V o l .   6 5 ,   N o . 4
Dec. 2014 / Jan. 2015

In This Issue
From the Dean
Coming Chapter Programs
Members From the Past
Can You Identify This Member From the Past?
The Many Sounds of Christmas - Dec. 21, 2014

From the Dean

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

My dear Colleagues,

It has become cliché to remark on the ever earlier decoration of homes and businesses for the winter holiday season. This time of year, formerly called the Christmas season but now happily on the way to being isolated as a secular social and commercial phenomenon, now seems to stretch from the two weeks before Hallowe'en through the New Year. Perhaps we will continue to have festive decorations sooner and sooner, until the candy of Hallowe'en appears in August, the turkey of Thanksgiving in September, and jolly old St. Nicholas sometime near All Souls' Day. Perhaps then, in time, the culture will tire of the custom of celebrating occasions that have not yet come. Or maybe not!

For many of us, December brings a good deal of work in preparing for religious services and holiday concerts. If you are involved in the holiday music scramble, or simply balancing friends and family life with work or other obligations, I send along my best wishes for any and all celebrations and merriment you make. Be encouraged in your work! I am grateful for the music making that all of you do.

In a time of mass commercialism, consumption, and stress, my hope is that you have a winter filled with love, joy, and peace. Especially peace.

Yours truly,

David Enlow

The very best, to the best! Yvonne L. Sonnenwald-Melin

Coming Chapter Programs

  David Briggs, organist
  David Briggs

TUESDAY • 3 FEBRUARY 2015 • 5.00 PM

Improvisation Master Class and Recital with David Briggs

Church of St. Francis Xavier
30 West 16th Street (between Fifth & Sixth Avenues)
Host: John Uehlein

Master Class at 5.00 pm
Recital at 7.30 pm
Admission: Free to NYC Chapter members; $20 general

  John Scott, organist
  John Scott
2015 Presidents Day Conference 
Eroica: Music of the German Romantics

SUNDAY • 15 FEBRUARY 2015 • 5.15 PM

Pre-conference event: Recital by John Scott
St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue at 53rd Street

Recital at 5.15 pm (following Choral Evensong at 4.00 pm)
Admission: Free


Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street

Admission: Free to NYC AGO Chapter members; all others $40 for the whole conference or $10 per session.
  Paul Jacobs, concert organist   Tina Fruhauf
  Paul Jacobs   Tina Fruhauf
  Michael Musgrave   Isabelle Demers, Concert Organist
  Michael Musgrave   Isabelle Demers

9.00 am
9.45 am
11.00 am
11.15 am
12.45 pm
2.30 pm
3.45 pm
4.00 pm
5.30 pm
6.00 pm
8.00 pm


Coffee / breakfast
Master Class: Paul Jacobs
Lecture: Tina Fruhauf
Lunch and/or organ demo
Cathedral Tour
Lecture: Michael Musgrave
Concert: Isabelle Demers
Closing Reception and Farewell

TUESDAY • 24 MARCH 2015 • 7.00 PM

  Peter Sykes, organist
  Peter Sykes
Organ Recital by Peter Sykes

The Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive at 122nd Street
Hosts: Christopher Johnson and Christopher Creaghan

Admission: Free to NYC Chapter members; $20 general


  PaVicki and Bob Sirota
  Vicki and Bob Sirota
Chapter Dinner with Bob and Vicki Sirota

Orsay Restaurant
1057 Lexington Avenue at 75th Street

Cost: $100 per person. Limited to 60 guests.

Bob and Vicki Sirota discuss their latest CD recording collaboration, "Celestial WInd," and the future of contemporary American organ music.

Arthur Lawrence   Harold Rosenbaum, conductor

Members From the Past

  William C. Carl (1865-1936) at First Presbyterian Church, New York City
  Dr. William C. Carl at the console of the organ in First Presbyterian Church.

Congratulations to Wayne Dieterich and Steven Frank who correctly identified William C. Carl (1865-1936) in last month's issue

Carl was the organist of First Presbyterian Church in New York from 1892 until his death. He was born in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and was the organist of the First Presbyterian Church in Newark before going to Paris to study with Alexandre Guilmant in 1890-91.

Returning from Paris on the same ship as Carl was the Rev. Howard Duffield, newly appointed pastor of First Presbyterian Church who in short order appointed the 27-year-old Carl to be the organist and choirmaster of the First Presbyterian Church, the first serious musician called to the church. Dr. Duffield was a strong visionary leader with progressive ideas and a lover of music. At the time the church moved to its present location in 1846 only vocal music was considered appropriate for worship, and it was not until 1888 that a new organ by Roosevelt was installed in the gallery. Little is known about the first organists to play the new organ, and Carl's appointment marked a new era in the prominence with which the organ was to play in the life of the church.

Carl immediatley established an organ recital series that packed the church regularly, requiring police to control the crowds we are told. He also produced a concert version of Wagner's Parsifalwhich caused great interest, as full productions were only allowed in Bayreuth at that time.

Carl was a leading disciple of Guilmant in America, and during Guilmant's second American tour in 1898 the two decided to establish the Guilmant Organ School in New York to further the teaching ideals of the Parisian master. Dr. Duffield invited the new school to make First Presbyterian Church its headquarters, featuring the church's magnificent Roosevelt organ as the centerpiece for lessons and recitals. The first class was held in October 1899. Guilmant was the President, Carl was the Director and Instructor of Organ, and Dr. Duffield was the Chaplain and Instructor in Theology. The initial announcement stated that:

"William C. Carl, having been authorized by Alexandre Guilmant to open an organ school under his patronage, begs to announce the Guilmant Organ School, in which the method as set forth by the great French organist will be taught. Since the phenomenal success of M. Guilmant in America, a new impetus has been given to the organ as a solo instrument and its relation to the church service. Organists in all parts of the country are giving more attention to its study and in preparation of their work. Organ concerts are in demand with a growing success. Church committees are exacting a higher degree of ability from their organists and the press is giving it attention."

In the ensuing years the school gained considerable recognition in America and Europe. The French government bestowed upon Carl the Officer de l'Instruction Publique, and he was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in recognition for his work in promoting the works of Guilmant and other French composers. New York University also conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Music.

At the 25th anniversary of the school in 1924 it was noted that 150 students had graduated, and 26 of them were in positions of renown in the greater New York area. To celebrate Dr. Carl's 40th anniversary as organist of First Presbyterian Church in 1932, the church installed a bronze plaque in the choir seating area in the chancel. In 1935 Dr. Carl was granted a leave of absence from his duties at the school for health reasons, and Williard Irving Nevins, Carl's first student and associate, became director of the school. Dr. William C. Carl died on December 8, 1936, and Nevins was appointed organist and choirmaster of the church the following month.

Can You Identify This Member From the Past?

. . . now deceased?

David Enlow FAGO   David Lloyd ben Yaacov Klepper
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The next chapter newsletter is the February issue. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2015. 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.