December 2016 TAO Chapter News

Northeast Region

New London County, CT June 11, members and guests of the chapter enjoyed food and fellowship at the lovely waterside home of Shari Lucas, in spite of heavy rain. Officers were elected, followed by an inspiring performance by our host’s Dixieland Band.

—Elizabeth Limkemann

Waterbury, CT September 9, the chapter organized a dinner at a Middletown restaurant, followed by the annual “Bach to School” organ concert at Memorial Chapel on the campus of Wesleyan University. In his program on the Holtkamp organ, university organist and professor Ronald Ebrecht played several pieces by Maurice Duruflé, noting that Duruflé died 30 years ago. Ebrecht, who has studied and written extensively about the composer, provided illuminating comments about the music.

—William Degan

Merrimack Valley, MA September 11
, the chapter held its installation of officers at Union Congregational Church in North Reading. Abbey Siegfried (dean) introduced the newly elected officers, and the Rev. Richard Hughes (chaplain) led the ceremony. Former dean Maggie Marshall played the prelude and postlude. After the ceremony, the attendees enjoyed a dinner of delicious lobster bisque generously prepared by Rev. Hughes, along with salads and desserts donated by chapter members.

—Jodi Templer

Springfield, MA September 18, the chapter held its installation of officers at the family home of Lad Pfeifer, past dean. A trio of piano, flute, and cello entertained members during refreshments.

—Mary Jeanne Tash

Binghamton, NY Chapter members, as well as the rest of the organ world, were stunned at the news that Jonathan Biggers had passed away on Sept. 27 at the young age of 56. He died in his sleep of natural causes. Dr. Biggers, Edwin A. Link professor of organ and harpsichord, had been at Binghamton University for 24 years. As a renowned teacher and internationally acclaimed recitalist, he will be greatly missed in our community.

• Sept. 16, several members attended the dedication recital of the new Juget-Sinclair 21-stop tracker-action organ (Opus 45) at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Ithaca, featuring recitalist Michel Bouvard. They also attended his masterclass the next day on French Romantic music performance, as well as a masterclass on improvisation by William Porter. The organ was built in the French Romantic style of Cavaillé-Coll, and is specifically based on the 1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ at Saint-Pierre de Charenton, France. The organ, tuned in equal temperament at A440, has all mechanical key and stop action, with ten combination pedals to control registration changes and to activate the Récit tremolo.

• Sept. 23, the chapter held its annual kick-off dinner at Holy Nativity Lutheran Church. Polly and Bruce Wendling hosted the event, and presented a slideshow review of all the chapter’s events during the last year. Richard Sheasley entertained the group with his travelogue regarding his train trip to the Houston National Convention.

—John Holt

Buffalo, NY September 13, Joanne Jasinski-Siedler presented a seminar on accessible organ music at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Kenmore for the members of the chapter. She played excerpts from most of the works and collections included in the extensive bibliography she provided, and gave ample time for sharing ideas among those attending the session.

• Sept. 25, the chapter co-sponsored a recital by Scott Hyslop with the Church Musicians’ Guild at the Buffalo Religious Arts Center, formerly St. Francis Xavier Church. When the parish closed in 2007, Mary Holland acquired the building as a repository/ museum for church furnishings from parishes of many religious communities closing in the area. The instrument Dr. Hyslop played was Herman Schlicker’s Opus 2, built in 1932 from the core of an 1898 organ by Garret House that had been moved into St. Francis Xavier in 1911 by the Viner Organ Company. In 2003, some repair work was done and a nave console added by Heritage Pipe Organs. Hyslop’s recital, showcasing the variety of colors available on the instrument, was presented to help raise funds for its repair and maintenance.

—Caryn Lawler

Westchester County, NY The opening meeting was held Sept. 18 at Bedford Presbyterian Church (John Lettieri, host). Outgoing dean John King was honored for his excellent service and presented with a dean’s pin by new dean Terence Flanagan. “Rising Stars” Ryan Kennedy and Alexander Pattavina played a delightful concert featuring music of Bach and Boëllmann on the church’s Pasi Opus 13 (II/31). Both performers are students of Paul Jacobs at the Juilliard School, and are currently organ scholars in two Westchester churches—Ryan at Hitchcock Presbyterian, Scarsdale, and Alex at Christ Church, Bronxville. After a social hour, a delicious dinner, prepared by board member Frank Miller, was served.

