Youngstown Chapter

Last updated: September 23, 2016 at 9:01 am

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.”



2 Sun      FRED SWANN, Organ . . . 3:00 pm
Sponsored by
Cleveland Chapter AGO
Fairmount Presbyterian Church
2757 Fairmount, Cleveland Heights

2 Sun      AKRON BAROQUE . . . 5:00 pm
Five at Five Concert Series
Westminster Presbyterian Church
1250 W. Exchange, Akron

“Gospel Mass” by Robert Ray
Dr. Samuel Barbara, Director
Wallace Chapel, Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

16 Sun    DAVID HIGGS, Organ . . .  3:00 pm
Chair, Organ Dept., Eastman School of Music
Organ Artists Series of Pittsburgh          $
East Liberty Presbyterian Church
116 South Highland, Pittsburgh

16 Sun    WEST SHORE CHORALE . . .  3:30 pm
with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra
John Drotleff, Director
Waetjen Auditorium, Cleveland State University
Euclid Avenue, Cleveland                          $15 at door

16 Sun    UNIVERSITY OF AKRON CHOIRS . . . 4:00 pm
Chamber, Men’s & Concert Choirs
Parish Arts Series
Fairlawn Lutheran Church
3415 W. Market Street, Akron

23 Sun    PETER CONTE, Organ . . . 4:00 pm
from the Wanamaker (Macy’s), Philadelphia
Silent Film “Nosferatus”
1000 Fifth Avenue, Youngstown
Tickets: or     330.259.0555    Free concert

Susan Davenny-Wyner, Director
Program: Saint-Saëns, Grieg, Bizet, Rossini, Copland and Bruch
Christ Episcopal Church                                     $25
2627 Atlantic Street NE, Warren

30 Sun    TODD WILSON, Organ . . . 4:00 pm
Guest appearance “Illuminare”
Jon Simsic, Director
St. John’s Episcopal Church
223 Wick Avenue, Youngstown

4 Fri        RICHARD KONZEN, Organ . . . . 7:00 pm
Grove City College  —  Pew Fine Arts Building
Grove City, PA

6  Sun     CHORAL FESTIVAL . . . . 5:00 pm
Featuring Faure’s Requiem
Westminster Presbyterian Church
1250 W. Exchange, Akron

7 Mon    YSU DANA FALL CHORAL CONCERT. . . .  7:30 pm
(Dana Chorale, University Chorus, YSU Barbershop)
St. Columba Cathedral
159 W. Rayen, Youngstown

11 Fri      WESTMINSTER COLLEGE . . . . 7:30 pm
Dr. Samuel Barbara, Director
Wallace Memorial Chapel
Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

13 Sun    WESTMINSTER COLLEGE . . . .7:30 pm
Dr. Samuel Barbara, Director
Wallace Chapel
Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

15 Tue    KATELYN EMERSON, Organ . . . . 7:30 pm
1st Prize Winner AGO 2016 National Young Artists’ Competition
The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
1007 Superior / E. 9th, Cleveland

15 Tue    DAVID JONIES, ORGAN . . . . 7:30 pm
(Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago)
St. Paul Cathedral
108 N. Dithridge (Fifth & Craig), Pittsburgh

18 Fri      WILLIAM WHITEHEAD, Organ . . . . 7:00 pm
First United Methodist Church        Free-will offering
200 W. 5th Street, East Liverpool

Trinity Choir with the Trinity Chamber Orchestra
Nicole Keller, organist   Todd Wilson, conductor
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral             Free-will offering
2230 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland

18 Fri      CHELSEA CHEN, Organ . . . . 8:00 pm
Concert Organist/Composer
(Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale)
Organ Artists Series of Pittsburgh          $
Heinz Memorial Chapel
Fifth and Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh

20 Sun    ALAN MORRISON, Organ . . . . 7:00 pm
Curtis Institute of Music, International organist
1000 Fifth Avenue, Youngstown

27 Sun    FESTIVAL OF LESSONS AND CAROLS . . . . 7:00 pm
Cathedral Choir – Dr. Daniel Laginya, Director
St. Columba Cathedral
159 W. Rayen Ave., Youngstown



October 2016


Dear Friends,

It was fantastic to see so many people at our September Langlais meeting! We had 50 people attending including—20 chapter members! Thank you all for coming to the Langlais event. A special thanks to our very talented performers: Sean Baran, Therese Rose, Maria Koch, Anita Gorman, Michael Drajick and Craig Ziobert, who all performed beautifully, and to Dr. Dan Laginya for organizing this program. I was also thrilled to see everyone chatting and greeting the performers after the concert. It was a wonderful social time for our chapter members.

Our next meeting, Monday, October 24 will be on the grand organ at Trinity United Methodist Church, downtown. If you are unfamiliar with this instrument you will definitely want to attend. This program will feature a surprise performer. Please encourage young people to attend this Halloween themed program. It will be a lot of fun.

The 2017 Regional Convention is coming together nicely but we still have much work ahead! This past weekend I spoke to the Cleveland AGO Chapter and brought them up to speed on our plans. They are very interested in attending.

Our 2016-17 Directory-Yearbooks will be in the mail very soon. Thanks to Dan Laginya and Cathy Carroll for their on-going work each year to put together these lovely books for us. When your yearbook arrives take time to read the names of our chapter members. If you see names of people that you do not know, consider reaching out to them and introducing yourself. I hope this is something that many of you will do. I would love to see the social connections between our members increase.

As always, if you have any questions about the chapter or the upcoming convention, please feel free to contact me.

