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||David Enlow, Dean
From the Dean
We are in between signature events: the
improvisation symposium has just happened,
and we are fast approaching the Presidents'
Justin Bischof is known to many of you as
an improvisor, but he also showed his teaching
skills at our January event. Thank you to
Sub-Dean James Kennerley, our host, board
member Andrew Yeargin, and our volunteer
improvisation students for their excellent
work in making another successful improvisation
event. Attendance was terrific, and confirms
your continuing interest in this topic.
Presidents' Day brings the chapter's crowning
event of the program year, our conference.
This year, French music is the theme, and
a host of wonderful scholars and performers
will be on hand to share and to inspire.
If you haven't yet taken advantage of one
of our programs this season, let this be
the one. If you have, then you know we are
having a great year and are looking forward
to more of the same. Please give your attention
to the notice later in this newsletter.
In the background, your awards committee,
nominating committee, Millennium Fund trustees,
and directory task force are especially hard
at work lately, caring for the chapter's
affairs. The full board will meet on Presidents'
Day to deal with several items. It's a busy
time, with many good chapter projects underway!
After an overheated Christmas, let's enjoy
some midwinter music and visiting with friends
Upcoming Chapter Events
Presidents’ Day 2016: An American in Paris: Nineteenth-Century
French Organ Music.
Sunday, February 14, 2016 and Monday, February 15, 2016.
Saturday, March 12, 2016: 3 PM Pedals, Pipes & Pizza at
Saint James' Church, Madison Avenue. 5 PM performance by NYC
AGO 2015 competition winner Colin MacKnight. Loraine Enlow,
chair of PP&P committee.
Late May 2016: Season Finale Chapter Dinner. Venue TBA. David
Hurd, guest speaker.
Presidents’ Day Conference: "An American in Paris:
Nineteenth-Century French organ music"
The crowning glory of the Chapter’s program
season is its Presidents’ Day Conference. This year’s
conference, An American in Paris: Nineteenth-Century French
organ music, will be somewhat spectacular. We will explore
the genesis of the French Romantic organ, and the music that
it inspired, penned by the most famous composers in the instrument’s
history: Franck, Widor, Vierne, and their contemporaries. Perhaps
most intriguingly, we will explore the relationship to European
culture of the same period, and how the music relates, among
other things, to the tam-tam!
The festivities will begin on Sunday, February 14
at 5 PM with a concert
by Raymond Nagem at the Cathedral of Saint John
the Divine. Mr. Nagem,
Associate Organist at Saint John the Divine and C. V. Starr Doctoral Fellow
at The Juilliard School, plays two great "Gothic" works in the
world's largest Gothic cathedral. Charles-Marie Widor and Léon
Boëllmann responded to the Gothic Revival movement in late nineteenth-century
Paris by writing music that embodied the craggy lines and serene beauty
of medieval architecture. The Symphonie gothique of Widor and the Suite
gothique of Boëllmann find a perfect home in Saint John the Divine
with its magnificent Aeolian-Skinner organ. Admission is free for this
The conference will then continue on Monday, February 15 at the Church
of Saint Ignatius Loyola, focusing on its French-speaking
Mander organ renowned for the performance of French Romantic
organ music. A catered
breakfast at 9:30 AM is followed by an exploration of the
colors at 10 AM by renowned organist and former assistant
at Saint Ignatius, Renée Anne Louprette. Professor Gundula
Kreutzer, a lecturer at Yale University, will give our first lecture
at 10:45 with a focus on
nineteenth-century France, German, and opera, will explore
the sound worlds of the conference. At 1:30 PM (following
lunch on your own), Dr. Matthew
Lewis, a former student of Marie-Madeleine Duruflé, will give a
Masterclass. Organbuilder Sebastian Glück considers cooperative development
amongst organbuilders, composers, and performers during
the transition from the late Baroque and Classical periods
to the height of Romanticism
in France at 3:30 PM. The conference is rounded out by
a performance by virtuoso Jeremy Filsell at 5
program will include works by Franck,
Vierne, Cochereau, and Joséphine Boulay, a blind student of César
Franck and the first woman to win an organ prize at the
We are still welcoming applicants for the
Masterclass – please
contact me by clicking here if you are interested.
