SITE MAP  |  CONTACT US
NYC Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
| Share
ABOUT US
    Operating Procedures
    Centennial Millennium Fund
    National Organization

Chapter Board & Organization 2018–2020


The Executive Board
is composed of the seven officers, who hold two-year terms, and the twelve board members, who hold four-year terms. Officers and board members are elected during biennial elections in the late spring of even-numbered years. Committees are constituted for the planning of chapter events and the direction of special activities, including: Education & Program, Newsletter, Nominations, Placement, Professional Concerns, Regional Competition for Young Organists, and the Web site. Chapter members interested in helping with the work of these committees are encouraged to contact the Dean.
       
James Kennerley  
James Kennerley, Dean  
James Kennerley is a multi-faceted musician, working as a conductor, organist, singer, coach, and educator. A native of the United Kingdom, Mr. Kennerley is Organist and Choirmaster at Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church, where he directs the professional choir and coordinates the church’s extensive concert series. Previously, he held a similar position at the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Times Square, from 2008–2012. Mr. Kennerley has been a member of the New York City Chapter AGO Executive Board since 2009. He also serves on the Program Committee, and assumed the Chair of the International Performer of the Year Award in 2013. Mr. Kennerley was born in 1984 and became a chorister of Chelmsford Cathedral. He was educated at Harrow School and Cambridge University, where he was Organ Scholar at Jesus College. He was then appointed Organ Scholar of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London, where he worked daily with the choir of men and boys under the direction of Malcolm Archer, and had the honor of performing in the presence of HM the Queen on several occasions. Prior to his appointment at Saint Mary the Virgin, Mr. Kennerley was Associate Director of Music and Director of the Choir of Men and Boys at Christ Church, Greenwich, Conn., where he had been working since September 2006. There, he directed the choirs on two successful tours to England, and established an organ recital series. Mr. Kennerley was a finalist at the inaugural Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition, held in June 2013. In addition to solo concerts in the US and Europe, Mr. Kennerley frequently collaborates with groups such as the Voices of Ascension, New York City Master Chorale, and Greenwich Choral Society. He has studied the organ with David Sanger, Thomas Trotter and McNeil Robinson, and holds the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists diploma. He is currently enrolled in the Historical Performance program at the Juilliard School, where he studies harpsichord with Kenneth Weiss and Richard Egarr.
       
James D. Wetzel  
James Wetzel, Sub-Dean  
James D. Wetzel is the director of music and organist of the Parish of Saint Vincent Ferrer and Saint Catherine of Siena. He formerly served as the organist and choirmaster of midtown’s Church of Saint Agnes and as organ scholar of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, where he continues as an assisting organist. Since 2010, James has also been the assistant conductor for the Greenwich Choral Society in Connecticut and from 2011-2016 taught as an adjunct lecturer in Hunter College’s music department. Active as an organist and continuo player, he has performed with the American Symphony Orchestra, the American Classical Orchestra, the Collegiate Chorale, the Oratorio Society of New York, and the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s. He is on the board of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and the Catholic Artists Society, is music advisor to the New York Purgatorial Society, and is a member of the Society for Catholic Liturgy and the Saint Wilfrid’s Club for Organists in Manhattan.

Born in Pittsburgh, James earned a bachelor’s degree in organ performance from The Juilliard School where he studied with Paul Jacobs and was the first person to graduate with a master’s degree and a professional studies certificate in choral conducting from Manhattan School of Music under Kent Tritle. He also studied privately with Donald K. Fellows and Robert Page and spent a year reading Early Christianity and Apologetics at Columbia University.

           
Dr. Raymond Nagem  
Dr. Raymond Nagem, Secretary  
Raymond Nagem is Associate Director of Music at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Dr. Nagem earned his B.A. from Yale University, where he studied with Thomas Murray, and his M.M. and D.M.A. from The Juilliard School. He previously held positions at The Parish of All Saints, Ashmont and at Christ Church, New Haven. In addition to his responsibilities for service playing and choral accompaniment, he works regularly with the Cathedral Chorale and the Choristers. Since 2015 he has served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, where teaches courses in organ literature, service playing and improvisation.
           
Christopher Babcock  
Christopher Babcock
Treasurer
 
   
Christopher Babcock earned a B.Mus. degree from Boston University and studied with Peter Hurford at St. Alban’s and at Trinity College of Music in London, earning his LTCL. From 1982–87 he was Associate Organist at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in New York City and in 1988 Interim Director there. In 1989 he was invited to launch a distinguished music program at the Church of the Holy Family, the United Nations Parish, and in 1996 returned to St. Mary’s as Music Director. He moved to Cape Cod in 2002 where he is summer organist at St. Andrew’s by the Sea in Hyannis Port. Christopher was Sub-Dean of the New York City Chapter when the International Performer of the Year Award was created and he chaired the National Centennial Convention in 1996. A dual chapter member, Christopher has been Dean of the Cape Cod & Islands Chapter.
           
