Volume 63, No. 5
February 2013

In This Issue
From the Dean
Presidents' Day Conference
Obituary: Quentin Lane
Members From the Past
Can You Identify This Member From the Past?
News of Members in The American Organist
St. Thomas Choir School
  Keith S. Tóth, Dean, NYC Chapter, American Guild of Organists
  Keith S. Tóth, Dean

From the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

January and the beginning of a new year have come and gone. Much has happened in the life of the chapter since my last letter:

The chapter sponsored a wonderful Improvisation Festival on Tuesday, January 8. Kudos to Sub-Dean David Enlow and his program committee for developing and executing this event in such fine fashion. A sizable gathering was present for the masterclasses given by Peter Richard Conte and Dr. David J. Hurd, Jr. at the Church of the Resurrection with its fine Casavant organ. Many thanks to David Enlow, Director of Music at Church of the Resurrection, for hosting us for these informative classes. Thanks also to Peter Conte and David Hurd for imparting their extensive knowledge on improvisation to the very eager “students” assembled. After a dinner break, all gathered in the resplendent setting of the Church of St. Jean Baptiste to hear chapter members Christopher Jennings, James Kennerley and Anthony Rispo in a fine improvisation concert on the Murray Harris-Wicks organ. Many thanks to Kyler Brown for hosting us for this wonderful concert.

February now brings us the next event in the life of the chapter, our annual Presidents’ Day Weekend conference on February 17-18. This year’s conference will focus on the art of the transcription. We will also have a recital by the superb British concert organist Thomas Trotter, our chapter’s 2012 International Performer of the Year. You definitely will not want to miss these events. Details may be found later in this newsletter and at the chapter’s website. Thanks again to David Enlow and his committee for planning this spectacular conference.

On behalf of the Board and the membership, I would like to recognize the following members who have generously made monetary contributions to the chapter in addition to their dues: (in order of receipt) Walter Klauss, John Byrne, Joseph Barry Smith, Patricia Brady-Danzig, Marianne Decker, Peter Krasinski, Stephen Ross, Robert Duerr, Thomas Schmidt and Vaeceslav Nicandrov.

The 2012-13 Annual Directory of the New York City Chapter has recently been mailed from the printer. The membership should be receiving a copy shortly. Hearty thanks to Len Levasseur for producing another handsome directory for the chapter. Hearty thanks also to Bernadette Hoke (directory advertising coordinator) and Registrar Larry J. Long for the many hours they have put into the directory. I am personally appreciative of having such diligent members on the Executive Board such as Bernadette and Larry!

In closing, the Board joins with me in sending our very best wishes to you. We look forward to seeing you during the Presidents’ Day Conference, “Transcriptions Alive”.

Respectfully yours,

Keith S. Tóth
John Conner, M.Mus, ChM, CAGO

Presidents' Day Conference


Transcriptions Alive!

In partnership with

The Riverside Church, Christopher Johnson, Director of Music
Pipedreams, J. Michael Barone, Host
and The New York Theatre Organ Society

SUNDAY • 17 FEBRUARY 2013 • 7 PM

Jelani Eddington in concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer

Long Island University – Brooklyn Campus
Schwartz Athletic Center

(originally the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre)
385 Flatbush Avenue Extension at DeKalb Avenue, Brooklyn

$15 General Admission
$10 for NYC AGO & ATOS members
$5 LIU Students


The Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive at 122nd Street
Host: Christopher Johnson

Conference Fees:
FREE to NYC AGO Chapter members
Full conference: $40
Individual workshops: $10 each
Thomas Trotter recital: $20 ($15 students & seniors)

9.00 – 10.00 am
  Breakfast catered by Balthazar Bakery
10.15 – 11.15 am
  J. Michael Barone
"Transcriptions: Good and Evil"
11.30 – 12.30 pm
  Peter Richard Conte
"The Transcriber's Art"
12.30 pm
  Lunch on your own
2.00 – 3.00 pm
  Jonathan Ambrosino
"Did the High Romantic Organ Get Too High?"
4.00 pm
  Gala Recital: Thomas Trotter
NYC AGO International Performer of the Year
  C.H.H. PARRY Fantasia & Fugue in G
KARG-ELERT Homage to Handel
Ad WAMMES Ride on a High Speed Train
DUKAS The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
WAGNER/LEMARE Rienzi: Overture
You can bring your message to the attention of the New York metropolitan organ community and several eminent visitors from beyond by advertising in the program book.

Full page (8.5x11) $100, Half page (8.5x5.5) $50, Business Card $30.
Write to David Enlow or call 212-535-9666 ext 31 to reserve your space.

