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In This Issue
From the Dean
Chapter Programs: From the Sub-Dean
Memorial Mass for Robert MacDonald
Members From the Past
Can You Identify This Member From the Past?

From the Dean

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


Dear Colleagues,

The Chapter's year is off to a great start with two very successful and well attended programs. We have had a chance to honor the legendary McNeil Robinson, to hear the next generation represented by Joey Fala, and to learn choral conducting techniques from a master, Paul Spicer, assisted by very willing (and sporting!) participants. McNeil sends along his gratitude to all who were present and participated in the first event.

We all appreciate the hospitality of our October event's host, Alistair Reid, at St. Joseph's Church in Yorkville, and the efforts of our class participants: Kalle Toivio, Lena Tharp, Colin MacKnight, John Patterson, Kirsten D’Aquino, & Daniel Sañez. For previous master classes, the chapter leadership has had trouble soliciting participants, and this turnout showed us that there is demand for continuing education in the choral area. Duly noted by our program authorities! As usual, we had a very convivial and friendly reception following the event. The program committee & Sub-Dean feel strongly about continuing a tradition of hospitality and welcome, and I know many of us appreciate it very much.

Directory Advertising

We now have something of a hiatus from AGO Chapter programs until after the seasonal rush, but there are always other ways to take part in the Chapter’s work of bringing organ music and educational programs to the membership and the wider community. You will shortly be receiving a communication from Douglas Keilitz, who is the new coordinator of yearbook advertising. (And we are grateful for Bernadette Hoke’s years of devoted, capable service!) Taking out an ad in the yearbook is a wonderful way to participate in helping the Chapter raise funds, while making the church music community here and throughout the region aware of your performances, availability, or your music program’s offerings.

Program Donations Needed

Another opportunity exists this year, in that we have slightly more programming we would like to offer than the budget will readily support. You can see a résumé of the remainder of our program year later in this newsletter. We would like to give those who feel that the chapter programming is worthwhile the ability to support it directly. Further communication about donations and our program needs will be coming soon, but if you already know you feel the chapter’s program is worth supporting, you can use our new "Donate" button on the main page of www.nycago.org to give online, or of course you may send a check drawn to NYC AGO, marked 'program donation', to Christopher Babcock at 401 East 34th Street, S22E, New York‎, New York, 10016. All contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Here is an opportunity to stop saying "the sky is falling” (a tempting pastime in these often trying times) and support programs which make the organ and its music more widely known. Did you know our chapter membership has actually grown in each of the last several years? I commend to you a worthy cause!

Yours truly,

David Enlow

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

Chapter Programs: From the Sub-Dean

  Paul Spicer
  James Kennerley, Sub-Dean

The first two Chapter events of the 2014–15 season were a great success, and we are delighted to present the offerings for the remainder of the season. Please note the dates in your calendars – we look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible.

This is YOUR chapter and these are YOUR events. Please take advantage of the world-class performances educational activities and attend as many of you are able.

As always, we welcome all feedback, comments, and ideas for future programming. Please contact Sub-Dean James Kennerley directly.

Organ Improvisation Master Class and Concert with David Briggs

Tuesday, February 3, 2015, beginning at 5 PM
Church of St. Francis Xavier (30 West 16th Street)
Host: John Uehlein

Concert organist and improviser extraordinaire David Briggs will lead a master class for members of the Chapter, and will then perform a concert of improvisation fitting for the glorious cathedral-like acoustics and colorful Peragallo Pipe Organ Company, Op. 700, instrument.

The masterclass will begin at 5 PM and conclude at 6:30 PM, after which there will be a break for dinner. The evening concert begins at 7:30 PM.

All levels of players are encouraged to participate in the master class. David is particularly fine at teaching the art of liturgical improvisation, skills that are invaluable to many of us in our work. If you are interested in participating, please contact James Kennerley, Sub-Dean and Program Committee Chair.

Presidents Day Conference 2015 Eroica: Music of the German Romantics

Sunday 15 February 2015: 5:15 PM
pre-conference organ concert by John Scott at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, featuring German romantic organ music.

Monday 16 February 2015:
Presidents Day Conference at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine (Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street), beginning 9 AM
Host: Kent Tritle

The day’s events will include a demonstration-master class Max Reger by Paul Jacobs, Professor of Organ at the Juilliard School, and a feature evening performance by Isabelle Demers, Organ Professor and Head of the Organ Program at Baylor University, Texas.

Lectures by Tina Frühauf (Columbia University) and Michael Musgrave (The Juilliard School) as well as a demonstration of the organ by Ray Nagem, Associate Organist at the cathedral, will round out the program.

Organ Concert by Peter Sykes

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 at 7:00 PM
The Riverside Church (490 Riverside Drive at 122nd Street)
Hosts: Christopher Johnson and Christopher Creaghan

Peter Sykes is renowned as one of the most distinguished and versatile keyboard artists performing today. His playing has variously been called “compelling and moving,” “magnificent and revelatory,” and “bold, imaginative, and amazingly accurate.”

This will be the final concert performance before the Nave organ is shut down later in 2015 while the church’s magnificent stained glass windows are releaded and repaired.

Peter’s playing of the justly famous Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1118-C organ is sure to thrill.

End-of-Season Celebratory Chapter Dinner

Late May/early June (details to be confirmed shortly)

The final Chapter event will take the form of a luxurious dinner in the private dining room of Orsay, a chic Parisian brasserie located on Lexington Avenue at 75th Street.

Our guest speakers are beloved Chapter members and NYC residents Bob and Vicki Sirota, who will discuss their latest CD recording collaboration, "Celestial Wind," and the future of contemporary American organ music.

All events are free to members of the Chapter, and are occasionally opened to the public for a fee. The cost of the Chapter dinner is additional.

For more information, please visit www.nycago.org

David Enlow FAGO   Arthur Lawrence

Memorial Mass for Robert MacDonald

Robert MacDonald, organist (1936-2014)

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the Repose of the Soul of

Robert MacDonald (1936–2014)

Dean of the New York City Chapter 1974-75

Wednesday, November 19 at 6:00 pm

Church of Our Saviour, 59 Park Avenue and 38th Street

Members From the Past

  Ray F. Brown (1897-1964) - organist
  Ray F. Brown

Ray Francis Brown (1897–1964) was professor of music and organist of The General Theological Seminary from 1934 until his death. He was from Vermont and went to Oberlin College.

After graduation he was organ instructor in the Oberlin Conservatory and organist and choirmaster at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Elyria. He also studied at the Royal School of Church Music and at Pius X School of Liturgical Music. Prior to his appointment at General he was for five years he was director of the Music School at Fisk University and conducted the Fisk University Choir.

He was an Associate of the American Guild of Organists and served on the national council. The University of the South at Sewanee awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Music in 1956. His edition of The Oxford American Psalter was published in 1949 and is characterized by pointing that sets the texts in speech rhythm, a practice then largely unknown in this country at the time. He also wrote articles for musical and church journals and lectured at seminaries and church conferences throughout the country on hymnody, chanting, and the use of plainsong in English.

He was an authority on choral music and helped form the Episcopal Church tradition and was a member of the Joint Commission on Church Music of the Protestant Episcopal Church and served on the tunes committee for the Joint Commission on the revision of The Hymnal 1940.

Concurrent with his position at General, he served several churches in New York, including Christ Church Bronxville, Church of the Resurrection and Calvary Church.

Can You Identify This Member From the Past?

. . . now deceased?

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The next chapter newsletter is the December/January issue. The deadline for submissions is November 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.