June 2015 TAO Chapter News

Northeast Region
New Haven Pedals, Pipes & Pizza participants

New Haven Pedals, Pipes & Pizza participants

New Haven, CT

March 7, at First Church, Middletown, the chapter hosted a silent-film event featuring member Shari Lucas and two films from the Roaring Twenties. The audience loved the pre-performance lecture and the elegant and entertaining presentation of films. Funds were raised to support the AGO North­east Regional Convention taking place in New Haven this summer.

March 14, the chapter presented a successful Pedals, Pipes & Pizza event, with about 20 guests, at United Church on the Green and Woolsey Hall at Yale. Presenters and hosts were Caesar Storlazzi, Simon Jacobs, Joseph Dzeda, George Fergus, and Lars Gjerde. Chapter members, presenters, and guests had a blast. The chapter is thankful that the Music Teachers National Association, the local arts council, and many piano teachers willingly support its publicity efforts.

—Lars Gjerde

New London County, CT

Bach Birthday Bash participants Phred Mileski, Jesse Glaude, Nathan Bayreuther, John Anthony

Bach Birthday Bash participants Phred Mileski, Jesse Glaude, Nathan Bayreuther, John Anthony

March 22, chapter members and townspeople who braved the blustery, not-quite-spring weath­er were treated to an enjoyable hour of J.S. Bach’s organ and vocal music in honor of his birthday. The mighty Möller organ in First Congregational Church, Madison, was impressive. The concert culminated with a bench-sliding version of multiple hands and feet performing the Toccata in D Minor to the pleasure of both audience and performers. Performers included host Nathan Bayreuther, Sub-dean Elizabeth Limkemann, Mary Beth Lee, Phred Mileski, Patricia Johnson, Katherine King, Jesse Glaude, and John Anthony. Refreshments and fellowship were enjoyed afterward at a reception provided by Sharon Green and Katy King.

—Eileen Paglia

Berkshire, MA

January 4, the chapter held its annual midwinter business meeting and potluck dinner at the home of Sub-dean Nancy King in Great Barrington. To celebrate Twelfth Night, the chapter also enjoyed a spoof from a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, sung by the Rev. Tad Evans.

March 7, a festive organ and brass concert, featuring Bach organ specialist Anthony Newman, was held at Salisbury (CT) Congregational Church (Al Sly, host), cosponsored by the Berkshire Bach Society. With the Berkshire Bach Trumpet Triumvirate of Allan Dean, Neil Mueller, and Gerald Serfass, and Benjamin Harms on timpani, the program featured popular Baroque works for organ and brass, arranged by Newman, and famous Bach organ works, including the Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C and the Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor. Newman also played a fantasia on the Te Deum of his own composition. A large and enthusiastic audience gave the group a standing ovation.

—Nancy King

Merrimack Valley, MA

R. Scott White, Cody West, George Bozeman, Abbey Siegfried, Cyndi Bliss, Maggie Marshall, Duncan Vinson, and Peter Dabos at Merrimack Valley members’ recital (photo: Alain Bojarski)

R. Scott White, Cody West, George Bozeman, Abbey Siegfried, Cyndi Bliss, Maggie Marshall, Duncan Vinson, and Peter Dabos at Merrimack Valley members’ recital (photo: Alain Bojarski)

March 8, at All Saints Episcopal Church, Chelmsford, the chapter held its annual members’ recital with eight organists playing a wide variety of music. The program opened with Maggie Marshall (past dean and minister of music at All Saints) giving an overview and history of the III/
42 Létourneau organ in the church. Alain Bojarski (dean) and Abbey Siegfried (sub-dean) introduced the players and their chosen music. Peter Dabos, who plays several instruments in chamber orchestras, performed first, with Siegfried following. Cody West, a young organist who has participated in local POEs, played “Harmony and Counterpoint in E Phrygian,” a movement from James Woodman’s Eight Little Harmonies and Counterpoint that was premiered at the 2014 AGO National Convention. Next, it was a treat to hear well-known organbuilder George Bozeman play a piece that he will be playing in June in Berlin. R. Scott White, director for the Methuen Music Hall’s Young People’s Theater, played his original arrangement of Gil­bert and Sullivan’s overture to Iolanthe. After this, we heard Duncan Vinson, an ethnomusicologist and college music teach­er. The recital ended with a show­stopper—John Rutter’s Variations on an Easter Theme, an organ duet played by Maggie Marshall and Cyndi Bliss. The well-attended event was free, with a free-will donation to fund the POE scholarship fund. Afterward, everyone had a chance to meet and mingle at a reception.

—Jodi Templer

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Twelfth Night Party, with host Paul Bordeleau at far right

New Hampshire Twelfth Night Party, with host Paul Bordeleau at far right

January 9, members and guests of the chapter held a Twelfth Night party of lighthearted seasonal music and potluck fare at the Bedford home and keyboard studios of longtime member Paul Bordeleau, just days before his 91st birthday! Members enjoyed playing several of the instruments, as did George Bozeman and the Rev. Michael Bradley (on the Viscount digital organs). The chapter is grateful to host Paul and his daughter Jan Bordeleau for sharing their heartwarming stories of teaching and performing.

—Nicholas Girgus

Binghamton, NY

Binghamton members at the Franck DVD showing

Binghamton members at the Franck DVD showing

March 14, the chapter held the second of two sessions featuring the DVD/CD set Franck: Father of the Organ Symphony, issued by Fugue State Films. Shown in this session were: (1) analysis by David Noël-Hudson of six of the twelve great organ works, which includ­ed Franck’s Trois pièces and Trois chorals; (2) organ performance practice in Franck’s time; (3) a demonstration of Franck’s organ (Cavaillé-Coll) at Sainte-Clo­tilde; and (4) a discussion and demonstration of Franck’s L’Organiste, a collection of short pieces mostly written and registered for the harmonium but playable on the organ. In his analysis of the Three Chorales, Noël-Hudson presents his theory that they can actually be viewed as a single, cyclic piece with three movements. He identifies and demonstrates the unifying theme that ties the three pieces together. The chapter has held multiple sessions featuring Fugue State Films DVD sets on both Franck and Cavaillé-Coll, and recommends that other chapters looking for program ideas consider incorporating these fine documentaries into their chapter activities. Next year, Fugue State Films will issue its new DVD set on Widor.

