C h a p t e r   N e w s l e t t e r
  V o l .  5 9 ,  N o . 5

F e b r u a r y   2 0 0 9

Message from the Dean

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings to all of you as we begin a New Year, and hopefully, a new era for our country and our world!

Our Presidents' Day Conference (February 15th and 16th) is always a high point in our chapter’s program year.  This year the Conference will be hosted by sub-dean, Paul Murray, at the Church of the Holy Family. The opening recital will feature Peter Richard Conte (Wanamaker Grand Court Organist) on Sunday Evening, February 15th. On Monday the 16th, Thomas Murray (Yale University) will lecture on music of Marcel Dupré and Felix Mendelssohn, after which Alan Morrison (Curtis Institute, Westminster Choir College) will conduct a master class. The conference will conclude with Evening Prayer presented by the clergy and music staff of the Church of the Holy Family.

Please also mark your calendars for a master class and recital by Olivier Latry at St. Ignatius Loyola on April 14 and 15.

Once again, it’s time to start making plans for the summer vacations.  As you do so, please consider registering for the AGO Region I and II combined convention this summer in Boston.  It’s hard to believe that the last Region II convention was hosted here in New York City by our chapter.  As always, good deals are available for early registration.

We are in the process of putting the finishing touches on our chapter's 2008-2009 membership directory.  Many thanks are due to our new registrar, Paul Sanner, our new advertising coordinator, Walter Klauss, and our talented layout and design coordinator, Len Levasseur for all their hard work. Lastly, a word of special thanks to our advertisers, in the directory and the newsletter - your loyal support, despite the difficult economic times, makes the production of these publications possible.  Once again directories will be mailed to you directly from the printers and will not be given out at the Presidents’ Day Conference.

Wishing you all the best!

Frank L. Crosio

Next Chapter Event: Presidents' Day Conference

Mark the dates!

This year's Presidents' Day Conference will feature Peter Richard Conte (Wanamaker Grand Court Organist) in recital at the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Family.

On Monday the 16th, Thomas Murray (Yale University) will lecture on music of Dupré and Mendelssohn, after which Alan Morrison (Curtis Institute, Westminster Choir College) will conduct a master class. The conference will conclude with Evening Prayer. Click here for details.
Olivier Latry Master Class Participant Invitation

On Tuesday, 14 April at 7:00 p.m., Oliver Latry will lead a master class on the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies of Charles-Marie Widor and the organ works of Louis Vierne.  The master class will take place at the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola.  We are currently seeking participants for this class.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Paul Murray no later than 20 February at pjmurray@churchholyfamily.org or 212.753.3401 x14.
American Guild of Organists Awarded $15,000 Grant by The National Endowment for the Arts

NEA Funding Will Support New Music Commissions and Premier Performances at the AGO National Convention in Washington, D.C., July 4–8, 2010

January 22, 2009

NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has been awarded an Access to Artistic Excellence grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the commissioning and premier performances of new music at the biennial AGO National Convention in Washington, D.C., July 4–8, 2010. The $15,000 grant carries a mandate that it be matched dollar for dollar from other funding sources. The 2009–2010 funding cycle will mark the fourth and fifth consecutive years the AGO has received funding through the NEA’s Access to Artistic Excellence grant program.

For its 50th biennial national convention in Washington, D.C., the AGO has commissioned new compositions from: Mary Beth Bennett, Rihards Dubra, David Hurd, Rachel Laurin, Shirley Murray, Leo Nestor, Bruce Neswick, Dorothy Papadakos, Craig Phillips, and Gwyneth Walker. Premier performances of the commissioned works will be given by world-class soloists, ensembles, and conductors dedicated to artistic excellence.

The new music commissions include works for: organ solo; organ and orchestral instruments; organ and jazz ensemble; organ and chorus; two organs and chorus; organ, brass, and chorus; and a hymn. In addition to being present for the premieres of their new works, the composers will be presented in a Composers’ Forum workshop at the convention.

"Since its founding in 1896, the AGO has commissioned more new works for organ and chorus than any other single organization in the world," declared AGO President Eileen Guenther. "The AGO also provides outstanding performances of these new works. It is an honor for us to be recognized by the NEA, and we are highly grateful for the grants that will enable this tradition to continue when we meet for our 2010 AGO National Convention in the Nation’s Capital. The recognition by the NEA reaffirms the importance of new music commissions to increase organ and choral repertoire available to future generations, and to increase the American public’s knowledge of and appreciation for contemporary classical music. The AGO is especially interested in supporting new music for the concert stage, as there are increasing numbers of American concert halls being constructed or renewed that contain new or rebuilt organs."

The Arts Endowment will distribute $23,215,500 in this first round of fiscal year 2009 funding to support 1,051 projects, continuing its legacy of bringing arts of the highest quality to communities nationwide. The Endowment will distribute $20,325,500 to not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations across the country through Access to Artistic Excellence grants. Through this category, the NEA will fund 886 projects out of 1,394 eligible applications. "I am delighted to announce the NEA’s first round of grants for fiscal year 2009," stated NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "We often hear from our grantees that the NEA’s grant support has a catalytic effect, helping the organization to garner exponentially additional funding for its project. These grants are an investment in our nation’s culture, and I am proud to say that the return on that investment benefits Americans from coast to coast."

For further information about the AGO National Convention in Washington, D.C., please visit www.agohq.org. For further information about the National Endowment for the Arts, please visit www.nea.gov.

From the Registrar

Hello everyone, and Happy New Year.  A word about communicating with the registrar via email at the registrar@nycago address — please reference AGO or NYCAGO in the subject line. As we all know, there is an abundance of spam email in the world, and our chapter email accounts get their fair share. I make every effort to avoid mis-deleting important communication, but I have discovered that it has happened on at least one occasion. Thanks very much for your help in this area, and best wishes to all for a superb 2009.

Paul Sanner
The next chapter newsletter is the March  2009 issue. The deadline for submissions is February 15th. Material may be submitted to the 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 Paul Sanner.