Adam Zagotti, Dean
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Contributions to the 2017 Youngstown Regional AGO Convention can be sent to Karl Morris, 2017 Regional Treasurer, 200 Country Club SE, Warren OH 44484-4660.. Checks payable to: AGO 2017 Youngstown Regional.
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Monday, October 24, 2016
7:00 pm


Trinity United Methodist Church
30 West Front Street, Youngstown
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Youngstown Chapter September Program
St. Columba Cathedral, Youngstown
Monday, September 29, 2016

Program of Organ Music
Incantation pour un jour Saint
Sean Baran

Dr. Anita Gorman

Michael Dragic

Poem of Happiness
Maria Koch, SPC

Therese Rose

Ave Maria/Ave Maris Stella
Hymne d’ Actions de gráces “Te Deum”
Craig Ziobert

Students of Dr. Daniel Laginya
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M. P. Möller Organ at Historic Trinity United Methodist Church, downtown Youngstown

The “Mighty Möller” (Moeller / Moller) as it has become known, dates from the 1940’s. The members of Trinity Methodist Episcopal, as it was known then, embarked on a massive redesign of the church with a huge expansion to the east. Along with these plans came the intention of replacing the 3-manual Austin pipe organ in the church. When World War II erupted, plans for all new organs were delayed, due to lack of raw materials and thus the Trinity organ was installed very slowly from 1941-1948. The finished product is a massive 4-manual console with 89 ranks. The extensive principle chorus on the great is the instrument that Richard Whitelegg built and displayed in the Moller factory.  It has a 17-rank antiphonal division with a separate 2 manual console, pipe chambers of that division opens to both the main sanctuary and the chapel. The instrument was rebuilt in 1988 with a new console by Schantz.

Among some of the great organists from that past who have played programs at Trinity include E. Power Biggs, Clair Cocci, Alexander McCurdy and Virgil Fox.
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The Organ Artist Series of Pittsburgh
East Liberty Presbyterian Church
116 South Highland, Pittsburgh
October 16, 2016 — 3:00 P.M.
Variations de Concert . . . .Bonnet
Three Chorales: No. 2 in B minor . . . .Franck
Variations on a Noel . . . . Dupré
From Gospel Preludes:  . . . . Bolcom
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Bolero de concert . . . . Louis-James-Alfred Lefébure-Wély
Three Impressions Op. 72, No. 1 . . . . Karg-Elert
Harmonies d doir
Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H . . . . Liszt
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St. John’s Episcopal Church
223 Wick Avenue, Youngstown
Sunday, October 30, 2016  — 4:00 pm
— Program–
Passacaglia in C minor . . . . Bach
There Is a Happy Land . . . . Shearing
The Hollow Men . . . . Persichetti
Variations (from Symphony No. 5) . . . . Widor
In paradisum . . . . Gregorian Chant
Kyrie & Pie Jesu (Requiem, Op. 9). . . . Duruflé
And I Saw a New Heaven . . . . Bainton
Lord, thou hast been our refuge . . . . Vaughan Williams

Todd Wilson, organ
Illuminare (Vocal Ensemble)
Jon Simsic, conductor
Christopher Krummel, trumpet
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Happy 155th Birthday,
Walter Galbin Alcock!

Not too many organists get to play for the coronations of three kings. Walter Galpin Alcock did just that—and so much more.

Born on December 29, 1861, at Edenbridge, Kent, Alcock was the son of Walter William Alcock, who later became Superintendent of the Metropolitan and City Police Orphanage at Twickenham. As a child Walter became a member of the choir at Holy Trinity Church, Twickenham Green. Soon he was taking organ lessons from E. H. Sugg at St. Mary’s Church in Twickenham and in time joined that church’s choir. Before long he was playing the organ for Evensong in exchange for lessons. His first Evensong appearance involved a silent pipe organ, since the blower did not show up. Alcock also played the organ at Holy Trinity Church but became persona non grata for his excessive use of reeds.

In 1874, when he was only twelve, Walter Galpin Alcock enrolled at the National Training School for Music, part of the Royal College of Music. His teachers were the illustrious Sir Arthur Sullivan and John Stainer. Then, when E. H. Sugg retired from St. Mary’s Church in 1880, Walter Alcock became his successor. Seven years later Alcock moved to a position at the Quebec Chapel, St. Marylebone, and in 1896 he became Sir Frederick Bridge’s assistant at Westminster Abbey. Two other positions followed: he served as organist at the Chapel Royal and completed his career as organist at Salisbury Cathedral, where he served from 1916 until 1947, the year of his death. He was also a respected composer and teacher; among his students were Edward Bairstow, S. Drummond Wolff, and Ralph Downes.

In 1893, Alcock married Naomi Blanche Lucas, with whom he had one son and five daughters. His oldest daughter Naomi Judith Bateson wrote a short and loving biography of her father, Alcock of Salisbury. At his home in Salisbury, Alcock built a steam-powered model train on which the cathedral’s choir boys could take rides. He also managed to write a solid music primer, The Organ.

Walter Galpin Alcock played for the coronations of Edward VII, George V, and George VI. He did not play for Edward VIII, who abdicated in order to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson before the coronation ceremony took place. Alcock became Sir Walter Galpin Alcock in 1933. He also served as a professor of organ at the Royal College of Music.

When Alcock died on September 11, 1947, he was eighty-five and still an active organist. Sir Thomas Armstrong praised Alcock’s technique in an obituary: “What brilliance there was in his passage-work! What fire in his handling of a Bach Toccata! What restraint and climax in his fugue playing . . . And at eighty Alcock was all that he had been at fifty, with an added maturity and mellowness. It was wonderful.”  (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 
Sean Baran. . .
Nancy McNeal
Anita Gorman . . .
Larry Harris . .
Karen Barr . . .
Susanne Mayerchak . . .



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

AGO National website