V o l .  6 1 ,  N o . 4
D e c . 2 0 1 0  / J a n. 2 0 1 1
In This Issue
From the Dean
Next Chapter Event
Notification of Grievance
Presidents' Day Conference
Members From the Past
Can You Identiy This Member From the Past?
Obituary: Frank Cedric Smith (1924–2010)
  Keith S. Tóth - Dean, NYC Chapter, American Guild of Organists

From the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday, November 5, our chapter hosted in the formal rooms of the Brick Church an elegant sherry reception for Dame Gillian Weir. I was delighted that many of our members attended this event and had the opportunity to personally visit with Dame Gillian. On behalf of the chapter, I offer my most sincere thanks to Sub Dean David Enlow and his Program Committee for organizing such a lovely event.

Due to the busy nature of our profession at this time of the year, the Board has wisely decided not to hold any events during December. Although we will not have any visible events in December, that does not mean that the Board is not busy at work on behalf of the chapter. Indeed, the Board has been hard at work. The auditors (Steve Lawson and Renée Anne Louprette) have completed their thorough audit of our chapter’s finances and report that all is in excellent order. We are putting finishing touches on our Annual Directory that will be distributed during the Presidents’ Day activities on Monday, February 21. A committee chaired by the Dean is hard at work reviewing our chapter’s Operating Procedures. These duties, and many others, happen quietly in the background every month. I am thankful to have such an industrious and concerned Board that expertly handles all of this work.

Our next chapter event is on Tuesday, January 25 when chapter member and virtuoso organist Stephen Tharp presents a lecture-recital on Jeanne Demessieux. This event will be held at Brick Church. More information on this event can be found at the chapter’s website. A separate mailing for this event will happen shortly in the New Year. Stephen has recorded the complete works of Demessieux, a Herculean task, and has also recently presented these works in recital at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. You will not want to miss hearing Stephen talk about these virtuosic works and hear him perform several of them on the French symphonic Coignet-Casavant Frères organ at Brick Church.

In closing, I would like to wish all of you the very best during this hectic and festive holiday season. May you find many opportunities to make and enjoy fine music. May you also have an appropriate time for festivity and relaxation after the rigors of the season. Please also accept my very best wishes to you for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2011!

Respectfully yours,

Keith S. Tóth

Next Chapter Event

  Stephen Tharp
In Conversation with Stephen Tharp
Recording and Performing the Works of Jeanne Demessieux

25 January 2011 at 7:00 pm

Brick Presbyterian Church
1140 Park Avenue / 91st Street

Host: Keith S. Tóth

Admission: $10
Free to NYC Chapter members

Stephen Tharp
is recognized as one of the great concert organists of our age. Having played 36 solo intercontinental tours and over 1300 concerts worldwide, he has built one of the most respected international careers in the world

In February 2009, Tharp's Aeolus CD release, The Complete Organ Works of Jeanne Demessieux, was awarded the 5 Diapason high rating for excellence from Diapason French music magazine, and the prestigious ‘Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik’ (May 2009), Germany’s top critic’s prize for recordings.

Since 2007, he has been Artist in Residence at Grace Church (Episcopal), New York.

Notification of Grievance

On September 8, 2010, an AGO member filed a formal complaint against The Riverside Church in the City of New York for wrongful termination of employment. The Guild is investigating the matter according to the AGO's Procedures for Dealing with Complaints about Termination. No determination has been made at this time.

Although Guild members may provide substitute or interim services, no member may seek or accept regular or permanent employment with The Riverside Church while these procedures are pending. See the AGO's web site for the current status of this case.


Presidents' Day Conference

Pre-Conference Event

Recital by Christopher Marks at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church
Sunday afternoon, 20 February 2011 at 3:00 p.m.

Monday, 21 February 2011, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

"The Grand Old Men"
Seth Bingham – Clarence Dickinson – Harold Friedell – T. Tertius Noble

The day begins at 9:00 with coffee and continues with lectures and discussion, a break for lunch, concluding with Evensong at 4:00 p.m. with music by "The Grand Old Men" sung by St. Bartholomew's Choir under the direction of William Trafka and Paolo Bordignon.

St. Bartholomew's Church
325 Park Avenue at 51st Street

Admission: $40
Free to NYC Chapter members

Post-Conference Event

Recital by Peter Richard Conte at Church of the Resurrection
Tuesday evening, 22 February 2011 at 8:00 p.m.

See the chapter website for complete details.


Members from the Past

Several members correctly identified the portrait of T. Tertius Noble in last month's issue. Our colleague John Scott, Organist and Director of Music at Saint Thomas Church, and one of Dr. Noble's successors, will give the closing lecture at our Presidents' Day Conference on the life and work of Noble, who was organist of Ely Cathedral and York Minster in England before coming to New York where he founded of the Saint Thomas Choir School.

David Enlow FAGO, Juilliard Faculty

Can you identify this Member from the Past?

. . . now deceased?

Obituary: Frank Cedric Smith (1924–2010)

  Frank Cedric Smith (1924-2010)

We are saddened to learn that long time member Frank Cedric Smith died on 2 October 2010 at his home in North Eastham, Mass. He was born in Brooklyn and as a boy sang in several choirs, including the famed Choir of Men and Boys at Grace Church in New York under Ernest Mitchell, whom he succeeded at Grace Church in 1960. He remained at Grace Church until his retirement in 1992 when he and Dilys Smith, his wife of 52 years who survives him, moved to North Eastham.

Following service in the Army Medical Corps in World War II, Mr. Smith studied with Norman Coke-Jephcott and Alec Wyton and earned the Licentiate from Trinity College in London (LTCL) and the Ch.M certificate from the AGO. Prior to his New York appointment, he held the position of Organist and Choirmaster of Grace Church in Newark for fourteen years.

He served as Dean and Treasurer of the New York City Chapter, was a member of the St. Wilfrid Club of the City of New York, serving for many years as treasurer, and was a life member of the Association of Anglican Musicians. In his retirement he continued to teach and play in area churches, and he served the Cape Cod and Islands Chapter of the AGO as treasurer and newsletter editor.

On October 30 his life was celebrated with a Musical Offering and Holy Eucharist at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Orleans, Massachusetts, at which many local organists and choir directors participated, along with representatives of local churches and choral societies with which the Smiths were affiliated. Also participating were former choristers and other representatvies from Grace Church in New York, including the Rev. Fleming Rutledge who preached.

The next chapter newsletter is the February 2011 issue. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2011. 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 Christopher Jennings, registrar.