V o l .  6 1 ,  N o . 6
M a r c h   2 0 1 1  
In This Issue
From the Dean
Next Chapter Event
Notice of Outcome of Grievance
Paul Jacobs Wins Grammy
News from Headquarters
Adult Choir Festival at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Chapter Level Competition: Time Change
Presidents' Day Conference Handouts
Members from the Past
Can you identify this Member from the Past?
  Keith S. Tóth - Dean, NYC Chapter, American Guild of Organists

From the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

What a wonderful and memorable Presidents’ Day conference we had! The attendance was one of our best. Obviously the topic, “The Grand Old Men: Seth Bingham, Clarence Dickinson, Harold Friedell, and T. Tertius Noble”, was one of interest to many of our members. I myself enjoyed learning more about these great men and their work here in New York City in the early 20th century.

Many thanks to Sub-Dean David Enlow and his Program Committee for organizing such a very special conference. Sincere thanks also to the wonderful presenters: Neal Campbell, Christopher Marks, Lorenz Maycher, and John Scott. We are thankful to William Trafka and Paolo Bordignon for hosting us at St. Bartholomew’s and presenting a fine Evensong featuring the works of the organist-composers featured in our conference.

Our conference was flanked by two special events that were also magnificent, Christopher Marks’s recital at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church and Peter Richard Conte’s dedicatory recital on the Casavant organ at Church of the Resurrection. What a special treat it was for all to have three days of such fine organ and choral music. Tutti bravi!

Our next chapter event will be on Friday, March 11 at 8pm. British concert organist and pedagogue William Whitehead will present his New York City début recital on the famed Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin (James Kennerley is our host). You may read more about this recital further on in this newsletter. Please mark this date on your calendar and plan to attend this important recital by one of Britain’s finest young organists.

Recently, chapter members in good standing received a separate mailing about the 2011 International Performer of the Year Award nominees (Ludger Lohmann, Stephen Tharp, and Thomas Trotter). This mailing provided you with a dedicated email link to cast your vote for one of the nominees. Please be sure to send your email vote by April 15.

In closing, please accept my very best wishes as we enter another busy period for church musicians.

Respectfully yours,

Keith S. Tóth


www.davidenlow.com   www.jdavidwilliams.com

Next Chapter Event

William Whitehead - Concert Organist

William Whitehead in Recital

Friday, 11 March 2011
Church of St. Mary the Virgin
145 West 46th Street (between 6th & 7th Aves.)
8.00 pm

The chapter is pleased to present renowned British organist, William Whitehead, in his New York City début recital on the landmark Aeolian-Skinner organ in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin. Mr. Whitehead will perform works by Bairstow, Böhm, Wagner and de Grigny, concluding with the monumental Symphonie-Passion by Marcel Dupré.

For a more complete biography click here.

For information on the organ, click here.

Admission: Free to NYC Chapter members $20 general; $15 (students & seniors)

Arthur Lawrence, D.M.A., A.A.G.O.  
David Lloyd ben Yaacov Klepper

Notice of Outcome of Grievance

The AGO has determined, upon investigation, that the employer and the employee at The Riverside Church, New York City, both had arguments and positions of merit regarding the termination of the employee. Therefore, the case has been closed without a finding of wrongful termination.

Guild Members may now accept employment at this Institution.

Yvonne L. Sonnenwald-Melin  

Paul Jacobs Wins Grammy

  Paul Jacobs - Concert Organist

Congratulations to our colleague Paul Jacobs who recently won the Grammy Award. Following is part of the press release from AGO Headquarters:

NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) celebrates with its distinguished member, PAUL JACOBS, winner of the 2011 GRAMMY® Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra). The award was announced at the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13, and given in recognition of his CD recording of Olivier Messiaen’s Livre du Saint-Sacrement (Naxos, 2010) made at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in New York City. Jacobs’s recording of contemporary classical organ music shared the spotlight with such notable sensations as Lady Gaga, who won three GRAMMYs, herself, in the popular music genre. Paul Jacobs was unable to walk the red carpet to receive the award in person because he is performing with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra this week.

“We are extremely proud of Paul Jacobs, a dedicated and faithful member of the American Guild of Organists,” stated AGO President Eileen Guenther. “The AGO is the largest organization in the world devoted to a single musical instrument. Our mission mandates that we ‘promote the organ’ and ‘encourage excellence in the performance of organ music.’ Paul has embraced this mission as one of our youngest advocates, bringing excitement and enthusiasm to all his performances and engaging new audiences with the organ, the King of Instruments.”

