September 2015 TAO Chapter News

Northeast Region

New London, CT

June 7, two dozen people attended the chapter’s annual meeting and recital in historic Pequot Chapel, near Long Island Sound. New members at large Matthew Pro­vost and Jacob Troy were elected to join the executive board. Re­citalists included John Anthony, Steve Anderson, Katy King, Shari Lucas, and Joshua Ziemski, plus excerpts from virtual “Mystery Guest” Tom Hazleton’s dedication recital. A pizza party-picnic followed, with the arrival of The Rolling Tomato mobile wood-fired pizza truck at Phred Miles­ki’s home around the corner. Special thanks went to Dean Cheryl Banker for making the event such a success.

—Eileen Paglia

Merrimack Valley, MA


Merrimack gathering at restaurant (photo: Alain Bojarski)

June 17, chapter members met at a local restaurant for dinner before attending a recital by member Frederick A. MacArthur at the Methuen Memorial Music Hall. The program’s theme paid ho­mage to earlier church musicians who also wrote music, and included pieces by Gabriel Pierné, Paul Manz, Saint-Saëns, Rinck, Everett Titcomb, Billy Nalle, and Widor. MacArthur is an accomplished and well-known organist in the area—a factor that contributed to a large audience filling the hall. The recital was part of the summer Wednesday-evening concert series; ticket sales for this event went toward the organ scholarship fund.

—Jodi Templer

Binghamton NY

Binghamton NY Chapter News-resized

Members’ recital participants (front) Patti O’Connell, Evelyn Van Auken, Donna Frye, Johanna Masters, Jean Herman Henssler; (back) Craig Johnson, Richard Van Auken, Emily Mazzarese, Jean Radice, Alison Dura, and Lana Ogden

June 7, the chapter held its members’ recital at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Owego (hosts Jean Radice, organist and choir director, and Patti O’Connell, assistant organist). Radice, O’Connell, Emily Mazzarese, Johanna Masters, Donna Frye, and Richard Van Auken played solo organ works by Howells, Langlais, Lemmens, Bach, Liszt, and Mailly. O’Connell (flute) and Radice (organ) played the Elegy for Flute and Organ by Michael Conway Baker. Evelyn Van Auken (piano) and Richard Van Auken (organ) played an Allegretto by Richard Purvis. Craig Johnson led a consort of players in Buxtehude’s cantata Three Lovely Things There Be with Craig Johnson (bass), Allison Dura (soprano), Lana Ogden (alto re­corder), Jean Herman Henssler (soprano re­corder), and Richard Van Auken (organ). The instrument at St. Paul’s is a recent rebuild of the original Delaware organ by Parson’s Pipe Organ Builders of Canandaigua. After the recital, the chapter held its end-of-year dinner and welcomed its new chaplain, the Rev. Horace King, and his wife, Marie. The annual meeting followed and included election of officers.

—John Holt

Buffalo, NY

Joyce Martin and Patrick Barrett, 35-year members of the Buffalo chapter

Joyce Martin and Patrick Barrett, 35-year members of the Buffalo chapter

May 31, Eileen Guenther was the guest speaker for the chapter’s annual meeting and luncheon at the 31 Club; her topic was “Clergy-Musician Teamwork: Why It’s Important and How to Build It.” She presented a strong case for developing a collegial relationship between clergy and parish musi­- cians based on mutual respect and trust, noting Erik Routley’s observation that conflict within such a team is a wicked waste. The strategies she gave were practical and liberally laced with humor and insights from her years as a parish musician and seminary educator. During the luncheon, the chapter’s annual election was held, and Joyce Martin, Patrick Barrett, Alan Lukas, and Jeff Seekins were recognized as 35-year members of the chapter. Mildred Fischle has been a member of the chapter for 67 years but was unable to attend the luncheon.

—Caryn Lawler

Central Hudson Valley, NY

September 20, members gathered for the first of two organ crawls in Poughkeepsie, beginning at the 1869 Bardavon Opera House—where they were given a brief history of the Wurlitzer organ restoration and then a short concert with open console time afterward. Then they visited the III/45 Schantz organ at the Poughkeepsie Reformed Church and the III/55 Gress-Miles organ at Christ Episcopal Church. Members of the New York Theatre Organ Society also participated.

