New London County Chapter

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[Updated 3 January 2018]

From Your Dean

My Mother’s Legacy

As I write this I am preparing not only for Christmas services, but also for my mother’s funeral, at which I will play the organ. She passed away in mid December at the age of 102. I am reflecting now on how she helped me to prepare for my career as an organist.

She had grown up in a family where music was important. Her father, a country preacher, played his violin almost every day, even though he had taken only a few lessons. He taught some of his own children and some neighbor children to play string instruments, and Mom sometimes played in a string trio in church. Her mother was able to play hymns on the piano, but she sent her children to a local piano teacher for lessons.

So it was not surprising that I was initiated into piano playing at the tender age of 6. My parents both valued music; we frequently sang hymns and other songs in our home. My older brother and 2 younger sisters also took piano lessons and sometimes violin lessons. My father encouraged us, but it was my mother who saw to it that we practiced piano every day; it was she who drove us to piano lessons every week, and she even made a special dress for my first piano recital.

Occasionally, when nobody was looking, I would entertain myself by sitting at the piano and playing one of the compositions my sister had been practicing, including the same mistakes she usually made.

When our church needed an organist, Mom dutifully took it upon herself to fill the position, to the best of her ability. However, as soon as I reached a level of capability, at age 14, she gladly turned the duties of organist over to me. And when I left home for college my sister Ruth took over.

I am quite sure that without my mother’s firm guidance and encouragement I would not have had the opportunity to become a professional musician. I am grateful to her for that.

Most of us have had someone who guided and encouraged us. Now it is time for us to pass it on, and give help and encouragement to others who are coming along.

P.S. I will miss the dedicatory recitals at Calvary the weekend of January 6 and 7, as that is the weekend of services for my mother in Illinois. So I can’t be there, but I hope you will be there to hear Joey Ripka play the new Richard-Fowkes organ.

Elizabeth Limkemann, Dean

Dedicatory Recital


January 6, 2018
5 PM
January 7, 2018
3 PM
Calvary Episcopal Church, 27 Church St, Stonington, CT 06378

Dedicatory recital for the new Richard-Fowkes organ at Calvary Episcopal Church, played by Joseph Ripka. Two performances, at 5:00 on January 6, and 3:00 on January 7. Come and hear this exciting new instrument played by the talented organist who carefully worked with the organ builder to have this instrument installed. The recital is sponsored by Chandler McIvor.


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Local Events



Friday, November 10, 2017
7 PM
Groton Congregational Church, UCC
162 Monument Street, Groton, CT 06340



Sunday, January 28, 2018
4 PM
Christ Episcopal Church
78 Washington Street, Norwich, CT 06360

  • Program to include: “Dona Nobis Pacem”; “We Are Singing for the Lord is Our Light” (Hopson); “Sing to the Lord” (Raabe)



Friday, April 20, 2018
7 PM
Calvary Episcopal Church
27 Church St, Stonington, CT 06378



Things Great & Swell  is published on the first of each month from September through June, with one unscheduled summer issue published at the Dean’s discretion. Issues are disseminated to members only via e-mail (or snail mail, as needed).

Online archiving of past issues “here” is currently under discussion.



The mission of the American Guild of Organists is to foster a thriving community of musicians who share their knowledge and inspire passion for the organ. Membership in the New London County chapter of the AGO is open to anyone with an interest in the organ and to all organists from new beginners to seasoned performers.

A directory of local members is published and disseminated annually. To update your information in the directory or provide other content, please contact Matthew Provost (matthew.n.provost [at] gmail [dot] com).



We regret to say that our local placement officer (Joey Ripka) will soon be relocating to another state and chapter! A willing volunteer to serve in this capacity is currently being sought.

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



For local information about continuing education opportunities or official AGO Exams, you may contact John Anthony (jpant [at] conncoll [dot] edu).



Contact Us

DEAN Elizabeth Limkemann (elim44 [at] 99main [dot] com)

SUB DEAN Myra Day (myraday [at] aol [dot] com)



AGO National website