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From the Dean

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

December and the holiday season are once again upon us! While this is a busy time of year for everyone, those of us who are organists and choir directors face special challenges. But with these challenges come moments of grace and opportunity! Not only for great music making, but through that music making to heal, inspire, and build community.

In the midst of all the duties and obligations that this season brings, please don’t neglect your own need to be touched and inspired – schedule some time for yourself to attend a concert or to support the work of a colleague or friend.

‘Tis the season for giving – and there are several ways that your generosity can help the Guild in its ongoing mission, here at home, and at the national level. As chapter members, you should be aware that the New York City Chapter supports the work of our national organization each year by making a substantial contribution to the AGO Annual Fund, but contributions from individual AGO members are also needed and are of vital importance. Information about how to make a donation to the Annual Fund, and details about many other opportunities to support the work of the Guild, can be found on our organization’s national website: www.agohq.org.

You can also directly support the work of New York City Chapter in many ways during the year, but let me just suggest two: a contribution in any amount over and above your annual dues helps to fund chapter programming, including the Advanced Pipe Organ Encounter (POEA) scheduled for this coming summer. Also, taking an ad in our chapter’s 2009-2010 directory or in our monthly e-newsletter would be a great help to us and would also benefit you and/or your church music program as well. You can find an order form on our chapter website. Ad prices begin with a business card size at $50. Walter Klauss, who is in charge of advertising for the directory, and David Enlow, who is in charge of advertising for the chapter newsletter, would be happy to hear from you.

Looking ahead to the New Year, it’s not too soon to mark your calendars for our Presidents’ Day Conference. This year the conference will take place at First Presbyterian Church, the Church of the Holy Family and the First Reformed Episcopal Church. Events include a recital and master class by Stefan Engels, a panel discussion on, “Church Music Today: Renewing Our Vocation”, and a Prayer Service of Recommitment for Church Musicians. The distinguished panel, moderated by David Enlow, will include: Dr. David Hurd, Nancianne Parrella, Dr. James Litton, and Dr. Patrick Evans, Associate Professor in the Practice of Sacred Music, Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University. Why not invite a colleague or friend from near or far, or bring someone with you who has never attended an AGO event before.

Since it is also the season for giving thanks, let me express my heartfelt thanks to the members of the chapter executive board for all of their work throughout the year, and to each of you – through your membership, and through your attendance at chapter events, you make all that we do possible!

On behalf of the Board, I wish each of you great success in your music-making in the month ahead, and after all your work is done, may you find some quiet time to share the joys of this season with those who mean the most to you!

With very best wishes,

Frank L Crosio, FAGO

Next Chapter Event: Presidents' Day

Recital by Stefan Engels

First Presbyterian Church
Fifth Avenue and 12th Street

Sunday evening, 14 February 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

Organ by Glück New York Click here for details.
Host: Dr. William Entriken

The recital is free to NYC Chapter members.
$20.00 general admission. $15 students & seniors
Stefan Engels

Monday: 15 February 2010
At Church of the Holy Family (Roman Catholic) 315 East 47th Street
Host: Paul Murray
10:00 a.m. Registration
10:30–Noon Lecture by Stefan Engels
12:002:00 p.m. Lunch on your own
2:003:30 p.m. Panel Discussion: "Church Music Today — Renewing our Vocation"
3:304:00 p.m.
At First Reformed Episcopal Church 317 East 50th Street
Host: Bernadette Hoke
4:004:45 p.m.
Prayer Service with a Renewal of Commitment for Sacred Musicians
Admission to the Monday conference is free to chapter members. Others: $40.

From the Editor

The Brooklyn Chapter invites members to "An Evening of Charlie Chaplin Short-Subjects" accompanied by theatre organist Ben Model on the Steere organ in the Brooklyn Baptist Temple, 360 Schermerhorn St. at Third Avenue. Saturday evening, 12 December at 7:30. More information is on their chapter web site.

Announcing a Hymn Festival

Organist: Martin Jean, Director of the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University
Speaker: Robert A. Rimbo, Bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod of the ELCA
Choir: Saint Peter’s Choir, Thomas Schmidt, Director
Place: Saint Peter’s Church
619 Lexington Avenue (at 54th Street)
New York, NY 10022
Time: Saturday, January 30, 2010
6:00 p.m.
Admission: By donation, suggested donation $20
(All proceeds will benefit the Lutheran Music Program, a 28-yr-old program which presents a month-long music camp for high school students held each year at one of the Lutheran colleges in the Midwest.)

The Carlene Neihart International Pipe Organ Competition will be held on April 10, 2010 in Kansas City, Missouri at the Second Presbyterian Church. The 1949 Moller Pipe Organ has been rebuilt and restored in 2009 and includes a new movable console. Quimby Pipe Organs , Inc, will underwrite the 1st place award ($2500) and the second place award ($1500) is sponsored by Casavant Freres and Caroll Hanson. The third place award is $1000. Their web site has more information about the competition.

The Melodious Accord Fellowship Program presents A Spirituals "Sing" honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Sunday, January 17, 2010, at 4:00 p.m. at Park Avenue Christian Church, 1010 Park Avenue at 85th Street. The "Sing" on Sunday afternoon is open to the public free of charge. It is the opening event of a three-day seminar led by Alice Parker titled "A Celebration of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs" which introduces her Melodious Accord Hymnal . There is a charge for the Monday-Wednesday seminar. Full details are available at www.melodiousaccord.org.

The annual chapter directory is in production and will be ready soon in the new year. If you have suggestions for businesses or corporations who might benefit from taking out an advertisement, please pass that along to Walter Klauss at wlkauss@aol.com. Also, consider taking out an ad for yourself or your church, temple, or school. It will not only help offset the cost of the directory, but will become part of the permanent record of your participation in the rich life of the chapter in New York City.

Members from the Past

Can you identify this former member, now deceased?

Congratulations to Charles Dodsley Walker, David Higgs, and Donald McDonald who each correctly identified Robert S. Baker (1916-2005) in the November issue. The photo was taken in 1939 on a Hammond organ at Interlochen summer music camp in Michigan.

Dr. Baker was a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and earned Master's and Doctor's degrees from the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary, studying with Clarence Dickinson. He was at various times organist of the First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Temple Emanu-El, and First Presbyterian Church in New York.

He was the founding Director, in 1973, of the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University. Prior to that he was the Dean of the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary from 1961-73. He was an early proponent of the Hammond organ and wrote his Master's thesis at Union in 1940 on its evolution and technical properties.
The next chapter newsletter is the February 2010 issue. The deadline for submissions is January 15th. 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 Paul Sanner, registrar.