New London County Chapter

[Updated 2 May 2019]


From Your Dean

Matthew Provost, Dean
Matthew Provost, Dean


Hello dear friends!

Happy Easter! I hope your Easter was filled with joy and celebration, whether you were at the organ, in the pews, or at
home. This was my first Easter at Calvary, and what a grand celebration it was, replete with soaring descants, roaring organ accompaniment, and rafter-raising anthems including Handel’s Hallelujah chorus. Whew! And we had to do the whole thing twice. I know many of you have multiple services on Easter, so you’re used to that, but the doubleheader (two identical) was new to me. We’re never too old for new experiences, and I’m glad for it.

News Flash! After careful deliberation, the board has decided that we not hold the next scheduled Second Monday (May 13th) members recital. Why not? When we originally planned out the year, we could not have foreseen that there would be two terrific, A-list organ recitals in our area within days of our scheduled meeting. We decided it would be best to focus on getting our membership to attend those exciting recitals. So, here comes my pitch: please, please, mark your calendars, and plan to attend our May 10th recital (see below). And since last I wrote, the announcement came out about another wonderful recital to take place on May 19 (also below). Let’s let these stellar performers do all the work, and we can just sit back and revel in the glorious music they’ll make for us!

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Nathan Laube: McIvor Organ Distinguished Artist, Calvary Church, Stonington

Nathan Laube
Nathan Laube, Recitalist

Wonderful news! Mark your calendars! On Friday, May 10, at 7:30 pm, Calvary Church in Stonington will inaugurate a new organ recital series featuring the world’s most renowned artists! Thanks to the generosity of The Miller Foundation, Calvary’s hope for the establishment of the McIvor Organ Distinguished Artist Series has become reality. The recital will take place annually in May, and feature organists from all over the globe. To inaugurate the series, Calvary has invited one of America’s brightest stars: Nathan Laube, Professor of Organ at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Nathan has taken the national and international organ scenes by storm, succeeding in ways far beyond his years. His technical and musical prowess is simply astonishing. Our chapter board has generously agreed to partner with Calvary in bringing Nathan to our area. So, the event is also an AGO event! What a joy it will be to welcome Nathan here!

Understandably, many, many persons will want to attend the concert. So, before the word spreads far and wide, we’ll need to get our own seats reserved. The event is free to the public, with free-will offerings gladly accepted. Tickets will not be sold, but Calvary will take seating reservations. It would be a shame for any of us to be turned away, so please, call (860 535-1181) or email (communications [at] calvarychurchstonington [dot] org) the Calvary church office and get your seats reserved immediately. Please, mention your AGO affiliation in the email or phone call as Calvary is blocking 25 seats exclusively for our chapter members.Calvary Church in Stonington, with generous support from our chapter, will inaugurate a new organ recital series featuring the world’s most renowned artists!

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2nd Mondays!
  • October 8: A Service of Installation for Chapter Officers to take place at Calvary Church in Stonington
  • November 12: An Advent & Christmas Anthem Reading Session
  • December 10: Holiday Potluck Social with Advent Christmas Mini-Recital
  • January 14: New Music Presentation and Score Swap
  • February 11: Roberta Bitgood Scholarship Auditions Open to Members as Auditors
  • March 11: Janet Yieh Presentation
  • April 8: Crossover Repertoire Presentation – Music That Suits Either Organ or Piano
  • May 13: Post-Easter Members’ Recital Cancelled in favor of other events this month
  • June 10: End of Year Banquet

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About Our Site

Members, please note: Our former third-party website is no longer functioning. If you have not already done so, you should now replace all your previously saved bookmarks and links, as the old links may lead you to unrelated content! Note especially that any saved text or link containing the domain name “” is no longer working. We regret any inconvenience to members. If you need help with this issue please do not hesitate to contact us.

To clarify, please copy (and save or bookmark anew) the current web address of the page you are now reading:


For corrections or questions related to the behavior or appearance of this page, you may contact our webmaster.