—Joyce Gardner

Rhode Island April 11, continuing the 2016 program year, Mark Steinbach, Brown University organist, presented a lecture-recital on the life and works of his teacher, Anton Heiller, at Sayles Hall on the Brown campus. The lecture on Heiller’s life and career as international recitalist, pedagogue, composer, and recording artist included historical documents, photographs, newspaper articles, and concert programs from Steinbach’s personal collection. The recital featured large- and small-scale works including the early Passacaglia in C of 1942 to the late Freu dich sehr, O meine Seele: Vorspiel, Choral, Nachspiel of 1977/78. Scores and related documents were on display, focusing members’ attention on the sound-world of the Second Viennese School that informed much of Heiller’s own musical language.

June 5, the program year concluded with the annual members’ recital, annual meeting, and dinner at Central Congregational Church, Providence, hosted by Patrick Aiken. The evening began with a recital featuring John Brooks (dean), Patrick Aiken, and “next generation” member Michael Ryan of East Greenwich (current student of Matthew Lewis at Westminster Choir College) performing works of Langlais, Bach, David German, Stanford, Parry, Near, Patrick Gowers, Messiaen, and Alain. New and returning officers for 2016–17 are John Brooks (dean), Stephen Kirby (sub-dean) David Cranmer (secretary), Doris Alberg (treasurer), Stephen Martorella (publicity), Althea Allard (newsletter editor), N. Peter LaMoria (historian/ archivist), Brian Larkin (placement), and Christopher Souza (membership). Auditors are Denise Petrucci and Jackie Gourd, and the executive committee includes Gail Himrod and Philip Martorella (2017), Alan Cotnoir and Cody Mean (2018), and Gina Vecchio and Larry Wilson (2019).

—John Brooks

Vermont June 12, the Artist of the Year 2016 Recital was presented by Susan Summerfield in the Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel of St. Michael’s College in Colchester. Dr. Summerfield, professor of music at St. Michael’s, presented works by J.S. Bach, Amy Beach, Lou Harrison, Fernand Halphen, Milhaud, Richard Stohr, and C.P.E. Bach on the Casavant organ, assisted by Fran Pepperman Taylor, violin. Following the recital, the annual meeting of the chapter was held and the following persons were installed as officers and board members: Vaughn Watson (dean), Marilyn Polson (sub-dean and secretary), Lynette Combs (treasurer), Esther Nui (registrar), Esther Nui and Adam Schneider (executive committee members).

—Vaughn Watson

Mid-Atlantic Region

Baltimore, MD September 18, the chapter opened its new season with a social event at the home of member Kathie Metz. After a time of fellowship and refreshment, John Walker, former national AGO president, officiated at the installation of officers. The new leadership includes Daniel Aune (dean), James Houston (sub-dean), Joy Bauer (secretary), Deborah Woods (treasurer), and Sean O’Connor (registrar). Serving as members of the board are Ken Brown, Kathie Metz, David Storey, Wayne Wold, Stephen Harouff, Wm. Glenn Osborne, and Marvin Mills.

—Kitty Allen

Central Maryland September 19, the chapter met for its annual musician/clergy potluck. The meeting was held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Frederick. Many members brought their clergy and/or music directors. The evening’s speaker was Eileen Guenther, professor of church music at Wesley Theological Seminary, and past president of AGO. Eileen spoke to the members and guests on ten points for building positive musician/clergy relationships. These strategies were practical and could easily be put into place in our church situations. The chapter thoroughly enjoyed having Dr. Guenther with us again for fellowship and inspiring insight.

—Peggy Brengle

Potomac, MD September 25, the chapter presented a combined Tri-Chapter Installation Service for the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Potomac chapters. Christopher Betts, director of music of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Bethesda, Md., our host church, played a recital first. Following this, Eileen Guenther, past president of AGO, installed the officers of the three chapters. C.B. “Cricket” Park, rector, welcomed us and led us in the benediction following the event, which concluded with a reception.

—Gerald Piercey

Central New Jersey September 25, the chapter held its kick-off dinner for the 2016–17 season at Big Fish Bistro in Princeton. We enjoyed an excellent meal and time of fellowship. Dean Eric Plutz made a special presentation to honor long-time member and former dean June Tipton.

—Nicholas Steltzer

Southwest New Jersey September 17, the chapter held its fall kick-off workshop at First Presbyterian Church, Pitman, Marilyn Rabbai, host. Member Helen Carrell led a session on “Rules for Organ Registration,” including how to adapt piano scores for choral accompaniment. A workshop and masterclass on choral conducting was led by Christopher Thomas, director of choral activities at Rowan University, using volunteers from local church choirs as a demonstration group. Members were then invited to conduct, with suggestions and comments by Dr. Thomas. Lunch followed the program.

