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In This Issue
From the Dean
Upcoming Chapter Events
Chapter Contributors
Quote of the Month
From the Registrar
From the Nominating Committee
From the Editor
Joke of the Month
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
  David Enlow, Dean, NYC Chapter, American Guild of Organists
  David Enlow, Dean

From the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

We have, at the time of writing, just finished the Presidents’ Day conference. This year was one to remember, with snow and cold proving no obstacle to 100-something in attendance.

Gundula Kreuzer, suddenly ill, was replaced by the magnificent Sylvia Kahan, who introduced many of us to the salon of Winaretta Singer, Princesse de Polignac, for the first time; our own Sebastian Glück lectured with the utmost care on the French organ between the Revolutionary and Romantic periods and its transition; distinguished member Matthew Lewis gave us a glimpse inside his teaching studio; and two performances by the eminent performers Renée Anne Louprette and Jeremy Filsell took the mighty Mander through its paces. The organ, having been both heated and air-conditioned for the preceding 24-hours due to a techno-mechanical fault, gave a very fine account of itself nonetheless.

One thing I have noticed at NYC AGO events is the nice atmosphere and welcoming nature of the membership. All of you who were present are to be congratulated, those of you who might have reached out to make an introduction, to speak to someone new to the chapter, or simply to applaud those who presented and organized the conference. Keep up the good work, everyone! James Kennerley, Sub-Dean extraordinaire, is much to be congratulated on having organized a great day for the pipe organ and its local practitioners.

Our next program is the Pedals, Pipes & Pizza event, coordinated by my wife Loraine. This is a wonderful event to acquaint children with the organ — please, if you have a children’s group or choir, let them know about it. The PP&P portion of the event is open only to children and their parents. It is followed, however, by a recital from our competition winner (and my organ scholar) Colin MacKnight, which is open to all. He was a great hit at the convention in New Haven; if you missed that, here’s your chance to make it up, and to hear the mighty Schoenstein of St. James’, Madison Avenue.

The report of our Nominating Committee is to be found later in this issue of the newsletter. The committee, under Dr. John T. King, chair, has nominated the existing officers to an unopposed slate in their current positions, as each is eligible to serve for another term. The committee has also put forward eight candidates for membership on the board, six of whom will fill the class of 2018 members-at-large. A group of five or more members in good standing may also nominate an additional candidate or candidates for any of the open positions, according to our procedures, which are available on the chapter website. John King and his committee have tried to make the nomination process as open, welcoming, and transparent as possible, and I am most grateful. The election will take place after April 1st, by electronic means.

The best recent news from your chapter board is that the inaugural Distinguished Career Award has been awarded unanimously by the executive board to Diane Bish. Perhaps the most visible organist in the world, known to many through her television series The Joy of Music, and an inspiration to countless organists of all ages, Miss Bish does the AGO an honor by accepting the first-ever award. The award will be presented at her recital at the Marble Collegiate Church on April 29th.

It’s a wonderful month for NYC AGO! Please accept my best wishes for all you do, and I hope to see you at our events!

Yours truly,

David Enlow

Upcoming Chapter Events

John Bishop, organbuilder
Colin MacKnight, winner of the Chapter's 2015 competition, will give an organ recital on Saturday, March 12 at 5:00 PM as part of our Pedals, Pipes & Pizza event. The recital is free and open to all.









The Chapter will hold a Pedals, Pipes & Pizza event on Saturday, March 12 from 3 PM at St. James' Church, Madison Avenue (Dr. Davis Wortman, host).

Students from the Juilliard School will demonstrate the many facets of the pipe organ, from the thousands of pipes that make up the instrument, to the five different sets of keys (including one for the feet alone!) that are played by a single person!

The event starts at 3:00 PM and finishes at 5:30 PM. We will start with a tour of the pipe organ, play games related to music, and then everyone gets to have a try at playing the instruments! After a break for pizza, we will have a special performance by the 2015 NYCAGO competition winner Colin MacKnight.

If you or someone you know has children aged 9 and over that would be interested in participating, please email the chair, Loraine Enlow at lenlow@stjames.org (or by clicking here) to register. Please include their name, age, musical/keyboard experience, and emergency contact info. St. James' Church is located at 865 Madison Avenue at 71st Street. Click here for directions.

Feel free to forward this message to anyone you think may be interested!

Click here to download the PDF flyer.

The final chapter event of the year will be a dinner with special guest Dr. David Hurd on Monday, May 23. We are very close to confirming the final details for the dinner and will communicate those as soon as possible.

Chapter Contributors

The Executive Board wishes to express thanks to those who contributed very generously when renewing their membership:

John Brooks
Vivian Fletcher
David Klepper
Peter Krasinski
William Kring
Darren Motisse
Bishop John O'Hara
Thomas Schmidt

Justin Bischof
Kenneth Dake
James Kennerley
James Litton

Louis Basbas
John Byrne
David Hurd
Daniel Kirk-Foster

Lawrence Trupiano

Many of the above and others contributed to Pipedreams and Pipe Organ Encounters. We pass Pipedreams gifts on to WQXR, and record and retain the POE funds for Chapter use in the future.

Christopher Babcock, Treasurer

David Lloyd ben Yaacov Klepper   Arthur Lawrence

Quote of the Month

I'm with Pete.

