October 2016 AGO Chapter News

Northeast Region

Springfield POE faculty and participants

Springfield POE faculty and participants

Springfield, MA, The chapter’s POE was held at Smith College, Northampton, MA, July 10–15. Twenty-six middle and high school musicians participated.

—Mary Jeanne Tash


Binghamton, Ithaca and Syracuse members.

Binghamton, NY July 14, six chapter members joined members of the Syracuse chapter and the newly established Ithaca chapter to play and hear the recently installed two-manual, 21-stop Juget-Sinclair (Opus 45) at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Ithaca, in response to an open console invitation by Erik Kibelsbeck (director of music). The organ is built in the French Romantic style of Cavaillé-Coll, and is specifically based on the 1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ at Saint-Pierre de Charenton, France. The organ, tuned in equal temperament at A440, employs mechanical key and stop action, with ten combination pedals to control registration changes and activate the Récit tremolo. Dedication of the organ took place in mid-September, featuring Michel Bouvard as guest soloist.  —John Holt

Vaughn Watson (sub-dean) and Jennifer Bower at Doris Hughes Memorial Recital

Vaughn Watson (sub-dean) and Jennifer Bower at Doris Hughes Memorial Recital (Vermont)

Vermont May 15, the Doris Hughes Memorial Recital was held at First Congregational Church, St. Albans. Chapter members Jennifer Bower and Vaughn Watson (sub-dean) performed works by Bach, Herbert Brewer, Nadia Boulanger, Buxtehude, Roger Hannahs, Jehan Alain, Messiaen, and Dubois on the church’s historic 1893 II/26 Hook and Hastings. The First Congregational Church Choir and the Community Singers, directed by Linda Smith, and pianist Diane Gates, also participated in the event.

—Esther Nui

Europe, The annual spring meeting took place April 6–10. Member Chris Bragg organized an itinerary in Scotland centered in Dundee, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. The 35 participants came from Germany (11), USA (7), England (6), France (3), Holland (4), Belgium (2), Scotland (1), and Austria (1). Everyone boarded the bus Tuesday morning for an excursion to Caird Hall in nearby Dundee where the marvelous Harrison & Harrison (III/50/1923) awaited us. A presentation by Jim McKellican from the “Friends of the Caird Hall Organ” provided information about the city architect James Thomson, who turned Dundee into the “Venice of the North” with his monumental Victorian-style buildings, and interesting aspects concerning the organbuilding project and the consultant, the blind organist Alfred Hollins, whose specification was considered by some to be somewhat old-fashioned. The organ is atypical for its time in that there are multiple enclosures (Swell and Orchestral divisions and Great reeds). A fine demonstration by Andrew Macintosh included a powerful rendition of Herbert Howells’s Third Rhapsody. After lunch, two somewhat older organs were on the itinerary. En route to the 1890 Hill organ (III/25) in Lochee Parish Church, Chris Bragg gave an informal but very informative narrative about town history and the development of the organ in the 19th century. Dundee was the city of “Jam, Jute, and Journalism.” Arguably jam (marmalade) was invented here. Due to several advantageous circumstances, Dundee was internationally the largest producer of jute and their newspaper industry was widely known and respected. Felix Mendelssohn’s recital of Bach works at the Birmingham Bach Festival prompted organbuilders, most notably William Hill, to start building full pedalboards. From the 1850s, the period in which William takes his son Thomas into partnership, Hill’s principal choruses got markedly louder, here with a tierce in the bass. Thus Chris Bragg’s demonstration of the vintage instrument with three pieces by Niels Gade showcased these choruses on the one hand and the traditional Romantic color stops, such as the Clarinet, Oboe, and Hohlflute (not the traditional Stopped Diapason), on the other. To demonstrate that this was an opulent installation, Chris Bragg removed the music rack to display the Barker machine for the Great manual—carried out in mahogany! The final destination of the day was St. Salvador’s Episcopal Church in Dundee. This being Chris Bragg’s own church it was not surprising that once again much valuable information was forthcoming. The architect was George Bodley, the leading Victorian church architect who also was responsible for designing Washington National Cathedral. It would seem that Bodley often cooperated with a Rev. Frederick H. Sutton, who was somewhat of an organ historian with a collection of drawings of (mostly medieval) organ cases published in a book Church Organs, Their Position and Construction. These cases were traditionally quite shallow and mounted on the sides of the nave without hindering the view toward the altar and beyond. It would further seem that Bodley and Sutton most frequently ordered their organs from Joshua Wordsworth and Samuel Maskell, as is exactly the case here. As inconspicuous as the placement may be, the installation is lavishly decorated to match the interior of the church and the sanctuary. This organ (II/23) also boasts a principal chorus on both manuals and a variety of color stops such as Cremona 8′ (Gt.), Keraulophon, Cornopean, Hautboy, and Clarion 4′ (Sw.). For the demonstration Chris Bragg chose two compositions of Lemmens, who had himself thrice visited Dundee. Among the participants that followed, Katelyn Emerson, who most recently won the NYACOP, performed one of the B-A-C-H fugues by Schumann.