—Joyce Ann Routon

Erie, PA May 20, the chapter met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Unks for an evening of theater organ music presented by David Peckham. Mr. Peckham studied at the Eastman School of Music and works at his family’s business, Peckham and Son Pipe Organ Service. He has given recitals throughout the US, Australia, and New Zealand, and has recorded four CDs. He is organist at First United Methodist Church, Horseheads, N.Y., and is resident organist at Clemens Center in Elmira. The organ, built in the home of Dennis Unks, retired CEO of OSI, is a hybrid of Wurlitzer parts with a console from a 1924 Washington, D.C., installation. It comprises 21 ranks. Mr. Peckham performed a variety of popular repertoire including music of Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers, and Sigmund Romberg. The evening also included a performance by retired pastor of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Monsignor William Biebel. Biebel was a former dean of the AGO and a frequent recitalist with the ATOS. The program concluded with a reception in the Unks’ home.

—Kathrine Swanson

Harrisburg, PA August 28
, the annual Shenk Scholarship Student-Teacher Recital was held at Trinity Lutheran Church, Camp Hill, Timothy Koch, host organist/director. The Shenk Scholarship Fund was established in 2001 by a generous gift from chapter member Melvin Shenk in memory of his mother, to promote and encourage the study of organ by interested students in central Pennsylvania. Each summer, selected students receive ten half-hour lessons from chapter members. This fund has given 141 awards over the past 15 years. Numerous past scholarship recipients have continued their study and now serve churches, study music in college, and continue as organists. Freewill offerings at these recitals are added to the scholarship fund. Chapter member teachers and their students who played in this recital were Shelly Moorman-Stahlman, David Schulz, Grady Daub, Christian Gingrich, Julia Coler, Peter Gingrich, Brian Rotz, Franklin Snyder, Jonathan Parsons, Richard Frey, Alyssa Myers, Shawn Gingrich, Elma Hoffman, Max Ludwig, Victor Fields, Abigail Wood, and Joseph Patterson. A reception was held following the recital, hosted by Phyllis Conrad (hospitality chair) and her committee.

—Mary Jane Nelson

Pennsylvania Northeast September 16
, the chapter held its fall gathering at St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church, Wilkes-Barre. The evening began with sung Vespers in the upper church led by the Rev. Joseph D. Verespy, pastor. Edward Loch served as lector and Raphael Micca (dean) served as cantor. Pastor Jim Pall offered a beautiful homily on the healing power of music, and chapter members Michael Sowa and Mark Laubach performed voluntaries on the church’s historic Möller organ that was originally installed in St. Casimir’s Church, Pittston, and relocated to St. Nicholas in 2014. The evening concluded with a pasta dinner and the installation of chapter officers.

—Raphael Micca

Pittsburgh, PA September 26, the members gathered at Oakmont Presbyterian Church (host Michael Frank). The program, “A Celebration of Hymnody” (Sarah Wannamaker, coordinator), was presented by members following dinner and a brief business meeting. A small choir was organized that sang a few sections of arrangements and alternate harmonizations that were not given to the audience. The types, styles, and presentations of the hymns were varied: one text used two tunes very effectively; there were many introductions, interludes, and alternate harmonizations, all different and appropriate to the hymns; different voices sang different stanzas of the hymns, some with trumpet, and all with effective use of the organ. The membership enjoyed singing the hymns! Performers included Harry Campbell, Benjamin Cornelius-Bates, Ken Danchik, Ellen Dodge, Ethan LaPlaca, Matthew Lobe, Joyce Moon Strobel, Jacob Temple, Justin Wallace, and Shawn Wilson, trumpet.

—Barbara McKelway


Southeastern Pennsylvania September 16
, members enjoyed a covered dish supper followed by the installation of new officers and a hymn sharing session at which members reacquainted one another with some time-honored hymns, and introduced some less familiar ones.

—Nancy Brown

Charlottesville/Albemarle, VA September 20
, the annual opening picnic/meeting took place at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Greenwood. Immediate past-dean Larry Smith hosted, and 16 members were in attendance. Barbara Moore (sub-dean) led the program titled “State of Our Guild Chapter.” After a delicious picnic outside, we moved to the sanctuary for small group discussions on the state of organists today and how we will move into the future. Many ideas were offered and have now been shared with all chapter members via email. Our members are challenged with “homework” and will share final thoughts for the year at the end-of-year meeting next May.

—Alice Layman

Richmond, VA September 13, “Singing Creation from a 21st-century Perspective: Theology through the People’s Song,” was the opening program of the chapter’s program year. The gathering, hosted by Chamberlayne Baptist Church, featured a hymn festival led by C. Michael Hawn from Southern Methodist University, accompanied by Crystal Jonkman, chapter member and director of liturgical music and organist at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Bon Air. The 2016–17 officers were installed by Hawn as a part of the service, and readings were presented by his former students who now reside in Richmond.