October 19, the chapter presented the first in a series of concerts featuring organ and choral music of great composers. This concert, given at Christ Episcopal Church, featured music of Mozart and Haydn. The concert benefited Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County. Installation of chapter officers also took place.

February 1, members and their families met at Trinity Church, Fishkill, to enjoy the Annual Spuds ‘n’ Sundaes Social, featuring a music “bake sale” to benefit the Margaret Pecoraro Scholarship Fund, established to support and encourage young organists with proceeds from purchases of donated used organ and choral music.

March 14, a second Poughkeepsie organ crawl took participants to the II/21 Casavant organ at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and the II/34 Fritts organ at Vassar College’s recital hall.

April 26, the chapter held its annual members’ recital. The program, at Poughkeepsie United Methodist Church (III/36 Fritzsche organ), includ­ed works by Buxtehude, Bach, Franck, William Mathias, David Lasky, Craig S. Williams, and Zackary Wadsworth. Donations benefited the Pecoraro Fund.

May 16, David Enlow (FAGO) was presented at the Reformed Church Poughkeepsie in a morn­ing workshop on “Crea­­tive Hymn Playing and Effective Choral Anthem Accompanying at the Organ” and an afternoon recital featuring music of Bach and Enlow’s own transcriptions of works by Debussy and Grieg. The recital concluded with an improvisation based on themes submitted by the audience.

—Laura Ramsey Russell


Europe chapter gathering at Church of Our Lady of Fatima, Pinerolo, Italy

Europe chapter gathering at Church of Our Lady of Fatima, Pinerolo, Italy

April 6–10, the chapter held its spring meeting. Giorgio Parolini and Edgardo Pocorobba organized an itinerary in and around Turin, Italy. The convention hotel was in Chivasso, with evening meals enjoyed at a restaurant across the street. The 38 participants came from Germany, the United States, Italy, England, France, Holland, Belgium, and Finland. In Turin, a presentation at the Church of Santo Volto was a tribute to concert artist, teacher, and composer Massimo Nosetti, who died in 2013. Steve Gentile (Min­nesota) played Nosetti’s Variations on a Japanese Folk Song on the III/37 Ruffatti (2007). This opening was even more special since No­setti’s widow was present. As with almost all organs visited, participants then had time to play the instrument themselves. The II/38 Serassi in the Church of San Filippo Neri was built in 1831, rebuilt in 1889 by Carlo Vegezzi Bossi, and restored in 2002 by Brondino Vegezzi Bossi. This early Romantic instrument was capably demonstrated by Corrado Cavalli from the Turin Conservatory. Next, a taste of Italian Baroque awaited the group in the Church of Santa Cristina. This I/11 Gri­santi instrument—built in 1748 for a church in Asti, then restored and moved to Turin in 1962 by Piccinelli—was demonstrated by Guido Donati. He also played the organ at Temple Valdese, a II/16 Pinchi (1996) in North German Baroque style used in the interim while the gallery organ by Carlo Vegezzi Bossi awaits restoration.

The next day began with a visit to a venerable I/11 Cesare Catarinozzi organ (1695) in the Benedictine abbey church of Sts. Peter and Andrea in Novalesa. Originally built for the Benedictine Abbey St. Scolastica in Subiaco, it was restored and enlarged in 1794 by Celestino Catarinozzi and moved to Novalesa in 1983. Glauco Ghilardi restored it in 2006 in a modern organ case designed for the space. After a demonstration by Giorgio Paro­lini, many participants played music by Frescobaldi. Performances of the five-part “Ricercare” from Fiori musicali with Faythe Freese on the organ and Meredith Baker singing, “Aria detta balletto” with tenor Wim Riefel, and a Fantasie by Sweelinck with Johan Hermans deserve special mention. After a scenic drive through the mountains, the group proceeded to Susa for a visit to an organ built in 1894 by Turin organbuilder Giuseppe Mola for the Villa San Petro, the residency of Earl German de Magny. In 1903, it was moved to the Convent-Church of San Francesco by Carlo Vegezzi Bossi. Next up was the organ at Cathedral of San Giusto, where Mariano Martina gave a tour of the organ by Carlo Vegezzi Bossi. Originally built in 1890, it was reworked as a II/26 pneumatic instrument by Francesco Vegezzi Bossi in 1934.