Display your product or information about your service in the main breakfast/lecture room at Riverside Church for $95 per table (standard trestle table). Write to David Enlow or call 212-535-9666 ext 31 to reserve your space. Set-up 8:30-9am, Display hours: 9am - 10am, 12:30 - 2pm, 3-4 pm, Take-down 4-4:30 pm or earlier.
Best Wishes from Yvonne L. Sonnenwald-Melin   David Lloyd ben Yaacov Klepper

Qbituary: Quentin Lane

We are saddened to learn of the recent death of our former member Quentin Lane.

Quentin was Organist and Director of Music at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin from August 1982 to February 1987. He was also on the staff of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue from 1986-1990 as music administrator and assisting organist.

At the time of his death he was Organist and Choir Director of historic Brown Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in his native Selma, Alabama. He was also an instructor in music and concert accompanist for the Selma University Choir, and was assistant organist of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Selma.

He earned the M. Mus. degree from the Eastman School of Music in 1973, and the B.Mus. from the University of Alabama in 1971.

He was born on November 26, 1949. An article published in the Selma Times-Journal on Monday, January 14, 2013 makes reference to his sudden death on Sunday.

A more comprehensive article about Quentin appeared about a year ago in the Daily Mountain Eagle of Jasper, AL which may be found here.

Requiescat in pace

Arthur Lawrence D.M.A., A.A.G.O.   David Enlow, F.A.G.O.
  Channing Lefebvre
  Channing Lefebvre in a photo scanned from the 1940 AGO National Convention booklet. 

Members from the Past

Channing Lefebvre 
was the Mystery Member last month. He is best remembered among organists as being the organist and choirmaster of Trinity Wall Street from 1922-1941 and Warden (the position was changed to President in 1949) of the American Guild of Organists from 1939-41.

But his name was held in even wider renown as director of the University Glee Club of New York from 1927-1961, and as music master and school organist of St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, from 1941-61.

Following his positions in New York and Concord, he lived in Manila, Philippines, for six years and was the organist of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary and St. John in Quezon City. In April 1961 he had just arrived in New York for a visit on his way to retirement in Digby, Nova Scotia, and attended a rehearsal of the University Glee Club for an upcoming concert in Philharmonic Hall, when he died the next day of chronic cardiovascular complications while staying at the Columbia Club.

He was a native of Richmond, Va. where his musical gifts were nurtured at an early age, particularly by his great uncle, the Rt. Rev. Channing Moore Williams, the Bishop of Japan, who was visiting his home church of St. Paul's in that city. From that time on Bp. Williams supported his young namesake as he attended first St. Paul's Choir School in Baltimore, and then Peabody Conservatory.

After early positions at St. Stephen's Church in Washington, and assistant organist of at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Lefebvre served during World War I in the Navy Reserve. Following that he served at St. Luke's in Montclair, New Jersey, before being called to Trinity.

Before his long tenure with the University Glee Club, he founded the Down Town Glee Club, and served as director of the Musical Art Society of Orange, N. J., and of the Golden Hill Chorus, a group of women singers who worked in the financial district of Manhattan.

His obituary in The New York Times, dated April 22, 1961, states that he was 72 at the time of his death. It also says that "he was an inveterate pipe-smoker" and that "he used to conduct his chorus rehearsals without outbursts of temperament."

He received an honorary doctorate from Columbia University sometime in the late 1930s at which time President Nicholas Murray Butler's citation read in part that he was "born to love of music and early seeking a musical career; successively choirboy, organist, and now choirmaster and organist at Trinity, that ancient foundation to which this university is bound by ties that go back to its very birth."

Can You Identify This Member From the Past?

. . . now deceased?

News of Members in The American Organist

It is not uncommon for our chapter members to be mentioned in TAO for newsworthy performing and leadership activities of interest and use to the entire profession. But I want to commend two items to you in the February issue, in case they might otherwise escape your reading:

We learn on page 38 that Katherine Meloan has been appointed to the keyboard skills faculty of Manhattan School of Music where the school is implementing a timely course initiated by her D.M.A. dissertation titled "Making the Transition from the Piano to the Organ for Intermediate and Advanced Pianists: A Two-Semester, Group-Class College Course Curriculum."

And on page 58 is Arthur Lawrence's fine review of Wm. A. Little's new book titled Mendelssohn and the Organ. About it, Arthur says "this is a major book for organists" and that it "is the most authoritative work of its kind and will probably remain so for many years to come. In terms of coverage, it is hard to believe that it could be surpassed." N.C.

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The next chapter newsletter is the March 2013 issue. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2013. 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 Larry Long, Registrar.