—John DeMajo

Monongahela, WV August 27, the members and friends of the chapter gathered in the music room of Pamela and Art Dodds in Montrose to present “One, Two, Three, or More,” a salon-style performance of music for organ solo and duet, as well as music for organ and piano, harpsichord, clarinet, and bells. Approximately 30 appreciative guests heard diverse performances by Marguerite Bostonia (secretary/treasurer), Brett Miller (dean), Nancy Bird, Barbara Farmer, Pamela Dodds, James Riggs, and Cloud Ssu-yun Wang.

—Brett Miller

Southeast Region

Sarasota-Manatee, FL September 19
, chapter members and guests gathered at Grace Baptist Church, Sarasota, for an evening program of “Pipes and Bites.” Following an interval to socialize and peruse donated organ music, everyone gathered in the sanctuary to hear a lively presentation of theater music played on the historic Wurlitzer pipe organ by the talented performer Bill Vlasak. Bill interspersed his stylish playing with anecdotes about the origin of the pieces and their composers. Afterward, the president of the Manasota Theatre Organ Society, John Fischer, and society member Norm Arnold, answered questions from the audience and shared information on the background and reconstruction of the Wurlitzer at Grace Church. Ranks were added to the original theater organ in order to make it suitable for use as a church organ, and it is used in weekly services.

—Nancy Siebecker

Atlanta, GA May 10, the chapter presented a workshop by clinician David Enlow at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Atlanta.

• May 13, the chapter presented Mr. Enlow in recital at the same venue, hosted by William Jefferson Bush, director of music and liturgy. Mr. Enlow is organist and choirmaster at Church of the Resurrection in NYC. He is a member of the organ faculty at the Juilliard School, dean of the NYC chapter, organist of the Clarion Orchestra, and repetiteur for the Clarion Choir. Mr. Enlow performed works by Dvorˇák, Vierne, Bach, Debussy, and Franck on the III/49 A. E. Schlueter.

—Don Land

Augusta, GA The chapter held its September event as series of multiple programs over several days. Paul Ayres, a freelance musician working in and around London, England, was in the area for workshops and concerts, and provided several events for the chapter. On Tuesday morning, Sept. 27, he presented a choral clinic at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Aiken, S.C. (Kathleen Cartledge, host). That afternoon he presented two organ workshops at St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church also in Aiken (Don Dupee, host). The first was for the students of Mead Hall Episcopal School and the second was for the members of the Augusta chapter and other community organists. On Wednesday, Sept. 28, he presented a choral clinic at Augusta University in the morning, and an organ clinic at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, also in Augusta (Richard Cook and Peyson Moss, hosts), for chapter members and community organists in the afternoon. Previous to these workshops, on Sept. 26, Mr. Ayres conducted the Savannah River Winds joined by a chorus made up of community choral groups and church choirs (several of our members were in this chorus) in the premiere performance of an original composition he had written for the Savannah River Winds, “O Laud the Lord.” The concert, choral clinics, and organ workshops, were made possible by a grant from the Cleon W. Mauldin Foundation Trust.

—David Salter

Columbus, GA September 12, the chapter gathered at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts where 15 members enjoyed conversation over dinner and welcomed a new member. They then moved to Legacy Hall where Joseph Golden discussed and demonstrated many helpful tips for effective hymn playing. Mr. Golden’s talk was based on his well-received presentation at the 2016 national convention, “The Organ as Collaborative Instrument.”

—Barbara Acker-Mills

Savannah, GA September 12, the chapter held its opening meeting of the 2016–17 year at Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church (Monica Harper, host). Following dinner, there was a short business meeting, including a presentation by Ken Double (president of the NTOS) on the upcoming restoration of the Wurlitzer organ in Savannah’s historic Lucas Theatre. After the meeting, members adjourned to the sanctuary for a short service of evening prayer, at which new chapter officers were installed. The voluntary offered by Monica Harper on the Noack organ was the Prelude and Fugue in G Minor by Marcel Dupré.

—Justin Addington

East Carolina September 22, the chapter met at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Wilson, for the inauguration of officers. Newly installed officers are: Sharon Veitch (dean), Sylvia Wall (sub-dean), Douglas Blackwood (secretary), Lawrence Goering (treasurer), Phil Valera (newsletter editor), Andrew Scanlon (East Carolina University faculty advisor), Jordan Prescott (student representative), and Sheila Link (member-at-large). The service was officiated by the Reverend Matt Johnson, chaplain. Katherine Johnson, the Cathee Jean Huber Fellow in Church Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, presented Sonata IV, Op. 65, by Mendelssohn, and Prelude in G, BWV 541, by Bach, as the opening and closing voluntaries. The service was preceded by a social hour and dinner. The evening was hosted by Dexter Ruffin, organist at St. Timothy’s.