A bus ride the next morning took participants to Abbadia Al­pina. In the village church of San Verano, they were met by regional organ expert Silvio Sorrentino (who accompanied the group for the entire day). He provided information on the mid-18th-century organ by Giacomo Filippo Landesio. Faythe Freese deserves special mention for her performance of José Lidon’s Sonata para la Corneta real con Eco as do Jean van Cleef and Wim Riefel for another performance of Frescobaldi’s “Ricercare.” The rest of the day was spent in Pinerolo, beginning at the Basilica of San Maurizio, a medieval collegiate church from the 14th century. Originally constructed in 1861 by Alessandro Collino (the Collino family built more than 200 organs in Piedmont), the organ was rebuilt by Giuseppe Lingua in 1891. It was restored by Bortolo Pansera in 1968 and then by Dell’Orto & Lanzini in 2009. Practically at the back of the San Maurizio church was the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Grace, with its 1848 organ built by father and son Giuseppe and Alessandro Collino. Modified in 1897 by Giuseppe Lingua, it was restored by Pansera in 1969 and again in 2008 by Dell’Orto & Lanzini. Around 1771, the French organbuilder Adrien Joseph Potier from Lille built a small I/7 organ for the Convent Church of the Visitation. Various participants tried out the instrument, but Chelsea Chen’s rendition of Pietro Yon’s Humoresque brought down the house. Lunch was served in a cafeteria run by the parish of Our Lady of Fatima, whose church and organ are both new. The III/34 instrument was built in 2011 by Dell’Orto & Lanzini in the North German Baroque style, modeled after Arp Schnitger. The organbuilder Carlo Dell’Orto and the pastor of the parish welcomed the group personally. In the Pinerolo Cathedral of San Donato, there is a I/4 processional organ attributed to Giuseppe Calandra and built at the end of the 17th century. The I/25 gallery instrument by Carlo Vegezzi Bossi (1922) was demonstrated with a variety of organ works old and new; Barry Jordan summed up the sonic experience with an improvisation in Romantic style. At the evening dinner, Chelsea Chen (district convener) and Cheryl Duerr (regional councillor) bid the group farewell, as they were departing the next morning. Both had attended the spring meeting of the European chapter for the first time, were thrilled with the experience, and hope to come again in future years. Also that evening, Edgardo Pocorobba was presented with an engraved plaque in recognition of his invaluable assistance in planning.

The final day began with a trip to the church of St. Mary of the Assumption in Caluso that houses a II/40 organ by Fratelli Serassi (1821). Giacomo Vegezzi Bossi did some modifications in 1859 and 1882; the last restoration was done in 2006 by Italo Marzi. This relatively exotic organ evoked equally unusual repertoire from participants. Giorgio Parolini played a piece by Padre Davide da Bergamo with all the bells and whistles. In the rustic rural town of Chiaverno, the group was joined by organists Emilio Giachino and Angela Maria Fontana. The church of St. Silvester houses a sizable II/40 Baroque organ built in 1793–95 by Giovanni Bruna and restored by Dell’Orto & Lanzini in 2007. Next up was an instrument built by Giovanni Michele Ramasco (1747) in the parish church of San Maurizio, in Borgofranco d’Ivrea. It was enlarged in 1897 by Giovanni Foglia from Bergamo, keeping a good deal of the original material.

