Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter


Last updated: August 18, 2015 at 20:30 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




Grace Community Music & Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey Summer Festival 2015

Daily Organ Recitals, August 10-14th, 12:15-12:45. Followed by $4-$8 lunch. Freewill donation at the door.
  • Monday, August 10th: Diane Pivarnik – with Anne Yardley, early instruments
  • Tuesday, August 11th: Ian Tomesch  Bach, Bruhns, Scheidemann, Rossi
  • Wednesday, August 12th: James Little – Froberger & Bach
  • Thursday, August 13th: Casey Molino Dun – Baroque and beyond
  • Friday, August 14th: Anne Matlack – Couperin, Sweelinck, and Langlais





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

* * * Summer 2015 METRO MIXTURES NEWSLETTER * * *

Notes from the Dean…

Greetings, all,

I’m writing this while waiting the latest barrage of thunderstorms, which I guess we do need pretty badly. Several news items:

First, I guess it’s common knowledge by now that Joe Arndt has taken a wonderful church job in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He’s quite excited about it, as well he should be from the descriptions he’s given me! I know we all wish him the best, and will miss his wonderful work as Subdean. He has been a huge help to me, as I continue to find my way through the mysteries of being the Dean. Thanks also to Scott Jones, who recently gave me a set of Operating Procedures and Key Dates for the Chapter. That should help me in getting more organized.

We WILL be holding a June Soiree on the 8th, at 6:00 pm, at Gretchen Bilson’s home in South Orange. More details will be in this issue, from Diane Pivarnik.   I’m pleased that several members felt sort of let down that we weren’t planning a Soiree this year! Guess the social aspect of that event is more needed than some assumed. I’m very glad, for one, since I’ve always found it to be a wonderful time.

We’ll also be having a brief Exec Committee meeting that evening to take a MOST important vote. The vote will be for a new Subdean. Matt Webb has volunteered to take on the job, with the approval of the Committee. I’m pleased he is so willing to take over, and I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun working together, if our opening lunch was any indication. Thanks so much, Matt!

For the last time this season, I look forward to seeing you at the Pittsburgh Convention! Sounds like great fun, and I can now stop nagging you to get your registration in. But, fear not, there’s a National next year, so I’ll get ready to start in again in a few months.

–Jim Little,


News from the Sub-Dean…

As most of you likely know, I’m off to Tulsa on June 8 where I will be the new Organist and Choirmaster at Saint John’s Episcopal Church. Saint John’s is a wonderful parish – and I am excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead for me there! I am succeeding Michael Bedford, who is retiring after a distinguished 25 year tenure at Saint John’s.

It was a pleasure for me to perform the Metro Midday Munch in May at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Millburn. The Beckerath organ there is a special instrument for me, and it was bittersweet that this recital turned into a sort of “farewell” performance. Thank you to everyone at St. Stephen’s for hosting us, and thank you to all the chapter members who wished me well that day.

I hope to be in touch with you all and to visit when I am back in New Jersey. My parents are living in Toms River, so that will be fairly often!

My new personal email address is below. Don’t hesitate to write!

Best wishes,

–Joe Arndt, Sub-Dean


Membership and Directory

Fifty-five Metro NJ members have already renewed for next year at ONCARD! Thank you—that’s almost 40% of our membership! I do not keep stats, but I think this is the best and earliest renewal response since I have been Membership Chair. This month we welcome two members: Kevin Collins, from Irvington, is back with us; Thomas Hobson Williams from Highland Park is a new Dual member from the Middlesex chapter. Thomas serves as Minister of Music at St. Barnabas Episcopal in Monmouth Junction. Welcome!

David Tisbert has accepted a new position as Director of Music at St. Philomena in Livingston.

Collins, Kevin J. *see newsletter for address information

Williams, Thomas Hobson  *see newsletter for address information

Let’s keep up with the membership renewals in the month of June! If you have not already done so, it is time to renew your AGO membership. This is our second year using the central ONCARD system for membership renewal and collection of dues. In April, all members with email received an email reminder and invoice from headquarters. (Members without email and those who requested “paper” received mailed notices.) Please be reminded that dues collected now are for the AGO membership year July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. (“Membership” and the ONCARD log- in screen are a drop-down at   Log in is by first initial, last name and member ID# your TAO label.)

As before, you may pay your dues online by credit card or print an invoice and mail a check to AGO headquarters in NYC (address on invoice, in the TAO or on the website.) If your church pays your dues, please make sure that this address is correct—the dues no longer come to me. I have electronic access to all membership info. Donations to our George Markey Organ Scholarship Fund or the AGO Annual Fund may be made at the same time as your dues!

Please make every effort to renew early/on time (by June 30)—it helps everyone. If you have any questions or have trouble renewing, please feel free to contact me.

– Scott Jones, Membership Chair & Treasurer (973) 338-0267


End-of-Year Soiree

Our Annual June Soiree will be held on Monday, June 8th at 6:00 PM. Gretchen Bilson will be our hostess. Her address is *see newsletter for address*.  Please RSVP to Diane Pivarnik with your potluck offering of entrée, appetizer, salad or dessert. BYOB. or 201-400-3683



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

Saturday Organist: Assumption RC Church, 302 High Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840. 5:30 p.m. Mass and occasional Holy Days.  $150.00 per Mass. Contact: Bob VanDongen at  [5/4/15]

Substitute Organist needed: Sunday, 7/12 and 8/15. – St. Paul’s
Episcopal Church, 200 Main St., Chatham, NJ. 10 am service with a likely
9:15 warmup with either a soloist or a small pickup choir. Contact: Jim Little:
908-403-5825, or  [5/28/15]

Substitute Organist or Pianist needed: Sunday, 8/23, 9am, 10:30am, and 12pm masses. – Our Lady of the Lake R.C. Church in Verona, NJ. Contact: Henry Gehman at 973-513-3192. [6/3/15]

Director of Music Ministries: First Baptist Church, 170 Elm St., Westfield, NJ 07090. Anticipated time committment: 15 hours/wk. Salary: $15-20K per annum with 3 weeks vacation. All inquiries and resumes should be emailed to, or you may call the church office and ask to speak to Pastor Mayra Castañeda at 908-233-2278. For a full job description see FBC Music Ministry position [8/2/15]

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: Scott Ziegler –
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