—Sylvia Wall

Fayetteville-Sandhills Area, NC August 30, a delicious catered meal preceded an officer installation service, officiated by Donna Fowler-Marchant of First Presbyterian Church and John Jacobs of Village Chapel, Pinehurst, in the chapel of First Presbyterian Church, Fayetteville. 2016–17 officers include Marcia Heirman Mervin (dean), Homer Ferguson, III, (sub-dean), Donna Davenport (treasurer), Elizabeth Jordan (secretary), and Stephen Gourley, (webmaster/newsletter editor). Friends of the chapter joined the officers for the meal.

—Marcia Heirman Mervin

Grand Strand, SC August 26, the chapter held its opening convocation at Trinity United Methodist Church in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. The evening’s service was highlighted with pre-service music by Becky Nissen, harpist. Member organist Karen Kearney, and hosts Karen Meeker and Albert Evans also participated. In addition, a variety of musical selections were presented by Trinity’s orchestra, choir, and trumpet soloist, as well as speeches on the importance of music in worship. The church hosted a reception following this event.

—Karen Meeker

Greater Columbia, SC September 16
, the opening program of the year was a progressive dinner with performances by three new organists at downtown churches in Columbia. The evening began at First Presbyterian Church with appetizers provided by chapter members. The group headed to the sanctuary where Thomas Russell, the new organist and assistant director of music, performed works by Franck and David German on the recently renovated Casavant that boasts a brand-new console. The evening continued with a catered meal provided by the chef at First Presbyterian. At St. Peter’s Catholic Church, the evening continued with Brent Te Velde, associate organist and choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, who performed works by Howells and Mendelssohn. Andrew Kotylo, the new organist and choirmaster at St. Peter’s, performed works by Derek Bourgeois and Guilmant on the 40-rank Peragallo. Following the performances, the group enjoyed desserts provided by chapter members. The event captured a record attendance for a chapter meeting and set a precedent for the rest of the program year.

—Frances Webb

Nashville, TN West End Synagogue and Rabbi Joshua Barton hosted the chapter in “Nashville Sings the Psalms,” a program of solo and choral psalms. The participants represented First Unitarian Universalist Church, Congregation Sherith Israel, Glendale Baptist Church, Vine Street Christian Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Murfreesboro), West End Synagogue, Church of the Assumption (R.C.), and The Temple (Congregation Ohabai Sholom).

—Rhonda Swanson

Northeast Tennessee/Southwest Virginia June
, the 2014–16 outgoing executive board met jointly with the newly installed 2016–18 board for a restaurant lunch, enjoying fellowship along with combined work to begin the setup of parameters for managing the newly established Randy Farley Memorial Scholarship Fund for Young Organists. The new board is comprised of Larry Dodd (dean), Cheryl Patterson (sub-dean), Edwin Logan (treasurer), Joan Keith (secretary), and Robert Greene, Jr. (member-at-large).

—Joan Keith

Great Lakes Region

Fort Wayne, IN September 25
, the chapter held a Welcome Back Dinner at Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano in Fort Wayne. Martin Gigler (dean) welcomed everyone to the gathering and introduced Judy Rice (chaplain) who presided over the ceremony of the installation of the chapter officers. During dessert Gigler announced the program for the year that included a PowerPoint presentation with photographs of all the events. Entertainment was offered by the Luke Lenhart Band. The band, based in Michigan, featured many Beatles songs performed in bluegrass style.

—Martin Gigler

Southern Indiana September 12, the chapter met for a Chadala “Emerging” Artist concert at St. John Presbyterian Church in New Albany. Stephen Kucera, a senior at Kansas State University, was the featured organist. Stephen has participated in three POEs, and he placed second in the 2013 Region VI RCYO. The recital honored the memory of R. Jane Hagmann, piano teacher, organist, and pianist for almost 60 years at First Baptist Church in New Albany. David K. Lamb, chapter dean and AGO councillor for membership, coordinated the program. A catered fellowship dinner preceded the concert.

—Judith E. Miller

Greater Lansing, MI September 19
, the 2016–17 opening program of the chapter was held at the historic downtown venue of Central United Methodist Church, Caryn Welter, director of music. An outstanding catered dinner was followed by a lecture by local rheumatologist Dr. Carol Beals on “Ten De-stressors for the Busy Professional.” The evening concluded with the installation of officers: Barbara Hiranpradist (dean), Conrad Donakowski (sub-dean), Brian Fowler (secretary), Ed Corey (treasurer), and board members Meredith Hines, Susanne Hoekzema, and John Horak.

