June 2016 Chapter News

Northeast Region

New London County, CT

January 24, the chapter presented its annual Children’s Choir Festival at St. John the Evangelist Catho­lic Church in Uncasville. Each of the six children’s choirs sang one song individually; then, conducted by Andrew Howell and accompanied by Jacob Troy, the whole group sang three songs together. A free-will offering was collected, to be used for the Ro­berta Bitgood Organ Scholarship.

—Elizabeth Limkemann

Worcester, MA

March 7, the chapter gathered for another of the successful “Open Console” (First Mondays) series. The organists greatly enjoy visiting instruments that are not generally accessible to local organists. This time, the group was delighted to visit the Cathedral of St. Paul’s III/69 Casavant-Wicks-Russell instrument, and to have hands-on access to the amazing resources of the organ and six-second acoustics. Many thanks to host David Moulton (assistant organist) and to historian/presenter Joe Policelli (former choirmaster at St. Paul’s and former chapter dean) for sharing this beauty with the chapter. Kurt Blomstrom is the series coordinator.

• In mid-January, the chapter continued its long tradition of a Twelfth Night gathering. With the Christmas holidays behind them, members celebrated at the home of Ronna and John Davis, where all enjoyed playing and listening to two-piano duets, and consuming a delicious buffet. The “admission ticket” for participants was a donation to our chapter’s scholarship fund, which has funded student organ lessons now for more than 20 years. The menu included: Aeolian artisanal cheeses, Sesquialtera salad, Larigot lasagna, Scharf chiffon apricot cheesecake, Wald Flute white and red wines, and Melodia mulled hot cider (alcohol Unison Off).

—Dorothy Frisch and Will Sherwood

New Hampshire

September 19, mem­bers and friends of the chapter held their annual fall organ crawl in the mountainous region, “through the notches” to the towns of Randolph, Berlin, and Gorham. Host Susan Ferre and George Bozeman organized the itinerary, which included brief demonstrations and performances at Randolph Church (Ruggles organ), the home of Susan Ferre (Kingston, Tattershall, and other keyboard instruments), St. Kieran’s Center for the Arts in Berlin (Hook & Has­tings) and St. Barnabas Episcopal Church (Bedient and Olym­pic/Tattershall).

• November 15, mem­bers were treated to a welcoming organ demonstration of the home-crafted pipe organ at the Barrington home of John Richards, who also gave a PowerPoint presentation of the recent rebuild of the Ca­vaillé-Coll organ at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

• December 11, an Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols was performed by the Cathedral Singers at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Manchester, directed by host organist Eric Bermani with the assistance of chapter members George Bozeman and Margaret Harper.

January 8, mem­bers braved the snowy weather for a Twelfth Night party at Holy Cross Church, Weare, where an evening of refreshments and musical humor was enjoyed. Many thanks to host Roberta Walmsley for handling the arrangements.

—Nicholas Girgus

Binghamton, NY

March 12, Jean Herman Henssler presented a pictorial and video retrospective of the University of Kansas organ study tour to France that she attended in 2014. Trip participants were able to play approximately 15 organs, many of which were by Cavaillé-Coll. The last stop was at Saint-Sul­pice in Paris, where Henssler recorded an improvisation on the 102-stop Cavaillé-Coll played by Daniel Roth. Sub-dean Rich­ard Hedgebeth continued the theme of French organs by giving an in-depth talk on the instrument at Saint-Sulpice, and included a detailed handout he prepared for the occasion. He concluded the presentation by showing selected video performances by Roth.

—John Holt

Brooklyn, NY

March 12, the chapter held its first-ever scholarship competition at Grace Episcopal Church. Prizes totaling $1,200 were awarded to three high-school competitors: Samuel Kuffour, Mahesh Tiwari, and Reilly Xu. The judges were Christopher Houlihan and Craig R. Whitney. These prom­ising young students hail from all over the New York City me­t­ropolitan area and performed major works by Alain, Bach, Franck, and Lemmens. Fund­rais­ers for this event included a Valentine’s-themed madrigal concert in February and a solo organ recital by John A. Wolfe (sub-dean) in October.

—John A. Wolfe

Mid-Atlantic Region

District of Columbia

March 18, the chapter and St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish of Be­thesda, Md., hosted Thomas Ospital in recital as part of its “Sacred Music in a Sacred Space” series. Ospital is titular organist of Saint-Eustache, Paris, and organist in residence for Radio France. He played two selections of music by J.S. Bach, followed by a poignant and stirring improvised accompaniment for the silent film The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ (first released in 1902 by the Pathé film company, approximately 42 minutes long). The instrument at St. Jane Frances de Chantal is a Lively-Fulcher, Opus 18.