Wednesday was listed as “free time in St. Andrews,” however there were ample suggestions to fill it in: opportunities to visit the Cathedral and Castle ruins, a harpsichord performance of Bach’s Clavierübung II by Sean Heath, a “Music Talk” by Raymond Calcraft on Shakespeare and Cervantes and settings of their texts by Vaughan Williams and Rodrigo, and a rehearsal of Bach’s B-minor Mass with Tom Wilkinson (university organist) and St. Salvator’s Chapel Choir. After dinner we attended a recital by Canadian pedagogue John Grew on the Hradetzky organ (III/40/1973) at St. Salvator’s Chapel of the University of St. Andrews before returning by coach to the hotel.

Thursday began in Edinburgh where we met our host/guide for the day John Kitchen, Edinburgh city organist, university organist, and retired senior lecturer in music (U. of Edinburgh). The first organ was in Usher Hall built in 1912 by Norman & Beard and completely restored in 2003 by Harrison & Harrison (IV/63). To quote our guide: “The pipework remains entirely unaltered, and now sounds much as it must have in 1914. It is characterized by a predictably Edwardian opulence, fullness, and richness of sound, as well as offering a huge variety of exotic colors. Both the Swell and Great are bold, yet with plenty of fire and pungency. The two mixtures contain not only tierce ranks, but the flat 21st harmonic; such mixtures were generally intended to be used with the reeds, not as chorus mixtures in the way we now expect. The Pedal complements this well, and contains a full-length metal 32′ Contra Violone, some of which comprises the display pipes. The Choir offers some beautiful delicate sounds, including a seductive Unda Maris, and the solo and orchestral departments tempt with all sorts of exotic delights, including a Kinura-like Orchestral Oboe, a small-scale Orchestral Trumpet (not the big solo reed that one might expect from such a name), a noble and not devastating Tuba, and—most extraordinary of all—a family of strings from 16′ up to a Cornet des Violes mixture. There is also a two-octave Carillon, made of steel bars.” The contrast to the next organ could hardly have been greater. In 1978, Jürgen Ahrend built a new organ (II/21) for the Reid Concert Hall at the University of Edinburgh. “Inspiration for the [specification] drawn up by the late Peter Williams and Gustav Leonhardt came from early 18th-century German instruments. The main case houses the pipes for the Hauptwerk and Pedal. The pipes and stopknobs for the Rückpositiv are behind the player. There are no registration aids and inter-manual coupling is by manual shove-coupler. Tuned to unequal temperament (Werck-meister III), the organ has lucid, clear voicing, played via an unbushed mechanical action of exceptional refinement. . . . [It] remains the only organ by this firm in the UK (and) requires very little maintenance; it was cleaned a few years ago by Hendrik Ahrend, Jürgen’s son, [at which time] very slight adjustments were also made to the key action.”