—Barbara Hiranpradist

Cincinnati, OH September 26, the chapter held its fall opener at Trinity Episcopal Church in Covington, KY, just across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati. Dean Donna Wernz led the meeting, which featured Regional Director Karl Bruhn as special guest. After installing the chapter officers and executive committee members, Bruhn reported on activities of the Great Lakes Region and the national organization. He noted that the next national convention would be held in Kansas City, Mo., in June 2018, and that the next regional convention would take place July 2–5, 2017, in Youngstown, Ohio. After complimenting the Cincinnati chapter on its highly successful POEA (and the Lexington chapter on its equally successful POE), held this past summer, he discussed AGO plans for POEs and POEAs. He stressed the importance of these and other youth-oriented programs for the future of organ music inside and outside of the ecclesiastical setting. This led to a brief explanation of why AGO membership is shrinking and what the national office is doing to help bring more members into the organization. One important idea is the “January Jubilee” that provides support and instruction for beginning organists on both pipe and digital instruments. Discussion ensued on the Federal Trade Commission’s new restrictions on traditional AGO practices, as presented in the October 2016 TAO. He explained the national office’s position and encouraged members to inform themselves about what the new restrictions will mean. Chapter business was then concluded with a presentation of the year’s planned events by Mark Behnken (sub-dean) and plans for the scholarship program, under the leadership of Tom Graler. A social hour completed the evening’s activities.

—Robert Benson

Cleveland, OH September 18, the chapter met at Lakewood Congregational Church for the season’s opening gathering. Adam Zagotti, dean of the Youngstown chapter and 2017 regional convention coordinator, gave an overview of the Great Lakes Regional Convention before members enjoyed a potluck dinner, hosted by Don Shultzaberger and Max Bunker.

—Richard Nelson

Youngstown, OH September 19, the season began with a program titled “Remembering Jean Langlais” at St. Columba Cathedral. The evening began with a film on the life of Langlais, narrated by Anne Labounsky, that was followed by a recital of various organ works of Langlais played by members of the chapter. Performers included Sean Baran, Anita Gorman, Michael Dragic, Maria Koch, Therese Rose, and Craig Ziobert, students of Dan Laginya, organist-director of music at St. Columba and organ instructor at Youngstown State University Dana School of Music.

—Gary P. Richards

North Central Region

Sioux Trails, MN September 24
, Stephen Hamilton, minister of music emeritus at Church of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal) in NYC, presented a “Church Music Repertoire” class for the chapter that concentrated on recently published organ music from a variety of publishers. Grace Lutheran Church and its III/41 Hendrickson provided a wonderful workshop with attendees experiencing an intimate loft setting. Special thanks to Robyn Menk, hosting music director, and Chad Winterfeldt, dean, for their work in organizing the
program.

—Nathan Knutson

Central Missouri September 11, David Ball, winner of the 2016 North Central RYCO, presented a recital at First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the installation of the Middlebush Organ (IV/50 Schantz Opus 731/1335). He played a varied program including works by Bach, Hindemith, Duruflé, Barber, Brahms, Boulanger, Daquin, Mozart, and a new composition, Prelude in D Major, by Daniel Ficarri. Before the program, Michael Bancroft, host organist, gave an interesting history of the Middlebush Organ, followed by a Litany of Rededication led by Pastor Marvin Lindsay. Following a reception honoring Mr. Ball, the chapter adjourned to the dining room for a short business meeting and dinner at which the new officers for 2016–17 were announced: Mary Kabiri (dean), JC Hellemeyer (sub-dean), Schuyler Wheeler (treasurer), and Carol Virkler (secretary). Mary Kabiri introduced several new members as well as special guest, William Wade, district convener. JC Hellemeyer listed upcoming plans and programs for the year.

—Tom Perkins

Greater Kansas City, MO August 28
, the Annual French Organ Music Festival was presented and co-sponsored by the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Mo. (Mario Pearson, music director) and the Greater Kansas City chapter. Performers included organists Thomas Andrews (organist for the Saint Lawrence Center at the University of Kansas and DMA student of Michael Bauer), Dina Pannabecker Evans (co-director of Music for Country Club Christian Church in Kansas City, Mo.), Nicholas Good (CAGO, organist for Christ Church Anglican in Overland Park, Kans., and a doctoral student of James Higdon at the University of Kansas), Jacob Hofeling (organist for Barry Christian Church in Kansas City, Mo., and graduate student of James Higdon), Jan Kraybill (FAGO, principal organist for the Dome and Spire Organ Foundation of Independence, Mo.; also organ conservator at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Mo.), and Claudette Schiratti (AAGO, past dean). Conductor Thomas Vozzella (parish musician-organist for Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church of Kansas City, Mo.) directed the Chancel Singers of Saint Andrew’s with an orchestral ensemble.

