October 2015 TAO Chapter News

Northeast Region

Waterbury Pedals, Pipes & Pizza participants (front) Daniel D’Souza, Emily D’Souza, (back) Mason Weigold, Clyde D’Souza, Isabella Rubio, and Dan Sanchez

Waterbury, CT

June 7, the annual picnic and meeting was held at the home of Bill and Jean Degan in Bristol. Alan Rodi was thanked for his work as dean.

• Aug. 1, the chapter sponsored a Pedals, Pipes, & Pizza pro­gram, beginning at Bristol Baptist Church (1895 Gilbert & Butler tracker organ) and ending at St. Joseph Church in Bristol (1925/
1988 and 2006 Austin organs). All six attending students played each organ. The event was led by Chris Davenport and Bill Degan, who played Burton’s Rex: The King of Instruments and Behn­ke’s Variations on Kum Ba Yah for the students.

—William Degan

Binghamton and Oneonta chapter members with recitalist Roberta Rowland-Raybold (center)

Binghamton and Oneonta chapter members with recitalist Roberta Rowland-Raybold (center)

Binghamton, NY

July 12, mem­bers Richard and Evelyn Van Auken played a recital of solo and duo-organ works at the Old Palatine Church (1770), St. Johns­ville. The varied program also included two hymns, during which Richard Van Auken dem­onstrated excerpts from his two published volumes: Hymn Introductions and Verses. The II/11 Robert S. Rowland organ (his last, 1978) is currently managed in part by Rowland’s daughter Roberta Rowland-Raybold, CAGO, and maintained by Sid Chase of Chase Organ Company (Worcester, N.Y.), who was an apprentice in Rowland’s organ company in the 1950s.

• July 19, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cooperstown celebrated the completion of its rebuilt organ with a recital by Roberta Rowland-Raybold. The program, titled “Christmas in July,” includ­ed music of Hailstork, Dupré, Pachelbel, Bach, Guilmant, d’Aquin, and Handel, plus two works by Rowland-Raybold from her publications issued by Augsburg Fortress in Minneapolis. The organ was rebuilt by Sid Chase and includes pipework from several different instruments, all skillfully voiced and integrated into the tonal design of the new composite instrument. The church serves as the chapel for the Hartwick Seminary Summer Institute of Theology at Hartwick College.

—John Holt

Mid-Atlantic Region

Metropolitan New Jersey

June 8, members met at the South Orange home of Gretchen Bilson for the annual June soirée and potluck dinner. The well-
attended event provided a time for fellowship and information-sharing before breaking for the summer.

—Bev McGregor

Southwest Jersey

July 12, the chapter held its annual meeting and picnic in Clementon (Bob Parkhurst, host). Officers installed included Rob Hobgood (dean); David Rhody (sub-dean); Cathleen O’Neill (secretary); Gail Gassaway (treasurer/registrar); and Peter Homon, Hugh Kronrot, Vicki Nichols, and James Roman (executive committee members).

—Joyce Ann Routon


Harrisburg officers Shawn Gingrich, Justin Myers, Deb Dillane, Karen Appel, Robert Lau, Julie Jones, and Fr. James Lease (chaplain) (photo: Roland Freund)

Harrisburg, PA

May 12, the chapter held its annual banquet and business meeting at the Co­lonial Country Club. Chaplain James Lease offered the invocation before dinner. During the meal, the group enjoyed selections played by area harpist Louis Lynch, providing a lovely atmosphere. Installation of officers concluded the evening. Officers for the coming year are Shawn Gingrich (dean); Karen Appel (secretary); Richard Zentmeyer (treasurer); and Anthony Ciucci, Deb Dillane, Ray Edmison, Julie Jones, Robert Lau, Faith Mat­thews, Justin Myers, Judy Schrack, and Carolyn Wright (members at large).

