Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter


Last updated: February 26, 2018 at 20:21 pm

Message from the Dean 

Thank you for your interest in the Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter of the American Guild of Organists!  We are a diverse group of people, including church musicians, concert artists, students, teachers, organ enthusiasts, and music lovers.  We value performance, promote education, and enjoy social activities, as well as host AGO Professional Certification exams, provide scholarships for young organists, and host regional competitions for rising stars of the organ.

 We hope that you might join us at one of our many chapter events, especially our Mini-Convention, held each year on MLK Day in January.  Whether you live in New Jersey or the metro New York City area or anywhere else throughout the world, we welcome you to follow us as we promote the organ, encourage the organists in our area, and bring attention to the many wonderful instruments in our area.  If you wish to join our chapter, please feel free to contact me or our membership chair.

All the best,
Matt Webb, Dean


* * CHAPTER PROGRAMS 2017-18 * *

Monday, September 11, 2017 – 6:30 p.m. Fall Kick-Off Event to welcome back members with drinks, wine & cheese and a lovely catered dinner by Eight Hills from Verona. Music for Organ and Vocal Soloists presented by our chapter members and their vocalists. In the Main Hall of St. Catherine of Siena Church, 10 North Pocono Rd, Mountain Lakes, NJ.

Friday, September 29, 2017 – 7:30 p.m. Evening Organ Recital In the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre, Journal Square, Jersey City, N.J by David Wickerham, the 2011 American Theatre Organ Society’s “Organist of the Year.” Admission is FREE with a light reception to follow.

Friday, October 20, 2017 – 7:30 p.m. Organ & Theatre: Silent movie and reception. Chapter member, Trent Johnson will improvise accompaniment to the Harold Lloyd comedy from 1923, “Safety Last!” a 65 minute silent movie in the annual fundraiser for Oratorio Singers, co-sponsored by our Metro NJ chapter. Admission is FREE to Metro NJ AGO members. First United Methodist Church, 130 Ferris Pl., Westfield, NJ.

Monday, November 6, 2017 – 7:30 p.m. Members Recital, “Preludes and Postludes composed after 1950: Current Repertoire for Sundays” at St. Vincent Martyr Church, 26 Green Village Road, Madison, NJ 07940. Chapter members are invited by the Pastor to a wine and cheese reception in the rectory following the performances! This event is FREE to Metro AGO Chapter Members.

Monday, January 15, 2018 – 9 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast MLK Day Mini-Convention The focus for this event is French music from early/Baroque to modern-day with our clinician, Dr. Jeremy Filsell, Afternoon sessions on “Marketing the Organ” with Joe Vitacco of JAV Recordings; a Q&A session with Dr. Filsell; and panel discussion on “Navigating today’s Church.” The Episcopal Church of St James, 581 Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ 07043

Mid-March 2018 During Lent, Dean, Matt Webb will be organizing a Cocktail Reception entitled “If you pour it in Lent they will come…” a social get-together in a centrally located venue, open to all organists. Watch upcoming newsletters for further details.

Friday & Saturday, April 20-21, 2018 Organ Recital and Choir Workshop On Friday evening, April 20 & Saturday morning, April 21, 2018 we will be co-sponsoring an Organ Recital and Choir workshop led by Robert McCormick at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Morristown, NJ. Admission is FREE for Metro NJ chapter members.

Monday, May 21, 2018 Processional to Princeton Metro mid-day crawl to the Miller Chapel at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton University Chapel, St Paul Parish Church, and Nassau Presbyterian Church with performances by Martin Tel, Eric Plutz and Noel Werner. Afternoon tour of the home of Glenn Thomas who has one of the largest and finest collections of automated instruments on the East Coast. The cost for this event is a bargain at $35 which includes bus fare and lunch. Please look for more details in an upcoming newsletter.

Monday, June 11, 2018 – 6:30 p.m. June Soirée end of year gathering for Members with a potluck dinner & Installation of New Officers. Hosted by Joel Ramseyer in his Randolph, NJ home with a demo and tour of his 54 rank home Organ. Members are invited and encouraged to bring music to play! New officers for the upcoming term will be installed at this event. There is no charge for admission, however Chapter members are asked to bring a dish/drinks to share.


