V o l .  6 0 ,  N o . 6
C h a p t e r   N e w s l e t t e r
M a r c h   2 0 1 0 

Message from the Dean

Our Presidents’ Conference was a great success! Special thanks are due to Paul Murray and the Program Committee for all of their work, and to our distinguished recitalist/lecturer, Stefan Engels. Thanks are also due to our hosts: Bill Entriken at First Presbyterian, Paul Murray at Church of the Holy Family, and Bernadette Hoke at First Reformed Episcopal Church. Thanks also to our chaplain, the Rev. Canon Victoria Sirota, who presided at Evensong and to Erik Birk and Bernadette Hoke, who provided the music.


Lastly, special thanks to our wonderful panel of speakers moderated by David Enlow: Fr. Robert Robbins, Dr. James Litton, Nancianne Parrella, and Prof. Patrick Evans.


Please mark your calendars for Janette Fishell’s master class on May 4, 2010 at 7:00pm at the Church of the Transfiguration.


Even-numbered years are election years in our chapter. Please familiarize yourself with the slate of officers presented by the nominating committee, so that you can participate in the chapter elections that will take place later this spring.


As the Easter/Passover season approaches rapidly, I wish you successful and inspiring music making, and opportunities to be inspired and enriched by the music making of others.


With all good wishes,


Frank L Crosio, FAGO,



Next Chapter Program / Master Class Participants Needed

Dr. Janette Fishell
Master Class on Bach with Janette Fishell
4 May 2010

Church of the Transfiguration
"The Little Church Around the Corner"
1 East 29th Street

Free to NYC Chapter members
$20 ($15 students & seniors)

Host: Dr. Claudia Dumschat
Dr. Janette Fishell is Professor of Organ at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, where she teaches applied organ and courses in the church music curriculum. From 1989 to 2008 she headed the Organ Performance and Sacred Music degree programs at East Carolina University and was Director of Music/Principal Organist at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Greenville, NC. Her numerous compact disc recordings include performances of the music of Marcel Dupré, Petr Eben and J.S. Bach as well as duet literature performed with her husband, British organist Colin Andrews. Dr. Fishell is widely recognized as a leading authority on the organ music of Czech composer Petr Eben.

Performers are needed for Dr. Fishell's Master Class. Those interested in participating are asked to please contact Paul Murray by 15 April.

C. B. Fisk, Inc.
Gloucester, Mass. – Opus 92 (1988)
Mechanical key and stop action
3 manuals, 31 stops, 48 ranks. Click here for organ details.


From the Editor

Our warmest best wishes to our esteemed friend and colleague Charles Dodsley Walker, FAGO, who celebrates his 90th birthday on March 16!

Charlie's long and distinguished career has included many positions of service to the Guild culminating in his term as President of the AGO from 1971-75. For a fuller chronicle of his life, readers are referred to an article in the October 2009 issue of The American Organist by Kathryn Higgins. Also, the March 2010 issue of The Diapason contains the first of a two-part series of interview/conversations I had with Charlie last summer.

The Canterbury Choral Society, founded in 1952 by CDW, will give a performance of the Brahms German Requiem on Sunday afternoon, March 14 at 4:00 in the Church of the Heavenly Rest, Fifth Avenue and 90th Street, where Charlie is the Organist and Choirmaster Emeritus.

Happy birthday, Charlie, and many, many more!


2010 Officer and Board Member Nominations

Neal Campbell
has since 2006 been the Director of Music and Organist of St. Luke’s Parish in Darien, Connecticut, where he leads a multi choir program for children and adults. He holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from Manhattan School of Music, was formerly Organist and Choirmaster of St. Stephen’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, and was on the faculty of the University of Richmond. He has served the AGO in leadership positions in the Philadelphia, Richmond, and New York City Chapters, and was Region III Councillor on the AGO National Council from 2000-2006. He is eager to explore ways in which the NYC Chapter can cooperate with its neighboring chapters and expand its roster of dual members both in our immediate region and throughout the country.


David Enlow
is Organist and Choirmaster of the Church of the Resurrection on East 74th Street, a member of the organ faculty at the Juilliard School, and founding music director of the choral society Cappella New York. He received two degrees from Juilliard, following study there and at the Curtis Institute, and is a Fellow of the Guild, having won the FAGO prize and S. Lewis Elmer award. For the National AGO, David serves on the national committee on certification and for the NYC AGO as auditor and exam coordinator.


Mary Huff
is Director of Children’s Choir and High School Choir at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola and Associate Director of Music at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. She holds degrees from Furman University and Yale University. Mary served as secretary and an at-large board member of the NYC AGO and has planned and presented programs for the NYC AGO and Chambersburg AGO in Pennsylvania. In addition to filling her prescribed duties as secretary, Mary looks forward to easing the recent transition of the office of Registrar into two positions and revising the Operating Procedures.