The closing dinner was fabulous and included a round of well-deserved thank-yous. The main recipient was Giorgio Paro­lini, not only for demonstrating many of the instruments and sharing his profound knowledge of the Italian organ, but for his meticulous preparation beforehand—including producing a booklet with the daily itinerary, list of participants, and stoplists and detailed information about all of the organs visited. Gratitude was also expressed to Dean Judy Riefel-Lindel, who gave much support and assistance in advance, as well as to Parolini’s wife, Isabella, and to the other nonorganists who participated 
in the tour. Practically a constant at the chapter’s spring meetings is the noteworthy and admirable cameraderie of all participants. Both Chelsea Chen and Cheryl Duerr mentioned this at their farewell. Mutual respect and acceptance of participants regardless of their playing abilities or academic status is the basis for a harmonious common experience.

To top off the spring meeting experience, the chapter was invited to be guests of honor at the final concert of the Chivasso in Musica festival (thanks to Ed­gar­do Pocorobba, who is instrumental in organizing its events) at Chivasso Cathedral. The young international concert pianist Saskia Giorgini gave a stunning performance.

—Bernard Sanders

Mid-Atlantic Region

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore Young Organist Scholarship recital participants Wayne Wold, Nadia Zaleski, Doung Hollida, Kevin Callahan, Larissa Sanders, and Kevin Key

Baltimore Young Organist Scholarship recital participants Wayne Wold, Nadia Zaleski, Doung Hollida, Kevin Callahan, Larissa Sanders, and Kevin Key

May 17, chapter members enjoyed a recital by Nadia Zaleski and Kevin Key, 2014–15 Young Organist Scholarship winners, and their teachers Wayne Wold and Larissa Sanders. Also appearing on the program were Kevin Callahan and the Rev. Doug Hollida, director of music at the host church, Towson United Methodist Church. A meet-and-greet reception followed the performance. The chapter’s scholarship program was coordinated by Taylor Armstrong, who announced that auditions for next year’s participants would be held in June at Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter.

—Kitty Allen

Central New Jersey

Recitalist Michael Gittens (third from right) and choral director Martin Tel (second from right) with Ben Cahill, Mary Giordmaine, Joyce Irwin, June Tipton, and Gail Wilson at Central New Jersey program

Recitalist Michael Gittens (third from right) and choral director Martin Tel (second from right) with Ben Cahill, Mary Giordmaine, Joyce Irwin, June Tipton, and Gail Wilson at Central New Jersey program

April 25, Michael Gittens, director of music at Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church, Camden, presented a program sponsored by the Prince­ton Theological Seminary, where Gittens is choral assistant. The recital of compositions by Bach, Buxtehude, and Vierne was played on the Fritts organ of Miller Chapel, where Gittens remained to accompany first the chapel choir and later the congregation in traditional African-American hymns and music by contemporary black composers. Chapter member Martin Tel, director of music at the seminary and host for the evening, led the choir and congregation in a rousing performance. As cosponsor of the event, the chapter provided a reception in Scheide Hall, where the large audience engaged in happy greeting and socializing, with many compliments for the fine performances of organist and choir. • June 7, the chapter completed the season with a picnic supper at the home of Mary Giordmaine (secretary). The annual meeting was convened on the deck by Dean Eric Plutz, university organist of Princeton University, who announced program details for the 2015–16 season. Also, three new board members were welcomed for one-year appointments to carry out duties formerly the responsibility of the secretary: hospitality, newsletter editor, and public relations.

—Mary Giordmaine

Metropolitan New Jersey


Metropolitan New Jersey recitalist Joe Arndt

May 11, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Millburn, was the setting for the chapter’s eighth annual “Metro Midday Munch in May” organ recital. The recitalist was Sub-dean Joe Arndt (organist and director of music, Grace Church, Newark). The program included selections by Bach, Buxtehude, and Bruhns. Afterward, members met at Charlie Brown’s for lunch.