—Kathleen C. Cooper

Northern New Jersey

March 5, Don Meinecke presented a masterclass at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ridgewood. He provided some insight and vocal exercises that we can do with our choirs to help improve their singing and ours. Present were Anita Bontekoe, Elena Crudge (organist at Bethlehem Luther­an), Stewart Holmes, Clara Hoo­genhuis, Peggy Hsiao, David Macfarlane (sub-dean), Karen Schmidt (dean), Candy Steen, Janice Van Dyk, and Carol Weber.

—Karen Schmidt

Southwest Jersey

February 21, the chapter held a program of “Organ and Instruments in Worship” at Martin Luther Chapel, Pennsauken (Lia Gerken, host). Featured was the 22-member Salem County Brass Society. Music with violin, bass, soprano, trumpet, and the Covenant Carrilloneurs handbell ensemble was included. Members participating were Dean Rob Hobgood, Laurence De Pasquale, Marilyn Rabbai, and Lia Gerken. A light buffet provided by the church and Catherine O’Neill (chapter secretary and hospitality chair) followed in the church fellowship room.

• March 12, the chapter held a workshop at Trinity Methodist Church, Merchant­ville (Helen Carrell, host). Wayne Leupold, organist, musicologist, and publisher, shared his latest project, J.S. Bach: The Complete Organ Works in eight volumes. The morning ended with a pot­luck lunch.

—Joyce Ann Routon

Chambersburg, PA

March 12, chapter members went on an organ crawl, touring churches in the Waynesboro area. The first stop was Church of the Apostles (UCC), where host Jim Heefner explained and demonstrated the organ. Next was Trinity UCC, where Carol Ann Day was the host organist. The group enjoyed a time of fellowship and lunch at a nearby restaurant before resuming the tour. At Christ United Methodist Church, participants had a chance to see and hear two instruments: John Johnson dem­onstrated and talked about the harpsichord there, and Cindy Gettins (host organist) talked about the pipe organ. Members were then given a chance to try the instruments. Finally, Patti Divelbiss gave a history of the organ at the Church of the Brethren; Janet Smedley, organist there for 58 years, played it for the group. We are grateful to Carol Ann Day for organizing this lovely organ crawl.

—Helen Wingert

Harrisburg, PA

March 4, an evening of music, art, and food was enjoyed at First United Methodist Church, Hershey (host Shawn Gingrich, dean). After a sumptuous potluck meal, members gathered in the sanctuary to hear organ selections from various time periods, while artwork and architecture from those same time periods—Medieval, Renaissance, Early Ba­roque, Later Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionism, Modern–
early 20th-century, and Modern–later 20th- and 21st-centuries—were displayed on a screen. The work of collecting the art and artifacts, photography, and screening was accomplished by our talented host and dean, and appreciated by all in attendance. Chapter members who played the organ were Delight St. John Brainerd, Stephen Shoop, Dan Dorty, Kevin Gane, Brian Rice, Dan Stokes, and Shawn Gingrich. Susan Stiller and Charles Yocum played a duet on the piano. Those in attendance—including many members of the local congregation—enjoyed the evening immensely.

—Mary Jane Nelson

Lehigh Valley, PA

March 13, members and friends of the chap­ter gathered at Egner Memorial Chapel on the campus of Muhlenberg College in Allentown for the annual Bach Marathon. The setting is particularly impressive because of the lovely architecture of the room and the magnificent three-manual organ that has recently undergone a complete renovation by Berghaus Pipe Organ Builders. This year, as a slightly different focus, musicians were encouraged to offer selections by J.S. Bach and works by other composers who were related to or influenced by Bach’s life, teaching, and compositions. Represented were Buxtehude, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Marchand, Pachelbel, C.P.E. Bach, Haydn, and Reger. Presenters played in 20-minute intervals, beginning at 3:00 p.m. and continuing for four hours, with an appreciative audience arriving and departing as their personal schedules permitted. Performers included Lou Carol Fix, Stephen Bueker and the Lehigh Valley Horn Ensemble, Pauline Fox playing with Joe Dorsch (baritone saxophone), Michael Krentz (dean and host), Stephen Williams, Thomas Dressler, and Andrew Long (sub-dean and program coordinator). It was a very satisfying way to commemorate the birthday of J.S. Bach.

