Youngstown Chapter

Last updated: January 27, 2016 at 17:25 pm

Message from the Dean 


Welcome to Youngstown, Ohio, and to our local chapter of the American Guild of Organists web page. A chapter of 52 members, we serve Youngstown and its surrounding areas.

Our membership is not limited only to organists, but embraces all who enjoy and promote worship through music and song. Together we work to improve the quality of musical and liturgical performance within our community.

Annually, we provide a variety of educational programs to enrich our personal skills which are free to members and friends. These events include recitals, lectures, workshops, and choral presentations. Light refreshments follow the events for interaction among those in attendance. We have an exciting listing of upcoming events for March, April, and May. Please refer to our Events Section for details.

We encourage any musician from student to retiree to join us and enhance our endeavors towards achieving our motto: “Soli Deo Gloria.”


Five at Five Series
Westminster Presbyterian Church
1250 W. Exchange, Akron

14 Sun RICHARD KONZEN. Organ Recital. . . 4:00 pm
Youngstown Chapter February Program
St. John’s Episcopal Church
323 Wick Avenue, Youngstown

Featuring the Case Western Reserve Un. Department
Of Historical Performance Practice
Francois Couperin’s Leҫons de ténèbre
Margaret Carpenter, soprano
The Church of the Covenant
11205 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

21 Sun SINGERS COMPANYE. . . 4:30 pm
Dr. Sam Gordon, Director
St. Sebastian Catholic Church
476 Mull Avenue, Akron

26 Fri STEPHEN CLEOBURY, Organ . . .7:30 pm
Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
2747 Fairmount, Cleveland Hghts.

27 Sat TREBLEFEST ’16 . . . . 3:00 pm
Evensong (Sung by treble choirs of the Diocese)
Stephen Cleobury, Director
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
2230 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland

4 Fri JONATHAN RYAN, Organ . . . .7:30 pm
Holy Trinity Lutheran
50 N. Prospect, Akron

Dr. Robert Ward, Director
Fairlawn Lutheran Church
314 W. Market Street, Akron

11 Fr TOM TRENNEY . . . . 7:30 pm
(Recital and Silent Film)
Christ Presbyterian Church
530 Tuscarawas, Canton

13 Sun DAVID BASKEYFIELD, Organ . . . . 3:00 pm
Fairmount Presbyterian
2757 Fairmount, Cleveland Hghts.

13 Sun ISABELLE DEMERS, Organ. . . . 4:00 pm
Pittsburgh Organ Series
Westminster Presbyterian Church
2040 Washington Road, Pittsburgh

New Wilmington, PA.
Dr. Samuel Barbar, Director
Christ Episcopal Church
2627 Atlantic St. NE, Warren

20 Sun JONATHAN MOYER, Organ . . . .5:00 pm
Holy Week Organ Recital
The Church of the Covenant
11205 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland







Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a rewarding Holiday season.

On Monday evening, January 4, 13 members of the Youngs-town Chapter and 3 guests, gathered for an Epiphany Party at the home of Jeannine and Karl Morris. A good time was had by all. Thanks to Jeannine and Karl for hosting the event.

This past fall, the Great Lakes Regional leaders met for their annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. At this meeting it was strongly urged that chapters have an up-to-date website that is enticing to members and non-members a like. To that end I have created the following site:

Please email me pictures of your churches, choirs, our programs, etc. I created a slideshow of photos of Youngstown, the park, many of our churches and some of our programs. These photos rotate on the main page. The website also includes links to videos of local organs. If you know of YouTube videos of our organs please let me know and I will include those as well.

On Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14, Dr. Richard Konzen will perform a recital at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Wick Avenue. At this program I will give as much information as I can about the 2017 Regional Convention. I can tell you that everything is going very well so far in the planning of the convention. Many thanks to all of our hard-working committee volunteers.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our Valentine’s Day recital! Thank you to Dr. Konzen and the staff of Saint John’s who are so generously offering their time and talents for our next program.

Adam Zagotti, Dean





Works of Liszt, Reger, Mendelssohn, Jongen, Alain, and Duruflé

Konzen presents February Organ Recital

Dr. Richard Konzen, Organist-Director of Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Avenue, Youngstown, will present an organ recital on Sunday, February 14 at 4:00 pm as the monthly program for the Youngstown Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Richard Konzen is Professor of Music and College Organist at Grove City College, Grove City, PA, where he has been on the faculty since 1992. Dr. Konzen also serves as the Facilities Director of the Pew Fine Arts Center at the college. At Grove City College, Dr. Konzen teaches organ, music theory, counterpoint, composition, orchestration, and was the college orchestra director for 19 years.