Sunday Feb. 11, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
Grace Church, Madison NJ’s Grace Community Music season will be “Robert and Clara: A Musical Love Story” with Patricia Ruggles, mezzo; Robert Long, piano; and Joseph McKee, bass-baritone.  The program is comprised of Robert’s music: an organ solo, Fugue on the Name of BachFrauenliebe und Leben,Kinderscenen selections, several lieder and duets; and Clara’s music including lieder, and her piano solo, Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann. A comprehensive program is included which explores their lives, music and their enduring love.  A reception will follow.
Grace Church
4 Madison Ave at Kings Rd., Madison NJ 07940
973-377-0106×17 or visit
Admission is by donation at the door.Sunday, February 18, 2018, 4:00 p.m.
Christopher Houlihan, Organ recital.
St. Stephen’s Church
119 Main St., Millburn, NJ 07028
$10 suggested donation. Reception follows concert.Sunday, February 25, 2018, 3:00 p.m.
Glen Ridge Community Concerts presents the duo ensemble OboeBass!  Double Reed. Double Bass. Licensed to thrill. Called “pioneers” by Minnesota Public Radio, OboeBass! (Glen Ridge native, Carrie Vecchione, oboe, Rolf Erdahl, bass) specializes in chamber music of a different color. They are the only professional oboe/bass duo in the world and perform recitals and educational programs around the country. Their music is a mix of Classical and popular traditions such as jazz and dance and ethnic music. Recordings include Monk Fish Tango, The Story of Babar the Little Elephant, the book/CD – Askelad and the Seven Silver Ducks, and their debut recording, It Takes Two … Their work has been recognized by grants from the American Composers Forum and the Minnesota State Arts Board. On the web at
Glen Ridge Congregational Church
195 Ridgewood Ave., Glen Ridge, NJ 07028. – 973-743-5596 x26.
Admission: $20 Adults; $15 Seniors; $10 Students.  Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 4, 2018 at 3 p.m.
Harmonium Choral Society, Anne J. Matlack, Director, presents “Song of the Open Road,” featuring the piece of the same name by Composer-in-Residence Mark Andrew Miller, with chamber orchestra, and other works about the journey. For tickets, call 973-538-6969, or visit
Chatham United Methodist Church
400 Main St., Chatham, NJ 07928 – 973-635-7740
General Admission (before Feb. 24): $20.00; Seniors/Students: $15.00 
General Admission (after Feb. 24): $25.00; Seniors/Students: $20.00 
Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

Organ Recital with Chelsea Chen will include works by Duruflé, Holst, and Mulet.
Chelsea Chen is under management with Karen McFarlane Artists
Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart
89 Ridge Street, Newark, NJ – 973-484-2400
Suggested donation – $15

Friday, March 23, 2018, 8:00 p.m.
Thomas Mustachio/Glen Ridge Choral Society: The King of Kings – silent movie with improvised organ accompaniment
Back by popular demand, Glen Ridge Congregational Church will present the epic silent film, The King of Kings, Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 depiction of the greatest story ever told. Thomas Mustachio will improvise an atmospheric sound track on the sanctuary’s mighty pipe organ. Joining him behind the screen, the Glen Ridge Choral Society will provide additional choral accompaniment.
Glen Ridge Congregational Church
195 Ridgewood Ave., Glen Ridge, NJ 07028., 973-743-5596 x26.
Admission: $20 Adults; $15 Seniors; $10 Students. 

Good Friday, March 30, 2018, 8:00 p.m.
Choral Meditations on the Stations of the Cross with the Cathedral Choir
The Cathedral’s choral tradition continues with this annual event. The Cathedral Choir, under the direction of John J. Miller, presents meditations within the context of the Stations of the Cross. This a cappella program will feature works of Clausen, Lotti, Allegri, and Casals.
Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart
89 Ridge Street, Newark, NJ – 973-484-2400
Free-will offering


The chapter newsletter is The Metro Mixtures and the Newsletter Editor is Patricia Woolley. She can be reached at

Issue Archive:

September 2015

October 2015 




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



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


First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford is seeking an Organist/Director of Music who has primary responsibility to organize and carry out the church’s music ministry, helping the congregation worship and grow spiritually through music. The person must have appropriate experience and skill as an organist and choral conductor, be comfortable with traditional and contemporary repertoire, and will play for two services on Sunday morning, conduct the choir and lead a weekday evening choir rehearsal. The person will plan and play for additional seasonal services and organize concerts and special music events at times throughout the year. The church has a 3-manual Möller organ in the sanctuary and a 2-manual Walker organ in the smaller chapel. This is a part-time, 30-hour position, requiring regular meetings with the Pastor and Worship and Music Committee, supervision of instruments and the music library, and recruitment of choir and other musicians as needed. For a full description of the job and requirements for applying, please visit the church website or email the Chair of the Music Director Search Committee, Maria Artime, at


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 accommodate candidates from surrounding chapters, and do so gladly. Certification chairman is Vince Carr. Contact him via e-mail at


Contact Us

Dean: Matthew Webb –
Sub-Dean: Gretchen Bilson –
Secretary: Eric Fahner –
Treasurer: Scott Jones –
Financial Advisor: Michael Newman –
Membership/Directory: Scott Jones –
Placement: Chris Hatcher –
Newsletter Editor: Patricia Woolley –
Publicity/Photographer: Beverly McGregor –
TAO Events Reporter: Beverly McGregor –
New Organist Committee: Vincent Carr –
Markey Scholarship: Linda Loria
Exam Coordinator: Vincent Carr –
Executive Board
Class of 2014-2018
Kristin Dabaghian
Peter Ncanywa+
Holland Jancaitis*
+Peter filling unexpired term of Matt Webb
*Holland filling unexpired term of Gretchen Bilson
Class of 2016-2020
Kathie Hegarty
Linda Loria
Joel Ramseyer

Member ex officio
Yvonne Sonnenwald-Melin



AGO National website