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||David Enlow, Dean
From the Dean
No sooner had many of us begun to adjust
to the news of John Scott's death than the
airwaves lit up again with the passing of
Helen Kemp and Sir David Willcocks. (As I
type "Willcocks", my iPhone underlines
it in red, and when I enquire as to why,
it says "no replacements found".
Is that not poetic and true?)
At its best, the Guild has a holistic view
of organists of every age, as it celebrates
the elders and generations past, supports
and draws on the strength of those active
and in their prime, and recruits and encourages
the young musicians of tomorrow. A balance
of these activities is what your executive
board and I are trying to accomplish, with
educational programs, social elements, programs
especially for children and young people,
and honors for those who have enjoyed long
careers, and who are trying to draw back
a bit from the fevered pace of constant work
that has earned them our awe and respect.
This month, we have just had our opening
event, a members' recital with several age
groups represented, and a chance to have
some bubbly drink and bubbly conversation.
October brings a master class by the noted
organist and teacher Carole Terry, who has
come all the way from the west coast to play
a recital in Brooklyn; we're so glad she
has agreed to give a class for us.
Next month's program is also educational,
as the renowned maestro Dennis Keene steps
off the podium to share some wisdom with
those looking to deepen their understanding
of choral conducting. Last year's class with
Paul Spicer was a great hit with many members,
and so we are responding to your desire to
have more choral education opportunities.
We all look forward to seeing you there!
I hope you are all having a great fall season.
Upcoming Chapter Events
Organ at St. Peter's Lutheran Church
The second event of the season will take the
form of a masterclass with Carole Ruth Terry, renowned American
organist, harpsichordist, and pedagogue. Professor Terry teaches
on the faculty of the University of Washington and as visiting
professor at many institutions throughout the US, Canada, and
Europe. The masterclass will take place on the II/43 Johannes
Klais Orgelbau instrument at St. Peter's Lutheran Church on
Saturday, October 17th at 3 PM. The church is at 619 Lexington
Avenue, at 54th Street (Thomas Schmidt, host). Interested participants
should contact me by
November will see a choral conducting masterclass
with Dennis Keene at the Church of the Ascension on Monday,
November 9th at 7 PM. Dr. Keene's award-winning work with the Voices of
Ascension is legendary in our city and beyond, and he is an
excellent teacher of conductors on all levels. Applications
are welcome for masterclass participants, as well as for members
of the choir. An accompanist will also be provided. Please
email me if you are interested in participating.
Looking ahead,our annual Improvisation Symposium and concert
will take place in the sumteous accoustics of Holy Trinity
R. C. Church (Andrew Yeargin. host) on January 18th beginning
at 4:45 PM. Again, please
email me if you are interested in participating.
In March we will hold a Pedals, Pipes, & Pizza event at
Saint James Church, Madison Avenue. Colin MacKnight, winner
of the latest NYCAGO Chapter competition, will perform a recital.
The 2016 Presidents' Day Conference is entitled "An American
in Paris: the French Romantic School" and kicks off with
a concert by Ray Nagem at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
on Sunday February 14th. The main events of the conference
will take place on Monday February 15th at the Church of St.
The final event of the year will take the form of a festive
dinner with special guest David Hurd, known to many of us as
an organist, composer, and contributor to the Episcopal 1982
Hymnal, among his many other endeavors.
Complete details of these upcoming events will be made available
on the Chapter website and Facebook pages. As always, please
email me should you have any questions or comments. We look
forward to welcoming you to this spectacular season of events!
Memorial Service for
Tuesday, October 13, 2015,
Church of the Ascension, Fifth
Avenue at 10th Street
Neil was a great performer, composer, and improviser,
beloved teacher of hundreds, and a consummate church musician.
Join us as we honor his life and his contributions to our world.
of the Month
The other day a friend tweeted, "In this coffeeshop,
there's a guy sitting at a table. He's not on his phone. He's
not on a laptop. He's just sitting there drinking coffee, like
What a hilarious commentary on our lives - get out of your
phone and smell the daisies! And listen to some organ music...
My wife Wendy and I moved to New York in the summer of 2014,
and we’ve had an exciting time making new friends and
strengthening old relationships. We’ve both spent lots
of professional time here over the years – the Organ
Clearing House had a four-year stretch when it seemed as though
we’d never leave – but learning the city as residents
is a new experience that we relish.
We’ve settled into our new digs in Greenwich Village,
between Grace Church with its sumptuous new organ by Taylor & Boody,
and Church of the Ascension with the fascinating and colorful
organ by Pascal Quoirin. To my eyes and ears, these two remarkable
organs represent brilliant and creative thinking by their builders.
It’s hog-heaven for me to live in close proximity with
such genius, and I appreciate Patrick Allen’s and Dennis
Keene’s generosity in sharing the instruments with me.
What’s more, the marvelous new organ by Letourneau at
St. Joseph’s Church on Sixth Avenue adds brilliance to
the local fleet. It’s quite a neighborhood!
Many of us attended John Scott’s funeral Mass at St.
Thomas Church a few weeks ago, and I’m sure that many
reacted as I did to the cacophony from the street outside as
the postponed Labor Day parade hooted and hollered past the
church, clashing with the serene sounds of that famous choir – the
Sacred and Profane on Fifth Avenue. My first thought was horror – how
could such an important and poignant moment be marred? But
it occurred to me that the juxtaposition was a statement about
the city. Where else are there so many talented church musicians
at work? Where else are the arts so richly represented? And
where else does the sublime mix so freely with a throbbing
and lively popular culture?
Last night I was among many in attendance at the Members'
Recital at St. Ignatius of Antioch, where James Kennerley was
our host. It was my first time visiting that beautiful building,
and it was a treat to hear friends and colleagues playing for
each other. There was a strong and cheerful crowd present,
and the following reception was a great chance to greet and
chat with fellow members.
As I start this work as editor of the newsletter, I know I
speak for many as I thank Neal Campbell for his wonderful work
over the recent years, and wishing him well as he adjusts from
Connecticut to Florida winters. I look forward to my work with
you, and to seeing you at chapter events.
Yogi Berra, the great catcher for the New York Yankees, was
well known for his quirky use of the English language, and
following his recent death, we were reminded of countless “Yogi-isms.” I
cite one of my favorites as I encourage you to come out with
me to our Chapter events by inviting you to prove Yogi right: “No
one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
Thanks for reading.
You Be My Neighbor?
|Taylor & Boody organ,
Editor's note: I mentioned the terrific organs
our new neighborhood, and thought I'd share them with you.
This month, I give you
the Taylor & Boody organ at Grace Church on the corner
of Broadway and East 10th Street, where Patrick Allen is
Organist and Master of the Choristers. Grace Church is close
to us that we can hear the tower bells when our windows are
Taylor & Boody is well known for having built dozens of
colorful instruments that are faithful to the styles of 17th
and 18th century Northern Europe. A terrific example shines
bright in the rear gallery at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue.
The organ at Grace church is housed in (not quite) matching
stained oak cases that face each other across the Chancel.
There's a free-standing console (Taylor & Boody's first
detached console), and a remote chamber that houses the powerful
Solo division. There's a fascinating tunnel in the undercroft
that spans the organ's three locations and houses the wind
system and the intricate mechanical action chassis.
Our friends at T&B have added the expressive qualities
of the English Cathedral and American Classic organs to the
template of their familiar style, resulting in a masterpiece
of musical art. Add to that the sonic rumble of the restored
E. M. Skinner 32-foot Double Open Wood Diapason in the rear
gallery, and you're ready to rock.
You can hear this organ daily in brief meditation recitals.
Maybe I'll see you there.
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