We are also accepting advertisements for the program
booklet, an excellent
way of reaching out to others in our field of interest. The rates are
as follows for black and white advertisements: a Full page (8.5x11) for
$115; Half page (8.5x5.5) for $60); Business Card for $40. Three full-color
ads are available for $250 apiece. Please let me know as soon as possible
if you would like to place an ad by clicking here.
Suffice to say, it will be spectacular. We hope to see you there!
of the Month
"A painter paints pictures on canvas. But
musicians paint their pictures on silence."
– Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977)
The promise of youth.
Last week, I attended the graduate recital of Colin MacKnight,
organ scholar at Church of the Resurrection, and Masters
candidate at Juilliard. Dean David Enlow has brought a succession
of thrilling performers to play concerts there, and my colleague
organbuilders know how rewarding it is to hear an outstanding
performance on "your" organ. There was something
extra special about this one. Colin's parents were in the
audience, bursting with pride, and his fellow students were
there to support and congratulate him.
Colin has learned his way around the instrument through
scores of weekends of wonderful service music, and his recital
was a delight. I celebrate all of the talented young people
among us who are appreciating the pipe organ, honoring its
heritage, and taking it to new places through their diligence
and creativity. We are fortunate to have such talent and
enthusiasm among us. They are the future of the pipe organ,
and they deserve our admiration.
After the blizzard, a flurry.
Sure was a big storm. And I missed it. I had meetings in
Portland, Maine with the board of Friends of the Kotzschmar
Organ (I'm chair of the board's Organ Committee), so I packed
Goldendoodle Farley into the car and headed east. Most winter
storms that pummel New York City follow the coast past Boston
and Maine before crossing Nova Scotia and heading out to
sea. But this one was different. While Wendy reported that
she couldn't see across East 9th Street from our apartment,
I was enjoying sunshine and dramatic starry nights.
What flurry? The flurry of posts on social media from organists
throughout the region, reporting about loyal choir members
braving the maelstrom, and about wonderful music happening
to reward the stalwart parishioners who braved the elements.
Years ago, I was Director of Music at Centre Congregational
Church in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, and I remember a Sunday
when there were more choir members in the stalls than parishioners
in the pews. As the service progressed I was proud of the
choir, but was dumbfounded after the service at the reactions
from the parishioners - how much they appreciated the effort,
how much the music meant to them that day. I know that those
of you who led music "as usual" the day after the
storm were giving a huge gift to the people of your churches.
We often use the word "service" casually. It's
the name of a gig. We might play a concert, a dance, a party,
or a service. But think of the word's common meaning - the
act of assistance; helping or doing work for someone. We're
in the service of the church, in the service of the Lord.
Servants, well done. (I also loved the snowball photos!)
of the Month
You Be My Neighbor?
||St. Joseph's new Létourneau organ. (Click
on photo for stoplist)
St. Joseph's Church in Greenwich Village is at
the corner of Sixth Avenue and Washington Place, a block west
of Washington Square Park. St. Joseph's is home to the New
York University Catholic Fellowship and the Newman Catholic
Fellowship for NYU undergraduates. The parish was founded by
Bishop John Dubois in 1829, and is the sixth oldest still worshipping
in the Archdiocese of New York. Dating from 1833, it's the
oldest Roman Catholic building in Manhattan.
You can visit the church's website at:
Kyler Brown left St. Jean Baptiste Catholic Church (Lexington
Avenue and East 76th) to start his tenure at St. Joseph's on
December 1, 2015, where he presides over the brand-new 3-manual
organ by Orgues Létourneau. (The third manual is permanent
home to the Festival Trumpet you see at the top of the case.)
Kyler leads an eight-voice professional choir that sings at
the 11:30 Mass on Sunday mornings.
It's important to mention that the Létourneau organ
at St. Joseph's is the third new mechanical-action organ in
the neighborhood, joining the Pascal Quoirin instrument at
Church of the Ascension (Fifth Avenue and 11th), and the Taylor & Boody
at Grace Church (Broadway and 10th). Is there another five-block
span anywhere in the world that claims three new pipe organs
in five years?
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