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In This Issue
From the Dean
Next Chapter Event
Members From the Past
Can You Identify This Member From the Past?
Isabelle Demers in Recital at Fordham University Church

From the Dean

  David Enlow, Dean, NYC Chapter, American Guild of Organists
  David Enlow, Dean


Dear Colleagues,

September: All that's old is new again

September marks, for many of us, the beginning of a new season in concert and religious music. For me, it is also the second year I begin working with my organ scholar, the intrepid and long-suffering Juilliard senior Colin MacKnight.

My church is not terrifically grand or rich, having been established on the Upper East Side when the now absurdly expensive neighborhood was one of livery stables and tenements, when Central Park was a swamp! Resurrection is not a church with labyrinthine endowments and extra funding for any project we can imagine, but when an estate bequest came in that took some pressure off the regular finances of the church, one of the first things the Rector and I thought we had the responsibility to do was to establish an organ scholarship. Why?


Perhaps you were an organ scholar, assistant or intern, or apprentice organist or organ builder. Was that experience important to you? I had three very different assistant positions before taking responsibility for a music program. The first of those assistantships was an organ scholar (third fiddle) post at a very large church, which I took up at the tender and useless age of 14. Not a year goes by that I don't use something I learned there, even though I know for certain there were days when I was more of a hindrance than a help! I often think how lucky I am to have had practical experience in a real, working music program, for several years, before having to run one myself.

How common it is today that graduates of sacred music or organ performance degree programs have not much practical experience "in the saddle”. What is the effect of that lack of experience (and guidance or direction, more importantly) on church and concert music programs, on their future in the United States?

Build for the future or shut it down

It's tempting to think, in these days of dire predictions for sacred music and the church, that the great glory days of church music and organ performance are far behind us, that our task is that of the last chosen few, curating a dead and dying body of work, rather than passing a living thing on to another generation, a generation burning with enthusiasm for the same things that fired our youthful imaginations years ago. Surely, with all the talented, impassioned young organists in the world today, that is at least an overstated case.

Many of you have interns and scholars in your music programs: bravo, and keep up the important work! Personally, I am proud that my little church on a side street built a little extra music funding into the budget to try to pass on the flame, and I in spite of myself found the time.

If your institution hasn't yet, can it? Can you?

Yours truly,

David Enlow 

New Recording David Briggs at Riverside Church

Next Chapter Event

Joey Fala, Organist   McNeil Robinson, Concert Organist
Joey Fala   McNeil Robinson

MONDAY • 8 SEPTEMBER 2014 at 5.30 pm

Joey Fala, Recitalist • Honoring McNeil Robinson

Brick Presbyterian Church
1140 Park Avenue at 91st Street
Host: Keith S. Tóth
Champagne Reception following

The Chapter's 2014–2015 season opens on Monday, September 8th, with a recital by Joey Fala, winner of the chapter's 2013 playing competition, on the magnificent Coignet-Casavant organ of Brick Presbyterian Church. Following the recital will be a champagne reception honoring the career of McNeil Robinson, beloved chapter member, renowned organist, and master teacher. Stephen Tharp will lead a conversation with McNeil, whose legendary stories are sure to entertain us all. We hope you will plan to attend this memorable program and reception.

Admission: Free to NYC Chapter members; $10 general

David Enlow FAGO   Arthur Lawrence
  J. Warren Andrews, organist
  J. Warren Andrews

Members From the Past

Charles Callahan, a former member of our chapter, correctly identified J. Warren Andrews in last month's issue.

The photo is from Andrews' obituary which appeared in the December 1942 issue of The Diapason which noted that he died January 18 of that year. Andrews was one of the founders of the American Guild of Organists and at the time of his death had been the organist of the Church of the Divine Paternity (now Fourth Universalist Society) for 33 years. He was on the national council of the Guild for over 25 years and the first AGO national convention was held during his term as warden, as the office of president was then called.

Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1860, he studied with Charles H. Wood and Eugene Thayer. After student positions in Massachusetts, he became the organist and choirmaster of Trinity Church in Newport, Rhode Island, at age 19, directing its boychoir. Following that he served at Pilgrim Church in Cambridge, Mass., and Plymouth Church in Minneapolis, before moving to New York.

Andrews was also elected president of the New York State Music Teachers Association in 1908. Following funeral services at the Church of the Divine Paternity, there were Masonic ceremonies conducted by members of the Roome Lodge, and he was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in Lynn, Mass.

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

Can You Identify This Member From the Past?

. . . now deceased?

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The next chapter newsletter is the October 2014 issue. The deadline for submissions is September 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.