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From the Dean
In the chapter’s life, we have just
heard the “au revoir” recital
at Riverside, as the chancel portion of the
organ there is to be covered for window work
for some 18 months. The concert was given
by the excellent Scott Dettra. Mr. Dettra
stepped in on short notice for an injured
Peter Sykes; I hope to hear Peter Sykes,
a great performer, in a future year, and
I know we all wish him the best for recovery.
His condition is a reminder that we must
all take care in the ice and snow, and generally,
as our delicate playing apparatus of flesh
and bone is nothing against ice, stone, and
The final chapter event of the year is coming,
with our old friends and colleagues Vicki
and Bob Sirota, who are discussing not only
their latest recording endeavor but also
the future of contemporary organ music, which
concerns us all. The dinner will also provide
a chance to catch up with your friends and
colleagues from nearby and farther afield.
Some of us are lucky that Orsay is our local
French bistro; if you don’t get the
opportunity to eat or drink there often,
take the opportunity and treat yourself to
an excellent meal. More information is included
later in this issue.
Many of us are in the midst of Holy Week
and its attendant observances. It is a time
when there are, as Peter Shaffer has the
Kaiser say in Amadeus, “too many notes.” May
all of your pistons fire, may all of your
singers behave, and may your ciphers hold
MONDAY • 1
JUNE 2015 • 6.30
Chapter Dinner with
Vicki and Bob Sirota
1057 Lexington Avenue at 75th Street
Cost: $95 per person
Limited to 60 guests.
To reserve your place click
here, or advance tickets
may be purchased online here.
The dinner is subsidized by the NYC AGO Chapter and
costs $95 for members and their guests. A three-course
dinner will be served with an open wine and soft drinks
bar. Orsay is a fantastic restaurant renowned for its
French cuisine. As always, these events are an excellent
way to unwind at the end of a busy season and to get
to know colleagues and friends of the organist community.
After dinner, beloved members and friends of the NYC
Chapter Bob and Vicki Sirota will discuss their latest
CD recording collaboration, “Celestial Wind,” and
the future of contemporary American organ music. A
fascinating topic indeed!
the Treasurer: Thanks to Members Who Contributed
||Chris Babcock, Treasurer
The Executive Board wishes to express thanks
to those who contributed very generously when renewing their
Alan Barthel, Justin Bischof, W. Michael Brittenback, Marianne
Decker, David Klepper, William Kring, Arthur Lawrence, Darren
Motise, Richard Pilch
Louise Basbas, John Byrne, Vivian Fletcher, Michael Goodman,
James Kennerley, Daniel Kirk-Foster, Deanna Muro, Kent Tritle
William Maul, Lawrence Trupiano
Some of the above and others included a gift to Pipedreams.
$540 will be sent to WQXR to encourage continued local broadcast.
The Chapter's previous support has been gratefully acknowledged
by management there.
A note of special thanks to dual member and most recent National
Secretary Lois Toeppner. She was the first to respond to our
Christopher Babcock, Treasurer
From the Registrar:
News From AGO Headquarters Regarding Dues
||Larry J. Long, Registrar
News from National AGO Headquarters
Regarding 2015-16 Dues Increase and Rolling Membership Year
There are a couple of changes in how National AGO is handling
memberships beginning with the 2015-16 program year: new dues
rates and rolling membership year.
Current members will receive renewal notices shortly from
the national office.
The AGO National Council has established new dues rates for
all dues categories. The new rates will appear on the April
1 renewal notices that AGO Headquarters will send to current
chapter members renewing for the 2015-2016 membership year.
These rates are:
Student Dual $13
The new dues rates will take effect on April 1 for those
who join the Guild for the first time either as Chapter members
or as Independent members, or who reinstate as either Chapter
members or Independent members after their memberships have
The National Council has also authorized the National Headquarters
to initiate a “rolling membership year” for those
who are joining a chapter for the first time or reinstating
after their membership has lapsed. This means that a member’s
expiration date will be one year from the date on which the
member joined; i.e., on the anniversary of the join date.
Under this plan, all current chapter members will retain their
July 1-June 30 membership year as long as they renew by September
1. For new and reinstating members, however, the membership
year will commence on the first of the month in which the
member joins the Guild.
For instance, if you join the Guild on September 1, you will
have twelve months of membership and won’t need to renew
until just prior to the following September 1.
Effective retroactively to November 1, 2014, AGO National
Headquarters implemented the anniversary date membership for
all new members and those who reinstated their memberships
since that date. These individuals will not have to wait until
July 1, 2015 to begin to receive a full year of membership
benefits. Instead, since November 1, their membership year
began in the month in which they joined or reinstated.
Feel free to email Larry
J. Long, Registrar of the NYC Chapter
if you have any questions.
Congratulations and thanks to Steven Frank,
Bishop John O'Hara, Fred Swann, and Cherry Rhodes who each
correctly identified Richard Torrence in last month's issue.
In his identifying response Bishop O'Hara says:
"Richard Torrence passed away four years ago, on February
7, 2011. His interests were varied and wide ranging, spanning
the globe. He is best remembered as the founder of the Richard
Torrence Management in the early 1960s. Some of the world's
finest concert organists were represented by his agency, including
. . . Pierre Cochereau, Ted Alan Worth, Richard Morris, Joyce
Jones, Donald Dumler . . . and the legendary Virgil Fox, whose
career Torrence guided in Fox's later years at The Riverside
Church and beyond into the late 1970s. Richard had a tremendous
impact on the instrument we love."
For a complete biography and other news articles about Richard,
including an account in The New York Times of his work in Russia
and his association with Vladimir Putin, with whom he worked
closely when Putin was First Deputy Mayor of St. Petersburg,
click on the following links:
You Identify This Member From the Past?
. . . now deceased?
Brooklyn Chapter POE
||Grace Church in Brooklyn
Our colleagues and friends in the Brooklyn Chapter
are sponsoring a Pipe Organ Encounter from July 26-31, and
they are seeking support in various forms from fellow chapter
members throughout the Northeast Region.
here for details. Or be in touch with Eric
Birk, POE Director.
Regional Convention in New Haven
here for information about our regional convention
June 28-July 1, 2015.
Memoriam: John Obetz
are saddened to learn of the death of our colleague, and NYC
Chapter Dual Member, John Obetz. A copy of his obituary
in the Kansas City Star may be found here.
connect with us
|The next chapter
newsletter is the May/June issue. The deadline for submissions
is the April 15, 2015. Material may be submitted to Neal
Campbell, Editor. Nine issues are published through the
year on a monthly basis with combined issues for December/January,
May/June, and July/August. To make changes in your email address
or to subscribe to the e-newsletter, please contact Larry