—John Holt

Rhode Island Chapter News

Cody Mead, Philip Martorella, David Cranmer, and Mark Laubach at Rhode Island masterclass

Rhode Island

March 7, members met at the Chapel of St. Dominic on the campus of Provi­dence College to attend a mas­ter­class given by Mark Laubach, canon organist-choirmaster of St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Members Julie Tagen, Cody Mead, Philip Martorella, and David Cranmer played works of Buxtehude, Bach, Brahms, and Demessieux on the chapel’s 40-rank Holt­kamp organ. Topics discussed included articulation, phrasing, and ornamentation; achieving a legato, singing line; and “playing the room.”

—John Brooks

Mid-Atlantic Region
Central Maryland Chapter News

Clinician Deb Int Veldt at Central Maryland workshop on “Working with the Aging Voice”

Central Maryland

March 14, the chapter held a workshop on “Working with the Aging Voice” at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Walkersville. Clinician Deb Int Veldt discussed how natural aging can affect singing, vocal physiology, and causes of vocal problems, and what can be done to improve vocal health.

—Michele Kimmel

 

Cumberland Valley MD Chapter

Sharon Sutton, Jermaine Caine, Nathan Strite, Elizabeth Krouse, and Stephen Pastena at Cumberland Valley Bach Festival

Cumberland Valley, MD

March 22, the chapter held its annual Bach Festival Concert at Trinity Lutheran Church, Ha­gers­town. Organists played cho­rale preludes, a trio sonata, preludes/toccatas and fugues, and smaller works, providing a good representation of Bach’s organ music. Performers included Jermaine Caine, Steve Ely Kal­nos­ke, Elizabeth Krouse, Stephen Pastena, Nathan Strite, and Shar­on Sutton.

—Elizabeth Krouse

 

Middlesex masterclass with Gordon Turk (center, on bench)

Middlesex masterclass with Gordon Turk (center, on bench)

Middlesex, NJ

March 20 and 21, the chapter hosted an organ recital and masterclass by Gordon Turk at First Presbyterian Church, Metuchen. The recital was an exciting program of organ selections, ending with a spectacular improvisation that thrilled the audience. The following morning, Turk worked with five organists at the masterclass. He provided insight into the pieces played through handouts and commented on technical performance. Afterward, he and chapter members enjoyed lunch and casual conversation at a nearby restaurant.

—Joseph Suchocki

 

Southwest Jersey

February 19, mem­bers traveled to Princeton for an organ crawl, visiting three different instruments. First was the 1925 Aeolian-Skinner or­gan, rebuilt by Patrick J. Murphy, at St. Paul’s Roman Catho­lic Church. Next, members attend­ed a recital at Princeton University Chapel by Weston Jennings of the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. After lunch, members returned to the chapel for a dem­onstration and console time with Eric Plutz, university organist, at the Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner organ rebuilt by Mander. The last visit was to Miller Chapel of Princeton Theological Seminary and its 2000 Paul Fritts organ.

—Joyce Ann Routon

Carol Ann Day, Ferree LeFevre, Leslie Shuman, Phil Shuman, Sue McCarl, Kyunghee Reed, Doug McCulloh, Herb Spomer, Timothy Wertime, and Richard Rotz (seated at piano) at Chambersburg gathering

Carol Ann Day, Ferree LeFevre, Leslie Shuman, Phil Shuman, Sue McCarl, Kyunghee Reed, Doug McCulloh, Herb Spomer, Timothy Wertime, and Richard Rotz (seated at piano) at Chambersburg gathering

Chambersburg, PA

February 28, the chapter met at the King Street United Brethren Church (host organist Phil Shuman, sub-dean, and wife Leslie Shuman). The group sight-read anthems brought by other members. Members also browsed a library of organ music generously given to the chapter by Gladys Cramer (former member of the Chambersburg and Harrisburg chapters); any music they could use was free for taking. Participants in addition to the Shumans included Carol Ann Day, Ferree LeFevre, Sue McCarl, Doug McCulloh, Kyunghee Reed, Richard Rotz, Herb Spomer, and Timothy Wertime.

—Helen Wingert

Harrisburg members’ recital participants (front) Maria Howe, Cynthia Gettins; (back) Shawn Gingrich, Robert Lau, Richard Frey, Christopher Prestia, Brian Rice, and Ray Edmison (photo: Rick Zentmeyer)

Harrisburg members’ recital participants (front) Maria Howe, Cynthia Gettins; (back) Shawn Gingrich, Robert Lau, Richard Frey, Christopher Prestia, Brian Rice, and Ray Edmison (photo: Rick Zentmeyer)

Harrisburg, PA

February 10,
eight chapter members participated in a members’ recital at Camp Hill United Methodist Church (Brian Rice, host musician). “Hymns and Chorales: Old and New” featured each recitalist playing two chorales or hymn melodies from varying time periods. Participants were Ray Edmison, Richard Frey, Cynthia Gettins, Shawn Gingrich, Maria Howe, Robert Lau, Christopher Prestia, and Brian Rice. Program planners were Delight St. John-Brainerd and Shawn Gingrich.

—Mary Jane Nelson

 

 

Lehigh Valley, PA

Lehigh Valley Bach Marathon participants Tom Busteed, Andrew Long, Stephen Bueker, Lou Carol Fix, Michael Krentz, and John Richardson (dean)

Lehigh Valley Bach Marathon participants Tom Busteed, Andrew Long, Stephen Bueker, Lou Carol Fix, Michael Krentz, and John Richardson (dean)

March 8, members and friends of the chapter gathered at Egner Me­morial Chapel on the campus of Muhlenberg College in Allentown for the annual Bach Mara­thon. Local organists and others presented music in commemoration of the birthday of J.S. Bach. The five-hour concert began at 3:00 p.m. with presenters playing at half-hour intervals. Musicians included Thomas Dressler, John McEnerney with bass Steve Giblin, the Lehigh Valley Horn Ensemble, Michael Krentz with flutist Catherine DeBoeser, Andrew Long, Lou Carol Fix (program coordinator), Thomas Busteed, John Richardson, and Ste­phen Williams. During summer 2014, the Muhlenberg College organ underwent a major renovation by Berghaus Pipe Organ Builders. It now has a new movable console with an adjustable bench and a well-lit music rack, the mechanical key action was replaced with electric pull-down magnets, the pneumatic stop action was restored, a new shade controller was added, and wood and felt were attached to the shades to allow them to fully close. The console features a new Peterson ICS system with multiple memories and a greater number of pistons. Tonal additions include a Bombarde playa­ble at 16′, 8′, and 4′, and chimes. The pipes and pipe chambers were thoroughly cleaned, and the pipes were revoiced (without altering existing wind pressure)—resulting in greater volume and presence in the room. All reeds were disassembled, cleaned, and revoiced. The Horizontal Trumpet was revoiced to allow it to have a greater compatibility with the overall ensemble. Ongoing maintenance is provided by Emery Brothers Inc. of Allentown. Even though the organ is still settling after all of this activity, the positive results of the renovation were apparent to musicians and listeners alike. To see the console in the center of the chancel area for the concert was a lovely sight. It was a very satisfying Bach Marathon concert.