—Gloria Snyder

Pittsburgh, PA

March 13, the Organ Artists Series presented Isabelle Demers playing the 81-rank Austin organ at Westminster Presbyterian Church (Jim Burns and Sara Kyle, host organists). A native of Quebec, Demers is organ professor and head of the organ program at Baylor University in Waco, Tex. She played an interesting and varied program of works by J.S. Bach (arr. Reger), Prokofiev (transcr. Demers), Henry Martin, Walton (transcr. McKie), Rachel Laurin, and Thalben-Ball. The audience enjoyed meeting Demers at a reception after the recital.

—Barbara McKelway

Southeastern Pennsylvania.

March 19, chapter members visited organs at the Episcopal Academy Chapel and St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, both in Newtown Square. The instruments were quite different, and each began its musical life in another building. Attending the organ crawl were Nancy Brown, Ken Delmar, Art Kalemkarian, John Powell, Michael Trinder, and Jerry Troy.

—Nancy Brown

Richmond, VA

March 6, the chapter held its sixth annual Bach Marathon. A large crowd attended the three-hour series of performances held at St. Mi­chael’s Episcopal Church in the Bon Air neighborhood. The featured organ was Taylor & Boo­dy’s Opus 64 (2010), which is well suited to the music of J.S. Bach. Participating organists were Crystal Jonkman, Albrecht von Gaudecker, Daniel Stipe, Paula Pugh Romanaux, Tom Bailey, Larry Robinson, Grant Hellmers, Bruce Stevens, and Cheryl Van Ornam (dean), who was joined by Christine Ertell on flute. The program also featured members of the Greater Richmond Children’s Choir, direct­ed by Hope Armstrong Erb. This much-acclaimed organization, made up of young people ages 8–18, will be performing this summer in Berlin, Spremberg, Dresden, Leipzig, and Halle.

—John DeMajo

Winchester, VA

March 11, Nick Capozzoli presented an organ recital for chapter members and the Winchester community at Braddock Street United Methodist Church. He played Mendelssohn’s “Overture to Paulus” (transcr. W.T. Best), two early American hymn tunes by George Shearing, and Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in E. The second half of the program included works by Schumann, Alain, and Liszt.

—Gloria Harris

Southeast Region

Sarasota-Manatee, FL

March 19, 15 members gathered for lunch to meet and greet professor Thomas Murray in the reception hall at Christ Episcopal Church, Bradenton. Murray, who presented a well-attended recital the following day on the church’s three-manual mechanical-action Létourneau organ, talked about his career and view of the future of classical organ study. Attendees took the opportunity to ask questions and to dialog with him in the relaxed and informal lunch setting.

—Nancy Siebecker

Space Coast, FL

February 28, chapter members presented a Classical Pipe Organ Recital, cosponsored with Ascension Lutheran Church, Satellite Beach. Members played a wide range of repertoire with an interesting program of organ music, piano duets, and soloists. Claire Klein gave a wonderful introduction of each performer and music. An appreciative audience of more than 140 people enjoyed the varied music program; one could hear audience members humming along to some familiar tunes. The church’s pipe organ was built by Wendhack, Redeker, and Kreuzer of Munich, Germany. It produces tonal qualities representing those found in northern European organs during the Baroque period. The organ is located in the rear choir loft, and to enhance the listeners’ experience, Jim Rindelaub (music director of Ascension Church) and Wayne Savold (who maintains the organ) projected video images of the performance at the front of the church. The recital concluded with a buffet of delicious foods furnished by the ladies of Ascension Church.

—Barbara Burgess

Augusta, GA

March 5, the chapter cosponsored organist Paul Jacobs, chair of the organ department at Juilliard, in re­-cital at St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church, Aiken (Dean Don Dupee, host). The recital was part of the “Joye in Aiken” series. Jacobs held the capacity audience spellbound with works of Bach, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Reubke. His interpretation of the Reubke’s Sonata on the 94th Psalm had the audience in a rousing standing ovation at the release of the last chord.

—David Salter

Columbus, GA

March 28, the chapter presented a recital of Easter postludes at Church of the Holy Family. The program began and ended with the sing­ing of two Easter hymns. The rest of the program included works by Bish, Bernard, Vierne, German, Martin, Walond, Mendelssohn, Farnam, and Handel. Member Ken Bailey concluded the recital with an improvisation on the hymn tune Victory.

—Barbara E. Acker-Mills

Macon, GA

February 25, at St. Jo­seph’s Catholic Church, members presented Dupré’s Stations of the Cross. This Lenten work celebrates the 14 stations of the cross with prayers and readings, each followed by descriptive organ music. Participants included Ann Caldwell, Gerald Carper, Nelda Chapman, Robin Ericksen, Jane Kimbrel, Lewis King, and Fr. Allan McDonald (reader).

