Youngstown Chapter

Last updated: October 30, 2016 at 9:29 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.”


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

6 Sun     YOUNGSTOWN SYMPHONY . . . . . 5:00 pm
Stained Glass Concert
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church
131 E. Wood, Lowellville

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     MARK VALENTI, Piano . . . . . 4:00 pm
Arts on Atlantic
Christ Episcopal Church
2627 Atlantic Street NE, Warren
Works of Debussy, Chopin, Gershwin and Beethoven

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


4 Sun      MESSIAH “COMMUNITY SING”. . . . . 3:30 pm
Zion Lutheran Church
3300 Canfield Road, Cornersburg

4 Sun      WARREN CIVIC CHORUS. . . 4:00 & 7:00 pm
“MESSIAH” Concert
Dr. Hae-Jong Lee, Director
Blessed Sacrament Church
3020 Reeves Road, Warren

4 Sun      WEST SHORE CHORALE . . . . . 7:30 pm
Carols and Choruses of Christmas            $15
John Drotleff, Director
Magnificat Center for the Performing Arts
20770 Hilliard Blvd, Rocky River

7 Wed    YSU CAROLS & COCOA & HOLIDAY CONCERT . . .7:00 pm
(Featuring Bach’s  “Magnificat in D Major)
Stambaugh Auditorium
1000 Fifth Avenue, Youngstown

9  Fri       EMMET CAHILL,  Irish Tenor . . . . . 8:00 pm
Emmet Cahill of Celtic Thunder
St. Columba Cathedral
159 W. Rayen, Youngstown

9   Fri      DAUGHTERS OF ST. PAUL CHOIR . . . . . . 7:00 pm
Christmas with the Daughters of St. Paul
The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
1007 Superior / E. 9th, Cleveland

& Youngstown Community Concert Band
(Benefit Second Harvest Food Bank)
Stambaugh Auditorium
1000 Fifth Avenue, Youngstown

11 Sun    WESTMINSTER COLLEGE . . . . . 4:00 pm
Christmas Vesper Service  —  Orr Auditorium
Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

18 Sun    FESTIVAL OF LESSONS & CAROLS. . . . . 7:00 pm
(Sung by the Episcopal Choirs of the area & guests)
Dr. Richard Konzen, Organist  —  Gary P. Richards, Director
Christ Episcopal Church
2627 Atlantic Street NE, Warren



November 2016


Dear Friends,

I want to start by thanking those of you who were able to make it to our fall organ recital at Trinity. Special thanks to Mitchell Miller our spectacular performer! It was nice to hear Mitchell play so fabulously as well as nice to hear that wonderful instrument again. If you missed the concert, you also missed our Sub-Dean, Mary Ann Bush’s delicious fall treats. Wow!

This month, Saturday morning November 26, member and scholar, Steve Repasky will meet us at Stambaugh Auditorium, to demonstrate symphonic organ registrations. If you aren’t sure how to approach registering a large organ or you just like to learn new tricks, you must make a point to come to this demonstration. Steve is a great player, Dana School graduate and Youngstown native.

I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving. As musicians who don’t work in concert halls, but instead work to enrich the spiritual lives of the people of our congregations, we are in a special position to bridge the gap between music and prayer. In that special, spiritual position I want to encourage you to keep the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony in your prayers. They are in an uphill battle with management to get back to the business of making music and get off the picket line. I encourage you to make a trip to Pittsburgh this month and enjoy the free concerts being offered by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony. It would be fantastic if their strike has ended by the time you read this, but I urge you, as musicians, to show some solidarity with our hard-working concert hall brethren and attend these free concerts that they are offering.

Happy Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday.

Adam Zagotti, Dean



Presenters: Steve Repasky & Mary Ann Bilas Bush

9:00 AM

1000 Fifth Avenue, Youngstown


Steve Repasky and Mary Ann Bilas Bush will co-host the Youngstown Chapter November program How to Use a Symphony Organ: A Skinner Workshop on Saturday, November 26 at 9:00 am at Stambaugh Auditorium

Steve (Joe) Repasky grew up in Youngstown and attended St. Matthias School, Cardinal Mooney High School, and YSU.  His keyboard teachers have included Sr. Germain Staron, OSU, Dr. Ronald L. Gould, and Dr. Robert E. Hopkins.  He later obtained a master’s degree in Library Science from UC, Berkeley.  Steve is also a partner in Hupalo & Repasky Pipe Organs, LLC of San Leandro, California as well as director of Music at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in San Francisco.  St. Luke’s is fortunate to have the Aeolian-Skinner Company’s 56-rank, 1959, opus 1350, organ heard at both the 1984 National and 2011 Region IX Conventions.  Prior to St. Luke’s, for nearly 30 years Mr. Repasky was music director at St. Patrick’s Church in downtown San Francisco which contains the Skinner Organ Company’s 1929, opus 811, organ.