He is the Organist-Choirmaster at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Youngstown, known for its annual Boar’s Head Festival. Dr. Konzen holds degrees from DePauw University and Yale University.

Active in a number of professional organizations, he served as the Instrumental Music Reviewer for the Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians for seven years. Dr. Konzen has presented recitals for the Organ Historical Society. He holds the Associateship and Choir Master certificates from the American Guild of Organists, and was a recent Dean of the Youngstown Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Benedictus, Op 59, No. 9 . . . Reger
Sonata I, Op. 65 . . . . Mendelssohn
1. Allegro moderato e serioso
2. Adagio
3. Andante Recit.
4. Allegro assai vivace

Prière, Op. 37, No. 3 . . . . Jongen
Litanies . . . . . Alain
Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d’Alain, Op. 7 . . . . Duruflé


Nine Summer Programs for Teenagers and Adults will be supported with generous funding from the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, the American Institute of Organbuilders, and the Jordan Organ Endowment

NEW YORK CITY—The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is proud to announce seven PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTERS (POEs) for students aged 13–18, one POE (Advanced) for students entering grades 9–12; and one POE+ for adults in 2016. Complete contact information for each weeklong Pipe Organ Encounter can be found in The American Organist Magazine and online at The summer schedule follows:

POE for ages 13–18
June 26–July 1, Waverly, Iowa
July 10–15, Northhampton, Mass.
July 17–22, Lexington, Ky.
July 24–29, Baltimore, Md.
July 24–29, Atlanta, Ga.
July 25–30, Salt Lake City, Utah
August 7–13, Palo Alto, Calif.

POE (Advanced) for grades 9–12
July 10–15, Cincinnati, Ohio

POE+ for adults
July 10–14, Grantham, Pa.

The PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTER (POE) is an introduction to the pipe organ through instruction in organ playing, repertoire, history, design, and construction. These regional summer music institutes for teenage students provide private and group instruction in service playing and solo repertoire, opportunities to learn about the musical heritage of various religious denominations, and a chance for young musicians to meet others with similar interests. Piano or organ proficiency ranging from intermediate to advanced is required. Scholarship assistance is available.

The POE (Advanced) provides intermediate to advanced classes in areas such as organ literature, history, pipe organ construction and design, music theory, improvisation, conducting, and service playing for students who have achieved a high level of success in organ study. Scholarship assistance is available.

The POE+ is a summer program filled with practical information and instruction for adult keyboard musicians interested in improving their service-playing skills. Participants will be introduced to basic organ skills through private instruction and classes. The weeklong experience will lead to greater confidence and competence at the organ.

Generous funding from the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America (APOBA), the American Institute of Organbuilders (AIO), and the Jordan Organ Endowment will support the summer programs from coast to coast. “The AGO and APOBA have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship since 1975,” declared AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “Likewise, the AIO has been active in supporting the Guild’s educational programs, beginning with their partnership in Pulling Out All the Stops, a video produced jointly by the AGO, AIO, APOBA, the Organ Historical Society, and the American Theater Organ Society in 1996. Collectively, APOBA and the AIO have contributed more than a half million dollars in support of the AGO’s educational programs during our long association. In addition, we are delighted to have received a ten-year commitment of support from the Jordan Organ Endowment at Columbus State University for our POE program. For all this committed generosity in supporting the Guild’s mission—to enrich lives through organ and choral music—we are deeply grateful.”

POE site locations are selected by the AGO Committee on the New Organist and approved by the AGO National Council after application by AGO host chapters. Applications are available from AGO National Headquarters. The application deadline is April 15.


Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
2230 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland
Wednesdays at 12:10 pm
3    Organ Extravanganza with CIM and CSU Students
10   NO Concert – Ash Wednesday
17   Tenor, JR Fralick, Music for Valentine’s Day
24   Cleveland State University Keyboard Students
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Happy 250th Birthday, Samuel Wesley!

In eighteenth-century England there were a number of distinguished relatives named Wesley, including John Wesley, the founder of Methodism; Samuel Wesley, a poet; Samuel Sebastian Wesley, an organist and composer; and Charles Wesley, a writer of many hymns. Our subject today is another Samuel Wesley, the son of the hymn writer, nephew of the religious pioneer, and father of Samuel Sebastian Wesley.