“Jacobs is the first organist ever to receive a prestigious GRAMMY Award for a solo recording,” declared AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “For organists everywhere, the day has been made brighter by the light of Paul’s stunning accomplishment.”

In 1969 E. Power Biggs won the Grammy for "Best Chamber Music Performance" for his recording, "Glory of Gabrieli, Vol. II."

News from Headquarters

Thomas Murray - Concert Organist

Celebration of the Lifetime Achievements of Yale’s Legendary
University Organist Will Benefit the AGO Endowment Fund

NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) will sponsor a Recital and Gala Benefit Reception honoring organist THOMAS MURRAY on Sunday, May 15, 2011, at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. The recital will begin at 4 p.m. at Woolsey Hall and will feature Thomas Murray giving a solo performance on Yale’s world-renown Newberry Memorial Organ. The recital is free and open to the public. The gala benefit reception (tickets required) will follow in the Yale President’s Room. The gala is sponsored by the AGO National Council, Eileen Guenther, president, and the AGO Development Committee, Marcia van Oyen, director. All proceeds will benefit the AGO Endowment Fund in Thomas Murray’s honor.

Gala Reception Tickets are $100 ($75 tax deductible) and may be purchased online at or by calling 212-870-2311, ext. 4308. The names of those who purchase their tickets by April 30 will be printed in the souvenir program book. Those unable to attend the Recital and Gala Benefit Reception can make a contribution to the AGO Endowment Fund in honor of Thomas Murray online at www.agohq.org. These names will also be published in the program book, but contributions must be received by April 30.

Display advertising in the souvenir recital program book is offered for a full page ($1,000 and includes two gala tickets) and a half page insertion ($500 and includes one gala ticket). Advertising orders may be placed online at www.agohq.org or E-mail gala@agohq.org for further information. Advertising deadline is April 15. The publication will become a part of the American Organ Archives.

John Conner - Organist

Adult Choir Festival at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

We received the following invitation from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine:

"We wish to invite your adult choir members (any singer 18 or older) to participate in an Adult Choir Festival and are very pleased to announce that Julian Wachner, Director of Music and Arts at Trinity Wall Street in New York City and Musical Director of the Washington Chorus, will lead the festival choir."

The stated deadline is 4 March, but we have been assured that if you and your choristers are seriously interested, simply write or call Amanda Sidebottom (212.316.7531) at the Cathedral music office immediately and she will assist you in arrangements.

Cathedral Director of Music Bruce Neswick tells us that choir members from churches of all denominations are welcome to participate in the festival.

Chapter Level Competition: Time Change

Regional Competition for Young Organists: the chapter level competition is on Saturday, March 19 at The Brick Church and begins at 10 am, not 10:30 am as previously advertised.

The public is invited to attend.

Presidents' Day Conference Handouts

NYC AGO Presidents' Day Conference (photo: Steve Lawson)
Participants in the Presidents' Day Conference. Photo by Steve Lawson.

The handouts and scans used in conjunction with the Presidents' Day lectures are available by clicking the following links:


We are saddened to learn of the deaths of:

Neil Carlson

An obituary and other information may be found in the following links, which are provided by our colleague Gregg Patruno:





Richard Torrence

Information may be found in the following links provided by our colleague Sheldon Eldridge:




And as this newsletter was being formatted we learned of the death of

David Pizarro

David died on Wednesday, 23 February. He was the Organist and Master of the Choristers of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine from 1974-77.

Members from the Past

Miss Lilian Carpenter

Nick Fennig and Rollin Smith each correctly identified Lilian Carpenter in last month's issue.

Rollin provided the following biographical sketch of Miss Carpenter:

Lilian Carpenter was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 10, 1889. Coming to New York, she studied with Gaston Dethier at the Institute of Musical Art and was the first to graduate with an artist diploma in organ. She was his assistant, teaching organ and piano at the Institute for 30 years; the school eventually became the Juilliard School and once Vernon de Tar got in as organ teacher by default (both David McK. Williams and E. Power Biggs were hired but never showed up), he eased her out.

Lilian Carpenter was the first woman to earn the AGO Fellowship diploma and was always active in the Guild, including serving as national treasurer. She was organist of the Church of the Comforter-Reformed; Flatbush Presbyterian; and Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn and, at the time of her death, Edgehill Church in Riverdale. She died on February 21, 1973.

Can you identify this Member from the Past?

. . . . now deceased.

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