F. Anthony Thurman
has served as NYC AGO Chapter treasurer since 1996. Under his leadership, the chapter’s Centennial Millenium Fund was established with proceeds from the AGO Centennial National Convention; all chapter finances have been kept in good order through 14 chapter program years, two POEs, and a Regional Convention. Dr. Thurman holds degrees in organ from the University of Louisville and the Manhattan School of Music. He is Music Director at the Irvington Presbyterian Church, Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y., and Director of Development and Communications at AGO National Headquarters.


Christopher Jennings
is Associate Organist-Choirmaster at St. James' Church Madison Avenue. He was previously Organist and Choirmaster at St. James' Church, West Hartford, Connecticut. He is a past Dean and Sub-Dean of the Bloomington, Indiana AGO and past Sub-Dean of the Greater Hartford AGO. Christopher lives in Morristown, NJ with his spouse, Brian Harlow.

Renee Anne Louprette is Associate Director of Music at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola and Visiting Specialist in Organ at the John J. Cali School of Music, Montclair State University. She holds degrees from the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford and from the Centre d'Etudes de Musique et de Danse de Toulouse. She has served as Sub-Dean and Dean of the Greater Hartford Chapter AGO and is currently serving as Auditor of the New York City Chapter AGO.

Steven E. Lawson is the Assisting Organist at the Church of the Heavenly Rest, a position he has held since 1997. Prior to this appointment, he was for ten years the Director of Music at St. Luke Lutheran Church in the Theatre District. Mr. Lawson is active in the New York City chapter, having served variously as Registrar (six years), Webmaster (chapter, 2007 Region II Convention and two POEs), and editor of the Concert Calendar. When not freelancing as a keyboardist or website designer, Mr. Lawson compiles information for "The New York City Organ Project," an attempt to document all of the organs ever installed in the five boroughs of the city.

Board Members at Large, Class of 2014

1. Ted W. Barr is Music Director at Trinity Presbyterian Church (USA) in Cherry Hill, NJ, and Artistic Director of the Trinity Community Concert Series. He holds degrees in organ and voice from Western Kentucky University and Westminster Choir College, and has performed throughout the greater New York area, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, and in Germany. Mr. Barr served as services coordinator for the NYC AGO POE in 2006, worked for two years at AGO National Headquarters, and currently serves on the board of the Southwest Jersey Chapter. As a NYC AGO board member, he would bring his skills of concert planning, program administration, and fundraising.

2. Louise Basbas is the founder and executive director of Music Before 1800 established in 1975 and the Director of Music and Organist at Corpus Christi Church whose professional choir specializes in performance of chant, Renaissance, and baroque polyphony and commissioned new works. She was a board member and Dean (1984-86) of the New York Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and a member of the Steering Committee for the Guild’s Centennial Convention in 1996. Ms. Basbas is an active advocate for vocal, organ and chamber music and, in particular, for early music. She is a member of the boards of Chamber Music America, Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS-NY), the Musicians Foundation and the Friends of Liturgical Music (Corpus Christi Church) and has frequently served as a peer panelist for funding agencies, including NEA, NYSCA and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

3. Bernadette Hoke is the Music Director and Organist of the First Reformed Episcopal Church where she directs a professional quartet. Ms. Hoke is a Collegue of the American Guild of Organists and was on the steering committee for the 2007 Regional Convention as the chairperson of hospitality. She is a former faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division and currently teaches piano and coaches chamber music at Convent of the Sacred Heart, and is the pianist and organist for the Dalton and Collegiate Schools' alumni choruses.

4. Deanna Muro is Director of Music and Organist at St. Joseph's Church, Kings Park, New York, where she directs the Chamber, Teen and Children’s Choirs, and two handbell choirs in a parish of more than 5000 families. She is also a staff organist at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, NY. Ms. Muro has served two terms as Dean of the Suffolk Chapter of the AGO and has also co-chaired the annual Suffolk AGO Children’s Choir Festival for 18 years. She was a member of the Steering Committee for the 1997 Region II convention hosted by the Suffolk Chapter and has held the offices of Sub-Dean, Education Coordinator, and Grant Writing Chair. She received the Service Playing and Colleague certificates and has presented workshops and recitals at AGO events. Ms. Muro received a Bachelor's Degree in Music in organ and piano from Dickinson State University and a Master of Music Degree in organ performance from Kansas State University. Her organ studies have been with Elwood Brown, Mary Ellen Sutton and Walter Hilse.