David Enlow FAGO   Harold Rosenbaum, conductor

From the Registrar

2015-16 NYC Chapter Directories have arrived! If your membership was current as of November 28, 2015, you should have already received your copy in the mail. If you joined or renewed since that date, contact Registrar Larry Long (registrar@nycago.org) and he will send you a copy.

A reminder: The information in the directory comes from the national AGO membership database which you can maintain and update at any time. If your information is incorrect, go to the national website: www.nycago.org. Click on "Membership," then "Renew Membership/Update Personal Information." Sign in and make any changes necessary. If you need help, contact Larry Long.

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

From the Nominating Committee

From John King, Chair, NYC AGO Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is pleased to announce the slate of officers for the 2016 Election:

Officers (2 year term):
Dean—David Enlow
Sub-Dean—James Kennerley
Secretary—Sebastian Glück
Treasurer—Christopher Babcock
Registrar—Larry Long
Auditors—Chelsea Chen and Steven Lawson

Class of 2020 (4 year term): Vote for 6
Daniel Brondel
Kenneth Dake
Judith Hancock
Andrew Henderson
Ryan Jackson
Alistair Reid
Benjamin Sheen
David Shuler

The Committee wishes to thank those members who have agreed to offer their names for service.

Respectfully Submitted,
The Nominating Committee 2016,
John T. King, chair, Bernadette Hoke, Steven E. Lawson, James D. Wetzel and E. Davis Wortman

From the Editor

As the interminable preludes to "Tonight's Feature Presentation" wind down in your local movie theater, the audience is admonished through expensive animation that the bright little screens on their cell phones are disturbing to their neighbors. "No texting during the movie." For years, it has been routine in a concert hall that a message is broadcast or projected regarding cell phones. And as the audience buzzes with excitement before each performance of the über-hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, the broadcast voice of the hilarious character King George suggests that audience members should silence their cell phones.

Last Sunday morning, a visiting couple was sitting in the pew in front of us. I guessed that it wasn't her first experience with public worship as she managed the book juggling pretty well, but it was clear that they were not usual church-goers. His tee-shirt with horizontal blue and white stripes with red piping around the collar, powerful bared tattooed triceps, and his tight little pony tail made him look like an extra in a movie about the Russian Navy, and I'll limit further comments to saying she was disheveled.

We were not the welcoming congregants we might have been, we didn't speak to them, and we learned nothing about them. And I admit that I was the disapproving Episcopalian when she raised her mobile phone to make a video recording of the anthem. It was a real interruption. The sailor's phone rang during the sermon. He turned it off fast, but it still rang. I was annoyed, and it probably showed. You don't have to say, "harrumph," to be harrumph.

Later, I wondered about my reaction. We were all sitting in a beautiful place surrounded by elegant stained glass, carved wood, a spectacular pipe organ, and fabulous architecture. The choir's singing was splendid, and there was an air of spirituality. I wonder if that couple watched the video an hour later at the brunch table, or in bed that evening before turning out the light? Maybe they had never been in a place like that and never heard singing like that. Maybe they were truly moved. I was there because I relish and revel in those experiences. Should I be judgmental of the uninitiated who might be experiencing for the first time that which I love and revere?

I'm certain of two things. If I had tapped her on the shoulder and hissed that she should put the phone away, they would never come back. And if they do come back, I'll do my best to welcome them.

Joke of the Month

  No Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

A little lighter on the pedals, please.

Won't You Be My Neighbor?


Approaching St. Michael's Church heading north on Amsterdam Avenue, the first visual impression is the magnificent bell tower on the corner of West 99th Street with two tiers of arches capped by a copper pyramid. The tower signals the presence of grandeur, and when you enter the polychromed nave, the grandeur is real. Try to go there on a sunny day so you can see the Tiffany windows in their greatest glory - the lancet windows in the Apse and a tremendous piece in the side chapel are especially gorgeous.

The church is home to an iconic organ built in 1967 by Rudolph von Beckerath. The imposing blond Werkprinzip case with its spiky towers is a harsh contrast to the building's ubiquitous Romanesque arches, to say nothing of the opulent color scheme. But the contrast may be forgiven as the acquisition of this instrument was a bold statement early in the great revolution that was the Revival of Classic Organ Building in the middle to late twentieth century. Without these controversial experiments, American organ building would never have progressed to its present excellence.

John Cantrell is the Choirmaster and Organist at St. Michael's, and while organ voices like Septimenkornet III may not be the ideal for a Yale-trained musician, his use of the marvelous instrument is inspired and inspiring. Besides the large Beckerath organ in the rear gallery, the church owns a newly restored 1938 Steinway B and an eight stop Beckerath Positiv organ. And since Gospel Hymns are just outside the natural scope for the Beckerath, a 1950's Hammond C3 completes the musical fleet, magically commandeered by Dr. Cantrell.

There are Children's Choirs in the traditions of RSCM and Kodály, a High School Choir, and a semi-professional choir of adult singers. Sunday morning celebrations of the Eucharist with plenty of musical variety are complemented by intimate sung Compline on Wednesday evenings. Worship at St. Michael's is rich and lively, the surroundings are fantastic, and the focus on the arts make the experience complete.

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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