—Gloria Snyder

PittsbrgPA-ChNewsPittsburgh, PA

March 22,
the Organ Artists Series of Pittsburgh presented an all-Bach recital by Barbara Bruns on the restored Beckerath organ at St. Paul Cathedral. The following evening, the chapter gathered for its monthly dinner-meeting and program at Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon. Adult Pipe Organ Academy student Regina Kettering played the fantasia from Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor. Then Penny Anderson—a local singer, composer, and teacher, joined by ten members of her Sacred Harp singing group—gave a lecture-demonstration on the shape-note tradition in American hymnody. —Alan Lewis

Richmond, VA

February 8, a Black History Month Celebration was held at River Road Church, Baptist, as part of the E. Carl Freeman Concert Series. The program began with the One Voice Chorus Ensemble (Lynn Atkins Jr., artistic director, and Rita M. Smith, accompanist). Rassan Bourke then played several pieces and gave an energetic and imaginative improvisation on three spirituals, “Spiritual Triptych Improvisation.” The concert concluded with more energizing and enthusiastic numbers from the choral ensemble, including “Ride the Chariot” (arr. William H. Smith), and “Walk in Jerusa­lem” (Rollo Dilworth). The audience joined the ensemble and Rassan at the conclusion of the program in a rousing rendition of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

—John DeMajo

Southeast Region

Central Florida

Central Florida Pedals, Pipes & Pizza participants

Central Florida Pedals, Pipes & Pizza participants

January 31, the chapter held its annual Pedals, Pipes & Pizza program at All Saints Episcopal Church in Winter Park. It attracted a large audience of students, parents, and chapter members. The event, coordinated by John Reilly, was divided into two sections. The first section consisted of a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the pipe organ and how it produces sound, presented by Candace Travis. Three instruments were available to contrast keyboard sound execution—piano, harpsichord, and continuo organ. This was followed by the second session in the church, led by Tim Smith (All Saints music director) using the three-manual Aeolian-Skinner, to demonstrate the resources of the organ. Ste­ven Rabanal, chapter scholarship winner, demonstrated the various voices of the organ with Ran­dolph Currie’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Pipe Organ,” with accompanying narration by Marybeth McCallum. After the demonstration, the students had a chance to try out any of the four instruments. Each student received a goody bag filled with items donated by several organ companies, music publishers, and supporters of the pipe organ. A generous donation by Florida Organ Works helped endow this event. Publix Supermarkets also donated refreshments for the event. Pictures are available on the chapter’s Facebook page (Face­book.com/centalfloridaago). The day concluded with an afternoon session on AGO certification, presented by Jeffrey McIntyre, CAGO (Regional Councillor for Education), who had flown in from Atlanta, Ga. He encouraged chapter members to consider taking one of the AGO exams, outlined a plan for how to approach the exams in an organized manner, and shared materials used to prepare for exams.

February 7, Iain Quinn (assistant professor of organ at Florida State University), presented a masterclass at the Cathedral of St. Luke (Episcopal) in Orlando. The class opened with Duruflé’s Scherzo, followed by works of Franck, Couperin, Brahms, Karg-Elert, and J.S. Bach. Quinn, who enjoys a distinguished career as organist, musicologist, and composer, gave each of the six organists very helpful suggestions about their performance. Those performing were Josiah Armes, Michael Legrand, Randall Krum, Eileen Hahm, Norma Hunter, and Tom Ingui. Other chapter members in attendance had an opportunity for questions and answers throughout the two-hour session. The following day, Quinn presented a solo recital on the Beckerath organ (1961) at Stetson University in Deland. —John F. Reilly and Ture Larson

Miami, FL

In March, chapter members were fortunate to hear the musicians of New York City’s St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue twice during their Flori­da tour.

March 10, the Treble Choristers of the Choir of Men and Boys sang an amazing program at St. Philip’s, Coral Ga­bles, of largely English repertoire—including Dering, Blow, Purcell, Sullivan, Stanford, Britten, and Rutter, accompanied by organist Benjamin Sheen.

March 12, John Scott (director of music-organist at St. Thomas) played a memorable solo recital on the recently restored Aeolian-Skinner organ in Trinity Cathedral. The demanding program included major compositions by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Franck, Reger, and Demessieux, ending with a powerful reading of the Reubke Sonata on the 94th Psalm, which brought the audience to its feet.

—Frederick Kent

Recitalists John Fenstermaker, Norm Libby, Jonathan Birner, Paula Leighton, Ric Jeaggi, David Hamblin, and Robert Kirchner (Southwest Florida)

Recitalists John Fenstermaker, Norm Libby, Jonathan Birner, Paula Leighton, Ric Jeaggi, David Hamblin, and Robert Kirchner (Southwest Florida)

Southwest Florida

February 7, the chapter presented a members’ re­cital at Grace Lutheran Church, Naples (Jonathan Birner, host). Participants included Birner, William Elliot, John Fenstermaker, David Hamblin, Ric Jeaggi (dean), Robert Kirchner (executive board member), Paula Leighton (treasurer), and Norm Libby.

—Henry Glass

 

 

 

Treasure Coast, FL

January 10, the chapter held an organ crawl to Orlando (Central Florida chapter) for a day of touring and playing some of the finest pipe organs in the city. The first host of the day was Andrew Walker, director of music at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, who began with a demonstration of the III/
38 Walker-Harris organ built by the Andover Organ Company of Methuen, Mass. His rendering of Louis Vierne’s Carillon de Westminster promised an exciting day of music for the tour. Acting as host for the next two venues was Ture Larson, former dean of the Central Florida chapter, as he demonstrated the varied textures of both the Orlando Towers (Lu­theran Chapel) V/81 Ruffatti, located on the 18th floor of the Towers; and the Cathedral Church of St. Luke’s IV/88 Tel­lers that had been rebuilt with a new console by Roger A. Colby of Johnson City, Tenn. Larson favored our group with contrasting music: Robert Hebble’s Her­aldings at Orlando Towers, and Roger Nyquist’s beautiful Adagio at the Cathedral. An additional social feature of the day was ex­quisite fine dining, again hosted by Larson, at the beautiful Orlando Towers dining room during the lunch hour. Our group of twelve drawn from the membership of both the Treasure Coast and neighboring Space Coast chapters took full advantage throughout the day to play their favorite music, and enjoyed a wonderful atmosphere of camaraderie with their hosts and fellow musicians.