—Sandra Smith

Northeast Georgia

November 14 and January 16, Ivan Frazier, AAGO, presented a two-part survey of the life and work of Alexander Schreiner, the legendary organist of the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah. Both meet­ings were held at the Athens Georgia Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Watkinsville, Ga. Part One dealt with Schreiner’s birth (1901) and early child­-hood in Nuremberg, Germany, through the family’s conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and eventual emigration to Salt Lake City, and on through his musical training, study with Libert, Vierne, and Widor in France, his youthful appointment as Tabernacle organist, and his professional activities in the Los Angeles, Calif., area through the late 1920s and ’30s, including service as organist at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Part Two surveyed Schreiner’s concertizing, publications, academic achievements, recordings, and collaboration with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, up to his retirement from a 57-year career at the Tabernacle, and his death in 1987. His three-volume set of organ voluntaries is still in wide use. Those attending were Letitia Colglazier (dean), Erica Spackman, Jolene Davis (past dean), Carol Corina, William Coscarelli (past dean), Lalla Tanner, Amy Carruth Hepworth, Ivan Frazier (past dean), Nancy Goodrich (treasurer), Jeani Goodwin, Keith Zimmerman, Jim Carter, and Jerry Evans.

—Ivan Frazier

Central North Carolina

March 5, the chapter sponsored a Pedals, Pipes & Pizza event at Jones Chapel on the campus of Mere­dith College in Raleigh. Eighteen youths and twelve adults attended the two-hour event led by Glenn Little, organist-director of music at Davie Street Pres­byterian Church. Host organist was Janet Cherry, adjunct instructor of organ, who was assisted by Noel Hamm, Patti Lingafelt, and Lee Harris. A booklet titled “An Introduction to the Pipe Organ and the Jones Chap­el Organ in Particular” was given to all attendees. With the demonstration and help of Glenn Little, the booklet (prepared by Kenneth Kerr) explained in detail about how the organ works, categories of stops, and how each is constructed differently, allowing the variety of sounds. Since the Andover organ at Jones Chapel is a tracker-action instrument, the booklet addressed tracker action and how 
it differs from electronic action and electronic organs. The presentation was followed by a pizza lunch for everyone.

—Lee Harris

Charlotte, NC

March 11–12, Covenant Presbyterian Church was the site for the annual Peek Weekend, cosponsored by the church and the chapter. The event is named for Richard and Betty Peek, who served the church as music director and organist, respectively, for 47 years. Kimberly Marshall played an evening recital titled “Dancing through the Ages,” featuring music of Rheinberger, Vierne, Reger, Buxtehude, and Pamela Decker. The next morning, she gave a masterclass for area high-school and university students—including some from Furman University, the University of North Carolina–Greensboro, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

—Matthew Manwarren

Wilmington, NC

March 15, the chapter held a meeting at the Church of the Servant (Dean Justin Smith, host). Laura Ellis, councillor for the Southeast Region, presented a program about the future of the Guild. She spoke about current membership statistics and trends, efforts to meet the needs of AGO members, and efforts to reach and serve young organists. She also encouraged people to think about seeking AGO certificates.

—Sara Bryant

Grand Strand, SC

March 13, the chapter presented a members’ recital at First United Meth­odist Church, Myrtle Beach (Pat Downes, host organist). Participants Linda Downes, Pat Downes, the Rev. Bud Esper, Billy Fallaw, Karen Kearney, Mary Moller, Brian Monroe, the Rev. Jean Norton, Ash- ­ley Sosis, and Roselle William­son played a varied program of piano/organ duos, and organ solos. Afterward, the church hosted a reception for all in attendance.

—Billy Fallaw

Greater Anderson, SC

December 19, chapter members went to two churches in Walhalla: St. John’s Lutheran (Casavant, Opus 3842) and Walhalla Presbyterian (Cornel Zimmer, Opus 138). Participants played their favorite pieces and enjoyed lunch together between the two visits. Participants included Frank Breazeale, Judy Bonham, Marsha Cabbage, Davis Wilcox, Steve Ellison, Joyce Thompson, and Trevis Young.