—Bev McGregor

Monmouth County, NJ

Francois Ratte and Hector Olivera at Monmouth County program

Francois Ratte and Hector Olivera at Monmouth County program

June 7, the chapter completed its 100th-anniversary celebration with a recital by Hector Olivera. The program featured the new Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ installation at Trinity Episcopal Church in Red Bank. Olivera demonstrated some of the possibilities Hauptwerk affords by performing diverse repertoire on three different virtual organs: the Father Willis pipe organ at Hereford Cathedral (Lavender Audio), the Schnitger organ of St. Michaelskerk in Zwolle (Sonus Paradisi), and the Cavaillé-Coll at Saint-Étienne in Caen (Sonus Paradisi). Olivera played works by Meyerbeer, Bach, Scheidemann, and Guilmant and concluded his program with an improvisation on a submitted theme. Everything was played with Olivera’s well-known blend of virtuosity, musicianship, and personality. Audience members were enthusiastic throughout and on their feet by the end. Olivera discussed how, although there’s nothing like playing on a real pipe organ in an amazing acoustic, Hauptwerk has provided him the invaluable ability to recreate that experience in a venue where it would otherwise have been impossible. With Hauptwerk, he said, he could present each piece with the registration that the composer might have heard, in a believable simulation of the original acoustic. The chapter acknowledges the expert installation, voicing, and technical guidance provided by François Ratte; Fr. Richard Davidson for his voicing work; Allan Robinson, David Parkes, and Rev. John Mason Lock for hosting the event; and Camille Thompson and Ken Clayton for their coordination efforts.

—David Citron

Erie, PA

April 25, the chapter conducted a “Browse and Buy” of choral and organ music from Musik Innovations of Wexford. A ten-percent discount was available on the music for all members. The meeting was held at Trinity Lutheran Church, Mead­ville (organist Patrick Bier, host). Afterward, a luncheon was served for all attending. • May 24, the chapter presented a program titled “Patriotic Plus” for the residents of St. Joseph’s Apartment. Members who performed were Edwina Gesler (minister of music at Abiding Hope Lutheran Church) and Sue Mohnkern (director of music at Faith Lutheran Church). In addition to the program, played on the rebuilt Tel­lers organ, residents were led in a patriotic sing-along. After the music fellowship, members went to dinner at a local restaurant. • June 20, the chapter held a picnic at the home of Edwina Ges­ler. Afterward, there was a business meeting concerning pro­- gramming for next year, and a used-music sale (for organ, piano, and choir). The meeting concluded with the installation of officers for 2015–16: Sue Mohnkern (dean); Edwina Ges­ler (sub-dean); Kathrine Swanson (secretary), choir director/organist at St. John’s Lutheran Church; and Patrick Bier (treasurer), organist at Trinity Lu­ther­an Church, Meadville.

—Kathrine Swanson

Northern Virginia

Joe Graif playing the Allen theater organ at joint Northern-Virginia-Potomac get-together

Joe Graif playing the Allen theater organ at joint Northern-Virginia-Potomac get-together

June 15, the Northern Virginia and Potomac chapters met at the home of Joe and Sue Graif in Fairfax for a potluck picnic. After eating, participants were entertained by Joe Graif and others playing the four-manual Allen theater organ. Despite the rain showers and intense heat, everyone had a great time and enjoyed plenty of good food.

—Gerald Piercey

Southeast Region

Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville members at pirate-themed gathering

Jacksonville members at pirate-themed gathering

May 26, the chapter celebrated its annual dinner and installation of officers with a pirate-themed dinner at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church (David Emery, host). The program included portions of Mark Schweizer’s Pirate Eucharist, a preview of events for the coming season, and information about the 2017 regional conference to be hosted by the chapter.

—Tony Cruz

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta GA-Chapter-News-resized

New Atlanta executive board members David Brensinger and Gwym Bacon (photo: Rachel Ficklin)

June 20, the chapter’s executive board welcomed two new members: Gwyn Bacon and David Brensinger were elected at the May meeting to serve on the board through 2018. Bacon is associate director of music/worship arts and organist at Northside United Methodist Church. Brensinger is organist-choirmaster at Holy Inno­cents’ Episcopal Church; he also regularly appears as keyboardist with the Atlanta Symphony 

—Rachel Ficklin


Wilmington, NC

Rising Star Carolyn Craig at Wilmington recital

Rising Star Carolyn Craig at Wilmington recital

May 12, the chapter presented a recital by AGO Rising Star Carolyn Craig at St. Andrews-on-the-Sound Episcopal Church (Richard Rhoads, host). Several members had heard Craig play at the Region IV convention in 2013 
and immediately decided they want­ed her to play in Wilmington. Now an organ student at Indiana University and a member of the AGO Task Force for Young Organists, Craig played works by Buxtehude, Bach, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Shearer, and Widor.