—Mary Jane Nelson

Southeast Region

Central Florida


Central Florida’s Shannon Fore (dean), James Johnson and Jessica Bailes (scholarship winners); David Strepp (scholarship committee), and Candace Travis (Bailes’s instructor)

In March, the chapter presented a Rising Stars recital, honoring the region’s brightest young organists. This event was especially appropriate, given the chapter’s “Year of the Student” theme for 2014–15. Participating students were 2014 chapter scholarship winner Ste­ven Rabanal, student of Mark Ayers; Assel Jean-Pierre, Deniz Uz, and 2014 scholarship winner Alice Robinson, students of Terry Yount; Michael LeGrand (a former scholarship winner, who found our chapter through a Pedals, Pipes, & Pizza event), student of Ben Lane; and Tho­mas Ingui, a Stetson University junior and student of Boyd Jones. Tom Dewitt served as the recruiter and chair for this event, which was hosted by Winter Park Presbyterian Church with the assistance of church musicians Bill Kent and Dana Irwin.

• In May, the program year concluded with a dinner and recital at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Orlando, hosted by parish musician Andrew Walker. After dinner, scholarship awards were presented for the 2015–16 academic year to Jessica Bailes, student of Candace Travis, and James Johnson, student of Josiah Armes. Members then closed the event with the installation of officers and a concert.

—Shannon Fore and John F. Reilly

Great Lakes Region

Great River Heritage, IL

May 17, several members met at Trinity United Church of Christ in Quincy for the election of officers for upcoming terms and for a demonstration of the new features of the church’s recently installed Allen organ. The proposed slate of officers was approved: Rhonda Basinger (dean), Carol Mathieson (treasurer), and Helen (“Hedy”) Rothfuss (secretary). Business items also included reminders about upcoming conventions in Indianapolis and St. Louis. Basinger presented a dem­onstration on the new Allen digital organ, focusing primarily on the different types of sound capabilities—e.g., Baroque, French, American Classic. She then played a variety of pieces, allowing attendees to compare the different types of sound capabilities for each piece, and demonstrated additional features on the instrument.

—Helen Rothfuss

Valparaiso University, IN

July 5, Valparaiso University welcomed 32 students, from ages eleven to 19, to its first-ever Pipe Organ Encounter. Among the dozens of volunteers who helped make the POE a success were members of the AGO’s Valpa­raiso University student chapter. Current members Michensey Hamlin, Megan Gruenwald, Kaitlyn Matthews, Hannah Koby, and Erik Matson—as well as 2015 alumni Seth Carlson and Daniel Segner—played in a recital on the first night of the POE. Many then spent the remainder of the week dorm counseling, guiding students to activities, conducting events such as harpsichord lessons and handbell workshops, accompanying prayer services, and preparing postconcert receptions. Gruenwald was also involved in planning the POE, and Segner also taught students and conducted a workshop on how to practice without an organ. In addition to volunteering their time, chapter members provided five receptions and snacks for the students. They say they were inspired by the event and the chance to meet so many passionate students, volunteers, and faculty.

—Kaitlyn Matthews

"God Bless America” program participants (Saginaw Valley)

“God Bless America” program participants (Saginaw Valley)

Saginaw Valley, MI

July 5, the chapter and Trinity Episcopal Church (Bay City) celebrated Independence Day with “God Bless America,” a program of 
organ and choral music. The chamber choir Exultate Deo, conducted by Robert Sabourin, performed selections by Hall, Paulus, Sousa, Stroope, Wilhousky, and Zaninelli. Organist Nicholas Schmelter accompanied choral selections and hymns, and played solo selections by Hampton, Ives, and Knowles Paine. Kristopher Mercy, grandson of chapter member Dorothy Moll, played an organ solo by Lache­nauer. Chapter members Beth Elston, James Gladstone, Scott Hyslop, and Calla Ringgenberg sang in the ensemble. More than 250 people attended the event.

—Nicholas Schmelter

North Central Region

Greater Kansas City, MO

June 8, the chapter held a potluck social event at St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church. The event provided an opportunity for assisting members uncomfortable with computers in navigating the annual renewal process through the AGO’s ONCARD system. Afterward, organist-choirmaster Scott Foppiano invited all to the sanctuary, where he spoke about its history and many of its worship fixtures. He then demon­strated the 2014 Johannus four-manual digital instrument (equivalent to 100 straight ranks with custom voicing for each note in the samples). Those present were invited to play the instrument. In July, Foppiano transferred to a new position near Antioch, Ill. The chapter is grateful for his participation in events during the past decade and wishes him the best in his new position.

