Volume 62, No. 8
May / June 2012

In This Issue
From the Dean
Next Chapter Event: May Dinner Cruise
Members From the Past
Can You Identify this Member from the Past?
Arthur Lawrence D.M.A., A.A.G.O.   Yvonne L. Sonnenwald-Melin
  Keith S. Tóth - Dean, NYC Chapter, American Guild of Organists
  Keith S. Tóth, Dean

From the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

May 1 is the deadline for Secretary Sebastian Glück to receive your ballot for the 2012 chapter election of officers and board members. As you have more than likely noticed on the ballot, although a call was extended to the membership for write-in nominations, none were received. The ballot reflected those nominated by the chapter’s Nominating Committee. Many thanks to all who participated in this year’s election by casting their ballot. The chapter’s auditors (Steve Lawson and Renée Anne Louprette) will count the ballots and will announce the outcome of the election shortly.

As highlighted last month, our closing event for the season will be on Monday, May 21, with a dinner cruise on the motor yacht Affinity. If you have not already done so, please purchase your ticket either online or by sending a check to Sub-Dean David Enlow. Further information may be found in this newsletter and at the chapter website. You will not want to miss this grand evening of camaraderie, food, drink and spectacular views of Manhattan from the water!

In addition to the dinner cruise and tabulation of ballots, the chapter will be busy in May and June administering the various professional certification exams offered by the AGO. On behalf of the Board and the Chapter, I extend my very best wishes to all undertaking these exams.

Respectfully yours,

Keith S. Tóth

Next Chapter Event: May Dinner Cruise

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!

Reservations due as soon as possible – use the online ticketing service on nycago.org or write to david@davidenlow.com to guarantee your places. ReBuy 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.

Prepared by Affinity's Executive Chef Rean Smith

– Salad –
Spring mix salad with Gorgonzola, roasted walnuts, fresh orange slices and citrus vinaigrette

– Sides –
Roasted rosemary potatoes
Grilled asparagus with shaved asiago and aged balsamic vinegar
Assortment of bakery fresh breads

–- Entrées –
Pesto pasta primavera
Grilled lemon rosemary free range chicken breast

– Dessert –
Cookies and brownies or Cheese Cake with fresh berries
Coffee and tea service 

jdavidwilliams.com   Find us on Facebook

Members From the Past


  Claire Coci at the organ in Cadet Chapel – United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. (c.1940)
  Claire Coci at Cadet Chapel (c.1940)
U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.

Several members correctly identified Claire Coci in last month's issue. In the order received: Arthur Lawrence, Philip Baker, Richard Alexander (who gets extra credit for identifying the console!), Fred Swann, Ken Starr, Charles Dodsley Walker, Wayne Cohn, Rick Tripodi, and Eric Birk.

Haig Mardirosian, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Tampa, writes the following about Miss Coci:

Claire Coci was one of those organists who enjoyed a larger-than-life presence in the profession through the 1950’s Although a recitalist since the late 1930’s, her career advanced the most rapidly after marrying Bernard LaBerge, the impresario and manager who died in the early 1950’s (his secretary, Lillian Murtagh took over the business which continues today as Karen McFarlane Concert Artists). Coci remarried in the later 1950’s and shortly thereafter moved to Tenafly, NJ where she established her own music school, the American Academy of Music in an old Victorian house on Magnolia Avenue.

Mainly a recitalist, Coci was a product of the virtuoso tradition and studied with Charles Courboin and Marcel Dupré. While she was best remembered for her virtuoso accouterments, colorful costume, and a Plexiglass organ bench, Coci also invested much effort in playing the works of contemporary composers. She had, however, a performer’s ego. Like Virgil Fox, she called herself “Dr.” after receiving an honorary degree. She also hesitated little in making particular claims of prominence. She greeted a young auditioning student in 1960 in Tenafly by springing to her feet from her desk (on which she had previously planted her feet while on a phone call) in front of a map with pins marking all of her recital destinations and saying “you are now looking at the world’s greatest woman organist!”

Despite this, Coci was not an elitist. She took advantage of all playing and teaching opportunities from the greatest of venues in Europe and the US to an appearance at the local high school in her town of Tenafly with the community orchestra in a Haydn concerto on a small Allen organ.

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

Can You Identify This Member From the Past?

. . . who died about a year and a half ago?

John Conner, M.Mus, ChM., CAGO
The next chapter newsletter is the July/August 2012 issue. The deadline for submissions is June 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.