Larry J. Long  
Larry J. Long, Registrar  
Larry J. Long has served as Organist and Choirmaster at the Church of the Epiphany since February 2009. He plays the organ, conducts the adult and children’s choirs, and administers the music ministry of the parish. Active as a composer as well as an organist and conductor, he has compositions published by Augsburg Fortress, GIA Publications, St. James Music Press, and World Library Publications. He holds degrees from Valparaiso University (BM) and Southern Methodist University (MM), and has also studied at the Royal School of Church Music in England and the Haarlem Summer Academy for Organists. He performs regularly in recitals, and is often the organist, choral conductor, and workshop presenter for a variety of institutions and organizations, including the Valparaiso University Institute of Liturgical Studies, American Guild of Organists, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, Association of Anglican Musicians, the Metro Chicago Synod of the ELCA, and the Metro New York Synod of the ELCA.
           
Dr. Claudia Dumschat  
Dr. Claudia Dumschat , Auditor  
   
   
Claudia Dumschat is Organist and Choirmaster at Church of the Transfiguration ("The Little Church Around the Corner"), a national landmark church in Manhattan, with the oldest professional Choir of Men and Boys in the country. She received her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Alec Wyton, Frederick Swann, McNeil Robinson, John Walker, and Dennis Keene. She has performed throughout the United States and Europe and is also an active conductor, with an extensive repertoire of choral, dramatic, and orchestral works. Dr. Dumschat has previously been on the New York board of the American Guild of Organists and currently serves on the Council of the Episcopal Actors Guild. She is also Chair of the Music Committee of the Greenwich Pen Women.
       
Dr. Anderson Henderson, organist  
Dr. Andrew Henderson, Auditor  
Andrew Henderson has served as Director of Music & Organist at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church since 2005, where he oversees an extensive liturgical and choral program, including the Saint Andrew Chorale, the New York City Children’s Chorus, and the Saint Andrew Music Society’s Music on Madison concert series. He also serves as the Associate Organist at Temple Emanu-El, as a member of the organ faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, and as the organ instructor at Teachers' College, Columbia University. A native of Canada, he served as Organ Scholar at Clare College, Cambridge, and holds degrees in music from Cambridge and Yale Universities. Andrew came to New York City in 2001 to pursue the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance at The Juilliard School while serving as Assistant Organist at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. He was a finalist in the Grand Prix de Chartres competition in 2002, and won first prize in the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ biennial National Organ Playing Competition the following year. Recent performances include organ and continuo playing with the New York Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Musica Sacra, Voices of Ascension, The Oratorio Society of New York, and The Collegiate Chorale; and solo recitals in Poland, Canada, and throughout the USA. He has been featured as a recitalist and workshop leader at national and regional gatherings of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, the Fellowship of United Methodists in Worship and Music Arts, the RCCO and AGO. He has served the NYC AGO chapter as co-chair of the Publicity Committee for the 2007 Regional Convention, as an examiner, and host for numerous chapter-related events. A Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, his teachers have included John Tuttle, Barrie Cabena, David Sanger, Thomas Murray and John Weaver.
           
       

Class of 2020

           
Daniel Brondel, organist  
Daniel Brondel  
A native of southern France, Daniel Brondel is the Associate Director of Music at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where he plays Masses each week that are broadcast live on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. He manages the cathedral’s organ recital series that features organists from all over the world, and has played for popes Benedict XVI and Francis during their visits to New York. Noted in The New York Times for playing the organ with flair, he performs solo recitals in the United States and Europe, and has also appeared as soloist in piano concertos of Mozart and Rachmaninoff, and the organ concertos of Poulenc and Jongen. His JAV recording of his improvised Organ Fanfare (2010) was featured on Pipedreams. His first solo organ album, The Glory of the Organ, was recorded at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 2010 on the JAV label. Prior to his appointment at St. Patrick’s, Mr. Brondel was the Director of Music & Organist at St. Malachy’s Church (The Actors’ Chapel), where he re-established the culture of traditional sacred music and started the project that led to the installation of the church's noted Æolian-Skinner organ. Daniel is the co-founder and Artistic Director of The Salvatones, a new vibrant professional vocal ensemble based in New York City that has been noted to its excellence in a varied range of genres and repertoire. He has been a member of the American Guild of Organists through various chapters over the past three decades (Atlanta, Rochester and New York City), of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, and he was a member of the Board of Directors of Schola Cantorum on Hudson for five years.
           