—Baden Griffin

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta organist Bruce Wynn at Trinity United Methodist Church (photo: Rachel Ficklin)

Atlanta organist Bruce Wynn at Trinity United Methodist Church (photo: Rachel Ficklin)

March 14, the chap­­ter continued to celebrate its centennial with a gathering at Trinity United Methodist Church. This church has a three-manual Austin organ that was in existence in 1914—the year of the organization of the Georgia chapter of the AGO. The event began with a service of morning praise. Bruce Wynn (organist-choirmaster) led the service with the Trinity Choir. John Beyers (chapter chaplain) was liturgist. Kevin Cartwright (curator of the Trinity organ) invited attendees to tour the organ’s Universal Air Chest. Brunch was served in the church fellowship hall. Afterward, Dan Pruitt (co-chair of the Atlanta Centennial committee) presented a program titled “Historic Atlanta Pipe Organs: Past and Present.” Several people participated in a panel discussion, including Larry-Douglas Embury, artist in residence at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre.

—Rachel Ficklin

 

Paul Leddington Wright at Savannah’s Lent/Easter Hymn Festival

Paul Leddington Wright at Savannah’s Lent/Easter Hymn Festival

Savannah, GA

February 22, the chap­ter held a Lent/Easter Hymn Festival at Skidaway Island United Methodist Church. The service was modeled after the BBC’s “Songs of Praise” program and was conducted by British organist and composer Paul Leddington Wright. The hymn fes­tival featured congregational hymns accompanied by brass and organ, as well as choral anthems offered by a mass choir of Guild members and their choristers.

—Justin L. Addington

 

Wilmington, NC

Mark Gansor and David Heinzman at Wilmington meeting

Mark Gansor and David Heinzman at Wilmington meeting

February 10, the chapter met at Little Chapel on the Boardwalk Presbyterian Church (host David Heinzman, director of music). David Heinzman (dean) and Mark Gansor (organist at Lakeside Baptist Church in Rocky Mount) presented a workshop on creative hymn playing. Their program included introductions, tempos, text-painting, free harmonization, improvisation, and Internet resources.

—Sara Bryant

Grand Strand, SC

Chapter member Billy Fallaw, director of music-organist at First United Methodist Church, Conway, presented Lenten Organ Meditations each Wednesday at noon during Lent. Also performing on the church’s III/34 Schantz organ were chapter members Roberta Rowland-Raybold, Mary Moller, and the Rev. Bud Esper. The church provided a complimentary soup-and-sandwich lunch after each session.

—Billy Fallaw

Greater Columbia, SC

Greater Columbia South Carolina AGO Chapter News

Winners of 2015 Young Organist Competition David Stultz, Anna McIlwain, and Raymond Hawkins

March 7, the Young Organist Competition for high-school students was held at Shandon United Methodist Church (68-rank Möller organ). Selected from five semifinalists, three students performed for judges Patrick Scott (Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Ga.), Paul Thomas (Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, Charleston, S.C.) and Kenneth Miller (Trinity Cathedral, Columbia, S.C.). David Stultz of Hixson, Tenn., student of Jason Duroy, won the first-place award of $1,000 and a recital performance next fall in Columbia; Raymond Hawkins, student of Timothy Olsen at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, won second prize of $500. Anna McIlwain of Simpsonville, S.C., student of Ed Dunbar, won third prize of $300. The Hymn Playing Award of $250, donated by David Hall of Nellysford, Va., was presented to Stultz. The competition, an educational outreach program of the chapter, is funded entirely by donations. Now in its fifth year, it has an outstanding record of participants and winners who now study at prestigious music schools with world-renowned teachers. Four previous winners competed in the chapter RCYO auditions held in spring 2015. Following the awards ceremony, contestants and their families, along with judges, donors, and AGO members, enjoyed a catered lunch.

—Frances Webb

Spartanburg, SC

Spartanburg organ-crawl participants

Spartanburg organ-crawl participants

March 14, the chapter held an organ crawl in Greenwood. Members enjoyed visiting three churches and having lunch together. At First Baptist Church, organist Ron Davis gave the history and specifications of the III/51 Schantz organ installed in 1971 and demonstrated the organ by playing two pieces. At Main Street United Methodist Church, organist Josh Harrington discussed and performed on the II/20 Möller installed in 1987. The 
final stop of the crawl was at Greenwood First Presbyterian, where organist Ro­bert Glick demonstrated and discussed the III/57 Goulding and Wood organ (2003). At each church, members had the opportunity to play and inspect the instrument.

—Bill Cooper

Knoxville, TN

Knoxville recitalist Emma Whitten

Knoxville recitalist Emma Whitten

February 3, the chapter presented a recital by Knoxville native Bradley Hunter Welch at Church Street United Methodist Church. His program ranged from Bach’s Fugue in G Major to Aaron David Miller’s Chorale Fantasy on “Lobe den Herren,” which was composed for him. As an encore, he appeared to select at random a member of the audience to accompany him in a duet, but the person chosen turned out to be none other than the church’s organist, Edie Johnson, who joined Welch in playing the Pink Panther theme. The recital was co­sponsored by the church as part of its Master Arts series.

March 2, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Emma Whitten, a native of Oak Ridge who recently completed her doctorate at Arizona State, played a recital titled “A Contrapuntal Dance: Music of Bach and Women Compos­ers.” Included were a passacaglia, a trio sonata, a Lenten chorale, a partita by Bach, and works by Ethel Smyth and Pamela Decker. The program concluded with Decker’s Passacaglia on B-A-C-H.

—Allison Ensor

 

Memphis, TN

Walt Strony at Memphis program on organ accompaniment in the silent-movie era

Walt Strony at Memphis program on organ accompaniment in the silent-movie era

In March, Walt Strony delighted chapter members with two evening programs on accompanying in the silent-movie era. March 1, he presented “Phantom of the Opera” at St. Mary’s Cathedral; and March 2, he presented “Theatre Accompanying Style” at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. Both events were well attended and offered myriad on-the-edge-of-our-seats moments interspersed with lighthearted laughter inspired by Laurel and Hardy.

