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In This Issue
From the Dean
Upcoming Chapter Events
Memorial Service
Quote of the Month
Editor's Message
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
  David Enlow, Dean, NYC Chapter, American Guild of Organists
  David Enlow, Dean

From the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

No sooner had many of us begun to adjust to the news of John Scott's death than the airwaves lit up again with the passing of Helen Kemp and Sir David Willcocks. (As I type "Willcocks", my iPhone underlines it in red, and when I enquire as to why, it says "no replacements found". Is that not poetic and true?)

At its best, the Guild has a holistic view of organists of every age, as it celebrates the elders and generations past, supports and draws on the strength of those active and in their prime, and recruits and encourages the young musicians of tomorrow. A balance of these activities is what your executive board and I are trying to accomplish, with educational programs, social elements, programs especially for children and young people, and honors for those who have enjoyed long careers, and who are trying to draw back a bit from the fevered pace of constant work that has earned them our awe and respect.

This month, we have just had our opening event, a members' recital with several age groups represented, and a chance to have some bubbly drink and bubbly conversation. October brings a master class by the noted organist and teacher Carole Terry, who has come all the way from the west coast to play a recital in Brooklyn; we're so glad she has agreed to give a class for us.

Next month's program is also educational, as the renowned maestro Dennis Keene steps off the podium to share some wisdom with those looking to deepen their understanding of choral conducting. Last year's class with Paul Spicer was a great hit with many members, and so we are responding to your desire to have more choral education opportunities.

We all look forward to seeing you there! I hope you are all having a great fall season.

Yours truly,
David Enlow

Upcoming Chapter Events

Carole Ruth Terry, concert organist
Carole Terry/Klais Organ at St. Peter's Lutheran Church

The second event of the season will take the form of a masterclass with Carole Ruth Terry, renowned American organist, harpsichordist, and pedagogue. Professor Terry teaches on the faculty of the University of Washington and as visiting professor at many institutions throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. The masterclass will take place on the II/43 Johannes Klais Orgelbau instrument at St. Peter's Lutheran Church on Saturday, October 17th at 3 PM. The church is at 619 Lexington Avenue, at 54th Street (Thomas Schmidt, host). Interested participants should contact me by clicking here.

November will see a choral conducting masterclass with Dennis Keene at the Church of the Ascension on Monday, November 9th at 7 PM. Dr. Keene's award-winning work with the Voices of Ascension is legendary in our city and beyond, and he is an excellent teacher of conductors on all levels. Applications are welcome for masterclass participants, as well as for members of the choir. An accompanist will also be provided. Please email me if you are interested in participating.

Looking ahead,our annual Improvisation Symposium and concert will take place in the sumteous accoustics of Holy Trinity R. C. Church (Andrew Yeargin. host) on January 18th beginning at 4:45 PM. Again, please email me if you are interested in participating.

In March we will hold a Pedals, Pipes, & Pizza event at Saint James Church, Madison Avenue. Colin MacKnight, winner of the latest NYCAGO Chapter competition, will perform a recital.

The 2016 Presidents' Day Conference is entitled "An American in Paris: the French Romantic School" and kicks off with a concert by Ray Nagem at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine on Sunday February 14th. The main events of the conference will take place on Monday February 15th at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola.

The final event of the year will take the form of a festive dinner with special guest David Hurd, known to many of us as an organist, composer, and contributor to the Episcopal 1982 Hymnal, among his many other endeavors.

Complete details of these upcoming events will be made available on the Chapter website and Facebook pages. As always, please email me should you have any questions or comments. We look forward to welcoming you to this spectacular season of events!

James Kennerley

Nathan Laube recital at Fordham University Church, Oct. 4 at 4 PM

Memorial Service

McNeil Robinson

Memorial Service for McNeil Robinson

Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 7:30 PM

Church of the Ascension, Fifth Avenue at 10th Street

Neil was a great performer, composer, and improviser, beloved teacher of hundreds, and a consummate church musician. Join us as we honor his life and his contributions to our world.