Annual spring meeting participants (Europe)

Annual spring meeting participants (Europe)

Lunch was taken at various locations before we visited the final organ of the day, the Henry “Father” Willis organ (III/32) in St. Stephen’s Church Centre, Edinburgh. The space is no longer used for services but rather as a community center for much less pious events. “Initially the organ, installed in 1888, was to be used only to accompany the praise; voluntaries were not permitted. (Even after this restriction was lifted, one elderly lady remained outside the church in all weathers each Sunday until ‘that sinful sound’ ceased at 11 a.m.!) There are three manuals and 31 stops; there is only one (tierce) mixture and there are only three Pedal stops, yet the organ lacks nothing in musicality or versatility.” Kitchen opened his demonstration with four chorales from Bach’s Orgelbüchlein. The Corno di Bassetto 8′ on the Choir was especially poignant—even though not in the least Baroque! These were followed by a spirited, one might even say flamboyant, rendition of the first movement of Guilmant’s Fifth Sonata. The Barker machine on the Great was certainly important for this work, and it was equally evident why this organ “has been widely praised nationally and internationally as a world-class musical instrument.” After several selections played by participants, Kitchen bade his farewell and sent us off with a vibrant Handelian march albeit in Romantic guise. The evening closed with a piano recital by the renowned Dutch concert and recording artist Ronald Brautigam in the Byre Theatre in St. Andrews. The final day was spent for the most part in Glasgow. Here we met Matthew Hynes, organbuilder and historian, our guide for the day. He first introduced us to the magnificent instrument in the Glasgow Evangelical Church on Cathedral Square. This was a landmark organ (III/28) built by Forster & Andrews as Opus 1000 in 1887. Several particular aspects of this instrument testify to the opulence of this installation: the Dulciana stop in the Choir is built completely down to low C instead of sharing the bass pipes of the Gedackt, which was much more common, and the 16′ Open Diapason in the Pedal consists of open metal pipes all the way down to bottom CC, instead of going over to stopped pipes at some point. Two other conspicuous details are the astonishingly low wind pressure of 3” for the entire organ and a radiating concave pedalboard (not original). The company continued producing fine organs until it amalgamated with Norman & Beard by 1924.

At the next venue, the organ committee of St. Bride’s Episcopal Church outdid itself to make us feel at home, hot tea and coffee, homemade cookies, and no less than five committee members turned out to greet us. The William Hill (II/19) organ from 1865 was originally built for Anderston Parish Church, Glasgow, where it was the first organ to be used legally in a Presbyterian Church in Scotland. It was partially altered by Harrison & Harrison, 1881, and finally moved to St. Bride’s and restored by James MacKenzie in 1972. Unfortunately it has not fared well since then and the above-mentioned committee is very active with the next restoration by Harrison & Harrison, pending in 2018. The demonstration was given by Stuart Campbell, retired university organist (University of Glasgow) and incumbent assistant director of music at St. Bride’s.

The next and final venue of the spring meeting had some things in common with the previous station. The Henry “Father” Willis organ in St. Margaret’s Parish Church, Knightswood, was also originally built for a different church, the Townhead Parish Church in Glasgow. It was moved to Knightswood and also restored by James MacKenzie and Matthew Hynes, but more recently in 2002. Another similarity was the overwhelming welcome by the pastor, the organist Christine Furnish, and other women of the parish. Coming back to the organ, it is remarkable that the first electric blower was installed in 1960! Also, the Wesley-Willis radiating-concave pedalboard is original from 1866 and one of the earliest examples in the UK. Once again Matthew demonstrated stops and combinations with hymn playing, garnering a spontaneously sung Halleluja at the end of an Easter hymn.

The closing dinner is always a special moment. The cuisine was fabulous French (Café Montmartre in Cupar) and was crowned with a round of well-deserved thankyous. Naturally, Chris Bragg was the main recipient, not only as a demonstrator for many of the instruments and for sharing his profound knowledge of the English/Scottish organ, but mainly for meticulous preparation. Dean Judy Riefel-Lindel presented Chris with a group gift of an etching of a canal scene in Amsterdam, where Chris and his wife had done graduate studies and worked for a few years in early 2002. The fabulous spring meeting booklet with daily itinerary, list of participants, stoplists, and detailed information about all of the organs was prepared by Chris.