5. Bruce Neswick is the Director of Music and Organist of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. He is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University and Yale University, and he holds the Fellowship diplomas from both the AGO and the Royal School of Church Music. Bruce’s activity within the AGO has included serving as a chapter dean (twice), as a regional councilor for education, as a co-chair of a regional convention, as a member of both the National Nominating Committee and the National Organ Improvisation Competition Committee. He has won three first prizes in organ improvisation, including at the Boston AGO national convention in Boston in 1990, and he performs under the management of Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists.

6. Lee Ryder is an art director and designer who works extensively in the performing arts field. She began studying music at the age of five beginning with the piano, graduating to the organ, and then moving on to choral and vocal studies. She worked at Aeolian-Skinner for two years during college and also helped to install the organ in her church in Newton MA. When she's not busy running her own business, she runs Amuse, a small women's ensemble that she founded eight years ago. She joined the New York Chapter of the AGO about two years ago because she has never lost her love for the organ.

Petitions to include additional names
on the slate should be submitted in writing to Mary Huff, NYC AGO Secretary, at 921 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021. Petitions must be signed by at least five members of the chapter in good standing, and must be received by April 10, 2010.

Members from the Past

  Charles Dodsley Walker as a cathedral choirboy in 1930

Many members responded correctly identifying Charles Dodsley Walker in last month's issue.

The photo of Charlie was taken shortly after he entered the Choir School of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Miles Farrow was his first choirmaster, followed by an interim when, among others, Channing Lefebvre was the choirmaster. But it was Norman Coke-Jephcott who was his first teacher, with whom he studied organ, harmony, and counterpoint during the rest of his time at the choir school and continuing through his student years at Trinity School in New York.

At 16 he went to Trinity College in Hartford where he majored in modern foreign languages and studied organ with Clarence Watters. He entered Harvard University as a graduate student and, following service in the United States Navy, he earned a Master's degree there in 1947. He earned the AAGO in 1939, and the FAGO in 1947. He returned briefly to New York to be on the faculty of Trinity School and organist of St. Thomas Chapel (now All Saints' Church on East 60th Street). He then spent two years in Paris as the organist of the American Cathedral.

He returned to the United States to become Organist and Choirmaster of the Church of the Heavenly Rest in 1951, and he founded the Canterbury Choral Society there the following year. In the ensuing years he served on the faculties of the Chapin School, Union Theological Seminary School of Sacred Music, Manhattan School of Music, and New York University. He was also for 50 years the organist of the Lake Delaware Boys Camp and for ten years conducted summer concerts at the Berkshire Choral Institute.

In what others might call their retirement years, Charlie served at Trinity Church in Southport, CT, and has since 2007 been Artist-in-Residence at Saint Luke's Parish in Darien, CT.

Can you identify this Member from the Past
. . . . . . . . . . now deceased?

June Banquet Honoring Gerre Hancock
NYC AGO International Performer of the Year

The Chapter's final event of the season will take place on Monday, 7 June and will include an organ and architecture tour of Lower Manhattan, followed by a Dinner Banquet at Saint Paul's Chapel, Broadway and Fulton Street.

The dinner, co-sponsored by Trinity Wall Street, will include a performance by the Trinity Choir, directed by Steven Fox, accompanied by Robert Ridgell, and the presentation of the 2010 International Performer of the Year Award to Dr. Gerre Hancock, FAGO. The Schlicker organ at Saint Paul's was recently resurrected after being silenced on 11 September 2001.

The Dinner Banquet begins at 6:00 p.m. with Cocktails and Hors d'oeuvres, followed by a buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. The cost of dinner is $75 for NYC AGO Members and $125 for others. Reservations must be made no later than Monday, 31 May and sent to:

Paul J. Murray
Church of the Holy Family
315 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017-2313
Please make checks payable to: NYC AGO

We hope that many chapter members and friends will plan to join us this evening for fellowship, music, and to honor our beloved friend and colleague.

POEA 2010

The New York City Chapter is sponsoring a Pipe Organ Encounter Advanced for teens this summer. The POEA is an auditioned, week-long summer organ institute for students in ages 13-18, who are currently studying organ at a level where a rigorous and comprehensive program is more appropriate. The POEA will begin on Sunday, 18 July and conclude on Friday, 23 July. Students will be housed at the Saint Thomas Choir School and will travel throughout Manhattan for lessons, classes, and recitals.

How can you help right now?
Do you know student who might be interested in attending our POEA? Would you encourage him or her to apply? The application, which includes detailed information about the week, is available here. Students seeking admission must submit an unedited CD of their playing. The deadline for application and CD submission is 15 March 2010.

Would you be willing to make a financial contribution to support the POEA? While the students pay tuition to attend the POEA and the chapter receives a grant from AGO National, these only cover a portion of the week's expenses. Your gift, large or small, would be greatly appreciated. Contributions to support the POEA are tax deductible as allowed by law.

The next chapter newsletter is the April 2010 issue. The deadline for submissions is March 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.