Steve is delighted to be back home for Thanksgiving week with so many old friends and family from Youngstown and to share with you the wonders and technical styles of the symphonic organ — ideas and techniques one can transfer to any organ.

Mary Ann Bilas Bush is the music director at Holy Family Parish in Poland.  She holds a bachelor of music degree in piano performance and music education as well as a master of music degree from Youngstown State University, where she studied with Dr. Robert E. Hopkins and Dr. Daniel Laginya. She most recently passed the Guild FAGO.

Ms. Bush taught music in the Warren City School System, retiring recently after 33 years of service.  At Holy Family Parish, she leads an adult choir, a contemporary music ensemble, bell choir, resurrection choir and collaborates with the school and youth choir.

Mary Ann is a regular accompanist at the Dana School of Music (YSU), St. Columba Cathedral, Poland High School and Jefferson High School.  She is a member of Cantus Fractus, a recorder consort, and is the sub-dean of the Youngstown AGO Chapter.


Mitchell Miller a native of Cincinnati, was the “surprise guest” at the October Youngstown Chapter meeting at Trinity United Methodist Church.

A native of Cincinnati, Mitchell Miller is currently a fifth-year student at Oberlin College and  Conservatory, pursuing a Bachelor of Music Degree in Organ Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in German.  He studies organ with James David Christie, harpsichord and continuo with Webb Wiggins, and piano with Jonathan Moyer.

Most recently, Mitchell was a finalist in the 2015 Taylor Organ Competition, being one of only five undergraduate organ majors from the US to be selected for the final round.  Mitchell is a frequent participant in master classes, having participated in classes with Olivier Latry, John Grew, Harald Vogel, Nathan Laube, Michael Unger and Renee Ann Louprette.

An active recitalist, Mitchell has performed at notable venues including Church of the Covenant (Cleveland), Church of the Advent (Boston), Calvary Episcopal (Cincinnati), St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption (Covington, KY), First Congregational Church (Columbus), The Brick Church (New York City), and Musée des Augustine  (Toulouse, France).


Allegro Deciso fr. Evocation pour Orgue, Op. 37 . . . . .Dupré
“O Welt, ich muss dich lassen”, Op;. 122 (2 settings) . . . . .  Brahms
Diluvium . . . . . Creary
Chorale Prelude and Fugue on
“O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid”  . . . . . Symth
The Despair and Agony of Dachau . . . . . Sifler
Sonata 8, Op. 91 (III, IV, V) . . . . . Guilmant

Friday, November 4 — 7:00
Grove City College
Pew Fine Arts Building
Grove City, PA

All Bach program
Toccata in d minor (dorian) BWV 538
Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier BWV 730 & 731
Pièce d’ Orgue (BWV 572)
(first version in ms. by Johann Gottfried Walther)
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (BWV 645)
Prelude, Andante and Fugue in G (BWV 541)
Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele (BWV 654)
Toccata and Fugue in d minor (BWV 565)
Vor deinen Thron tret’ ich (BWV 668)

Friday, November 18 7:00 pm
First United Methodist
200 W. 5th St., East Liverpool

Allego con brio (4th Organ Sonata) . . . . . Mendelssohn
Through the church year, with Orgelbüchlein and
Orgelbüchlein Project –
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV599 . . . . . .J.S.Bach
Wohl dem, der in Gottes Furcht steth . . . . . Simon Johnson
Herr Christ der ein’ge Gottes Sohn  BWV 601 . . . . . J.S.Bach
Wies Gott gefällt, so gefällt mirs auch . . . . . Ronny Krippner
Herr Gott, nun schleuss den   BWV617 . . . . . . J.S.Bach
Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder . . . . . Jon Laukvik
Heut triumphiret Gottes Sohn BWV630 . . . . .  J.S.Bach
Concerto in A minor . . . . . Vivaldi (arr. Bach)
Fantasia and Toccata in D minor  . . . . . Stanford

Miniature Suite . . . . . Ireland
Cantabile . . . . . Franck
Variations on a Noel . . . . . Dupré