—Judy Bonham

Greater Columbia, SC

March 12, the chapter sponsored the sixth annual Young Organist Competition at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Judges for the event were Nigel Potts (Charles­ton) and Jared Johnson and David Lowry (Columbia). The winner was Katherine Johnson (Elm City, N.C.), a student of Andrew Scanlon. She also garnered the Best Bach Performance Award, sponsored by chapter member Tony Roof, and the Hymn Playing Award, sponsored by David Hall (Virginia). Second prize went to Audrey Pickering (Manhattan, Kans.), a student of her father David Pickering. Third prize was awarded to Bruce Xu (Sloatsburg, N.Y.), a student of Craig Williams. The first-prize winner will return to Columbia in the fall to play a solo recital. A catered lunch for contestants, their families, judges, and donors followed in the par­ish hall.

—Frances Webb

Spartanburg, SC

March 12, chapter members participated in an organ crawl in neighboring Greenville. They heard and played organs at the following churches: Christ Episcopal (III/67 Goulding & Wood, installed in 2001); Buncombe Street United Methodist (III/47 Aus­-tin [2004]); First Presbyterian (III/60 Casavant [1987]); Trinity Lutheran (II/28 Steiner mechanical action [1981]); and Trinity United Methodist (III/32 Schantz [1983]). Members enjoyed lunch together in downtown Greenville.

—Bill Cooper

Memphis, TN

March 4, the chapter presented Matthew Bogart in a recital titled “Pipes for Centuries: The Changing Faces of the Organ” at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. The categories of the “changing faces” ranged from early-15th- to late-19th-century and 2000. Composers’ countries represented were Italy, Germany, England, Spain, Austria, France, and the United States. Topic headings were Noble Court Music of the Middle-Ages and Renaissance; The Sacred Church of the Baroque; The Concerted Church of the Classical and Romantic Eras; and The Organ in Concert: A Modern Era. Bogart, a chapter member, has worked continuously to foster his experiences as a performer, educator, and church musician.

—Jean Jones

Nashville, TN

March 7, the chapter presented Chelsea Chen in recital at Covenant Presbyterian Church. She played works of Bach, Franck, Dupré, and Duruflé, as well as Miroir by Ad Wammes and her own Taiwan­ese Suite (2003) of three movements. The recital and preceding dinner were hosted by David German and Elizabeth Smith of Covenant’s music ministry.

—Rhonda Swanson

Great Lakes Region

Chicago, IL

March 5, the chapter gathered with members of the Chicago-Midwest chapter of the Organ Historical Society for the annual day of pipe-organ mania, titled “The Chicago Organ Experience IV: Westward Trails.” In a program masterfully arranged by Carl Chadek and Derek Nickels, about 70 participants visited organs at five locations in the western suburbs of Chicago and were whisked from venue to venue via deluxe motorcoach. First on the list was Grace Lutheran in River Forest, where the Rev. Michael Costello (cantor and organist) demonstrated the 1986 Berghaus instrument. The group continued on to First United Methodist Church of Oak Park to hear Michael Shawgo thoroughly demonstrate the enchanting 1925 E.M. Skinner, Opus 528. After a relaxing lunch and ensuing conversation and console time, the group went to the third venue, Ascension Catholic Church in Oak Park, where resident director of music and organist David Anderson treated us to a marvelous demonstration of the 2004 Berghaus organ. We hitched up our horses for the final time and journeyed over to First United Church of Oak Park to hear organist Michael Surratt demonstrate the 1983 Casavant, Opus 3544. From there, we hit the trail on foot to the stunning architecture of Grace Episcopal Church to hear Charlie Carpenter deftly demonstrate the majestic 1922 Casavant, Opus 940.

—Steven Betancourt

Southern Indiana

February 15, members held a February Flourish (January Jubilee) at Trinity United Methodist Church in New Albany; it was directed by David K. Lamb. Presenters for a variety of sessions included Kate­lyn Stumler, the Rev. William Shannon, Madelyn Batchvarova, Jonathan Stanley, Janet Hamilton, Susan Adams, Nathan Proc­tor, and David C. Sims. An organ recital and concert session were presented by featured organist Greg Zelek. At the opening Guild service, the Rev. Shannon was the keynote speaker. The Trinity UMC Chancel Choir, conducted by Lamb, sang several anthems. Readers includ­ed Karl Bruhn (regional councillor), and Judith E. Miller, CAGO (dean). Miller was inducted into the League of Distinguished Honorable Service, honoring 50 years or more of dedicated service to church music in Southern Indiana. Pastor Janet Kelley of Corydon United Methodist Church and David Lamb participated in the presentation. Committee members for the league include Lamb, Susan Adams, and Gary Pope. The closing session was a hymn festival, “The Church’s Song,” designed and led by David Sims and Nathan Proctor. The Trinity UMC Choir (also directed by Lamb) sang several anthems. Readers included Miller, Lamb, Rev. Shannon, Ladonne Patterson, and Glenda Hott.

