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In This Issue
From the Dean
Chapter Program Year at a Glance
It's Time to Renew Your AGO Membership
Advertise in the Newsletter and Yearbook
Free Access to Choir & Organ Magazine
Members From the Past
Can You Identify This Member From the Past?
Ken Cowan Inaugural Recital at Fordham University Church, Bronx
  Keith S. Tóth, Dean, NYC Chapter, American Guild of Organists
  Keith S. Tóth, Dean

From the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

The 2012–13 program season closed in fine fashion with our dinner cruise on Monday, May 20. For the first time in several years, we had perfect sailing weather. Nearly 60 chapter members and friends enjoyed exceptional collegiality, food and spirits in addition to magnificent views of New York City and New Jersey. Congratulations to Sub-Dean David Enlow and his program committee for a highly successful season of programs!

The Dean represented the chapter at the AGO Regions I and II joint convention in Hartford on June 29-July 3. Our chapter proudly sponsored a recital of repertoire and improvisation by the highly gifted organist Jason Roberts on the Austin organ of St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hartford. This stunning recital was truly one of the highlights of the convention. Congratulations to chapter member Ryan Kennedy who was awarded first place in the AGO/Quimby Region II competition. Ryan studies with Paul Jacobs at The Juilliard School.

Congratulations also are extended to chapter members Mark Loria and Eva Sze who successfully passed the FAGO exams which were administered in early June. Many thanks to Dr. Matthew Lewis, the chapter’s exams coordinator, for organizing and administering the exams over a two-day period. Hearty congratulations are also extended to Ben Sheen, Assistant Organist-Designate at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, who won first place and the $40,000 award in the prestigious Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition which was held in June.

Registrar Larry Long and I encourage you to promptly renew your membership online for the 2013-14 season. Further information may be found later in this newsletter. Our Program Committee, chaired by Sub-Dean David Enlow, is hard at work preparing an exciting season of events which you will read about further in this newsletter. You will not want to miss out on these events by allowing your dues to lapse!

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: David Brown, David Lloyd Klepper, John O'Hara, Yvonne Sonnenwald-Melin and John Ward.

In closing, please accept my very best wishes and that of the Board’s for a relaxing and restorative remainder of the summer. We look forward to seeing you in the fall!

All best wishes,

Keith S. Tóth, Dean

Chapter Program Year at a Glance

Motor Yacht Affinity

The program year for 2013–2014 includes several kinds of events which we hope will be enriching to the membership and the community at large. Please plan to be with us when you can to learn, relax, be inspired, and visit with your colleagues in the profession and admirers of organ music all around.

Respectfully submitted,

David Enlow, Sub-Dean

Monday, September 23, 2013, 5:30 pm – Open House at Grace Church
Dr. Patrick Allen, host
A reception follows

Tuesday, October 15, 2013, evening
Organ Building Knowledge Base
with John Bishop and Sebastian Glück
Short Recital by Michael Hey, winner of the NYC AGO Chapter Competition

Sunday, November 17, 2013, 3 pm
Church of St. Ignatius Loyola
Recital by Mary Preston
Co-sponsored with St. Ignatius

Monday, January 21, 2014, evening
Improvisation Symposium

Monday, February 17, 2014
Presidents' Day Conference
Bach Perspectives
Lectures and Performances of Bach organ and chamber music

Saturday, March 1, 2014
Organ Day for Pianists

Monday Evening, May 12, 2014 location to be announced
Chapter Dinner in honor of Nancianne Parrella and James Litton

Arthur Lawrence   British and French Organ Music Seminars   David Enlow FAGO

It's Time to Renew Your AGO Membership

A reminder from Registar Larry Long that it is membership renewal time. Many thanks to the 164 members who have already renewed. That means there are over 200 more of you out there who have not yet renewed.

The membership year runs July 1 to June 30 for everyone, so if you haven’t renewed since early May, technically you’re not a member right now. You may renew online by clicking “Membership” at our chapter website or print out a renewal form and mail it to Larry Long (address is on the form).

In order to be listed in the 2013-14 chapter directory, we need to receive your renewal by November 15. Renew now and avoid an interruption in receiving The American Organist.
John Conner, M.Mus, ChM, CAGO

Advertise in the Newsletter and Yearbook

It's not too soon to be thinking about placing an advertisement in the 2014 Membership Directory. This year we will be offering price reductions for ads placed in the monthly NYC AGO newsletter and in the Membership Directory. Details about the new pricing will appear in the September newsletter. Also, this year the deadline for submission for the Membership Directory will be November 15.

David Lloyd ben Yaacov Klepper   Best Wishes to All from Yvonne L. Sonnenwalk-Melin

Free Access to Choir & Organ Magazine

Choir & Organ magazine

We have received, with great thanks, the following message which gives details for how our members may enjoy free access to Choir & Organ:

I’ve set up a NEW live access code for the interactive digital edition of Choir & Organ and you can make this available any time and as frequently as you like to your AGO-NYC membership.

Members click on the cover and use the code below to create their free account to download each future issue. There is no cost or obligation, just free international features and news from the organ and choral world.


I hope this is something you would like to continue to offer either as a benefit to membership in the AGO or simply as a free gift.

Best regards.


Gary Beswick, Digital Media Partnerships
20 Rugby Street London WC1N 3QZ
UK Office +44 (0)20 7333 1733
UK Direct +44 (0)20 7333 1716
USA Direct 1-800-524-1071



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Members from the Past

  Virgil Fox (c.1932)
  Virgil Fox, ca. 1932

Virgil Fox (1912-1980)
was the Member from the Past last month. I tried to find the youngest photo of Fox I could, with the hope that his identity would be less obvious. Clearly, I was unsuccessful! By my reckoning the following members correctly replied: Alan Barthel, Janice Grace, Ken Starr, Danny Beckwith, Nick Russotto, Fred Swann, Philip Baker, Doug Keilitz, Stephen Danziger, David Higgs, Richard Alexander, Sheldon Eldridge, Brian-Paul Thomas, Donald McDonald, Brian Harlow, Eric Plutz, John van Sant, and David Comer.

So much has been written about Fox that a detailed sketch here seems superfluous. Thirty years after his death his legacy is still widely known and discussed passionately, often with the most conviction by those born since he died!

Virgil Fox was the organist of The Riverside Church from 1946-1965, sharing his tenure with his partner Richard Weagly, who was the choir director. As they had in their previous position in Baltimore at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, Fox and Weagley set a new standard for music at Riverside, and in New York.

While in Baltimore, Fox also taught organ at the Peabody Conservatory where among his pupils were Richard Wayne Dirksen, William Watkins, Milton Hodgson, and Helen Howell Williams.

For the Sixtieth Anniversary AGO National Convention held in New York in 1956, Fox served with Robert Baker as co-chairman of the convention, which was attended by the largest number in the Guild's history at the time. He also was a member of the AGO national council and was one of the organsts chosen to open the new organ in Philharmonic Hall, as Avery Fisher Hall was known when it was new. N.C.

Can You Identify This Member From the Past?

. . . now deceased?

The next chapter newsletter is the September 2013 issue. The deadline for submissions is August 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.