January 2015 TAO Chapter News West Region

Long Beach, CA

Long Beach Halloween party participants

Long Beach Halloween party participants

 

October 7,, Jason McNally (host organist) was joined by Dolly Ickler (chapter registrar and treasurer) in providing an early Halloween party. Members sang pumpkin carols and were treated to music by chapter members.

—David Feit-Pretzer
Long Beach Chapter website
 

Orange County, CA

Lois Holdridge, Norberto Guinaldo, David M. Lines, Dennis Siebelnaler, and Christine Azzoni Dow at Orange County members’ recital

Lois Holdridge, Norberto Guinaldo, David M. Lines, Dennis Siebelnaler, and Christine Azzoni Dow at Orange County members’ recital

May 18, the chapter held a members’ recital at Tustin Presbyterian Church (host Dennis Siebelnaler, organist). Performing on the 53-rank Wicks pipe organ were Lois Hol dridge, David M. Lines, Norberto Guinaldo, Christine Azzoni Dow, and Sie belnaler. They played, among others: Simon Preston’s Alleluyas, Joseph Jongen’s Chant de Mai, and two of Norberto Guinaldo’s own compositions from his Six Contemplations for Organ. Dinner in the church hall preceded the concert.

—Mary Knott
Orange County Chapter website

San Diego, CA

Leslie Wolf Robb (far left), Carol Williams (far right), and Lea Schmidt-Rogers (second from right) with San Diego young organists Sam Buse, Peter Bullard, Vincent Pham, Alex Kramer, Heidi Fleischbein, Trinity Schulz, Lauren A., and Suzy Webster (photo: Bob Lang

Leslie Wolf Robb (far left), Carol Williams (far right), and Lea Schmidt-Rogers (second from right) with San Diego young organists Sam Buse, Peter Bullard, Vincent Pham, Alex Kramer, Heidi Fleischbein, Trinity Schulz, Lauren A., and Suzy Webster (photo: Bob Lang

May 10, the chapter’s 2014 scholarship auditions were held; 17 students participated. A total of $3,075 in scholarships was awarded, and each student also received a one-year AGO membership (if more than one student in a family participated, the membership was given to the oldest student). Alicia McMillan (organist and director of children’s choirs) and the staff and congregation of Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church generously shared their wonderful organ and facilities for several weeks of practice time and the auditions. Judges were Peter L. Bates, Christopher Cook, and Carol Graham. June 1, the top eight organists (ages 18 and under) from the scholarship auditions performed at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. San Diego Civic Organist Carol Williams and the Spreck els Organ Society provided support and encouragement of the young organists.

—Leslie Wolf Robb
San Diego Chapter website

San Francisco, CA

September 20, the chapter presented its opening service and installation of officers at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. The Very Rev. Alan Jones (dean emeritus, Grace Cathedral) was the preacher. Rudy de Vos was organist, and Simon Berry (chapter dean) directed the choir. Among the works featured was a new version of David Conte’s Soliloquy for trumpet and organ dedicated to Simon Berry and trumpeter Scott Macomber in 2014.

—Timothy Zerlang
San Francisco Chapter Website

San Jose, CA

San Jose AGO Chapter News

Diane Keller, Joyce Rhodes, Mike Cala, Pat Milstead, and David Hatt at San Jose Past Deans’ Concert

September 14, the chapter held an Alzheimer’s Benefit Concert at the Stone Church of Willow Glen. When one’s life is touched by illness or tragedy, it’s important to listen to the voice that says, “Take action.” That’s what Paul Rosas did when he created a recital series in 2010 to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. This year, there will be at least four Alzheimer’s benefit concerts, with three in January 2015. As part of this year’s series, the chapter presented organist Stephen Boniface, a frequent Bay Area recitalist who has performed internationally (including at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican) and soprano Kathryn Donovan Campbell of Rancho Cordova, a former featured soloist at the Basilica Cathedral of St. Joseph (San Jose) and at the Stone Church. Attendees were treated to a wonderful afternoon of music. The repertoire came from Baroque instrumental, opera, Broadway musicals, and contemporary fun; there was something for everyone. Since the concert series is to promote awareness and raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association, attendees heard several personal stories, and the chapter is grateful to all who shared their hearts and raised more than $5,000. Louise Smith of Gray Matters Pro Inc. also shared a Stroop Test, explaining how neuroscience has progressed and how we can monitor our brains. The encore reminded us that no matter what touches our lives, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” This event was also a great way to promote the organ.

