Volume 62, No. 6
March 2012

In This Issue
From the Dean
Next Chapter Event
St. Thomas Visits St. Thomas
Members from the Past
Can you identify this Member From the Past?
Save the Date!
Nominating Committee Report
Bach's Organ World Tour
  Keith S. Tóth - Dean, NYC Chapter, American Guild of Organists
  Keith S. Tóth, Dean

From the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

I write to you in the afterglow of our Presidents’ Day conference. What an absolutely wonderful and successful event it was! Those present experienced memorable performances and presentations. The conference drew sizable audiences including many guests from throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. It was a distinct honor for me to present the chapter’s International Performer of the Year award to Stephen Tharp at the reception following his brilliant recital at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin. The chapter is indebted to Sub-Dean David Enlow and his program committee for organizing such an important and well-executed conference. I would like to thank all of our members who performed, presented or hosted us during the conference. The chapter has much to be proud of due to the joint efforts of so many of our immensely talented colleagues.

By now you should have received your printed copy of the 2011-12 annual directory. Kudos to Bernadette Hoke, Christopher Jennings and Len Levasseur for producing another handsome directory for our chapter.

Further on in this newsletter you will find the report of the chapter’s Nominating Committee (Louise Basbas, chair; James Litton and Robert Russell, members). This report was accepted by the Board at its meeting on February 20. Thus begins the 2012 election process for officers and board members. Our operating procedures allow for additional candidates to be nominated by the membership. The process for these nominations is detailed in this newsletter. Many thanks to Louise Basbas and her committee for their diligent work on behalf of the chapter.

We again enter an intense period for those of us involved in sacred music. Please accept my very best wishes to all for profound music making over these next weeks.

Respectfully yours,

Keith S. Tóth

Yvonne L. Sonnenwald-Melin   Arthur Lawrence D.M.A., A.A.G.O.

Next Chapter Event

Organ Building Knowledge Base: Date to be announced. Look for a special email message.

First Presbyterian Church
Fifth Avenue at 12th Street
The Church of the Ascension (Episcopal)
Fifth Avenue at 10th Street

Presenters: Sebastian Glück and John Bishop

Free to NYC Chapter members; $20 general

David Enlow, F.A.G.O.   David Lloyd ben Yaacov Klepper

St. Thomas Visits St. Thomas

We received the following from our colleague John Scott:

Would you like to hear the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys sing in Leipzig, Germany at the 800th anniversary of Thomana? The oldest cultural and educational institution in the city of Leipzig, the triad of St. Thomas Church, St. Thomas Boys Choir and St. Thomas School Leipzig, has invited our choir to give a concert as part of the Bachfest 2012.

Seats are still available for "St. Thomas Visits St. Thomas," an 11-day escorted tour June 11 – 21, 2012, which includes sightseeing and concerts in Magdeburg, Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin and Copenhagen.

For more information please visit www.tvlemporium.com, call Amanda Slattery at (914) 245-8825 or email amanda@tvlemporium.com.

John Conner, M.Mus, ChM, CAGO

Members from the Past

Ernest Mitchell (1890-1966), organist & choirmaster of Grace Church, NYC

Nick Fennig correctly identified Ernest Mitchell (1890-1966), organist and choirmaster of Grace Church in New York from 1922-1960, in last month's issue. Nick further commented that his grandfather sang in Mitchell's choir. It was the custom in those days for the choirboys to come back to Grace Church, if possible, when they married, so Ernest Mitchell played for Nick's grandparents' wedding as well.

The photograph of Mitchell in last month's issue was cropped from a choir photo taken in 1934. Many organists "of a certain age" however will likely have seen the photo of him above which appeared in several 1950s-60s era editions of the World Book Encyclopedia with the entry on ORGAN. The curious caption no doubt refers to Mitchell's very precise instructions for the console of the new 1928 Skinner organ in Grace Church. It was very compact and low for so large an organ and was the prototype for the even larger 1948 console Aeolian-Skinner built for The Riverside Church. The console is on display in the music office of Grace Church.

Mitchell was a legend in his own day. He came to Grace Church from Trinity Church in Boston and he knew many of the leading organists in Europe and often played the first American performances of their works as voluntaries and recital pieces at Grace Church. Both Tournemire and Vierne dedicated works to him. In a letter to me dated 14 June 2002 Jack Ossewaarde said "David McK. Williams said that he [Mitchell] was the most brilliant of the organists in New York during his [1920-46] heyday." N.C.

jdavidwilliams.com   Find us on Facebook

Can you identify this Member from the Past?

. . . now deceased?

Save the date!

MONDAY, 21 MAY 2012 Dinner Cruise in New York Harbor

Pier 60, Chelsea Piers
6.00 pm – Embarkation
6.30 pm sharp – Set Sail
Members $75; Spouses–Friends–Guests $100

An Open Bar is included! Our May dinner cruise featuring unparalleled views of New York Harbor will be aboard the Motor Yacht Affinity, a 120-foot vessel accommodating up to 149 guests. Invite your friends to join us for food and drink, and a chance to relax with colleagues as we sail past Lady Liberty and under the city's magnificent bridges.

There’s plenty of room on the Yacht – spouses, partners and friends welcome! Not to be missed!

Buy tickets here.

N.B. You may also send a check made out to NYC AGO to David Enlow, 119 East 74th Street, New York, NY 10021 postmarked on or before May 14th to guarantee your place.

Nominating Committee Report

The following persons are nominated for positions as officers and members of the board of the New York City Chapter:

Keith S. Tóth, Dean 
David Enlow, Sub-Dean
Sebastian M. Glück, Secretary
Christopher Babcock, Treasurer
Larry J. Long, Registrar
Neal Campbell, Steven E. Lawson, Auditors

Board Members in the Class of 2016: six to be elected
Kyler Brown
Christopher Jennings
Douglas Keilitz
Daniel Kirk-Foster
James Litton
Robert Russell
Andrew Yeargin

According to the chapter operating procedures approved by the board at its September 2011 meeting and since ratified by the AGO National Council, direct nominations may be made by petition signed by at least five (5) members of the Chapter in good standing and submitted by email to the Secretary for inclusion on the ballot prior to April 1. Ballots will be sent out April 1 and the election will be completed by May 1, with new officers and board members assuming office July 1.

Chapter operating procedures require that at least one name be placed in nomination for officers with the opportunity for write-in candidates. The operating procedures also require at least seven names for the six vacancies on the board, with the opportunity also for write-in candidates.

You may address hard copy written nominations to Sebastian M. Glück, Interim Secretary, 170 Park Row, 20A, New York, NY 10038-1156.

Nominating Committee: Louis Basbas, Chair; James Litton, Robert Russell

The next chapter newsletter is the April 2012 issue. The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2012. 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.