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Executive Board, 2018-2019

Dean — Matthew Provost — matthew.n.provost[at]gmail[dot]com

Sub Dean — Maryann McCary — maryann0320[at]aol[dot]com

Secretary — Armand Lambert

Treasurer — Susan Rees Jones — uppereight[at]aol[dot]com


John Anthony — jpant[at]conncoll[dot]edu

Ellen Bowlin — bobellenbowlin[at]gmail[dot]com

Susan Paisley — spaisley[at]optonline[dot]net

Simon Holt — smo.artisticdirector[at]yahoo[dot]com

Jake Troy — j.troy[at]icloud[dot]com

Newsletter Editor — Kathleen Bartkowski — kittenskb[at]gmail[dot]com

Membership Directory — Matthew Provost — matthew.n.provost[at]gmail[dot]com

Education/Exams — John Anthony

Librarian — Douglas Green

Placement — Alan McNeely

Professional Development — Douglas Green

Scholarship Coordinator — Jesse Glaude

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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).

Newsletter Editor Needed! Kathleen Bartkowski will be stepping down as the New London AGO Newsletter Editor following the June edition. If you are interested in taking on this easy yet rewarding task, please email Matthew, matthew.n.provost [at] gmail [dot] com, or Kathleen, kittenskb [at] gmail [dot] com. Time commitment is 1-3 hours a month. Editor must coordinate with the Dean and others to obtain items for the newsletter. We use Constant Contact to send it out, a relatively easy program to learn. Some training may be provided, if needed.

Past issues of TG&S are available for download at this archive page.

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Membership Policy

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.

The New London chapter welcomes church musicians regardless of education or ability.

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).

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Employers and job seekers are invited to log in and post or search listings of available positions on the AGO national website. Also, you may join our chapter to receive the monthly Things Great & Swell  which does publish relevant local information. Thanks to Alan McNeely for agreeing to serve as our new local placement officer!

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


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Contact Us

DEAN Matthew Provost — matthew.n.provost[at]gmail[dot]com

SUB DEAN Maryann McCary — maryann0320[at]aol[dot]com

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Roberta Bitgood Organ Scholarship

Katy King, of Groton
William “Billy” Wolfe, of Colchester

For further information, see: Roberta Bitgood Scholarship

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Benjamin Straley Recital

Whale Oil Row Concert Series presents Benjamin Straley
Sunday, May 19
3 pm
St. James Episcopal Church
76 Federal Street, New London, Connecticut

St. James Episcopal Church of New London is pleased to announce that the Music on Whale Oil Row Concert Series will present an organ recital by Benjamin Straley. His program features works of Bach, Guilmant, Handel, and Elgar. The May 2015 issue of The Diapason listed Benjamin as one of the “Top 20 under 30” young organists in the country. Until last August, Benjamin was Organist and Associate Director of Music at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. He is now Assistant Rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Essex, and the music director of The Anglican Singers of New London.

Suggested donation for the recital is $10.

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Nathan Bayreuther Recital
Nathan Bayreuther
Nathan Bayreuther

Nathan Bayreuther will be playing a recital on April 6th at 7 pm at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hartford as he completes his Organ Performance Degree through Central Connecticut State University. Works to be performed will include César Franck’s Chorale No. 1, J. S. Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, Marcel Dupré’s Cortège et Litanie, and selections from Louis Vierne’s Symphonie No. 1. The recital will last about an hour with a reception afterward.

Nathan began his career as a professional organist at age thirteen at the First Congregational Church in New London, Connecticut. In 2005, he was hired as Director of Music Ministry at the First Congregational Church of Madison. He is currently completing an Organ Performance Degree and studies organ with Ezequiel Menéndez; he has also studied organ with Godfrey Tomanek and piano with Judith Mack and Linda Laurent.

Labeled “a rare jewel whose performances are both awe-filled and stirring” (Arts on the Edge, Wolfeboro, NH), Nathan has received numerous accolades, awards and scholarships, including the Roberta Bitgood Organ Scholarship (two-time winner) and the Cynthia Wheeler Carr Scholarship. He was awarded the Colleague Certification (CAGO) from the American Guild of Organists in 2004 and has served on the Executive Boards of the New London and New Haven County Chapters of the AGO. He has also served as an organ scholarship adjudicator.

In 2014, Nathan was signed to the Arabesque Records music label in New York, and in 2015, he had the honor of performing a solo organ recital at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Following his performance at St. Joseph’s Cathedral … he is scheduled to perform again at St. Patrick’s in New York in the fall. He also serves as organist for the New England Chamber Choir & Orchestra based in Cromwell, Connecticut. He lives with his wife and son in Northford and can frequently be found sailing the waters of Long Island Sound in his spare time.

More about Nathan may be found at:

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AGO National website