V o l .  6 1 ,  N o . 5
F e b r u a r y   2 0 1 1  
In This Issue
From the Dean
Presidents' Day
Examinations Results
Paul Jacobs Nominated for Grammy
Do you know a boy who likes to sing?
Members from the Past
Can you identify this Member from the Past?
Neil Carlson, R.I.P.
Regional Competition for Young Organists
  Keith S. Tóth - Dean, NYC Chapter, American Guild of Organists

From the Dean


Dear Colleagues,

January was a busy month for our chapter. On Saturday, January 22, the chapter hosted its first “Pedals, Pipes, & Pizzas” workshop for musical children ages 10 and up. This event was held at St. James’ Church, Madison Avenue. Chapter officers Mary Huff and Christopher Jennings organized this event and were the instructors. On behalf of the chapter, I extend heartfelt thanks to Mary and Christopher for leading this very important outreach to those who may become future leaders and participants in our profession. The chapter is also grateful to Dr. Davis Wortman, Christopher Jennings, and the clergy and staff of St. James’ for hosting this event.

On Tuesday, January 25, internationally recognized concert organist and NYC chapter member Stephen Tharp presented a stirring lecture-recital on the works of the legendary French organist-composer, Jeanne Demessieux. This program was held at Brick Church on the Coignet-Casavant Frères organ. We are most thankful to Stephen for sharing his knowledge and insight on Demessieux’s unique and virtuosic organ works.

Further along in this newsletter you will read details about our annual Presidents’ Day conference, “The Grand Old Men: Seth Bingham, Clarence Dickinson, Harold Friedell, and T. Tertius Noble”. This conference will be held on Monday, February 21 at St. Bartholomew’s Church. Many thanks to Sub Dean David Enlow and his Program Committee for organizing such a very special conference on a topic particularly relevant to our chapter. You will not want to miss out on Presidents’ Day and the magnificent pre- and post-conference events.

Our chapter’s Annual Directory has been sent to press. It is another stunning publication designed for us by Len Levasseur. All members in good standing will receive a copy in the mail very soon. Bernadette Hoke (Annual Directory advertising manager) and Christopher Jennings (Registrar) have done an enormous amount of work in producing the materials for the directory. The Board and I salute them for their fine efforts on behalf of the chapter. We also thank those who so generously advertised in this directory.

The above items and others listed in this newsletter are only a sampling of the abundant offerings available to us in the greater New York City area. I strongly encourage all to regularly visit the concert calendar at our website, www.nycago.org, to learn of the many wonderful events presented each month.

Respectfully yours,

Keith S. Tóth

Presidents' Day

  St. Bartholomew's Church - New York City (ca. 1950)

Monday, 21 February 2011
St. Bartholomew's Church
325 Park Avenue at 51st Street
10.00 am – 5.00 pm

The theme of our 2011 Presidents' Day Conference is "The Grand Old Men" of the New York City sacred music scene of the 20th century. We will meet on Monday, 21 February at St. Bartholomew's Church for coffee at 9:00 followed by lectures about the lives and compositions of

Seth Bingham (1882–1972): Christopher Marks

Clarence Dickinson (1873–1969): Lorenz Maycher

Harold Friedell (1905–1958): Neal Campbell

T. Tertius Noble (1867–1953): John Scott

The conference concludes with Choral Evensong at 4.00 pm, sung by St. Bartholomew's Choir (William K. Trafka, conductor; Paolo Bordignon, organist) who will sing music by the featured composers.

Admission is free to NYC Chapter members; $40 general. Click here for more information.

Examinations Results

Congratulations to chapter members Julie Mech and Samuel Chapin who successfully passed the Colleague exam taken in November 2010.

Have you considered taking one of the AGO's Professional Certification Exams? The new year 2011 is still young. Why not make a resolution that you can keep by taking one of the exams?

Certification requirements are available at

http://www.agohq.org/docs/pdf/ProfCertRequirements.pdf. For more information, please contact the Chapter's exam coordinator, Paul Murray at pjmurray@churchholyfamily.org.

Paul Jacobs Nominated for Grammy

Congratulations to Paul Jacobs for being nominated Best Instrumental Soloist in this year's Grammy Awards for his recording of Messiaen's Livre Du Saint-Sacrement. This follows the 2008 nomination for his student Cameron Carpenter, which means that in two of the last three years an organist has been nominated, a forty-year absence since E. Power Biggs won for his organ and brass album. Congratulations, Paul! http://www.grammy.com/nominees
Do you know a boy who likes to sing?

Saint Thomas Choir School, New York, invites boys in first through fifth grades, along with their parents, to join the school for an afternoon at the Choir School on February 20, 2011.

Guests are invited to join the choristers and their families for lunch at 1:00 PM, following the 11:00 service. Teachers will host visitors in the classrooms to answer questions about the curriculum and student life.

At 3:00 PM, visiting boys will rehearse, vest and sit in the choir stalls with the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys for evensong.

Please contact Ruth Cobb, 212-247-3311, Ext. 304, or rcobb@choirschool.org, for further information or to reserve a place.


Members from the Past

Paul Murray and Richard Alexander each correctly identified Harold Friedell as last month's Member from the Past. The photograph shows HF in his early 20s from a newspaper notice of an upcoming recital at the First Methodist Church in Jamaica, Queens, his family church where he was organist in his teens.


Can you identify this Member from the Past?

. . . now deceased?

David Enlow FAGO, Juilliard Faculty

Neil Carlson

Neil Carlson, R.I.P.

The Chapter is saddened to learn of the death Neil Carlson, a familiar presence at many AGO meetings and other organ releated programs throughout the area. A more complete obituary will appear in the March newsletter.

Regional Competition for Young Organists

The Regional Competition for Young Organists (RCYO), held in odd-numbered years, is sponsored and administered by the nine regions of the AGO. The first round of competition begins at the chapter level. The NYC Chapter is sponsoring a chapter level competition this year and the event is free and open to the public. An audience is encouraged.

New York City Chapter level competition

Saturday, 19 March, 10:30 am – Noon

Brick Presbyterian Church, 1140 Park Avenue at 91st Street

The next chapter newsletter is the March 2011 issue. The deadline for submissions is February 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.