Our Samuel Wesley was born on February 24, 1766 in Bristol, England. His mother, Sarah Wesley, played the harpsichord and sang. Here at home Samuel had his first music lessons. A child prodigy, Samuel was deemed “an English Mozart” when William Boyce visited the family. Later Samuel studied with David Williams, the organist at All Saints’ Church in Bristol. In 1771 Samuel’s father procured another house, this time in London, and by 1778 Samuel was living there.

As a young adult, Samuel believed that his sexual relationship with Charlotte Louise Martin was a marriage, though without benefit of clergy. In 1793, however, he did marry Charlotte, and they became the parents of three children. Unfortunately, the wayward Samuel dallied with a young servant named Sarah Suter, causing an end to his marriage. He never married Sarah, but they did have four children, one of whom was Samuel Sebastian Wesley.

The ever-rebellious Samuel became a Catholic in 1784 and composed the Missa de Spiritu Sancto, dedicated to Pope Pius VI. However, in his later years he denied having converted to Catholicism, and it does seem that Catholic church music was more interesting to him than dogma; as Alexander Pope pithily wrote in “An Essay on Criticism,” “some to church repair, Not for the doctrine, but the music there.”

Wesley was a music teacher, a conductor, a lecturer, and a pioneer in the concept of the organ recital. Said to be the best improviser in the land, Wesley nevertheless was for many years unable to procure a post as a church organist. Still, he played for Felix Mendelssohn, who complimented him, though Samuel rued the fact that Mendelssohn had not heard him play years before when he was younger and more proficient.

Toward the end of the eighteenth century Wesley became interested in the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. He influenced others, including musicologist Charles Burney, to appreciate the great Bach.

Samuel Wesley suffered from depression during his adult life and may have been bipolar. In 1816 after an infant child died, he had a breakdown. The following year he jumped from a window and was sent to a mental hospital. Subsequent recovery led to more creativity. He died on October 11, 1837.

Samuel Wesley wrote over one hundred twenty works for organ; forty-one Latin motets; a cantata, Confiteor tibi Domine; two Masses; six symphonies; four overtures; four violin concertos; two harpsichord concertos; two string quartets; the Sinfonia Obbligato for organ, violin, and cello; a quintet for strings, organ, and two horns; sixty-five works for piano; more than one hundred hymn tunes; anthems deemed by the composer as “too numerous to particularizae”; and arrangements of other composers’ works.

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians describes Samuel Wesley as “an anomalous and maverick figure in English music of the period. Although widely recognized as the most brilliant organist of his age, he never received the recognition that his abilities merited. Unlike his brother Charles he had no taste for court life and manners, had no official appointments, and did not hold a church position until late in his life. His outspoken manner, disrespect for authority and scandalous private life all no doubt contributed to his lack of advancement, both in church and court circles and within the music profession.” Fortunately, a number of his letters survive: “Entertainingly and stylishly written and frequently displaying Wesley’s caustic wit, they are the largest and most important collection of letters by an English musician of the period, and are a particularly rich source of information on all aspects of London’s musical life during the early 19th century” (New Grove Dictionary). (AG)







































2012-2013 Membership Fees

$97.00 Regular Member
$72.00 Special (Senior/Disabled,over 65)
$37.00 Student
$72.00 Partner/ Second Member
$38.00 Dual (indicate primary chapter)
$15.00 Student dual member
$15.00 Chapter Friend

A special feature that our chapter offers for first year members is a discounted membership fee of $57.

Contact Nancy Brescia at for a membership form.



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



The Youngstown Chapter AGO has a strong performance record when it comes to the guild exams: over one-third of the current membership holds at least one guild certificate. The requirements for professional certification appear in the July issue of “The American Organist.” The Service Playing exam can be taken in the Youngstown Chapter anytime before April 30, 2007; the Colleague exam can also be taken locally, on either May 11 or November 16, 2007. The Choir Master, Associate, and Fellowship exams are administered at nearby examination centers in Cleveland or Pittsburgh. Examination materials and repertoire are kept in the Cathedral Music Library and are available to chapter members. For further information, please contact Daniel Laginya, examination coordinator, at


Contact Us

Dean: Adam Zagotti. . .
Sub-Dean: Mary Ann Bilas Bush . . .
Secretary: Gary P. Richards . . . .
Treasurer: Nancy Brescia. . . .

Newsletter editor: Gary Richards . . .

Executive Board Members 
Frank Behne III . . .
Susanne Mayerchak. .
Sean Baran. . .
Nancy McNeal
Anita Gorman . . .
Larry Harris . .



Hemry Pipe Organ Company
Kegg Organ Company
Schantz Organ Company
Youngstown State University Concert Series

AGO National website