—Sara Bryant



Knoxville, TN

Members' recital participants James Garvey, Andrew Morehead, John Brock, Edie Johnson, and Jason Overall

Members’ recital participants James Garvey, Andrew Morehead, John Brock, Edie Johnson, and Jason Overall

May 4, the chapter’s annual members’ recital was held at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, with five participants: Andrew Morehead, John Brock, Jason Overall, James Garvey, and Edie Johnson. They played selections from a range of composers, including Bach and Sowerby, plus an original composition, “Fantasia: To This Temple,” by Overall, using the tune “Westminster Abbey.” (“To this temple” is a phrase from the hymn “Christ is made the sure foundation.”) At the business meeting preceding the recital, Dean Deborah Sousa installed the officers for 2015–16: Deborah Sanders (dean), Andrew Morehead (sub-dean), Karl Jacob (registrar), Sandi Henry (secretary), Peter Van Eenam (treasurer), and Cynthia Moses, Joy Fournier, and Terrye Danner (members 
at large).

—Allison Ensor

Great Lakes Region

Western Illinois University

September 14, members and guests enjoyed a dinner and social gathering at Magnolia’s restaurant in Macomb.

November 2, the chapter presented a members’ recital—“Organ Celebration of Bach, Baroque Music, and the Reformation”—at the Lutheran Student Center, Macomb. Performers included members Mark Ross, Cristina Werling, Anita Eggert Werling, Barbara Gossett, Linda Andrews, Aritta Oh, and WIU organ students Matthew Nall, Angela Holguin-Perez, Yunhee Kim, Yihui Wang, Hee­sun Yeom, and Hyerin Tark.

November 14, members attended a solo organ recital by Anita Eggert Werling, WIU professor emerita and chapter dean, at First Presbyterian Church, Macomb. The recital included music by American composers McCabe, Pink­ham, and Piston; Bach’s Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C; and French music of Franck, Grün­en­wald, Milhaud, and Litaize.

February 8, Werling presented a program on Demessieux’s 12 Cho­rale Preludes on Gregorian Chant Themes. She discussed and played the music as practical service music.

March 29, a solo organ recital was played by Linda Andrews, organist of First Presbyterian Church and WIU organ instructor. The recital featured organ fantasies by Bach, Franck, Demarest, Chilcott, and Vierne and was played in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the installation of the church’s original Möller organ.

May 17, the annual meeting and picnic was held at the home of Anita Werling. New officers elected for 2015–16 are Linda Andrews (dean), Cristina Werling (sub-dean), Anita Werling (secretary), and Lynn Thompson (treasurer).

—Linda Andrews

Ann Arbor, MI

Ann Arbor's Timothy Huth (dean), Colin Knapp (co-sub-dean), Andrew Rogers, and Sipkje Pesnichak (co-sub dean) at the Michigan Theater

Ann Arbor’s Timothy Huth (dean), Colin Knapp (co-sub-dean), Andrew Rogers, and Sipkje Pesnichak (co-sub dean) at the Michigan Theater

May 17, the chapter hosted a fundraiser at the Michigan Theater, where Andrew Rogers accompanied The Phantom of the Opera (1925) on the historic Barton theater organ. Funds were being raised to benefit the chapter as well as the res­toration of the theater’s organ. Zingerman’s Bakehouse sponsored a VIP reception, at which Colin Knapp (co-sub-dean) gave a presentation on the AGO, and Andrew Rogers talked about the ongoing restoration of the organ.