David Lloyd ben Yaacov Klepper   Arthur Lawrence

Quote of the Month

The other day a friend tweeted, "In this coffeeshop, there's a guy sitting at a table. He's not on his phone. He's not on a laptop. He's just sitting there drinking coffee, like a psycopath."

What a hilarious commentary on our lives - get out of your phone and smell the daisies! And listen to some organ music...

David Enlow FAGO   Harold Rosenbaum, conductor

Editor's Message

My wife Wendy and I moved to New York in the summer of 2014, and we’ve had an exciting time making new friends and strengthening old relationships. We’ve both spent lots of professional time here over the years – the Organ Clearing House had a four-year stretch when it seemed as though we’d never leave – but learning the city as residents is a new experience that we relish.

We’ve settled into our new digs in Greenwich Village, between Grace Church with its sumptuous new organ by Taylor & Boody, and Church of the Ascension with the fascinating and colorful organ by Pascal Quoirin. To my eyes and ears, these two remarkable organs represent brilliant and creative thinking by their builders. It’s hog-heaven for me to live in close proximity with such genius, and I appreciate Patrick Allen’s and Dennis Keene’s generosity in sharing the instruments with me. What’s more, the marvelous new organ by Letourneau at St. Joseph’s Church on Sixth Avenue adds brilliance to the local fleet. It’s quite a neighborhood!

Many of us attended John Scott’s funeral Mass at St. Thomas Church a few weeks ago, and I’m sure that many reacted as I did to the cacophony from the street outside as the postponed Labor Day parade hooted and hollered past the church, clashing with the serene sounds of that famous choir – the Sacred and Profane on Fifth Avenue. My first thought was horror – how could such an important and poignant moment be marred? But it occurred to me that the juxtaposition was a statement about the city. Where else are there so many talented church musicians at work? Where else are the arts so richly represented? And where else does the sublime mix so freely with a throbbing and lively popular culture?

Last night I was among many in attendance at the Members' Recital at St. Ignatius of Antioch, where James Kennerley was our host. It was my first time visiting that beautiful building, and it was a treat to hear friends and colleagues playing for each other. There was a strong and cheerful crowd present, and the following reception was a great chance to greet and chat with fellow members.

As I start this work as editor of the newsletter, I know I speak for many as I thank Neal Campbell for his wonderful work over the recent years, and wishing him well as he adjusts from Connecticut to Florida winters. I look forward to my work with you, and to seeing you at chapter events.

Yogi Berra, the great catcher for the New York Yankees, was well known for his quirky use of the English language, and following his recent death, we were reminded of countless “Yogi-isms.” I cite one of my favorites as I encourage you to come out with me to our Chapter events by inviting you to prove Yogi right: “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

Thanks for reading.

John Bishop

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

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Taylor & Boody organ, Grace Church - New York City
Taylor & Boody organ, Grace Church

Editor's note: I mentioned the terrific organs our new neighborhood, and thought I'd share them with you. This month, I give you the Taylor & Boody organ at Grace Church on the corner of Broadway and East 10th Street, where Patrick Allen is Organist and Master of the Choristers. Grace Church is close enough to us that we can hear the tower bells when our windows are open.

Taylor & Boody is well known for having built dozens of colorful instruments that are faithful to the styles of 17th and 18th century Northern Europe. A terrific example shines bright in the rear gallery at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue. The organ at Grace church is housed in (not quite) matching stained oak cases that face each other across the Chancel. There's a free-standing console (Taylor & Boody's first detached console), and a remote chamber that houses the powerful Solo division. There's a fascinating tunnel in the undercroft that spans the organ's three locations and houses the wind system and the intricate mechanical action chassis.

Our friends at T&B have added the expressive qualities of the English Cathedral and American Classic organs to the template of their familiar style, resulting in a masterpiece of musical art. Add to that the sonic rumble of the restored E. M. Skinner 32-foot Double Open Wood Diapason in the rear gallery, and you're ready to rock.

You can hear this organ daily in brief meditation recitals. Maybe I'll see you there.


The newsletter is published monthly, with the exception of combined issues for December/January, May/June, and July/August. The deadling for submissions is the 15th of the month prior. Send materials to newsletter@nycago.org. Questions regarding email addresses should be sent to Larry J. Long, Registrar.

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