—Bernard Sanders

Mid-Atlantic Region

Annapolis Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza participants with Monte Maxwell

Annapolis Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza participants with Monte Maxwell

Annapolis, MD April 18, twenty students took part in a Pedals, Pipes & Pizza event sponsored by the chapter. The event was held in the chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy. Director of Chapel Music and Chapel Organist Monte Maxwell began the session with some informative remarks concerning the history and nature of the pipe organ. At this point students were allowed to “try out” the organ playing prepared pieces that were, for the most part, written for the piano, with Monte supplying the registrations. The result was a mixture of fun and delight as the young people experienced the sensation of playing the magnificent instrument in a glorious acoustic environment. Among those who participated, most were from a local homeschool group. The leaders who accompanied that group were quite pleased with the experience, and have already requested a repeat of this event during this coming year. AGO members who were present included Monte Maxwell; Scott Romanoski, dean; Michael Menne, sub-dean; Ralph Manuel, secretary; Susan Petty, at-large board member; and Diane Kinsley.

—G. Scott Romanoski


Metropolitan New Jersey chapter members.

Metropolitan New Jersey June 6, the chapter held its annual year-end soiree at the home of Joel and Julie Ramseyer in Randolph. After a delicious potluck dinner, members were treated to the sounds of the 42-rank Casavant in the Ramseyer’s home. Brian Fowler, the builder of the instrument, was there and available to answer questions. Metro members Joel Ramseyer, Matt Webb, and Kevin Graf played this wonderful instrument. Marian Collins played a piece on the grand piano. It was an enjoyable evening for all who attended.

—Bev McGregor


Southwest Jersey members at annual meeting and picnic

Southwest Jersey The chapter held its annual meeting and picnic at the home of member Marilyn Rabbai. New executive committee members installed were Robert Meade, Daniel Nelson, Robert Parkhurst, and Joyce Ann Routon.

—Joyce Ann Routon


Chambersburg recitalists at Old Market Day

Chambersburg recitalists at Old Market Day


Chambersburg, PA July 16, the chapter sponsored an organ recital at Central Presbyterian Church in Chambersburg, in conjunction with Old Market Day, an annual Chambersburg event during which streets in front of the church are closed to vehicle traffic so that vendors can set up booths for pedestrians to visit and patronize. The recital gives the general public a chance to hear the pipe organ in a more relaxed setting while also taking a break from walking outside in the heat and humidity. Three members of our chapter each played about 20 minutes of organ music for an appreciative audience. Those playing were Carol Ann Day, organist at Trinity UCC in Waynesboro, Linda Peppernick, organist and choir director at First United Methodist in Chambersburg, and Helen Wingert, organist at Central Presbyterian in Chambersburg.

—Helen Wingert

Erie, PA March 12, the chapter hosted a program titled “Church Musicians in the Digital Age” at Smith Chapel of Penn State Erie, the Behrend College (host Karen Keene, lecturer in organ music/chapel organist). A workshop and recital were presented by Erik Meyer, director of music at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Philadelphia. Meyer is also an award-winning composer; his compositions have been published by Augsburg Fortress, St. James Press, and MusicSpoke. He mentioned several online sites available for church musicians—including church-related resources, music resources, communication resources, and administrative resources. He then gave a recital that included works by local composers Karen Keene and William Witherup, as well as a selection of his own. Smith Chapel’s organ was constructed by the Martin Ott Pipe Organ Company of St. Louis, Mo. Completed in 2003, it comprises 21 stops and 1,208 pipes.

—Kathrine Swanson


Erie members at workshop on “Church Musicians in the Digital Age.”

Harrisburg, PA, The only POE+ offered in the United States this past summer was sponsored by the chapter from July 10 to 14, based at Messiah College in Grantham. Adults, age 19 and older, eager to learn more about organ playing, were eligible to enroll. Twenty-two adults from Pennsylvania and ten other states studied for the week with eleven professional organists, some from our chapter and others with ties of previous employment, residence, or education in the Harrisburg area. Ellen Hunt chaired the POE+ Committee, assisted by Shelly Moorman-Stahlman, faculty procurement and programming; Shawn Gingrich,
accommodations and venues; Carol Hunter, registration; Rick Zentmeyer, finances; Phyllis Conrad, hospitality; Ray Edmison and Judy Schrack, transportation; and Kathy Gates and Mary Jane Nelson, publicity. A recital on opening day at Parmer Hall, Messiah College, was played by faculty and staff members, and on three succeeding evenings, other faculty members were heard at Pine Street Presbyterian Church and Market Square Presbyterian Church, both in Harrisburg, and at Camp Hill Presbyterian Church, those being venues where organ lessons were scheduled daily. Faculty members were Chelsea Barton, Tyler Canonico, Rhonda Edgington, Charles Grove, Brenda Leach, Keith Reas, Clair Rozier, David Schelat, Victoria Shields, Aaron Sunstein, and Brett Terry. Committee chairs also heard in recital were Shelly Moorman-Stallman and Shawn Gingrich.