—Colin Knapp



Holland, MI

Rhonda Edgington (dean) and honoree Joy Huttar at Holland member' recital

Rhonda Edgington (dean) and honoree Joy Huttar at Holland member’ recital

in March, the chapter met at Second Reformed Church in Zeeland (Gordon Bruns, host) to hear member Jim Folkert, a local organbuilding and maintenance guru, speak on “What to do until the organ maintenance person arrives.” His informative and engaging talk was well attended despite the snowy weather.

in April, the annual members’ recital was held at Western Theological Seminary, on the van Daalen organ in the chapel, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Members played a variety of repertoire, ranging from Sweelinck to contemporary compos­ers, for a near-capacity crowd. Dean Rhonda Edgington spoke about the organ’s history and inaugural events, and the chapter inducted a new member into its League of Distinguished Service—a way to honor local church musicians for their years of dedication. Longtime member Joy Huttar served as organist of Grace Episcopal Church for almost 30 years and was motivated by her position there to return to college for a music degree after her children were older.

—Rhonda Edgington

Canton, OH

May 16, members traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa., for an organ bus tour, visiting four different instruments. First was the 137-rank Casavant organ at Calvary Episcopal Church. The next location was East Liberty Presbyterian Church; the organ there is a 122-rank Aeolian-Skinner that has been reworked by Goulding & Wood of Indianapolis, Ind. Following lunch­time spent at the famous downtown Market Square, the tour continued at Trinity Episcopal Church for an opportunity to learn about the building and play the 97-rank Möller. The last visit was to First Presbyterian Church next door, and the 77-rank Casavant organ.

—Elaine Vaughan

Youngstown, OH

Youngstown officers Nancy McNeal, Anita Gorman, Nancy Brescia (treasurer), Gary Richards (secretary), Adam Zagotti (dean), Mary Ann Bush (sub-dean), and Susanne Mayerchak

Youngstown officers Nancy McNeal, Anita Gorman, Nancy Brescia (treasurer), Gary Richards (secretary), Adam Zagotti (dean), Mary Ann Bush (sub-dean), and Susanne Mayerchak

May 10, the chapter held its annual meeting at Station Square Restaurant. Minutes of the 2014 meeting, the treasurer’s report, and proposed programs for the upcoming year were approved. A report on the 2017 regional convention was also presented. Election results were announced as well: Adam Zagotti (dean), Mary Ann Bush (sub-dean), Gary Richards (secretary), and Nancy Brescia (treasurer). Executive committee members for the Class of 2018 are Anita Gorman and Larry Harris.

—Gary P. Richards

North Central Region

Greater Kansas City, MO


Greater Kansas City Organ Plus participants

May 18, chapter friends and members presented Organ Plus, a program for organ with other instruments and ensemble groups, along with an organ duet, at Second Presbyterian Church of Kansas City. Performing groups included Michael Driver (violin) with Marjorie O’Konski (organ), James O’Konski (organ) with Marjorie O’Konski (piano), Cindy Swanson (English horn and oboe) with Ronald Krebs (organ), organist/director Thomas R. Vozzella with the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Chancel Singers, duo organists Lynn Bratney and Mary Davis, Susan Goldenberg (violin) with Leora Nauta (organ), Tabitha Reist Steiner (harp) with Paul Erickson (organ), director Mi­chael Stevenson and organist Reggie Watkins with vocal ensemble, and Keith Benjamin (trumpet) with John Schaefer (organ).

—Norm Kinnaugh

Southwest Region

El Paso, TX

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Recitalist Wanda Richardson (El Paso)

May 16, the chapter was pleased to sponsor Wan­da Richardson in a piano recital at the El Paso Women’s Club. An excellent organist of many years’ experience and study, Richardson has kept her piano skills in fine order—an effort applauded by her fellow chapter members and one that gave them the impetus to hone their skills at the piano as well as the organ.

—John B. Johnson

West Region

Kern County, CA

May 17, the chapter presented a members’ recital dedicated to the memory of Nancy Kintz Ba­sirico, former AGO member, who passed away in March. Most selections were composed by Bach or were from the Baroque period. After the re­cital, Phil Dodson installed the officers for the coming year: Mar­cia Krause (dean), Meg Wise (sub-dean), Doug Heinrichs (treasurer), Sue Wagner (secretary), Shirley Foster and Phil Dodson (members at large). The meeting was adjourned, and members enjoyed dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.