—Jean Jones

 

 

Nashville, TN

March 6, the chapter met at First Presbyterian Church (Nick Bergin and Rhon­da Swanson, hosts), where the 75-voice Concordia College Choir from Moorhead, MN, presented an exciting and entertaining program. Michael Smith, guest conductor during René Clausen’s creative leave, led the choir in a difficult program that was presented from memory. One unique piece included accompaniment by choir members rubbing the rims of water glasses to produce pitches that were determined by the varying amounts of water in each glass. This was also a “surround-sound” experience, as some of the choir members were standing in the center and side aisles of the sanctuary.

—Gary Scott

Great Lakes Region

Chicago, IL

Chicago IL Chapter News

John MacKey at Beverly Evangelical Covenant Church (Chicago)

March 21, the chapter gathered with members of the Chicago-Midwest chapter of the Organ Historical Society for a day of pipe organ mania titled “The Chicago Organ Experience III: Southern Exposure.” Masterfully arranged by Carl Chadek and Derek Nickels, the group numbering about 50 strong visited organs at five unique locations on the south side of Chicago and surrounding cities. Participants were whisked from venue to venue via deluxe motorcoach. First on the list was Melody Turner, AAGO, demonstrating the 1951 M.P. Möller, Opus 8240, at Trinity United Methodist Church in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago. The group continued on to Beverly Evangelical Covenant Church to hear resident organist John MacKey (pictured) on the 1961 Schantz, Opus 494. The third venue (and lunch site) was Bethlehem Lutheran with its 1965 Möller, Opus 10010, played by Nickels. Participants tarried on for the afternoon with this dedicated group to hear two more instruments. The fourth stop was Most Holy Redeemer in Evergreen Park, to hear the 1962 Möller, Opus 9597, demonstrated by Christine Rojek and John Ligda. The final stop of the day was at the enthusiastic and welcoming Bethany Union Church, where the group heard resident organist Dwayne Cook play the 1926/1965 Casavant, Opus 1165/1165A.

—Steven Betancourt

Southern Illinois

Participants in Southern Illinois service-music program (front) Joyce Hesketh, Jeremy Holmes, Bonnie Lindquist, Judy Little; (back) Gail White, Sid Smith, Nathan Johanning, Mary Wright, and Jane Otte

Participants in Southern Illinois service-music program (front) Joyce Hesketh, Jeremy Holmes, Bonnie Lindquist, Judy Little; (back) Gail White, Sid Smith, Nathan Johanning, Mary Wright, and Jane Otte

March 17, the chapter met at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Carbondale for its 13th annual members’ service music program, “What Would You Play for . . . [this year]?” Through the years, this event has become a favorite program in which members and friends share selections they might use for services, weddings, funerals, and other events. The 2015 program included organ, piano, harp, and vocal selections. Participants included Joyce Hesketh, Jeremy Holmes, Nathan Johanning, Bonnie Lindquist, Judy Little, Jane Otte, Sid Smith, Gail White, and Mary Wright. More than 150 pieces have been presented in the past twelve years, with very few repeats.

—Sidney G. Smith

 

St. Joseph Valley, IN

St. Joseph Valley event participants John Gouwens (dean), presenter David Eicher, and Celia Weiss (organist at First Presbyterian, Elkhart)

St. Joseph Valley event participants John Gouwens (dean), presenter David Eicher, and Celia Weiss (organist at First Presbyterian, Elkhart)

March 22, at First Presbyterian Church in Elkhart, chapter member David Eicher gave a presentation on his work as editor of the new Presbyterian hymnal Glory to God. Eicher discussed the process from start to finish, covering how committee members were selected, how hymns were chosen, and how various digital versions of the hymnal were included. He also led the audience in singing several of the newer hymns. Creation of the hymnal was a seven-year project.

—Beverly Butler

 

 

 

Ann Arbor, MI

Image from Ann Arbor lecture on “Fierce Beasts and Gentle Creatures Who Play the Organ in Medieval Manuscripts, 1350–1500

Image from Ann Arbor lecture on “Fierce Beasts and Gentle Creatures Who Play the Organ in Medieval Manuscripts, 1350–1500

January 13, the chapter and the Ann Arbor Public Library cosponsored a lecture and recital by Marijim Thoene. Titled “Fierce Beasts and Gentle Creatures Who Play the Organ in Medieval Manuscripts, 1350–1500,” the presentation included 40 images from books of hours, psalters, and breviaries. These creatures ushered the medieval reader into a world of sound, fantasy, and play. Thoene explored several possibilities as to why they make music in the margins of sacred texts. (See image of rabbit playing and dog pumping.) Her recital of medieval music was played on a positive organ and featured music from the Robertsbridge Codex, the Faenza Codex, and a setting of Salve Regina by Paul Hofhai­mer. Pieces based on chant were performed in alternatim with singers Tim Huth and Sipkje Pesnichak. The positive organ was built by G.C. Klop in 1988 and loaned for this performance by the Ann Arbor Academy of Early Music. (photo: The Fitz­william Museum, Cambridge; MS. 1-2005 folio 15r)

—Marijim Thoene

 

Cherry Capital Area, MI

Participants in Cherry Capital Area’s “Two by Two” duet recital program

Participants in Cherry Capital Area’s “Two by Two” duet recital program

February 22, the chapter held its fifth annual “Two by Two” duet recital program. It helps raise money for the chapter’s Youth Scholarship Fund, which gives merit scholarships to active students of high-school age. The program included duets for organ, piano, voice, harpsichord, and trumpet. Participants were Bruce Ahlich, Alyca Basch, Jan Proudfoot, John Bragle, Donna Brunsma, Mary Heffron, Sally Lewis, Nancy Moyes, Kathryn Peters, Mark Peters (dean), Karl Eichberger and Patricia Heffron Robinson.

—Mark Peters

Canton, OH

Canton program participants Elaine Vaughan, Mark Thewes, Anthony Montagno, W. Robert Morrison, and Margaret Reichenbach

Canton program participants Elaine Vaughan, Mark Thewes, Anthony Montagno, W. Robert Morrison, and Margaret Reichenbach

March 8, the chapter, St. Jacob Lutheran Church (Massillon), and Jackson Township combined for a program in celebration of the bicentennial founding of the church and township. Margaret Rei­chen­bach, chapter charter member and organist-choir director at the church, was the host. Members performed music of the era along with early American hymns. Before the program began, chapter charter member W. Robert Morrison played a chime medley of American hymns. He had played the dedicatory recital for the church’s Schantz pipe organ on Feb. 16, 1975.