Workshops offered during the week included: “Easy Repertoire for Church: Recent Publications,” “Repertoire through the Centuries,” “Organ Registration,” “Anglican Chant,” “Practice Techniques,” and “Hymn Playing and Introductions.” Other churches sharing their facilities for organ lessons were Grantham Brethren in Christ; Derry Presbyterian; First United Methodist, Hershey; First Lutheran and First UCC, both in Carlisle; Trinity Lutheran and United Methodist, both in Camp Hill. Our chapter thanks AGO National and six other AGO chapters who assisted in funding this endeavor. Freewill offerings were received at each of the week’s recitals to help defray expenses.

—Mary Jane Nelson

Harrisburg POE+ students, faculty, and chapter members

Harrisburg POE+ students, faculty, and chapter members

Southeast Region

Central Florida recital

Central Florida recital with Nathan Laube

Central Florida, In April, the chapter presented recitalist Nathan Laube at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Orlando, hosted by parish musician Canon Ben Lane. Mr. Laube played a varied program featuring music from 15th-century organist Thomas Preston to Maurice Duruflé. Laube’s transcription of Mendelssohn’s Variations Serieuses was also a highlight of the program.

• The season concluded with the chapter’s annual year-end banquet and officer installation held at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Orlando, hosted by John R. Mason III, director of traditional worship. The banquet was followed by a Rising Stars Concert by several young people who were past Central Florida AGO Scholarship recipients. Scholarships were also awarded for the 2016–17 year. A highlight of this recital was hearing a former student member, Matt Gender, who was preparing for the NCOI competition at the Houston Convention. Matt played a well-crafted improvisation based on theme submissions from the audience. At this writing Matt had won second place in the NCOI in Houston. Our chapter takes pride in the fact that Matt, a young Pedals, Pipes & Pizza participant in our chapter many years ago, moved on to be a winner in the NCOI competition. We congratulate Matt’s teachers, especially our chapter member Terry Yount, as well as Laura Ellis, organ professor at the University of Florida. Our chapter continues to provide opportunities to learn and grow in the love of the pipe organ through our annual Pedals, Pipes & Pizza event and scholarship sponsorship. For more information and pictures of these events visit our chapter page

—John F. Reilly

Miami, FL July 3, Matthew Steynor, director of music, Trinity Cathedral, played his annual recital on the church’s large Aeolian-Skinner. Entitled “Changing States,” the program featured American composers and named the states in which they lived and/or worked. Three of the pieces heard (by Sousa, Gershwin, and Copland) were transcriptions of works originally written for band or orchestra. Fanfare for the Common Man by Copland was especially effective. The complex setting of “Amazing Grace” by William Bolcom and a new work (dedicated to Steynor) by David Pegal (University of Miami) on “Wondrous Love” were emotionally rewarding. The novelty for most of the auditors was the extended Dance No. 2 by Philip Glass with its “busy, repetitive, musical framework” (to quote from the program notes). In contrast was the simple quiet of Calvin Hampton’s America the Beautiful. The program began with a brilliant reading of the well-known 1891 Variations on America by Charles Ives with the two later bi-tonal passages. The large audience rewarded this impressive recital with a standing ovation.

—Frederick Kent

Oxford-University of Mississippi recitalists

Oxford-University of Mississippi recitalists

Oxford-University of Mississippi June 16, the chapter hosted a members’ recital at First Presbyterian Church in Water Valley. The varied program included works by Bach, Franck, Vierne, Mouret, and Thalben-Ball. The organists were Sara Champion (organist, FPC Water Valley), Joseph Garrison (dean), and Ray Smithee. The well-attended event was followed by dinner at the home of Sara Champion.

