December 2014 TAO Chapter News–Northeast Region

Boston, MA

The Rev. Carl Daw (chaplain), Robert Barney (sub-dean), Peter Krasinski (dean), and Mark Dwyer (organist and choirmaster) at Boston service (photo: Peter Krasinski)

The Rev. Carl Daw (chaplain), Robert Barney (sub-dean), Peter Krasinski (dean), and Mark Dwyer (organist and choirmaster) at Boston service (photo: Peter Krasinski)

September 7, the chapter held its opening service and installation of officers at the Church of the Advent. The Rev. Carl Daw (chaplain) led participants in “Deliverance: Exodus to Revelation,” a service of readings and hymns with Mark Dwyer (organist and choirmaster) accompanying. At the conclusion of the service, those in attendance enjoyed gathering in the church hall for friendship,reminiscences about the wonderful 2014 AGO National Convention, and a meal.

—Claire DeCusati

Boston chapter website

Merrimack Valley, MA

Merrimack Valley new officers Alain Bojarsky (dean), Jodi Templer, Robert Wech, Abbey Siegfried (sub-dean), Craig Seaman, Norma Reich, Shirley MacKenzie, Pat Romeo, and Bob Reich

Merrimack Valley new officers Alain Bojarsky (dean), Jodi Templer, Robert Wech, Abbey Siegfried (sub-dean), Craig Seaman, Norma Reich, Shirley MacKenzie, Pat
Romeo, and Bob Reich

Sept. 9, the chapter held its installation of new officers at Union Congregational Church in North Reading. The Rev. Dr. Richard Hughes officiated, andFrederick Mac Arthur accompanied the hymns on the organ. The installation was followed by a dinner and reception, featuring Rev. Hughes’s popular lobster bisque. Proceeds from the dinner will go to the chapter’s Scholarship Fund.

—Jodi Templer

Merrimack chapter website

Springfield, MA

Springfield members at Leadership Conference (photo: Mary Jeanne Tash)

Springfield members at Leadership Conference (photo: Mary Jeanne Tash)

Sept. 20, the chapter’s Leadership Conference took place at Christ Church Cathedral. Board members and key past leaders met with Cheryl Duerr (regional councillor) to plan a vision for the chapter. That vision includes (1) an educational component for youth (POE), adults (PPP), and Organ Academy; (2) outreach and “in-reach” for past and inactive members; and (3) creation of an updated image and brand for the chapter, using social media and other technologies. Conference attendees ranged in age from recent college graduates to members who have been active for 50 years, reflecting the general membership very well, according to Lad Pfeifer (incoming dean).

—Mary Jeanne Tash

Springfield chapter website

New Hampshire

J.S. Bach Members’ Recital participants Michael Joseph, Richard Gress, Eric Bermani, Roric Cunningham, and George Bozeman

J.S. Bach Members’ Recital participants Michael Joseph, Richard Gress, Eric Bermani, Roric Cunningham, and George Bozeman

Jan. 12, the chapter presented a Festival of Lessons and Carols for Epiphany at First United Methodist Church. Host music director Kevin G. Lindsay, the Rev. Jeffery Hunt, and the church choir welcomed guest organists Eric Bermani, George Bozeman, the Rev. Michael Bradley, Richard Gress, Robert Lefebvre, and David Wold in a seasonal service of organ music, hymns, readings, and commentary. The program included music by Duruflé, Ireland, Hampton, Chilcott, Pachelbel, and J.S. Bach.

• March 30, a members’ recital titled “Music of Johann Sebastian Bach and His Family” was held at First Baptist Church in Nashua. Performers on the church’s Hutchings-Votey organ included Bermani, Bozeman, Ror ic Cunningham, FBS music director Michael Joseph, and Gress. Representative composers of the Bach family heard in the program included Heinrich, Johann Bernhardt, Johann Michael, Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel, Johann Christoph Friedrich, Johann Christian, and, of course, Johann Sebastian! A reception was held in the church hall at the conclusion.

• June 1, the chapter’s annual meeting began at the historic Amherst Congregational Church with a presentation and open console on the 1871 Johnson organ. Many thanks to host music director Michael Havey and George Bozeman for planning and performing at the event. The afternoon continued at the home of Lois and Philip Becker with a social hour and dinner, followed by the annual business meeting.

—Nicholas Girgus

New Hampshire chapter website

Binghamton, NY

Jean Herman Henssler reporting to Binghamton members on her summer organ tour in France

Jean Herman Henssler reporting to Binghamton members on her summer organ tour in France

September, 19 the chapter held its annual potluck kickoff dinner at Holy Nativity Church in Endicott. The 30 attendees enjoyed eating excellent food and catching up with fellow members after the summer hiatus. Richard Sheasley and Johanna Masters represented the chapter at the 2014 AGO National Convention and gave a presentation of their experiences in Boston. Aside from reviews of their favorite performances, they were very complimentary of the way the convention was planned by AGO Headquarters and, in particular, were pleased with having separate guidebooks for each day of the convention, rather than one large book as supplied in previous conventions. Jean Herman Henssler, who in May participated in an organ tour of southern France (sponsored by the University of Kansas and headed by organ professor Michael Bauer), gave a presentation. Her multimedia retrospective of the trip included a slide show of all the churches and organs the group visited, as well as videos of her playing the Gigout Toccata on the Cavaillé-Coll organ at Saint-Sernin in Toulouse, and Daniel Roth playing a postlude improvisation following a festive Confirmation Mass service at Saint-Sulpice in Paris. On a display table, Henssler provided maps, a description of each of the instruments played, and an impressive coffee-table book assembled and published by one of the members of the tour group. In addition, she related some of the perils of the trip—such as climbing narrow, unlit, and winding stairways and traversing elevated, exposed catwalks to get to some of the consoles; having only an hour and a half at a console with more than 20 organists wanting to play it; keeping late night hours in the church, with an early bus to the next venue in the morning; and being locked in the churches for hours, with no bathrooms available.

• Sept.28, California organist Gene Roberson played a benefit recital at the Forum. For many years, Searle Wright entertained Binghamton audiences with performances at the 1926 Robert-Morton (III/19) theater organ located at the Forum. The organ was donated to the Forum and was rebuilt by George Melnyk in 1976. It is under the care of the Binghamton Theatre Organ Society (BTOS), headed by founder/executive director and AGO member Paul Stapel. BTOS has presented organ recitals at the Forum for several years—the latest of which featured Roberson. He performed a variety of his arrangements of popular songs and show tunes, and included two classical works: Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto and Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Also, he accompanied The Music Box, a 1932 Laurel and Hardy silent film. For part of the performance, he was joined by the local Johnson City High School’s award-winning choral group The Sophisticats, directed by Jennifer Chudacik. The group, comprised of 38 juried members, has won five first-place awards in national choral competitions.

—John Holt

Binghamton chapter website

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