—Norm Kinnaugh

St. Joseph, MO September 25
, the chapter, along with Christ Episcopal Church, co-sponsored a recital by Richard Elliott, principal organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, celebrating the 120th anniversary of the installation of the church’s 1867 William A. Johnson organ, Opus 240, originally installed in the South Congregational Church of New Britain, Conn.

—David Lewis

St. Louis, MO September 12, following an executive committee meeting, chapter members shared a meal served by “As You Like It” catering. Registrar Brent Johnson provided attendance prizes of organ CDs and an organ book. Mark Scholtz (dean) welcomed those in attendance and promoted future events. The members’ recital began with event host and director of worship at Salem United Methodist Church, Mary Hitchcock-Reinhart, playing the Buxtehude Praeludium in E Major. The Möller organ was a versatile vehicle for the varied repertoire of the evening. Mary Beth Wittry played Bach’s Organ Sonata No. 4 in E Minor; Stephen Jones played four selections ranging from a Charles Wesley Pastorale to Edward Broughton’s How Majestic Is Your Name. Scott Roberts played his own compositions based on the hymn tunes In Babilone, Saint Thomas, and Grosser Gott. The recital closed with the Allegro maestoso from Mendelssohn’s Sonata No. 4, played by Henry Glass, who has been a chapter member for 60 years.

–Dawn Riske

Southwest Region

Northwest Arkansas September 9, the chapter held its new officer installation ceremony and dinner meeting in Fayetteville at the home of host Charles Rigsby. Programs for the upcoming year were announced, chapter business was conducted, and a general discussion about membership needs and desires was begun. The meeting adjourned to allow members to attend a concert given by departing member Jonathan Story and his wife Kara. Jonathan leaves to take a position in Tyler, Tex., after many years serving the musical community in northwest Arkansas.

—Jeannie Lee

Denver Rocky Mountain September 12, the chapter held its annual scholarship winner’s recital at First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Denver. Scholarships for six free organ lessons, each taught by local AGO members, are provided for up to eight promising piano students in the area. Students performed a wide range of selections from Bach to contemporary composers Janet Correll and Robin Dinda on the 1960 Lawrence Phelps Casavant (III/69). Opening and closing remarks were offered by David Vogels (dean), a regular columnist for TAO, and scholarship coordinator Christine Martson.

—Samuel Chizmar

Albuquerque September 11, members ushered in the 70th anniversary year of the chapter as they gathered at the Cathedral of St. John, Maxine Thevenot, canon precentor and director of cathedral music (host). The hospitality committee (Gloria Chavez-Robinson, Loretta Robinson, and Steve Woodbury) set up refreshments including a Happy 70th Anniversary cake, on which a miniature organ sat. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to visit with each other and savor the refreshments prior to the installation of the new executive committee. Following the installation, members were treated to a fabulous concert in the nave presented by Richard Gowers, organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge University, UK. The concert was part of the Friends of Cathedral Music Concert Series, and was co-sponsored by the chapter. Mr. Gowers performed on the Cathedral’s III/65 Reuter pipe organ. His program included Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Wagner, transcribed by Lemare; Scherzo, Op. 2, Duruflé; Symphonie Gothique, Op. 70, Andante sostenuto by Widor; Prelude and Fugue in G Major, BWV 541, Bach; and Sonata on the 94th Psalm, Reubke. After the concert the audience had the opportunity to greet the artist.

—Sanelma Sutton

Tulsa, OK September 8, the chapter met at the home of Father Jack Powers for dinner and a business meeting. AGO President Michael Bedford installed the new chapter officers, including Lyndon Meyer (dean) and Joseph Arndt (sub-dean).

• Sept. 18, the chapter co-sponsored a recital by Ken Cowan with First Presbyterian Church, presented in memory of Don Whited. Mr. Cowan played an exciting concert on the IV/114 Austin, recently renovated by Foley-Baker.

—Karen Rich

Dallas, TX September 19, the chapter had an auspicious beginning of its new program year with dinner and a business meeting followed by a stellar program titled “The Art of Transcriptions” at Spring Valley United Methodist Church in Richardson, utilizing its III/34 Schoenstein. Featured participants were Dallas music critic, organist, and chapter member Scott Cantrell, who provided an introductory overview of the historical development of the transcription of secular music paralleling the inclusion of organs in public buildings through the ages. Well-known concert organists and chapter members Bradley Welch and Scott Dettra continued with demonstrations of the technical aspects of transcription. Bradley Welch played and discussed the Elgar Enigma Variations and the Larghetto from the Serenade for Strings. Scott Dettra played and discussed the Brahms Requiem and played Edwin H. Lemare’s transcription of Wagner’s Overture from Die Meistersinger. The large, attentive audience was appreciative of the unique and interesting program.