—Joseph Garrison


Central North Carolina May Social

Central North Carolina May 21, the chapter held its May Social and Potluck meeting at the home of Janet Cherry, membership chair. A time of sharing organist stories, food, recipes, and fellowship with other members was most enjoyable.

—Lee Harris



Great Lakes Region

Fox Valley Bach and Beyond performers

Fox Valley Bach and Beyond performers

Fox Valley, IL July 22, eight members and a guest oboist and soprano presented the chapter’s 17th annual Bach and Beyond at the Abbey at Marmion Abbey, Aurora. Organists offered a variety of works from Bach, Buxtehude, Rheinberger, and Vivaldi on Martin Ott’s two-manual instrument. The congregation joined in singing two hymns in the vibrant worship space. Rosalie Cassiday (a former dean) was recognized for her work in creating the original idea for Bach at the Abbey, first presented on July 28, 2000, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the death of J.S. Bach. The program has been presented every year since, on the fourth or last Friday of July.

—Betsy Waldon

Western Illinois University The 2015–16 season opened with a September 13 gathering at St. George’s Episcopal Church, where members shared summer experiences and new music and also could try out the recently installed Wicks organ.

• October 25, Jan Lucie and Linda Andrews discussed and demonstrated features of the new Presbyterian hymnal, Glory to God, at First Presbyterian Church.
• November 1, Anita Werling played a recital titled “Variations for Organ” at First Presbyterian Church.
• January 31, Lynn Thompson demonstrated his new Fisk harpsichord at Wesley Methodist Church, and members had the opportunity to try it out.
• February 28, ten chapter members played a recital of solo organ and ensemble music (with horn, piano, and voice) on the McEvers organ at First Christian Church.
• April 9–10, guest clinician and organist Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra conducted an improvisation workshop and led a hymn festival at First Presbyterian Church.
• May 15, Myrna Andersen and Jim Musolf hosted the annual meeting and picnic at Trinity Lutheran Church in Galesburg. Officers elected were Linda Andrews, dean; Cristina Werling, sub-dean; Anita Werling, secretary; and Lynn Thompson, treasurer.

—Anita Werling

Evansville bicentennial celebration participants

Evansville bicentennial celebration participants

Evansville, IN Our 2015–16 season kicked off with a Summer Social Potluck at St. Margaret’s Chapel, Henderson, KY, on August 28. During this meeting, which is a chapter tradition, members shared their experiences at summer conferences and browsed the ever-popular Music Swap boxes. A brief service of Evening Prayer followed.

• September 21, Dennis Malfatti, director of choral activities at the University of Evansville, led a choral work-shop at Old North United Methodist Church. He presented basic pointers about working with small church choirs. A reading session followed, featuring anthems that are in print, attractive, and not too difficult.

• Oct. 24, the chapter’s annual Pedals, Pipes & and Pizza event took place at First Presbyterian Church, Owensboro, Ky.

• Nov. 21, a workshop on teaching the organ at Aldersgate United Methodist Church included presentations by several chapter members on aspects of teaching organ to young pianists. Highlights included a mock organ lesson, how to create simplified hymn arrangements, and a demonstration of software packages for elementary piano instruction.

• Feb. 21, Evansville’s own Kirk M. Rich presented a recital on the Fisk organ at First Presbyterian Church. Over 150 people attended his program of music by Bach, Purcell, Mendelssohn, Lemmens, Lasceux, and Vierne. Kirk is a doctoral student at the University of Houston and a two-time NYACOP finalist.

• March 6, the chapter’s annual members’ recital took place at St. Mary Catholic Church. Instead of raising funds for the chapter’s Dufford Scholarship Fund, this year’s event collected donations for the St. Mary Food Pantry. The “Organ Plus” program included music for organ with flute, violin, recorder, saxo-phone, and piano.

• April 16, the chapter held a progressive historic organ recital in Vincennes, Ind. Instruments featured were Taylor & Boody Opus 4, at First Christian Church, and a Steere & Turner from 1887 at St. James Episcopal Church. • May 9, the chapter’s Annual General Meeting and Festival Installation Service took place at Neu Chapel on the University of Evansville campus. Participants included a combined choir from local churches, the Handbell Choir of First Presbyterian Church, and students from the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. The service featured several new hymns composed by IU Church Music Practicum students.