—Pat Elam

Orange County, CA


Joe Robinson at Orange County presentation on home pipe organ

April 8, chapter members participated in Education Day and a potluck brunch at the home of Joe Ro­b­in­son (recording secretary) and his wife, Patricia. After brunch, Robinson gave an enlightening presentation on “how nice it is to have a pipe organ at home,” including demonstrations of tuning, pressure, and maintenance. He played several selections, displaying the many colors of the organ. He also talked about the challenges and opportunities of building organs and adding digital enhancement that is now available. Members were invited to play the instrument.

—Mary Knott

Eastern Idaho

Masterclass participants Edward Poston, Molly Patrick, Robert Barthel, Gerry Hughes, Ikuko Weller, and Nigel Potts

Masterclass participants Edward Poston, Molly Patrick, Robert Barthel, Gerry Hughes, Ikuko Weller, and Nigel Potts

June 18, Nigel Potts played a recital at Brigham Young University–Idaho, co­sponsored with the BYU-Idaho chapter. Repertoire included transcriptions by Potts (Handel’s Overture from The Occasional Oratorio and Rachmaninov’s Vocalise), sonatas of Mendelssohn (C minor) and Guilmant (D minor), and two little-known gems from England (Bairstow’s Eve­ning Song and Hollins’s A Song of Sunshine). Preceding the reci­tal, Potts coached five students in a masterclass.

—Daniel Kerr

Seattle, WA


Installation of Seattle board members (front) Norma Aamodt-Nelson, Will Simpson, Beverly Roecker, Henry Lebedinsky, Dean Jamison; (back) David Spring, Samuel Libra, David Lepse, Robert Condie, and David Nichols (photo David Nichols)

June 8, the program year concluded at Trinity Lutheran Church, Lynnwood, with a recital of “organ-plus” music, a report titled “Our Chap­ter and the World,” and the installation of the 2015–16 board members. Martin and Phyllis Olson (flute) led off with William Beckstrand’s Variations for Flute and Organ on “If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee.” Outgoing Dean Carl Dodrill then described the State of the Chapter, which is enviable. Next, meeting host and transitioning Dean-elect Norma Aamodt-Nelson played the Pasi organ with young Julia Tardy on violin in the Bach-Gounod “Ave Maria.” The dean’s report continued with a summary of the year’s activities, including a POE+, a RCYO competition, a performance of winning entries from our first biennial composition contest, and a two-month visit by our portable see-through tracker organ to Shorewood Elementary School. The third organ-plus segment featured oboist Darlene Franz, with husband James Van Horn on organ, demonstrating several ways to enhance congregational hymn singing. They concluded with an instrumental setting of the same hymn, “Mit Fried und Freud,” by Gottfried August Homilius. The dean’s report ended with an exhortation to do even more to connect people outside the AGO to the organ. Several of Dodrill’s points—variety, novelty, and enthusiasm—were amply dem­onstrated in the Introduction and Allegro from Flor Peeters’s Concerto for Organ and Piano, played by Mel Butler, the recently retired canon musician of St. Mark’s Cathedral, and 
his successor, Michael Kleinschmidt. A lavish catered dessert buffet was delayed just long enough for former Region VIII Councillor Dean Jamieson to swear in the new board. New members are Dean-elect Henry Lebedinsky, Samuel Libra, and Will Simpson. Others are continuing two- and three-year terms.

—David Nichols



Graham Barber (back row, center) with Singapore members at the organ of Orchard Road Presbyterian Church

April 28, the chapter offered a public recital by Graham Barber (UK) at Orchard Road Presbyterian Church (three-manual J.W. Walker & Sons). Highlights of the program included Bach’s partita Christ der du bist der helle Tag, BWV 766, and selections from Reger’s 30 Short Preludes, showcasing the different colors of the organ. The recital was well received by members.

—Yap Wai Hoong

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