—Norm Kinnaugh

Southwest Region

Recitalist Graham Schultz (Central Arkansas)

Central Arkansas

April 24, the chapter met at the Cathedral of St. Andrew the Apostle, Little Rock (host Allan Pieroni, organist and choirmaster). Following dinner, a brief business meeting was held. Members then adjourned to the sanctuary to hear a recital by Graham Schultz on the Nichols & Simpson organ, installed in 1990. This was the twelfth annual program celebrating the life of Robert Ellis, longtime AGO member and professor of organ at Henderson State University for 35 years, retiring in 1987.

• May 8, members met at First United Methodist Church, Conway (host Betty Cohen, organist) for dinner and a business meeting, including the annual election of officers. The new slate of officers includes Mike Metzler (dean), Wayne Simpson (sub-dean), Bill McCandless (secretary), Jess Anthony (treasurer), and James Cathey (board member). Participants adjourned to Greene Chapel on the Hendrix College campus to hear a recital by Adam Pajan. The organ in the chapel is a 1993 Nichols & Simpson instrument. Pajan’s program included works by Gjeilo, Bingham, Bach, Mendelssohn, Howells, and Eben. Afterward, Steve and Betty Cohen hosted a gathering in their home.

—Betty Cohen

Northwest Arkansas workshop presenters (front) Pam Gilbreath, Kate Frank, Jeannie Lee (secretary); (back) Michael Morgan, and Ernest Whitmore (dean)

Northwest Arkansas workshop presenters (front) Pam Gilbreath, Kate Frank, Jeannie Lee (secretary); (back) Michael Morgan, and Ernest Whitmore (dean)

Northwest Arkansas

June 20, the chapter hosted an educational workshop for church musicians at First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville. Those invited included local musicians serving small churches, especially those who might not have the means to attend larger summer conferences. This one-day workshop featured a display of rare English-language psalters from the private collection of Michael Morgan, church musician for Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., and author of Psalter for Christian Worship (Witherspoon Press, 2010). Morgan referenced the collection as he spoke on two topics: “Music and the Art of Worship” and “Singing our Lives through the Psalms.” Other workshop presenters were Ernest Whitmore (“More Than Just Notes: Can Volunteers Sing with Musicality and Understanding?”), Pam Gilbreath (“Creative Use of Handbells in Worship”), and Kate Frank (“A Brief Introduction to the Alexander Technique”). Members and friends of the chapter led the day’s worship and hymn-singing services.

—Jeannie Lee

Recitalist Alcee Chriss (Albuquerque)

Recitalist Alcee Chriss (Albuquerque)

Albuquerque, NM

June 19, the chapter sponsored a recital by Alcee Chriss III at St. Paul Lu­theran Church. The program included works by Bach, Bruhns, Duruflé, and the Fantasy for Organ by Frederick Frahm, a local composer and past dean of the chapter. Poems from “Mysteries” by Susan Palo Cherwien (Crossings: Meditations for Worship, MorningStar Music Publishers, 2003) were narrated by the composer in between sections of the Fantasy. In commemoration of Juneteenth, Chriss played “Were You There?” by Calvin Taylor.

—Fredrick Frahm

Cimarron, OK

March 30–
April 3, members Maria Sorren­tino, David Hughes, Gerald Frank, Kathryn Pogue, and Rebecca te Velde played for the Stillwater Ministerium Ecumenical Holy Week Services held at St. Francis Catholic Church in Stillwater.

• May 16, the chapter’s final Cherine Troxel Organ Scholarship Competition was held at First Christian Church. Gregory Santa Croce was award­ed first prize. He is a student of Jesse Eschbach at the University of North Texas in Denton, and is a double organ performance and jazz piano major. Host organist David Hughes chaired the event, and Jaime Carini served as judge.

• May 31, members met at the home of Daphnee and Barry Brian to elect officers and begin planning next season’s activities. Officers for 2015–16 are Daphnee Brian (dean), Kevin Larios (sub-dean), Rebecca te Velde (secretary), and Gerald Frank (treasurer).