ALAN MORRISON, Organ Recital
Stambaugh Organ Series
Stambaugh Auditorium
1000 Fifth Avenue, Youngstown
Sunday, November 20, 2016  — 7:00 pm

Fantasy in F Minor, K. . . . . . W.A. Mozart
Ciaccona in B flat . . . . . J.B. Bach
Fantasy in D flat Major, Op. 101 . . . . . C. Saint-Saëns
Passacaglia, BWV 582 . . . . . .J.S. Bach
Variations de Concert, Op. 1. . . . .  J. Bonnet
Folk Tune . . . . . P. Whitlock
Allegretto (Organ Sonata, Op. 65) . . . . . H. Parker
Toccata . . . . . A. Wilson

World renowned Irish Tenor

Enjoy a night of Celtic songs, Christmas cheer and personal stories at this special, one-of-a-kind concert.

Friday, December 9  — 8:00 pm
St. Columba Cathedral
159 W. Rayen, Youngstown

Limited Tickets starting at $35.
Special VIP Meet & Greet Packages
Tickets at
For more information contact
St. Columba Cathedral   330.744.5233

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
2230 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland
Wednesdays at 12:10 pm

2   TOPS Big Band – playing America’s songbook
9   Blue Water String Ensemble
Plays Mendelssohn’s fabulous Octet
16 Elizabeth DeMio & Todd Wilson
Performing on two grand pianos
23 No Concert – Thanksgiving week.
30 A Jazzy Christmas – The Gateway Band

Arts on Atlantic
Christ Episcopal Church
Sunday, November 13  — 4:00 pm

Graduate of Northwestern University. Valenti has toured throughout the US and Europe as well as playing for the former First Lady Barbara Bush.

Program will include works of Debussy, Beethoven, Prokofieff, Gershwin and Chopin.


Emma Lou Diemer is still with us and will celebrate her 89th birthday on November 24. She was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1927; her father, George Willis Diemer, was president of Central Missouri State Teachers College (now the University of Central Missouri), and her mother, Myrtle Casebolt Diemer, was active in her church. Emma Lou learned to play the piano as a youngster and by the age of thirteen she was her church’s organist. She also started composing during her childhood and later studied composition at the Yale Music School, where she earned her BM in 1949 and her MM degree in 1950. In 1960 she completed her PhD at the Eastman School of Music. Diemer used a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Brussels, Belgium and also studied composition at the Berkshire Music Center in Massachusetts during two summers.

After teaching in Kansas City during the 1950s, Diemer became composer-in-residence for the Arlington, Virginia schools as part of the Ford Foundation’s Young Composers Project. From 1965 to 1070 Diemer taught composition and theory at the University of Maryland; in 1971 she began teaching the same subjects at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1991 she was honored with the designation of Professor Emeritus at Santa Barbara.

Emma Lou Diemer has received many awards, including the Certificate of Merit (Yale), the Edward Benjamin Award (Eastman), and Composer of the Year (American Guild of

Organists). Professor Ellen Grolman Schlegel, author of Emma Lou Diemer: a Bio-Bibliography, quotes Diemer on her approach to composition: “’I was able to reinforce a philosophy of mine [in Arlington], partly learned at Yale underHindemith influence: that writing need not take place in a vacuum. It should not be written only to satisfy the aesthetics or mental exercises of a composer and his cohorts, nor to dazzle the givers of grants and fellowships. It should also be written to be listened to and finally understood and even enjoyed. My greatest pleasure is to write music that moves people, not that moves them out of the room.’ Her Arlington compositions ‘avoided atonality, excessive use of accidentals and changes of meter, prolonged dissonance, complicated rhythms, extreme ranges.’”

Schlegel adds, “Diemer grants that the self-imposed limitations were beneficial to her as a composer, since they intensified her search for originality. She states, ‘I can find no experience which taught me more or was more appropriate for what I thought my calling in life was to be. By lowering somewhat the level of difficulty and extremity of style, I was able to produce some works that are still in the repertoire 35 years later.’” Her available works for organ include Visions from Scripture: Dramatic Organ Solos Inspired by Biblical Texts, Seven Hymn Preludes for Organ, Suite of Easter Hymns for Organ, and Four Biblical Settings for Organ.

Emma Lou Diemer has written hundreds of compositions and explored just about every musical genre except for opera. She has performed her compositions all over the United States, including Washington’s National Cathedral, St. Mary’s Cathedral and Grace Cathedral (San Francisco), and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles (Los Angeles).

Emma Lou Diemer lives in Santa Barbara, California. We wish her a very happy 89th birthday! (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