of Westfield, 170 Elm Street, Westfield NJ 07090. Part-time (15-20 hrs./wk.) position. Rehearse various ensembles (choirs, orchestra, song leaders). Blended worship using a variety of styles. Accomplished pianist, ability to play the organ highly desirable. Experience with all age groups. Bachelor’s degree in music discipline is required. All inquiries and resumes should be emailed to, or call the church office and ask to speak to Pastor Mayra Castaneda at 908-233-2278. [11/4/14]

Interim Organist/Choir Director Stanley Congregational Church (United Church of Christ), 94 Fairmount Avenue, Chatham, NJ 07928. The position is part-time (12-16 hr./wk.) and longer-term (commitment through Easter, and preferably through the middle of June 2015, the end of our program year). Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: Working cooperatively with the Interim Pastor in the design of worship services, rehearsing and conducting the Adult Choir, accompanying weekly worship and the special services of the liturgical year, and any wedding or funeral services as they arise. The candidate should be proficient in both organ and piano and willing to provide instrumental, choral and congregational music in a wide variety of musical styles to ensure the worship experience is as inclusive as possible. Compensation will be based upon experience and qualifications. Stanley Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming Congregation where all are welcome. If interested, please reply to [10/14/14]

Interim Organist/Choir Director St. James’ Episcopal Church 214 Washington St. Hackettstown, NJ 07840. looking to hire a new organist/choir director starting in January 2015. This position would initially be considered Interim and be a weekly pay position with no pay when the employee is absent. Once the parish has a permanent minister the interim may, upon agreement with the minster, chose to stay on or chose to leave. At that time, the position may be revisited in terms of pay, etc.
Responsibilities include:
Planning choir anthems related to the liturgical theme of the day or season
Conducting weekly choir rehearsals (currently adult choir only) on Sunday mornings at 8:30am
Playing for the 10am Sunday service weekly including preludes and postludes, congregational hymns and service music, and occasional offertory pieces in lieu of a choir anthem
Directing the choir in their anthem each Sunday
Working with the minister to plan the worship music, or be able to plan the worship music alone should the minister delegate that responsibility. This involves understanding the Episcopal liturgy and utilizing appropriate planning tools to select music that works for each Sunday’s, or each season’s, theme
Attending Parish Life planning meetings about once a quarter to coordinate with other groups on the worship for the upcoming season(s)
Availability for special services in place of, or in addition to, the weekly 10am service: Christmas Eve (3 services), Easter (2 services), Advent Lessons & Carols (regular Sunday but at 9am; no 10am service that day), additional services during Holy Week that can include Maundy Thursday, Good Friday evening service, Easter Vigil ( Holy Saturday)
Accompany Summer Services (one service at 9am) July – August
Provide substitute when on vacation or absent
Provide accompaniment for weddings, funerals, if available (with additional remuneration provided)
Recruit additional choir members, maintain & train current choir
Job Requirements:
Familiarity with 1982 Episcopal Hymnal and supplemental hymnals such as Wonder, Love and Praise, and Lift Every Voice and Sing.
Ability to play the accompaniment from the hymnal.
Familiarity with Episcopal liturgy is preferred, though not required: regular Eucharist as well as liturgies for special feast days in Lent, Advent, Holy Week. St. James’ celebrates the Holy Eucharist at all regular Sunday services and most special services.
Ability to inspire and sustain the choir. Some experience in improving each singer’s vocal performance is desirable.
Experienced organist comfortable with 2 manuals and pedals. Allen electric organ. Also comfortable on piano.
Experience in, and comfortable with, conducting a choir from the organ bench.
Able to collaborate with minister and heads of other groups in the parish to plan worship activities where music is involved.
Pay: $200/week (approx. 3-7 hr/wk)
To apply, please email your resume with references to Pamela Laura at Church website: [12/3/14]

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



As a chapter, we are committed to the certification process, which can be found in the July Issue of our national ‘house organ’ The American Organist.

We have members who have achieved certification in all of the programs offered, including: Service Playing, Colleague, Choir Master, Associateship and Fellowship. With our location in Central New Jersey, we are sometimes asked to accomodate candidates from surrounding chapters, and do so gladly. Certification chairman is Dennis Dell, 732 750-2960, or via e-mail at


Contact Us

Dean: James Little –
Sub-Dean: Joseph Arndt –
Secretary: Eric Fahner –
Treasurer: Scott Jones –
Financial Advisor: Michael Newman
Membership: Scott Jones –
Hospitality: Yvonne Sonnenwald –
Placement: Chris Hatcher – chris.hatcher01[at]
Professional Concerns: Yvonne Sonnenwald –
Newsletter Editor: Chris Hatcher –
Publicity: Beverly McGregor –
Exam Coordinator: Dennis Dell –
TAO Events Reporter: Yvonne Sonnenwald –
Chapter Photographer: Beverly McGregor –
Markey Scholarship: Charles Banks
New Organist Committee – Vincent Carr –

Executive Board

Class of 2012-2016
Brian Harlow
Holland Jancaitis
Linda Loria

Class of 2014-2018
Gretchen Bilson
Kristin Dabaghian
Matthew Webb

Member ex officio
Yvonne Sonnenwald-Melin



AGO National website