September 28, a Past Deans’ Concert was held at the Saratoga Federated Church. The event was much anticipated and resulted in an attendance of well over 150 people. When asked for a show of hands of those who did not play the organ, it was exciting to see it wasn’t just a few but the majority. To say it was a hit is an understatement. The former past deans covered all ways the organ can be played. Diane Keller (2011–13) started the concert with a sortie and a scherzo sandwiched between two moving spirituals. Patricia Milstead (2005–2007) and Joyce Rhodes (2001–2003) presented duets on the organ as well as on piano and organ, playing in the styles of Baroque and pop. Mike Cala (1995–97) brought the theatrical sound of the organ to life by accompanying a silent movie. After a brief intermission, the performance concluded with David Hatt (1997–99) playing a very moving fantasia based on a familiar hymn. At the end, all the artists were given a much-deserved standing ovation! A beautiful reception celebrating the musicians and the organ’s 50th anniversary was held afterward.

—Melanie Cervi and Elisabeth Pintar
San Jose Chapter website

San Joaquin Valley, CA

San Joaquin Valley participants in “An Advent and Christmas Sampler,” with Catherine Walker directing from the console

San Joaquin Valley participants in “An Advent and Christmas Sampler,” with Catherine Walker directing from the console

September 20, chapter members and friends gathered at the home of Dick Cencibaugh for the annual fall social event. This year’s theme was “Gospel and Gumbo,” with gumbo and rice as the main dinner course. The program for the evening featured Andrea Daw and Joyce Grant, organist and pianist, respectively, at Family Community Church in Fresno, on the Hammond organ and piano. They played a variety of hymns from the gospel music tradition.

• Oct. 4, Scott Horton presented his tenth annual Bachtober organ recital at First Congregational Church of Fresno, where he is the director of music-organist. The all-Bach program was played on the church’s III/52 Casavant pipe organ; proceeds from the recital are being used to make additions to the organ. The program closed with the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (a perennial October favorite). A reception followed the concert.

• Oct. 18, chapter member Andrea Belau hosted “An Advent and Christmas Sampler” at Fowler Presbyterian Church, where she is the organist. The program consisted of music for the upcoming Advent and Christmas seasons. Eleanor Friesen (organist, First Mennonite Church, Reedley) played two organ solo works and was joined by daughter Andrea Friesen for two organ and flute pieces. Tony Imperatrice (organist, First Christian Church, Selma) and pianist Jessica Williams de mon strated ways the organ and piano can be used together in a more contemporary setting. Stephen Vincent(co-organist, Reedley Mennonite Church) presented two organ arrangements that he wrote for his organ students. Andrea Belau played two selections with her husband, Larry, on oboe and flute. The formal program concluded with Catherine Walker (organist/ director, Sierra Presbyterian Church, Oakhurst) enlisting the participants in a choral number. Following the program, the organ was available for attendees to play selections they had brought. Light refreshments were served while participants discussed the music that had been performed.

—Michael Varlas
San Joaquin Valley Chapter website

Southern Nevada

Recitalist Pamela Decker at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (Southern Nevada)

Recitalist Pamela Decker at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas
(Southern Nevada)

October 3, Pamela Decker opened the chapter’s 2014–15 recital series, playing the 2004 Rudolf von Beckerath organ in Doc Rando Hall at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas. Her interesting program of preludes and fugues included two works by Bach, Mendelssohn’s three preludes and fugues of Op. 37, works by Gaston Litaize and Gerald Near, and her original composition Jesu, dulcis memoria, composed in 2010 and also in the prelude and fugue form. A reception followed in the foyer. (photo: Dorothy Young Riess)

—Dorothy Young Riess
Southern Nevada AGO Chapter website

Utah Valley

Utah Valley participants at memorial recital honoring Douglas E. Bush

Utah Valley participants at memorial recital honoring Douglas E. Bush

October 17, the chapter presented a recital in memory of dear colleague, friend, teacher, and former dean Douglas E. Bush, who passed away in October 2013. Offering a tribute to his musical legacy, 15 organists played a recital at the Oak Hills LDS Stake Center, on the Schantz (II/9) organ. Members played pieces that were loved by Bush (especially the music of J.S. Bach) and many of his own hymn settings. Spoken tributes and remembrances were also given between organ solos. Pictured are Mike Carson, Ruth Ann Hay, Scott Mills, Jack Stoneman, David Chamberlin, Linda Rehart, Carol Dean, Becky Azera, Walter Whipple,
Judy Wright, Levente Medveczky, Joan Stevens, Sheri Peterson, Sandra Mangum, Jan Clayton, Lorelea Anderson, and Jay Goodliffe.