—Judith Miller

Greater Lansing, MI

November 15, the chapter’s executive board sponsored a tour of area churches. Organbuilder Brian Fowler organized the program, titled “Historic Buildings, Hero­ic Instruments.” The event included a walking tour of four buildings more than a century old: St. Mary Cathedral, St. Paul Episcopal, Christ Community Church, and Central Methodist. At each venue, a short presentation included the history and architecture of the buildings followed by a demonstration of each organ. Chapter members who played included Michael James, Timothy Costigan, Jeffrey Walker, and Darlene Greenman-Ross. Rex: The King of Instruments was narrated by WKAR radio personality Jody Knoll. The program was open to the public, and a fine fall day made for a great time.

—Barbara Hiranpradist

Cincinnati, OH

March 7, the chapter gathered with members of the Cincinnati chapter of National Pastoral Musicians at College Hill Presbyterian Church with its large Schantz (IV/98 plus midi) organ. Led by Sub-dean Mark Behnken (the church’s organist) and former Dean Paul Welch (retired from St. Rose’s R.C. Church), the meeting served as both an introductory and advanced demonstration of appropriate registration for hymn playing and service music as well as voluntaries. Welch discussed the families of pipework, using well-designed handouts to clarify his explanations of foundation stops and their application in support of congregational sing­ing. He further demon­- strated the use of couplers, pistons, the general cancel, the sforzando, and the expression and crescen­do pedals to underscore effective ways of varying registrations for hymns, service music, and responsorial psalm­ody. Behnken then took the group to a more advanced level that revealed the power of the church’s organ that has recently been outfitted with a new Allen console, 16 levels of memory, and 256 midi voices. Expanding on the previous presentation, he showed how the resources of the organ could be used for drama, fun, special effects, and improvisation. Antiphonal playing using the rear gallery division, exotic effects using percussion, orchestral, and theater-organ sounds available through the midi then delighted and entertained the assembled organists. Both presenters emphasized that the organist must not only know well the instrument he or she is playing, but also know it better than anyone else does. Behnken stressed the need to understand the terracing of sounds, the use of substitutions for solo stops, and the appropriateness of correct registration for period music. Finally, attendees were invited to sing a hymn, accompanied by Behn­ken, using many features of the College Hill instrument.

—Robert Benson

Toledo, OH

February 20, Aaron David Miller, former chapter member and current director of music-organist at House of Hope Presbyterian Church (St. Paul, Minn.), accompanied the 1925 silent film The Gold Rush, starring Charlie Chaplin, on the II/21 Reuter, Opus 2047 (2008), at the Community of Christ Lutheran Church in Whitehouse. The evening opened with the 1932 silent cartoon Barnyard Olympics, starring Mickey Mouse.

• March 6, the annual student recital was held at Christ Presbyterian Church and featured winners of the 2015–16 chapter scholarships for organ study. The program opened with Mark Mathias (sub-dean and host) playing a rendition of Craig Phillips’s What Wondrous Love Is This on the III/48 Casavant organ (1972), followed by an introduction of the performers by Denise Mathias, education chair. Teen organists Daniel Stokes and Skyelar Raiti played arrangements and compositions by Martha Sobaje, Ann Slowins, Louis Vierne, and J.S. Bach. Christopher Nejvara, young adult winner of the Gene Trom­bla Scholarship, played works of contemporary arranger David Cherwien and Renaissance master Tomás de Santa Maria. Punch and cookies were enjoyed following the recital.

—Ed Duling

North Central Region

Greater Kansas City, MO

March 14, the chapter sponsored a recital by Maxine Thévenot at First United Methodist Church of Lawrence, Kans. She is canon precentor, director of cathedral music, and organist at the Ca­the­dral of St. John in Albuquer­que, N. Mex.

—Norm Kinnaugh

St. Louis, MO

March 7, the chapter hosted organist Agnes Armstrong and enjoyed her presentation of “Felix Alexandre Guilmant: His American Tours.” Her research and interest in the lives and music of French organists in the late 1800s and early 1900s have impacted repertoire that is recognized and performed in American venues to this day. The presentation with slides described Guilmant’s early years and musical heritage, and his career as parish and concert organist and teacher. One particularly interesting comparison was to consider Guilmant and Charles-Marie Widor as we might view Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire: Guilmant and Kelly as the more flamboyant and athletic, Astaire and Widor as more classically ethereal and graceful. Armstrong shared a wealth of wonderful details regarding Guilmant’s journeys to America and the tours in America and Canada. The 1904 tour was of special interest to the chapter, as that included his 40-plus recitals at the St. Louis Exposition and his virtuosity on what was then the largest pipe organ in the world. A reprint of that program booklet was on display as well. Guilmant had been invited by St. Louis organist Charles Galloway, then-organist at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and Washington University.