Kenneth Dake, organist  
Kenneth Dake  
Kenneth Dake has served as Director of Music of New York City’s historic Marble Collegiate church since 1996. A native of Chicago, Ken attended Interlochen Center for the Arts before moving to New York and earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance from the Juilliard School where he was a student of Sascha Gorodnitzki. He later pursued organ studies with John Weaver and went on to serve eight years as organist/choirmaster of St. George’s Episcopal Church on Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Square. Known for his technical virtuosity and communicative passion, Ken is equally at home as organ recitalist or piano soloist. His many choral and instrumental works are published by MorningStar, GIA, Hinshaw and Kjos, and are performed nation-wide with increasing frequency. His debut organ CD, Prayers and Alleluias, is available on iTunes, as are several recordings by the critically acclaimed Marble Choir under his direction. Please visit www.Themarblechoir.com
           
Judith Hancock, organist  
Dr. Judith Hancock  
Judith Hancock is a former member of the faculty of The School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin, where she taught organ and subjects related to sacred music. Dr. Hancock was the Associate Organist of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York, where she assisted in training and conducting the St. Thomas Choir. Formerly Organist and Director of Music at St. James’s Church Madison Avenue, New York, and the Church of St. James the Less in Scarsdale, New York, she directed the music programs in both locations, introducing many new ideas, both musical and liturgical. She has also held positions of Organist and Choirmaster at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Cincinnati, and at churches in Bronxville, New York, and in Durham, North Carolina. A graduate of Syracuse University, Dr. Hancock studied organ with the legendary teacher Arthur Poister. From there she went on to Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she earned the Sacred Music Master’s degree, and from which she received the Unitas Distinguished Alumnus Award. Her organ studies in New York were with Charlotte Garden and Jack Ossewaarde. She also studied with David Craighead and David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music.
           
Ryan Jackson, organist  
Dr. Ryan Jackson  
Acclaimed organist and choral director Ryan Jackson was appointed William S. Perper Director of Music and Fine Arts Ministries at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in 2012, following an international search. Ryan is the founding director of the professional FAPC Chamber Choir, as well as the Joyful Noise Choir, a teaching ensemble open to all members of the church community. In 2013, Ryan established FAPC’s annual concert series, which features a diverse program of four choral concerts and three organ recitals each season. Prior to his appointment at FAPC, Ryan served in the music programs at Christ Church United Methodist on Park Avenue; the University Church at Yale; Christ Church Episcopal in New Haven; and Metropolitan United Church in Toronto. In addition to his work at FAPC, Ryan maintains an active recital schedule throughout the United States and his native Canada where his performances have been praised for their “mature musicality, technical poise, and registrational sensitivity” (RCCO Bulletin). The winner of numerous prestigious competitions, including the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ National Organ Playing Competition, he has studied with several of the most prominent organists of the day, including Patricia Wright, Thomas Murray, and Paul Jacobs. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Toronto (Mus.Bac.Perf.), Yale University (M.M.), and The Juilliard School (D.M.A.).
           
Benjamin Sheen, organist  
Benjamin Sheen  
Benjamin Sheen is one of the UK's brightest young organists, having recently won the inaugural Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition. He has also recently been awarded Second Place and the Jon Laukvik Prize at the 2013 St. Alban's International Organ Competition in its 50th year. In addition to his competition successes, he has also completed his Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School in New York, having studied with Grammy award winning organist Paul Jacobs. He currently resides in New York City, and combines a busy concert career with the position of Acting Music Director at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue.

Ben began his musical education as a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral, where he took up the organ aged 10. In 2003, Ben became the youngest person ever to give a recital in the cathedral’s Sunday evening series at the age of just 13. Ben was awarded a music scholarship to Eton College where he studied organ with Alastair Sampson and David Goode. While at Eton, Ben gave several recitals across the UK, including Liverpool Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and York Minster, as well as appearing a number of times in the Windsor Festival as a soloist. He also toured the USA with the Eton College Choir and also giving a number of solo concerts in New York, Denver, Washington and Princeton University.

 

Class of 2022

           
Samuel Bartlett  
Sam Bartlett  
Sam Bartlett is the Chapel Organist at Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City. He graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a BBA in Business Management. While at SMU, he studied organ with Dr. Larry Palmer and was also principal keyboardist in the Meadows Wind Ensemble, pianist in the Meadows Jazz Orchestra, and a member of the Meadows Concert Choir. During his senior year he was awarded the Dora Poteet Barclay Award in Organ Performance by the Meadows School of the Arts faculty. Sam also holds the Colleague certification with the American Guild of Organists.
           