—Jack Stoneman
Utah Valley Chapter website

Seattle, WA

Faith Lutheran handbell ringers, presenters Brian Tervo (back row left) and Marlene Anderson (front row center), with host Howard Wolvington (back row center) at Seattle program (photo: David Nichols)

Faith Lutheran handbell ringers, presenters Brian Tervo (back row left) and Marlene Anderson (front row center), with host Howard Wolvington (back row center) at Seattle program (photo: David Nichols)

September 29, the chapter held its first meeting of the year at Faith Lutheran Church in Redmond. The program, titled “Bells and Whistles: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Handbells But Were Afraid to Ask,” was presented by two leaders in the field. Marlene Anderson has been involved with handbells for 30+ years and is currently handbell director at Grace Lutheran, Des Moines, WA. She is a consummate music educator with a passion for “bells well rung.” Her presentation dealt with handbell techniques, history, and repertoire and came with handouts and a music display. Many “no-brainer” ideas were given, which were easy to execute with very little rehearsal time involved. The second presenter was Brian Tervo, handbell director at Faith Lutheran. He is a published composer and has created a thriving handbell program at the church that includes ringers of all ages. Ten ringers from two choirs at Faith Lutheran, and their organist Howard Wolvington, performed music for handbells alone and handbells with organ. Chapter members were able to participate with hands on experience as well. The program was preceded by a potluck dinner.

—David Stinson
Seattle Chapter website

Spokane, WA

Thomas Jefferson, Keith Thomas, and Robert Carr at Spokane recital (photo: Vince Roland)

Thomas Jefferson, Keith Thomas, and Robert Carr at Spokane recital (photo: Vince Roland)

October 3, the chapter had a potluck meal and a recital at the home of Thomas and Mary Jo Jefferson. Approximately two dozen people attended; they witnessed the public debut of the Jeffersons’ new Rodgers organ. The music program began with Thomas Jefferson playing an arrangement of the hymn “Abide with Me” (“Eventide”). The first guest recitalist was Keith Thomas (principle oboist of the Spokane Symphony and organist at Lady of Lourdes Catholic Cathedral), who played Le banquet céleste by Olivier Messiaen and Toccata in F by J.S. Bach. The second recitalist was Robert Carr (director of music at Lady of Lourdes), who played Jehan Alain’s Litanies. The organ is a Rodgers Infinity Series model 361 digital organ. The stoplist and audio channels were modified by the owner to have 301 pipe rank sounds plus an ensemble of Hector Olivera samples. The eight-channel sound source was augmented with two additional antiphonal channels, plus speakers and subwoofer. Custom registrations were loaded for each piece. The variety of sounds available on the organ allowed us to fully appreciate the beauty of each performance. Music definitely filled the room, and it sounded like a vast space compared to the 25′ x 35′ room participants occupied.

—Vincent Roland
Spokane Chapter website

Tacoma, WA

October 20, chapter members gathered at Christ Episcopal Church for a presentation by Mark Brombaugh (codirector of music and chapter dean) and David Dahl (director of music emeritus). Using the church’s renowned organ built in 1979 by John Brombaugh & Associates, the presenters shared their ideas on “dynamic hymn playing,” covering topics such as principals for effective hymn playing, the roles of the organist during hymn playing, and ten techniques for introducing a hymn tune. Because of their experience in service playing as organists on the Brombaugh organ, it was an especially unique and insightful session for those present.

—Jonathan Wohlers
Tacoma Chapter website

Singapore

Performers at Singapore “Abendmusik: Music of the Bach Brothers Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel” program

Performers at Singapore “Abendmusik: Music of the Bach Brothers Wilhelm
Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel” program

October 1, the chapter presented members and guests in a concert titled “Abendmusik: Music of the Bach Brothers Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel.” It was held at the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission, featuring the neo-Baroque-style Starup and Søn chamber organ built in 1960. Besides music written for the organ played by Chang Xiao
Tin, Koh Jia Hwei, On Su Ling, and Jens Kluge, the program also included C.P.E. Bach’s flute

Yap Wai Hoong
Singapore Chapter website

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