—Dawn Riske

Milwaukee, WI

December 8, member Rob McWilliam played an organ recital at the Church of the Gesu on the IV/115 Schantz. Composers represented included Bach, Janzer, Muhly, Coche­reau, Maleingreau, and Jongen. Also featured in the program were special guests the Holy Hill Girls’ Choir and Bob Mullins of Ego Tech, Milwaukee. Ego Tech provided a light show to accompany the music.

—Robert McWilliam

Southwest Region

Tulsa, OK

March 3, the chapter met at St. John’s Episcopal Church for dinner and a meeting. Afterward, Monica Czausz—2015 Southwest Region AGO/Quimby Competition winner—played an exciting recital for an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.

—Karen Rich

Beaumont, TX

February 27, chapter members hosted a performance by area keyboard students at Wesley United Metho­dist Church. (Earlier in the month, Scott Feldhausen, Dwight Peirce, Chris Richter, and Jerome Wells conducted a series of organ-playing mentoring sessions with students who had been selected by their piano teachers.) The presentation provided the students with the opportunity to present, on the church’s Reuter organ, works with which they were familiar. Friends, instructors, and family members served as an appreciative audience.

—Chris Richter

Central Texas

March 19, the chapter and First Presbyterian Church, Waco, presented the annual J.S. Bach Festival. Church organist Becky Ward was responsible for the scheduling of 
a variety of instruments and performers. Instruments represented were organ, bell choir, flute, harp, piano, men’s quartet, and the Midway High School chamber singers. Participants included Leslie King (minister of First Presbyterian), Becky Ward, Bobby Safley, Jan Bodine (bell choir director), Sara Odajima, Lydia Bratcher, Anita Sellers, Lottie Evans, Victor Ward, Steve Watson, Dick Belanger, David Dow, Phoebe Park, Felicity Fulton, Mitchell Won, Jeff Rice, and Mary Bashara. A large audience enjoyed the morning festival. Afterward, a social time was enjoyed by all in the fellowship hall (thanks to Bonnie Belanger for the food arrangements).

—Lottie Evans

Dallas, TX

February 8, the chapter’s second Robert T. Anderson Recital Series performer was Vin­cent Dubois, titular organist of Notre-Dame Cathedral and continuing guest artist at the University of Michigan. He performed at Christ the King Catho­lic Church on the recently installed pipe organ by Juget-Sinclair, inspired by 19th-century French instruments by Cavaillé-Coll. We were again grateful for an audience that filled the church nave. Following the recital there was a reception in the Parish Hall.

—William Leazer

West Region

Kern County, CA Chapter members recently traveled to Los Angeles for an organ demo of the organs of First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. Organist in residence Christoph Bull demonstrated the many sounds and effects of the largest church pipe organ in the world. A major highlight was “console time” for each participant. A delicious lunch with Christoph and son Max topped off a very special day! Attending the organ experience were members Phil Dodson, Nelson Dodge, Marcia Krause, Meg Wise, and Sue Wagner.

—Shirley Foster

San Jose, CA

February 6, the chapter held its annual Pedals, Pipes & Pizza at Immanuel Lu­theran Church, Saratoga (Sophie Chang, organist). Sixteen students participated. Valerie Sterk and Elisabeth Pinter organized and conducted the event. After Sterk explained the various components and controls of the organ and how everything works, the students were divided into three groups. While the first group played the organ, another group visited the organ chamber and then watched YouTube videos of some famous organs being played, while the third group was introduced to TAO, The Diapason, and Sandra Soderlund’s book on the pipe organ. After a set amount of time, the groups exchanged places. Each student played his or her piano piece on the organ; Sophie Chang and Dian Ruder helped the students set the registration. With the whole group gathered, John Chang showed various types of pipes and dem­onstrated their sounds. There were also pictures of what other types of pipes look like, such as reed pipes. Lothar Bandermann gave each student a CD of “Fun and Funny Organ Music.” Everyone had a good time, and there was plenty of pizza afterward.