J. David Williams  
Dr. Gregory D'Agostino  
Gregory D'Agostino is the Organist and Director of Music at St. Ann and the Holy Trinity, Brooklyn, where he presides over the historic 5-manual Skinner organ, and is Organ Faculty of Mannes The New School for Music. He has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia, as well as for AGO conventions. A native New Yorker, Gregory earned the doctorate from The Juilliard School. A devoted advocate of the education of young organists, he has served as faculty at a dozen Pipe Organ Encounters on the East Coast. In 2003, Gregory was the Director of the first New York City Pipe Organ Encounter, which was an educational and financial success. For three two-year terms, he served on the National AGO committee, Seminary and Denominational Relations.
           
Donald R. Meineke  
Donald Meineke  
A native of Texas, Donald R. Meineke serves as Cantor at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity where he oversees the musical life of the parish, conducts the Holy Trinity Parish Choir, curates an extensive concert series, and is Artistic Director of Bach Vespers featuring the renowned Bach Choir and Players. Donald maintains an active career as a recitalist, lecturer, conductor, and singer performing with local, national, and international ensembles. In addition to his work at Holy Trinity, Donald served as the Co-Director of the critically acclaimed Early Music Festival: NYC and is co-founder/tenor of Ensemble VIII in Austin, TX. He has served as assistant chorus master for Helmuth Rilling, preparing Mozart's Mass in C minor in multiple cities throughout Venezuela and Bach's B minor Mass and Passions throughout Germany and Italy. A passionate teacher, Donald has presented master classes and workshops at the regional and national levels on topics ranging from organ improvisation, chant, choral techniques, early music, and historical liturgical practices. Donald has held posts at First English Lutheran in Austin, TX; Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he conducted the Choirs of Trinity Church and was founder and Artistic Director of Vox Triniti; Holy Trinity Lutheran in Chicago, Illinois; and served on the Worship and Music staff at the Churchwide Offices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Chicago. Donald holds degrees from Indiana University and The University of Texas at Austin. His teachers have included Larry Smith, Marilyn Kaiser, Elizabeth Wright, Lawrence Brownlee, and James Morrow.
           
William Randolph  
William Randolph  
William Randolph is Director of Music and Organist at Church of the Intercession, Assistant Organist at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, and Adjunct Organist at Columbia University. He is a graduate from Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Frederick Swann. Bill is a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians.
           
Dr. Jason Roberts  
Dr. Jason Roberts  
Jason Roberts is Associate Music Director at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City. He began his musical career as a chorister at St. George's Cathedral in Perth, Western Australia; and is a graduate of Rice University, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and the Manhattan School of Music. He is winner of the 2008 American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation and the 2007 Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition USA, and he has been a finalist at competitions in St. Albans, England and Haarlem, The Netherlands. Jason spent several years as Organist/Choirmaster at St. James's Episcopal Church in West Hartford, Connecticut, USA before moving to New York in 2014. He serves on the faculty at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and keeps an active recital schedule. He is a past Dean of the Greater Hartford AGO Chapter and serves on the National Competitions Committee.
           
J. David Williams  
J. David Williams  
J. David Williams is a Tennessee native and his first organist position was at age 15. He attended Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, and Memphis State University. Later David received my Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he studied organ with David Mulbury and Roberta Gary. Subsequently, he relocated to New York City and took up study for a Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School, studying organ and improvisation with Gerre and Judy Hancock. He continued at the Manhattan School of Music for the Doctor of Musical Arts in organ where he studied performance with John Walker and improvisation with McNeil Robinson. At present, he is Director of Music and Organist at The Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn and Organist/Pianist/Music Director at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Manhattan. He served on the NYC AGO board in the late 1980s and the Brooklyn AGO chapter board from 2005-2007. 
           
Janet Yieh  
Janet Yieh  
Janet Yieh serves as Associate Organist at Trinity Church, Wall Street in New York City. An innovative concert recitalist and sacred music specialist, Janet was named one of ’20 under 30’ to watch by The Diapason magazine in 2017. She has performed concert tours throughout the United States and across the globe, with highlights including New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Washington’s National Cathedral, Yale University’s Woolsey Hall, Taipei’s St. John’s Cathedral and Japan’s Momoyama St. Andrew’s University Chapel. She has collaborated with the Paul Winter Consort, the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center, and Trinity’s NOVUS NY orchestra at Carnegie Hall. She regularly premieres new works for the organ, and has been featured on the national radio show Pipedreams, New York’s WQXR, New Jersey’s WWFM, Connecticut’s WMNR, and two CD recordings. nbsp;nbsp; A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Janet’s former teachers include Thomas Murray, Paul Jacobs, John Walker, Wayne Earnest and Victoria Shields. She holds a Master’s of Musical Arts Degree and Master’s Degree in Organ Performance from the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music and a Bachelor of Music from the Juilliard School. Janet has served as Organ Scholar at Christ Church and Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven, and Director of Music for Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. She is a Colleague of the AGO, co-chair of the Northeast AGO Young Organists Board and a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians.