V o l .  6 1 ,  N o . 7
A p r i l   2 0 1 1  
In This Issue
From the Dean
Next Chapter Event
News from Headquarters
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,

Friday, March 11 brought the New York City recital début of British concert organist William Whitehead. His recital was well received by those in attendance. We are grateful to James Kennerley and the Church of St. Mary the Virgin for hosting this recital. It is always a pleasure to be at St. Mary the Virgin with its landmark Aeolian-Skinner organ and fine acoustics.

The chapter’s Regional Competition for Young Organists (RCYO), was held on Saturday, March 19 at Brick Church. Michael Hey, a student of Paul Jacobs at The Juilliard School, won first place. James Hopkins, a student of Ken Cowan at Westminster Choir College, won second place. The chapter expresses its gratitude to Dr. John T. King who was the competition coordinator. We are also grateful to Dr. Gregory D’Agostino, Dr. Paul-Martin Maki, and Dr. E. Davis Wortman who served as the expert judges for the competition.

In other chapter business, Nigel Potts resigned his Board seat in the Class of 2012 due to his intensive teaching and performing schedule. We thank Nigel for his devoted service to the chapter over the past few years. Longtime chapter member Daniel Kirk-Foster was appointed to fill Nigel’s unexpired term in the Class of 2012. We welcome Daniel to the Board.

April 15 is the deadline for voting for the nominees presented for the 2012 International Performer of the Year Award. Chapter members who have not yet voted should refer to the special email or posted mail that they received in February for directions on how to place your vote.

Due to the hectic schedules of sacred musicians during April, the chapter will not hold an event this month. Our next event will be on Monday, May 9 at 7:00 pm when our well-known and much beloved Cliff Hill presents a choral reading session for us in the Choir Room of St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue. You will not want to miss this event as I am certain Cliff will present many new choral works of high quality that we all will be able to add to our choral libraries.

The closing event of the season will be held on Monday, May 23 with a dinner cruise on the M. Y. Affinity yacht. Our chapter’s dinner cruises have long been cherished social events. Tickets are $75 for members, $100 for nonmembers. More information on this event may be found at the chapter’s website, http://nycago.org. Please reserve early so as not to miss out on this spectacular evening.

A particularly grueling winter of harsh weather is now behind us and Spring is finally here. The next few weeks will bring an intense period of music-making for most of us. On behalf of the Board, I extend to all our very best wishes for fulfilling services of fine music and a joyous holiday and rest after it all.

Respectfully yours,

Keith S. Tóth


Thomas Murray Recital

Next Chapter Event

  Cliff Hill

Choral Reading Session with Cliff Hill

9 May 2011
Time: 7.00 pm

Choir Room
St. Thomas Church

Enter via Parish House door
1 West 53rd Street

Admission: $10
Free to NYC Chapter members

Cliff Hill
gained his renowned expertise in choral, organ, piano and the orchestral repertoire from his 24-year association with the Princeton University Bookstore Music Shop. In 1999, Cliff and his staff opened Cliff Hill Music, offering their customers good discounts, great service and, if you need suggestions, advice or recommendations on choral or organ literature. He is one of the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and was for many years the Organist & Choirmaster at the Episcopal Church of St. John's-in-the-Village.
John Conner - Organist

News From Headquarters

NEW YORK CITY—The American Guild of Organists is proud to announce six PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTERS (POEs) and one POE (Advanced) for students aged 13–18; one POE (Technical) for students aged 16–23; and one POE+ program for adult students in 2011. Generous funding from the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America (APOBA) and the American Institute of Organbuilders (AIO) will support the summer programs, which will be held from coast to coast. Complete contact information for each Pipe Organ Encounter can be found in The American Organist and online at www.agohq.org. The summer schedule follows:

POE for ages 13–18
June 5–10 Waco, Tex.
June 12–17 Birmingham, Ala.
June 12–17 Colorado Springs, Colo.
June 19–24 Wilmington, Del.
June 26–July 1 Ann Arbor, Mich.
July 10–14 Portland, Oreg.

POE (Advanced) for ages 13–18
July 17–22 Boston, Mass.

POE (Technical) for ages 16–23
July 17–22 Boston, Mass.

POE+ for Adults
June 6–11 Rockford, Ill.

Yvonne L. Sonnenwald-Melin


Paul Jacobs - Concert Organist
L-R: Dr. John King. Dr. Davis Wortman, Michael Hey, James Hopkins, Dr. Gregory D'Agostino, Dr. Paul-Martin Maki

The NYC AGO hosted the chapter level competition of the 2011 AGO / QUIMBY REGIONAL COMPETITIONS FOR YOUNG ORGANISTS on Saturday, March 19th at The Brick Church.

There were two competitors, Michael Hey (1st prize), an undergraduate student of Paul Jacobs at The Juilliard School and James Hopkins (2nd prize), an undergraduate student of Ken Cowen at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. This was the first step in the RCYO two-part process. Competitors compete at the chapter level and then the 1st prize winners of the chapter competitions compete at the Regional level. The 1st place winners at the Regional level are invited to perform as a "Rising Star" at the 2012 National Convention in Nashville, TN. RCYO ends at the regional level, and competitors do not advance to the national level. Congratualtions to both competitors and best of luck to Michael as he represents NYC at the regional convention in Morristown, NJ.

The judges for the competition were Dr. Gregory D'Agostino, Dr. E. Davis Wortman and Dr. Paul-Martin Maki. Thanks to everyone who participated and assisted in making this important event of the guild a success.

Our colleague Craig Campbell tells of an all-day visit by Daniel Roth to St. Mary's Church, Castleton, Staten Island on Tuesday, May 10. Details of the day's events, which include lectures, masterclasses, lunch, and dinner may be found by clicking here.


The latest salary and fee guidelines are posted on the chapter website. Click here for the direct link. These guidelines are based upon AGO national guidelines but reflect a 15% increase as recommended for the NYC Metropolitan area by the U.S. Dept. of Labor. Please feel free to use and disseminate this document as you see appropriate.


Do you know someone who is pressed into service in your church? Interested in playing the organ? Wants to improve their organ skills? Come and learn how approachable the organ is!

On Saturday, 4 June, the Chapter is presenting its first "Organ Day for Pianists" that includes workshops and private instruction from some of New York's finest organists. The day begins at 10.00 am with workshops at the Church of the Resurrection (119 E. 74th St., between Park & Lexington Aves.) led by Sebastian Glück (organ builder & author), Dr. Andrew Henderson (Teachers' College, Westminster Choir College) and Bernadette Hoke (pianist and organist). After lunch, participants will travel in pairs to various churches for private instruction. There is no fee, but enrollment is limited to 80. RSVP to David Enlow at denlow@juilliard.edu.

Click here to download a flyer.



  Arthur S. Hyde
  Arthur S. Hyde

Members From the Past

Richard Alexander correctly identified Arthur S. Hyde in last month's issue. Hyde was the organist of St. Bartholomew's Church from 1908-1920.

Hyde, who studied with Widor in Paris, came to St. Bartholomew's from Emmanuel Church in Boston where he served with the Rev. Leighton Parks, before Parks was called to St. Bartholomew's. It was Parks who, upon assuming the Rectorship of St. Bartholomew's, went to England looking for an organist, someone not too British as legend has it. It's never been fully explained why Parks was looking in England if he didn't want someone too British! But he found what he was looking for in Leopold Stokowski who came to America as the organist of St. Bartholomew's from 1905-08. Following Stokowski's brief and colorful tenure, it seems Dr. Parks looked to someone familiar in calling his old Boston organist to join him in New York.

Hyde was greatly loved by the choir and congregation. He volunteered for service in World War I, but when he returned he never fully recovered from the strain and injuries he sustained, and his death in 1920 was lamented by all. A concert was given in his memory, the proceeds of which were used to install chimes in the organ. A large tablet above the lectern reads:

The Chimes in this Organ
Are the Gift of the Choir
In Memory of
Arthur Sewall Hyde
Organist and Choirmaster
1908 – 1920
Artist Soldier

Can you identify this Member from the Past?

. . . . now deceased.

The next chapter newsletter is the May/June 2011 issue. The deadline for submissions is April 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.