—William Leazer

West Region

Long Beach, CA September 6, the chapter met at the home of Peter Bates, district convener, for its annual potluck and program. The evening included hearing and learning about the new Hauptwerk technology presented by Charles Raasch, dean of the Orange County chapter, assisted by Peter Bates at the keyboard. Danny Pravder, a new member joined Peter for two piano/organ duets by Joe Utterback. Pianist Althea Waites closed the program with music by Chopin.

—David Feit-Pretzer

Orange County, CA May 31, the chapter hosted its annual Study Grant Recipient Recital at Concordia University, Irvine. Two middle school students, Katrina Liao and Patricia Wang, and three high school students, Kailani Cotton, Agatha Teague, and Aletheia Teague, played with technical precision and depth of musical expression. Earlier in February, each student auditioned to receive a grant for organ study. The program is funded by donations from chapter members and by the Rudi Inselmann Endowment Fund. Janet Keulen Thorson, study grant chair, was instrumental in guiding the program from initial application to audition, arranging rehearsal times, planning programming, and disbursing grant funds. Judges were Charles Raasch, Lois Holdridge, and Noberto Guinaldo. After the recital and giving of awards, students and friends enjoyed a lovely reception. —Jennifer Puhl

Eastern Idaho July 28, members and friends gathered at the home of Mark Anderson for the annual summer picnic to honor the life and music of the chapter’s founding dean Darwin Wolford, who celebrated his 80th birthday this past October. Many chapter members played works composed by Dr. Wolford at the event.

—Daniel Kerr

Salt Lake City, UT The chapter started its new year by meeting at First United Methodist Church for business and a potluck dinner. The new officers for the chapter were introduced. Elected officers include Becky Ázera (dean), Heidi Alley (sub-dean), Kathy Fisher (secretary), Tyler Anderson (treasurer), and Ryan North (education coordinator). Janet Griffin, Alex Oldroyd, and Matthew Plooster will serve as members-at-large, while the program committee is made up of Janice Clayton, Teresa Clawson, and Tyler Ballou.
Becky welcomed the group and informed them about the exciting calendar of events for the year that will culminate in the 2017 West Region Convention in Salt Lake City. Following the meeting and dinner, members were invited upstairs to see, hear, and play the church’s newly restored pipe organ. Originally installed in 1906 by George Kilgen & Sons, the organ has been lovingly restored and enlarged by M.L. Bigelow & Co. organbuilders of American Fork. The group then moved to the nearby Cathedral of the Madeleine to enjoy the first recital of the 23rd annual Eccles Organ Festival. Juan Paradell Solé, titular organist for the Sistine Pontifical Chapel Choir in Vatican City, as well as organist for all liturgies presided by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica, was the recitalist. The varied and interesting program included works by Franck, Renaud, and Guilmant, as well as Spanish composers Jesus Guridi and José Maria Usandizaga. Mr. Solé also performed the U.S. premiere of Luca Salvador’s Pictures from ‘Pinocchio,’ a suite of seven pictures for organ. The performance was exciting to hear and was very well received by the large audience.

—Becky Ázera

Seattle, WA September 24, the chapter met at Forest Ledge mansion overlooking Puget Sound in Burien, with its three-manual Kilgen theater organ. Organist Nathan Jensen presented and accompanied two short silent films, The Impossible Voyage (1904) and Fiddlesticks (1927). Refreshments and open console followed. The ballroom, added in 1923, boasts a 26-foot vaulted ceiling and three organ chambers to provide each family of voices its own expression pedal. While the pipes, chimes, and other components are still intact, a leaking roof destroyed the windchests years ago. Now the sounds are produced electronically, following the original stop list. We thank current owner John White for restoring the mansion and allowing us to hold our meeting there.

—Michelle Horsley, David Lepse, and David Nichols

Singapore September 17, in a collaboration with the Brethren at Freemason’s Hall, the chapter presented an afternoon concert on the newly restored 1970 Walker organ at Freemason’s Hall, Singapore. Members and guest musicians performed the organ music of Samuel Wesley, Walond, Elgar, Muffat, Haydn, and Vierne, while Joanna Paul sang familiar arias by Bach, Handel, and Mozart. An excerpt from Saint-Saëns’s Sonata for Oboe was played by Joost Flach. The program closed with Mozart’s Epistle Sonata for 2 violins, basso continuo, and organ. The event was well attended by members of the public in this lovely, historic space.

—Yap Wai Hoong

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