December 2014 TAO Chapter News Southwest Region

Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque organ crawl participants with guest recitalist Joyce Jones (upper right, standing)

Albuquerque organ crawl participants with guest recitalist Joyce Jones (upper right, standing)

September 13, the chapter opened the season with an organ crawl. It began downtown at First United Methodist Church, where Dan Cummings (music director) introduced featured guest organist Joyce Jones from Waco, Texas, who provided wonderful insight into the organ and gave a mini-recital for the 25 attendees. The following day, Jones gave a recital, attended by many Guild members. The next stop was at First Presbyterian Church, to hear New Mexico’s largest four-manual M.P. Möller organ played by James Yeager. This instrument was designed in the American Classic style by Ernest White and Goodsell Slocum in 1955 and consists of more than 3,000 pipes! Yeager encouraged members to try their skills on the organ. A New Mexico–style luncheon followed at the church, catered by Heaven Scent Catering. In the afternoon, crawl participants visited Monte Vista Christian Church and heard Jim Ahred (organist and pianist at the church) play the organ there. It had begun as a 14-rank Wicks instrument, with four ranks added in 1972. In 2010, the console was switched to MIDI, with 20 ranks of electronics added in the form of a custom-built module by the Ahlborn company. Pedal expression capabilities were also increased with two 32′ stops added by the electronics. The 38-rank hybrid organ has amazing sound capability and stereo imaging of the electronics, producing a sound that is remarkably compatible with the existing pipes. Next on the crawl was La Mesa Presbyterian Church, where the group was welcomed by Stephen Montoya, who has been church organist there for more than 25 years. He played a partita to demonstrate the capabilities of the organ, then gave participants an opportunity to play the instrument and sample different registrations. This organ is a two-manual pipe organ originally built by Möller in 1982. Much work has been done to this instrument, with final modifications made in 2012 by the Schudi Organ Company of Dallas, Texas, and design completion by Marvin Judy. It is now described as an organ with a “rich and full plenum” and “many colorful registrations available.”

—Gloria Robinson

Albuquerque AGO Chapter Website

Tulsa, OK

Casey Cantwell, recitalist Raul Preit Ramirez and John Simmons at Tulsa event

Casey Cantwell, recitalist Raul Preit Ramirez and John Simmons at Tulsa event

September 28, the chapter and the Douglas A. Nelson Memorial Concert Series, endowed by chapter member John W. Simmons, presented Spanish organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez in recital on the four-manual Möller organ of Trinity Episcopal Church. A large audience enjoyed the demanding program of works of Bach, Bruhns, Franck, and Widor. Liszt études and Mephisto Waltz (arr. Ramírez) and Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre completed the program. The enthusiastic audience demanded three encores. Following the recital, a reception was held in the church parlor.

—Fred Elder

Tulsa AGO Chapter Website

Alamo, TX

Mary Ann Winden, Colin Campbell, dual certification recipient Susie Windisch, Madolyn Douglas Fallis, and Lena Gokelman

Mary Ann Winden, Colin Campbell, dual certification recipient Susie Windisch, Madolyn Douglas Fallis, and Lena Gokelman

September 4, Susie Windisch was presented her dual certification. She earned her Service Playing Certificate from the AGO and her Organ Certification from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. A ceremony was held at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, with Colin Campbell (Texas A&M organist and associate professor) and guests congratulating Windisch. Pictured are Mary Ann Winden, AAGO, ChM (dean and edu- cation chair); Campbell; Windisch, SPC; Madolyn Douglas Fallis, CAGO (former dean and AGO National Councillor); and Lena Gokelman (NPM executive board member and director of music ministries at the University of Incarnate Word).

—Mary J. Hernandez

Alamo AGO Chapter website

 
 

Central Texas

September 9, chapter members gathered at First Lutheran Church, Waco. Dinner was enjoyed by all in the parish hall followed by a business meeting conducted by Dean Joyce Jones. Afterward, attendees moved to the sanctuary for the annual Guild Service. Organists participating were Joyce Jones, Melissa Loudermilk, and Lottie Evans. Harpist Susan Russell and tenor Matthew Hulon presented special music to commemorate 9/11. The Rev. Rebecca Whitaker delivered a sermon most appropriate for church musicians. After a sung benediction, church organist Melissa Loudermilk concluded the service with the postlude.

—Lottie S. Evans

Dallas, TX

Damin Spritzer and Jesse Eschbach (far right) with their University of North Texas organ students (Dallas) (photo: William Leazer)

Damin Spritzer and Jesse Eschbach (far right) with their University of North Texas organ students (Dallas) (photo: William Leazer)

September 29, the chapter had an auspicious beginning for its 2014–15 fiscal year with a full house for a delicious dinner in the parish hall of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, followed by a beautiful Evensong and procession for the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels in the sanctuary. The choir was led by chapter member Scott Dettra, accompanied by Graham Schultz. The service inspired everyone present to go forth and produce great similar spiritual music in their own churches—high standards for a great new year. Members of the chapter include organ students from the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University.

—William Leazer

Dallas AGO Chapter Website

Fort Worth, TX

Fort Worth members at the home of Judy and Emmet Smith (facing camera) (photo: Ed Ackermann)

Fort Worth members at the home of Judy and Emmet Smith (facing camera) (photo: Ed Ackermann)

Sept. 22, the season opened with celebration of the chapter’s 85th anniversary. At Trinity Episcopal Church, a large gathering of members and guests ate barbeque and then convened in the church’s main sanctuary for a demonstration of the tracker organ (built by the English firm J.W. Walker & Sons) and a hymn sing led by David Lindsey, who had received his Service Playing Certification earlier in the year. Chapter member and the church’s organist, Debora Clark, demonstrated the organ. Afterward, everyone relocated to Emmet and Judy Smith’s residence a few blocks away to enjoy an open-console session with the couple’s residential pipe organ. Emmet Smith served a long tenure as organ professor at nearby Texas Christian University. He built his home organ with help from the three local builders and loyal chapter members Dan Garland, Ross King, and Roy Redman. As members tried out the organ, everyone enjoyed the special chocolate anniversary cake prepared by Judy Smith.

—Ed Ackermann

Fort Worth AGO Chapter Website

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