—Elaine Vaughan

North Central Region

Wichita, KS

Recitalist Laura Rau (fourth from left) with Wichita board members Carolyn Chambers, Marlene Hallstrom, Jim Jones, Gary Huffman, Lynne Davis, Christopher Shaw, and Kathleen Fehrmann

Recitalist Laura Rau (fourth from left) with Wichita board members Carolyn Chambers, Marlene Hallstrom, Jim Jones, Gary Huffman, Lynne Davis, Christopher Shaw, and Kathleen Fehrmann

December 5, the chap­ter presented an Advent organ recital by Laura Rau at the Church of the Resurrection. 
The program included works by Bach, Distler, Bovet, and Mendelssohn as well as a hymn sing-along for the audience. Commentary was provided by Rau, who is completing her doctorate in church music at the University of Kansas. The audience and chapter members were especially glad to welcome her back, since she is from Wichita. Pictured with Rau are Wichita board members.

—Lynne Davis

Twin Cities, MN

Pipedreams Scholarship winner Annika Dean (Twin Cities)

Pipedreams Scholarship winner Annika Dean (Twin Cities)

March 21, the Pipedreams Scholarship auditions were held at Wayzata Community Church. The winner of the $500 scholarship was Annika Dean, age 13, a student of Karen Bartz. She plays flute in the Da­kota Hills Middle School band and lives in Eagan. She is the organist of the Church of the Latter-day Saints in Burnsville, a position she has held for a year and a half.

—Diana Lee Lucker

 

Greater Kansas City, MO

Anthony Maglione directing the Schola Cantorum and musicians at Greater Kansas City event (photo: Floyd Gingrich)

Anthony Maglione directing the Schola Cantorum and musicians at Greater Kansas City event (photo: Floyd Gingrich)

March 16, the chapter’s Schola Cantorum choral ensemble presented “Reconciliation,” featuring the works of composers Z. Randall Stroope, Thomas Tom­kins, Hal H. Hopson, and Nich­olas Reeves. The program was presented in the Gano Chapel at William Jewell College of Liberty where Schola Cantorum conductor Anthony Maglione is assistant professor and director of choral studies. Evan Courtney is assistant conductor of the Schola Cantorum; Leora Nauta is rehearsal accompanist and performance organist (also organist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City). Percussionist for the program was Stephen Martin. “Light of the World,” a newer composition by Reeves, is a choral presentation of the Sermon on the Mount that is juxtaposed with audiovisual images, interviews, and historical footage, along with a prerecorded video focused on the conditions of the 20th-century Romanian Communist prison Piresti. Following the performance, there was an audience question-and-answer session with Reeves and Magli­one. Vocal soloists in the performance included sopranos Nicole Murray, Kristen Sullivan, Me­lissa VanHousen, Lora Williams, and Leslee Wood; mezzo-sopranos Tristan Dorsey and Kristen Hyde; plus countertenor Jay Carter. Additional members of the Schola Cantorum included Dale Boylard, Sarah Cappo, Paul Erickson, Peter Hanman, Brad Light, Doug Maag, Timothy Madden, Sara McClure, Patricia Mina, Sean Nemati-Baghestani, Jim O’Konski, Marjorie O’Konski, Brett Roenigk, John Schaefer, Alex Spence, Mitchell Staf­ford, Ryan Sullivan, Jackson Tho­mas, Maggie Townsend, Natalie Viey­ra, and Shelley Washington.

—Norm Kinnaugh

St. Joseph, MO

March 8, chapter members gathered at Francis Street First United Methodist Church for “My Favorite Things,” a time for sharing organ and choral music. Presenters included Sharon Gray, David Lewis, Bill McMurray, Stephen Schmidt (dean), and Lara West.

—Bill McMurray

St. Louis, MO

St. Louis event participants Dawn Riske (dean), Dennis Sparger, Mark Scholtz (sub-dean), and Stephen Eros (Bach Society assistant director

St. Louis event participants Dawn Riske (dean), Dennis Sparger, Mark Scholtz (sub-dean), and Stephen Eros (Bach Society assistant director)

March 14, the chapter departed from tradition and started its meeting with breakfast rather than dinner. Jeff White, minister of music at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, was the host. Featured guest was A. Dennis Sparger (music director and conductor of the Bach Society of St. Louis and 2014 recipient of the chapter’s Avis Blewett Award), who presented “The Passions of Bach.” After a historical overview of the passion in music prior to Bach, Sparger discussed Bach’s settings of the passion accounts of Matthew and John. Bach’s St. Mark Passion was lost (a few pieces survive), but Sparger demonstrated that a respectable part of it can be reconstructed from Cantata 198. Through multimedia presentation, he surveyed Bach’s professional life, the liturgical function of the passion in Bach’s day, and the art of rhetoric and doctrine of the affections and how they apply to Bach’s Passion settings. A number of recorded examples were provided as illustrations, including performances of the Bach Society.

—William Sullivan

Southwest Region

Central Arkansas

February 6, the chapter met at First Presbyterian Church in Little Rock (host Scott Seidenschwarz, organist-choirmaster) for a dinner and business meeting. Afterward, participants adjourned to the sanctuary to hear a recital by Ken Cowan (organ) and Lisa Shihoten (violin). The organ was installed by Nichols & Simpson in 1990. The performance was underwritten by James Graham as a benefit for the Pediatric Injury Prevention Program at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Graham heads the program, and 2015 marked the seventh year he has sponsored a benefit.

—Betty Cohen

Northwest Arkansas

Robbie Hubbard, Jeannie Lee, Ernest Whitmore, Southwest Region Councillor Vicki Schaeffer, and Jan Helmut Wubbena at Northwest Arkansas recital

Robbie Hubbard, Jeannie Lee, Ernest Whitmore, Southwest Region Councillor Vicki Schaeffer, and Jan Helmut Wubbena at Northwest Arkansas recital

March 16, the chapter met at Grace Episcopal Church, Siloam Springs, for its annual members’ recital. The church’s instrument, on loan from Ernest Whitmore, is a compact and lively tracker by Steven R. Cook (Opus 10) of Seattle. A program of selections by Robert P. Glick, Johann Christian Kittel, Daniel Pinkham, Alice Jordan, Domenico Zipoli, and J.S. Bach was presented by members Jan Helmut Wubbena, Ernest Whitmore, Jeannie Lee, and Robbie Hubbard. Special guest artist was Southwest Region Councillor Vicki Schaeffer. Her visit was much appreciated, from joining us at the relaxed dinner preceding the recital, giving an exciting performance of Bach’s Pièce d’Orgue, BWV 572, and partaking in an informal Q-and-A with members at the post­-recital reception.

