V o l .   6 4 ,   N o .  4
Dec. 2013  /  Jan. 2014

In This Issue
From the Dean
Next Chapter Events: Improvisation Symposium and Presidents' Day
Members From the Past
Can You Identify This Member From the Past?

From the Dean

  Keith S. Tóth, Dean, NYC Chapter, American Guild of Organists
  Keith S. Tóth, Dean

Dear Colleagues,

On November 17, the chapter co-sponsored with the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola a fine organ recital by concert organist Mary Preston on the Mander organ at St. Ignatius Loyola. It was wonderful to hear Ms. Preston again in New York City. Many thanks to K. Scott Warren and the parish and staff of St. Ignatius Loyola for hosting this event.

Due to the busy nature of our profession at this time of the year, the Board has wisely decided not to hold any events during December. Although we will not have any visible events in December, that does not mean that the Board is not busy at work on behalf of the chapter:

Sub-Dean David Enlow and his program committee are putting finishing touches on our next two chapter events: an Improvisation Symposium featuring William Porter that will be held on Tuesday, January 21 and our Presidents’ Day Weekend 2014 conference “Bach Perspectives”. You will be learning more about these exciting events in dedicated emails and via our website.

Board member Bernadette Hoke and Registrar Larry J. Long are busy at work on our Annual Directory. This handsome volume, again expertly designed by Len Levasseur, will be mailed to the membership in the next few weeks. The Board joins with me in sending our thanks and appreciation to all those who placed advertisements in this year’s directory. The support of our advertisers contributes greatly in offsetting the cost of the production of the directory.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank members Andrew Chopra and Kent Tritle who contributed to the chapter above and beyond their annual dues. As of this writing, the chapter membership stands at 371 members, which is an increase over membership during the same period last year.

In closing, I would like to wish all of you the very best during this hectic and festive holiday season. May you find many opportunities to make and enjoy fine music. May you also have an appropriate time for festivity and relaxation after the rigors of the season. Please also accept my very best wishes to you for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014!

Respectfully yours,

Keith S. Tóth

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

Next Chapter EVENTS:

Improvisation Symposium and Presidents' Day

  Mary Preston, Concert Organist
  William Porter
Improvisation Symposium

5:30 pm   Prof. William Porter
6:30 pm   Dinner on your own
8:00 pm   Improvisation Concert
A reception follows

Venue: Brick Presbyterian Church, Park Avenue and East 91st Street
Admission: Free to NYC Chapter members; $10 general

Presidents' Day Conference

Bach Perspectives – Lectures and Performances of Bach organ and chamber music

Venue: St. Michael's Church, Amsterdam Avenue and 99th Street

In rare cases venues and times listed may be altered. Please check the chapter web site for the most current information.
David Enlow FAGO   Arthur Lawrence
  Harold Vincent Milligan (1888 - 1951) at the console of the Hook & Hastings organ in The Riverside Church
  Harold Vincent Milligan at the console of the Hook & Hastings organ in The Riverside Church.

Members from the Past

Larry Trupiano, Fr. George Hafemann, Fred Swann, Donald McDonald, and Doug Keilitz correctly identified Harold Vincent Milligan (1888-1951) in last month's issue. The photograph, at the console of the original Hook & Hastings organ in The Riverside Church, is by the noted photographer Margaret Bourke-White, and is one of several of her photographs which appeared in the December 20, 1937 issue of Life magazine with an article about The Riverside Church.

Milligan was an organist, composer, writer, and arranger. He spent his early life in the Pacific Northwest and was from an early age the organist in churches where his father was the minister. He came to New York in 1907 to study with William C. Carl at the Guilmant Organ School. In addition to Carl, he also studied with T. Tertius Noble, Clement R. Gale, and Arthur E. Johnstone.

After one year as organist of the First Presbyterian Church in Orange, New Jersey, he worked for five years at Rutgers Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, and two years at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn. In 1915 he was appointed organist at the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, remaining with the church throughout the era when it moved several times, culminating in the building of a new church in Morningside Heights renamed The Riverside Church. He held this position until 1940.

From 1929-1932 he served as the president of the National Association of Organists, which later was folded into the American Guild of Organists, and was the secretary of the AGO from 1926-1951. For many years Milligan wrote articles and reviews for The Diapason and The New Music Review, and was a columnist for The American Organist and Woman's Home Companion. He was the author of Stories of Famous Operas (1950), and edited The Best Known Hymns and Prayers of the American People (1942), and (with Geraldine Soubaine) The Opera Quiz Book (1948). He also authored short fiction, lectured on opera at Columbia University, and was associate director of the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts.

Milligan composed two operettas for children,The Outlaws of Etiquette (1913) and The Laughabet (1918), and incidental music for several plays, as well as numerous songs, sacred and secular choral works, and organ music. He is probably best remembered by the general public as the collector and editor of four volumes of previously undiscovered 18th century American songs, chiefly by Francis Hopkinson, a leading musician in colonial America and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Milligan also wrote the first biography of American songwriter Stephen Foster in 1920.

His papers are held by the music division of the New York Public Library, the web site for which also provided most of the information contained in this biographical sketch.

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The next chapter newsletter is the February 2014 issue. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2014. 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.