• February 20, the chapter held its Alzheimer’s Benefit Concert at Advent Lutheran Church, Morgan Hill. There were 44 attendees, and $800 was donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. The program included a wide range of music. Participants were David Johanson (organ); South Valley Orchestra String Trio: Beverly Olivier-Blount and Gisela Steffe (violins), and Patricia Meyer (cello); Santa Anna Winds Quintet: Susan Biskaborn (clarinet), Curt Moran (flute), Myrna Breeze (bassoon), Steve Knapp (oboe), and Rick Siverson (French horn); and the Bradshaw Ragtime Duo: Chris Bradshaw and Jack Bradshaw (piano). To conclude, all the musicians joined to play the “Dill Pickle Rag,” which was the first rag to sell one million sheet-music copies. The music was great, well played, and enjoyed by those in attendance.

—Ken Talbot

Ventura County, CA

February 27, the chapter held a workshop in Samuelson Chapel at California Lutheran University. Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra, author of the acclaimed book Bach and the Art of Improvisation, presented an informative masterclass that was met with enthusiastic appreciation. Several of Kyle Johnson’s students from CLU played during the class.

—Ivan Shobe

Las Vegas, NV

November 1, the chapter hosted Thomas Strauss with Trinkle Brass Works at the Rando-Grillot Recital Hall on the campus of the University of Nevada. Repertoire included music for organ, four trumpets, and timpani by Bach, Purcell, Handel, Cassado, Torelli, and Françaix. Strauss is organist, cantor, and choirmaster at St. John the Baptist (Oppenau, Germany); members of Trinkle Brass Works—Steven Trinkle, Bruce Barrie, Gary Malvern, and Kevin Tague, and timpanist Genie Burkett—perform throughout the United States with support from the Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment of the Arts. The performance was part of a short tour that began in Germany with two performances at the Festwoche Klassiche Musik, hosted by Strauss, followed by the performance in Las Vegas and a final concert in Santa Ana, Calif., at Trinity United Presbyterian Church (hosted by the Orange County AGO Chapter).

—Genie Burkett

Seattle, WA

March 6–7, the Seattle and Tacoma chapters hosted French organist and professor Christophe Mantoux for two separate events. The first was an informal, hands-on lecture and demonstration of the art of French improvisation, presented on the 19th-century French-inspired 1994 Bond organ at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Mantoux—titular organist at the Church of Saint-Séverin, and professor of organ at the Regional Conservatoire, Paris—brought a fresh, relaxed, and practical approach to the often intimidating art. French Romantic improvising, according to Mantoux, is “about the sound,” and the music should show a “crescendo of interest.” One should start with simple melodic and harmonic phrases and registration in order to “save your bullets” for later in the piece. The path to improvisation requires advance preparation and visualization, dili­gent practice with a metronome, the ability 
to transpose and modulate—all “slow, dirty” work: “You cannot create an omelet without breaking eggs.” The following day, Mantoux played a formal recital on the 1995 Fritts organ at La­ger­quist Hall at Pacific Lutheran University.

—David Spring

Tacoma, WA

February 8, the chapter met in Lagerquist Hall at Pacific Lutheran University to enjoy a program of music composed in recent years (2008–15) by member David P. Dahl, professor emeritus. He shared information about each piece prior to its performance by a Guild member. Details about pieces that had been commissioned or written for specific occasions were especially insightful coming directly from the composer. Performers included Satya Jaech, Curt Sather, Susan Fritts McConnell, Una Hwang, Sharon Porter Shull, Mark Brombaugh, Cooper Sherry, Paul Tegels, Jonathan Wohlers, and Thomas B. Clark.

• March 14, chapter members met at Christ Episcopal Church for “The Last Verse,” a lecture-demonstration on hymn playing by member Tom Clark. The primary focus was on techniques for reharmonizing tunes; other topics included changing texture, inventing descants, and creating intonations. Clark presented a clear and useful toolbox for reharmonizing—including suggestions for how to structure a reharmonization, optional chords to use and their inversions, voice leading guidelines, and some helpful shortcuts. An excellent slide show, with the occasional zany graphic, helped hold the group’s attention, and there was frequent interaction between the presenter and audience—including singing several hymns with reharmonized accompaniments. Clark’s presentation continues the chapter’s series of annual sessions on hymn playing.

—Shari Shull and Mark Brombaugh


February 1, the chapter and Singapore Symphony Orchestra collaborated, as part of the Organ Series at the Victoria Concert Hall, to present organist Dong-Ill Shin in a lunchtime recital. The program included Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and the Toccata from Widor’s fifth symphony. The audience was also given a treat of an arrangement of Nella Fantasia by Ennio Morricone. The same evening, Shin also conduct­ed an organ masterclass with chapter members at Methodist School of Music.

—Yap Wai Hoong

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