—Jeannie Lee

Alamo, TX

Shelbie Simmons, Jon McMahon, David Heller, Nancy Laine, Joel Martinson, Mary Ann Winden, Art Winden, and Jane Radigan at Alamo members’ recital

Shelbie Simmons, Jon McMahon, David Heller, Nancy Laine, Joel Martinson, Mary Ann Winden, Art Winden, and Jane Radigan at Alamo members’ recital

February 8, the chapter sponsored a members’ recital of the works of Joel Martinson at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, San Antonio. Attendees were treated to organ solos, an organ/oboe duo, and an organ/
bari­tone composition. The performers were David Heller, Jon McMahon, Nancy Laine, Jane Radigan, Mary Ann Winden, Art Winden and Shelbie Simmons. Laine, chapter registrar and membership chair, was awarded a certificate of appreciation for her unending support and dedication to the board. After the concert, a large number of attendees gathered at La Paloma Mexican restaurant to honor Martinson and bid farewell to Laine, who relocated to Dallas.

—Mary J. Hernandez

Dallas organ crawl luncheon at St. Monica Catholic Church (photo: William Leazer)

Dallas organ crawl luncheon at St. Monica Catholic Church (photo: William Leazer)

Dallas, TX

February 9, at First United Methodist Church, an enthusiastic audience attended the second Robert T. Anderson series featured Organized Rhy­thm’s formidable and charismatic duo—organist Clive Dris­kill-Smith and percussionist Joseph Gramley.

February 19, the second Neighborhood Recital was held in the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Richardson, and featured Jordan DeRouen (organist at St. Luke’s Episcopal, Dallas), Minjung Nam (organist at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist, Flower Mound), Hentus van Rooyen (organist at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Denton), and Henry Webb (Dallas scholarship recipient). These neighborhood recitals not only provide an opportunity for Dallas chapter organists to perform, but also provide an important outreach to the neighborhood.

March 7, the chapter hosted an impressive organ crawl of three pipe organs installed within the past year in Dallas. The day began with a light breakfast at Christ the King Catholic Church, followed by a demonstration recital—by resident organist Henry McDowell—of the new Juget-Sinclair organ. Denis Juget (president of Juget-Sinclair Organbuilders of Montreal) interspersed enlightening comments between selections. Members then continued to nearby St. Mark’s School of Texas to hear the Létourneau organ in the chapel. Glen Stroh (organist-assistant choirmaster) played a partial recital, allowing chapter members time to play the organ before leaving for lunch (hosted by St. Monica’s Catholic Church and catered by revered Italian restaurant Campisi). After lunch, participants were treated to a demonstration of St. Monica’s new Nichols & Simpson instrument, where organist Guillermo Martinez played with assistance by Joe Nichols (president) and Wayne Simpson (vice president) of the organ company. An equally impressive turnout of 70 Dallas chapter members made this a very successful organ crawl.

—William Leazer

Fort Worth, TX

March 23, the chapter and Holy Family Catho­lic Church cosponsored a “Bach & Handel 330th Birthday Organ Concert.” The program of Bach and Handel compositions was played by members Ed Ackermann, CAGO; Dale Bench, CAGO; Phil Bordeleau; H. Joseph Butler, AAGO; Jeanette Keim, SPC; Guillermo Martinez; Minjung Nam; and Linton E. Powell. The Rubin Frels three-manual organ at the church was picked for the program since it is a mechanical-action instrument well suited for music by Bach and Handel. It was installed in 1971 as the first neo-Baroque organ in Texas—and the largest mechanical-action organ in that state at the time. Consultant for the organ was E. Power Biggs, who played the dedicatory re­cital. The March program had originally been scheduled a month earlier, but a snow and sleet storm canceled it.

—Ed Ackermann

West Region

Long Beach, CA

Long Beach CA Chapter News

Long Beach workshop presenter Peter Bates

March 3, at Covenant Presbyterian Church, member Peter Bates (host minister of music-organist) presented a workshop titled “Hymn Playing that Revives Hymn Singing: Tips, Tricks, and Traps.” A handout given to attendees contained examples of suggested score study, the Introduction, Tempo and Verse Endings, Articulation and Phrasing, How Many Are Too Many Notes, Interludes and Modulations, Tempo and Registration. Bates played musical examples for each topic. A resource list for further reading and study was included.

—David Feit-Pretzer

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles chapter members at workshop exploring the use of Finale and Sibelius software programs

Los Angeles chapter members at workshop exploring the use of Finale and Sibelius software programs

January 24, about 30 chapter members gathered at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral (Ned Tipton, host) to explore Finale and Sibelius notation software programs and how they can help church musicians. Presenters sharing their expertise were chapter members Tom Mueller, Jason Klein, and Zeljko Marasovich (assisted in setting up the audiovisual systems by Francois Vaillancourt). Mueller led the Finale (PC) workshop. Participants learned how to navigate the basic software interface and received an overview of the basic workflow for a Finale project. The group then proceeded through a series of “case studies,” addressing topics pertinent to church musicians and music educators—including psalm settings, choral scoring, preparing graphics for service bulletins, and educational worksheets. Klein led the Intermediate Finale work­shop. After receiving a whirlwind refresher of basic ideas, participants got to explore the benefits of making templates not only for bulletin preparation, but for all sorts of uses. They explored Finale for making larger orchestrations for use with their choirs and musicians as well as ideas for creative arrangements of organ works with solo instruments. For the Sibelius portion of the workshop, Marasovich guided participants in accomplishing different tasks (inputting notes, lyrics, key and meter signatures). It was a morning well spent.

—Karla Devine

San Diego, CA

Robert Plimpton playing at San Diego reading session of new organ music

Robert Plimpton playing at San Diego reading session of new organ music

February 9, the chapter met at Organ Stop (our local Allen organ dealer and organ sheet-music retailer, owned by chapter members Wayne and Cheryl Seppala) for a reading session of new organ music, played by Robert Plimpton. The eve­ning also included a demonstration of the new Allen Historique by concert artist Aram Basmadjian (Allen Organ Company’s assistant vice president). A sale of used organ music served as a fundraiser for the upcoming AGO West Regional Convention, and raised $715. Members enjoyed delicious wine, cheese, and desserts provided by the Seppalas.