• June 11, chapter members and friends presented a program of organ and piano music at First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Vernon, as part of that community’s bicentennial celebration.

—Helen Skuggedal Reed

Martin Jean at Cherry Capital recital

Martin Jean at Cherry Capital recital

Cherry Capital, MI July 15, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Leland, MI hosted Martin Jean in the fourth concert of its six-concert Summer Concert Series celebrating the installation of the 22-rank Buck hybrid pipe organ of 55 stops and three manuals. Jean played works by Bach, Franck, Balbastre, Manz, Brahms, and Duruflé, as well as a hymn alteration on the hymn “Wer nur den lieben Gott” with Pachelbel variations interspersed. Martin’s performance and the concert series were sponsored by local businesses. The following morning, Jean met with three young adults from Interlochen in a masterclass. Works presented and critiqued were Bach Fantasy and Fugue in G Minor, Bach Fugue in G Minor (“Little”), and Tu es petra by Mulet.

—Mark Peters, CAGO

North Central Region

Arrowhead, MN The chapter sponsored its first Mid-Summer Workshop with morning sessions June 29 and 30. The first morning featured a panel discussion including Jesse Eschbach of the University of North Texas, Dan Jaeckel, Duluth organbuilder, David Rollin, architect and organ-builder with Jaeckel, and Carol Donahue as moderator. Topics included being called to the organ, issues of organbuilding and design, and minor maintenance and repairs. This session was held at Dan Jaeckel’s shop. The next day’s morning session was at First United Methodist Church and was devoted to a masterclass with Eschbach and three of the several organ scholarship students who performed for him. Performance practices, posture, and fingering were a focus, and Eschbach shared his experiences working with Dorothy Taubman and her thinking and keyboard practices. Two dozen people were in attendance all told, with a few from as far away as Thunder Bay, Canada.

—Carol Donahue

Arrowhead Mid-Summer workshop participants

Arrowhead Mid-Summer workshop participants

Thomas Watgen with Greater Kansas City members and guests

Thomas Watgen with Greater Kansas City members and guests

Greater Kansas City, MO June 6, chapter members enjoyed a social gathering for the close of the program year at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Mission, Kans. (Ken Walker, director of music and arts). Thomas Watgen (outgoing dean) expressed his gratitude for the chapter’s support throughout the season. As entertainment, members at each table were invited to share some of their most humorous experiences during wedding services.

—Norm Kinnaugh

Southwest Region

Northwest Arkansas performers and Dean Ernest Whitmore

Northwest Arkansas performers and Dean Ernest Whitmore

Northwest Arkansas May 12, the chapter held its annual Members’ Recital at First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville. Members gathered to celebrate the chapter’s 35th anniversary, complete with cake and a display of scrapbooks, programs, newsletters, and photos from events throughout the chapter’s history. Members presented works by Mendelssohn, Gawthrop, Franck, Joyce Jones, and Buxtehude. The recital concluded with a work by former chapter member Kerry Johnston for piano and organ titled “America the Beautiful.” Johnston traveled from Cary, NC, to join the chapter for its celebration. Music, memories, and friendships renewed, this was a fine way to finish our 35th year!

—Jeannie A. Lee

West Region

San Diego scholarship students

San Diego scholarship students

San Diego, CA May 14, the chapter, in partnership with the Spreckels Organ Society, held its annual scholarship auditions at First United Methodist Church of San Diego. Twenty students participated in the auditions this year; three in the advanced division, nine in the intermediate division, seven in the novice division, and one pianist auditioned for an introductory set of organ lessons.

—Leslie Wolf Robb

Dorothy Young Riess at her 85th birthday recital

Dorothy Young Riess at her 85th birthday recital


Southern Nevada May 20, the chapter concluded its 2015–16 Organ Recital Series with chapter member Dorothy Young Riess’s 85th Birthday Celebration in Doc Rando Recital Hall on the campus of the University of Nevada—Las Vegas. (Her program was published in the August 2016 issue of TAO.) Riess had presented both her 75th (April 2006) and her 80th (May 2011) birthday recitals on the series. During the ten years of the chapter’s Recital Series, 65 recitals will have been presented, all open to the community without charge and supported through patron contributions.

—Paul S. Hesselink

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