—Rebecca Groom te Velde

West Region
Aletheia Teague, Karissa Lystrup, Katrina Liao, Agatha Teague, Janet Keulen Thorson, Anselm Friesen, and Kailani Cotton at Orange County recital

Aletheia Teague, Karissa Lystrup, Katrina Liao, Agatha Teague, Janet Keulen Thorson, Anselm Friesen, and Kailani Cotton at Orange County recital

Orange County, CA

May 26, the chapter’s final program of the year was held at Concordia University, Irvine, where Robert Scholtz (AGO West Region convener) led an installation ceremony for newly elected officers. Afterward, Orange County study grant recipients gave an outstanding and impressive recital of works by Bach, Pachelbel, Boëllmann, Mendelssohn, and Franck along with contemporary composers David German, David Schack, Gordon Young, and Dennis Janzer. The five high-school students who played were Katrina Liao, Aletheia Teague, Agatha Teague, Anselm Friesen, and Kailani Cotton. College student Karissa Lystrup played contemporary works by Percy Whitlock and Christian Guebert. The program was directed by study grant chair Janet Keulen Thorson. Students were awarded a certificate and a check for the second half of their grant. A gala reception was held afterward.

—Mary Knott

San Jose recitalists Kirim Eom and Kirk Waiblinger

San Jose recitalists Kirim Eom and Kirk Waiblinger

San Jose, CA

June 12, two of the chapter’s Frasier Organ Scholarship winners, Kirim Eom (2013) and Kirk Waiblinger (2014), played a recital at the Los Altos United Methodist Church. Eom played the piano for worship accompaniment in Korea when she was young and continued to study music composition there. She is studying music again in English now at De Anza College. A student of Dian Ruder, she won the Frasier scholarship in May 2013. In recital, she played In Dulci Jubilo by Eleanor Whitsett; chorales for Lent, Easter, and Pentecost by J.S. Bach and Max Reger; When the Roll is Called Up Yonder by Joyce Jones (selection for pedals only), Larghetto by Handel, and Festival Toccata on St. Anne by Frederick Swann. Waiblinger is a senior at Mountain View High School. He has been studying the organ for five years with Diane Keller. Since taking up the organ, he has loved performing complex solo pieces. In addition, he has substituted as accompanist for several churches, giving him the opportunity to play on several excellent instruments. This fall, he looks forward to attending college as a physics major, with a potential second major in music. In recital, he played Bach’s Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564—most of it memorized; From the World of My Father by Herman Berlinski, and the finale from Vierne’s Symphonie No. 3. The music heard was fantastic. Both Eom and Waiblinger have great skill. An informal reception following the recital honored both performers.

—Valerie Sterk

Recitalist James David Christie (Southern Nevada)

Recitalist James David Christie (Southern Nevada)

Southern Nevada

June 5, the chapter’s Organ Recital Series concluded with a performance at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas by James David Christie, chair and professor of organ at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He presented a program of music from the 16th century to present, including his original composition Élégie (in memoriam: Jean Langlais). The series will resume at UNLV on October 9, with visiting artist Christopher Houlihan.

—Dorothy Young Riess

Spokane, WA

June 14, the chapter had its annual picnic at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (hosts Carolyn and Frank Payne). Members reviewed the past year of many enjoyable activities and announced the coming year’s events, including recitals and masterclasses by nationally known artists. The nominating committee presented its list of incoming officers, which were approved: Janet Satre Ahr­end (dean), Jim Holmes (sub-dean and newsletter), Nisha Coulter (recording secretary), Marlys Meece (treasurer), Byrl Cinnamon (co-treasurer and directory compiler), Vince Roland (corresponding secretary), Robert Collins (webmaster), Jim Wallra­benstein (publicity), and Fr. Paul Vevik (chaplain). An expanded effort this year will be bringing in new younger members; in some cases, the chapter will pay the fees for the first-year membership of students. There is also an increased effort to “get the word out” about recitals and workshops coming up, via additional positions to the board.

—Vince Roland

Spokane annual picnic (photo: Vince Roland)

Spokane annual picnic (photo: Vince Roland)

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