—Leslie Wolf Robb

San Jose, CA

San Jose CA Chapter News

Participants in San Jose’s Pedals, Pipes & Pizza event

In December, Lothar Bandermann (organist at St. Joseph’s Church, Cupertino) presented a series of Advent Medi­tation Concerts on three consecutive Thursdays. The varied programs mixed compositions and arrangements of composers including Brahms, Anna Laura Page, our own Anita Graves, and many of Lothar’s own arrangements, which included works based on chants, psalms, carols, and original works. The final program included two beautifully sung solos from Messiah by soprano Billie Bandermann and bass Dan Morris, with Lothar Bandermann accompanying. •

In January, the annual Alzheimer’s benefit concerts were sponsored by the San Jose and Peninsula/Palo Alto chapters. Admission was free, and donations ($2,800 this year) were given to the Alzheimer’s Association for research. The first concert, Jan. 23 at St. Bede’s in San Mateo, featured Angela Kraft Cross on the 1969 Beckerath organ and Carla and Larry Sue, a husband and wife team, on handbells. Cross offered an eclectic repertoire: North German Baroque, Romantic, “Grand Lothbury Voluntary” (which she composed in 2014), and Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor. In between, the Sues played delightful renditions of folk tunes, hymns, and interpretations of Vivaldi and Bach. They were just as much fun to watch as to hear. For “The Bear Went Over the Mountain,” Carla wore a fur hat with ears. The concert ended with a work for organ and handbells arranged by Larry Sue and T. Paul Rosas. The second concert, Jan. 24 at the First Palo Alto United Methodist Church, featured Diane Keller (organ) and the Left Bank group with Julianne Stafford (chromatic accordion), Alan Cooper (violin), and Larry Schemel (guitar/bass). Left Bank performed French café-style music of the 1920s thru the 1940s. For two pieces, the organ’s pedals provided the part of a string bass. Keller played music by Elliott, Bonnet, Lefé­bure-Wély, and Bossi. The audience loved to watch her feet as she played. The third concert, Jan. 25 at the Advent Lutheran Church in Morgan Hill, featured Stephen Boniface (organ), the Metropolitan Jazz Band, the Bradshaw piano duo (ragtime), and the Santa Anna Winds Quin­tet. The audience wanted everyone to play more.

January 31, the chapter’s annual Pedals, Pipes & Pizza event was held at Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church. This has always been a favorite event and allows chapter members to give more exposure to the instrument we love. Fifteen students participated this year. Valerie Sterk and Elisabeth Pinter organized and conducted the event. Mike Cala also talked about the difference between church and theater organs and demonstrated how the sound is different. Each student played a piano piece on the organ with the registrations set by one of the organists. The students were also taken into the organ chamber to view the 3,020 pipes. Demonstrations were given, along with explanations of the different tone qualities and how they are generated. There were pictures of what the pipes look like and how they are constructed. There was also an explanation of the unique features of the organ—the stops, couplers, combination action, etc. Lothar Bandermann gave each student a CD of his organ music.

—Kenneth Talbot

Utah Valley

Happy Birthday Bach! recitalists (front) Caleb Lyons, Heidi Rodeback, Anna Judkins, Sarah Maxfield, Nora Hess, David Chamberlin; (back) Jay Goodliffe, Becky Azera, Carol Dean, Jennifer Morgan, and L.B. Erik Richter (Utah Valley)

Happy Birthday Bach! recitalists (front) Caleb Lyons, Heidi Rodeback, Anna Judkins, Sarah Maxfield, Nora Hess, David Chamberlin, (back) Jay Goodliffe, Becky Azera, Carol Dean, Jennifer Morgan, and L.B. Erik Richter (Utah Valley)

February 21 in Orem, the chapter held a workshop for choir directors and choir accompanists titled “Sing! Choirs of Angels.” Attendees and participants totaled nearly 200. Special guest presenters were Ryan Egg­ett (director of the Utah Valley Children’s Choir, Provo MTC Choir, and faculty member at the Orem Institute of Religion) and Don Cook (AGO Councillor for Education and associate professor of organ at Brigham Young University). Classes included What Accompanists Want from Choir Directors, and What Choir Directors Want from Accompanists; Preparing Scores, Fingers, and Feet for Choir Accompaniment at the Organ; Choral Conducting and Score Preparation; and a live rehearsal demonstration with the Utah Valley Children’s Choir.

March 20, the chapter held its annual Happy Birthday Bach! Recital at the Provo Central LDS Stake Center, where twelve performers played works by J.S. Bach on the neo-Baroque II/18 M.L. Bigelow tracker organ.

—Jack Stoneman

Olympic Peninsula, WA

March 14, members met at Summit Avenue Presbyterian Church, Bremerton, for the chapter’s annual “Meet the Composer” program. On this occasion, Cindy Holland (education chair) selected a set of early English composers: Byrd, Morley, Peerson, Purcell, James, Boyce, Stanley, and Wesley. A chapter member read a biographical sketch of a composer, and another member played a representative piece of organ music by that composer. For most of the guests and members present, the program provided a lot of new information and insight into the development of organ music in Great Britain around the time that Bach and Telemann, among others, were active on the continent.

—Len Guyt

Seattle, WA

Roger Meers, Yu-Lin Chao, Annette Richards, David Boeckh, and Chris Lyons at Seattle masterclass (photo: David Nichols)

Roger Meers, Yu-Lin Chao, Annette Richards, David Boeckh, and Chris Lyons at Seattle masterclass (photo: David Nichols)

March 28, nearly 30 chapter members and guests from Tacoma met at Trinity Lutheran Church, Lynnwood, for a masterclass on Bach organ works led by Annette Richards (university organist and musicology professor at Cornell University). Meeting host Norma Aamodt-Nelson (Seattle dean-elect) welcomed and introduced Richards. Three chapter members, as well as Yu-Lin Chao from Portland, Oreg., played the 1995 Martin Pasi organ. Chris Lyons played the fugue from Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, David Boeckh played the Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, Roger Meers played Vater unser im Himmelreich (Neumeister Cho­rales), and Yu-Lin Chao concluded with the fantasia from the Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor. Richards gave historical background information on the selections and offered wonderful suggestions for bringing out the dramatic structure of each piece and combining different types of articulation to make the music come alive. Participants were encouraged to listen to chamber players performing the music of Bach. Playing like an instrumentalist rather than an organist seemed to resonate with those in attendance. Conversation and refreshments before the class rounded out the morning.

—David Stinson

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