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In This Issue
From the Dean
Upcoming Chapter Events
Diane Bish to Received Distinguished Career Award
Quote of the Month
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,

The chapter presented Pedals, Pipes & Pizza in March, and in April we shall present Diane Bish with the first-ever Distinguished Career Award. Taken together, these events bring into relief the breadth of what we, working together, can offer to the organ community and to the public. We reached several dozen youngsters with that first event, and their families, who were all enthralled with the organ; we will soon recognize one of organ music's most accomplished champions for her many years of service.

In a past message in this space, I mentioned my hopes for a change in philosophy, or at least perception, among those folks who ask "what do I get out of AGO” — that they would instead ask "what can I contribute" or "how can I make AGO better”. Here is some good news: even if you can't attend any programs, your membership dues and contributions make our outreach and educational programs possible. Just by being a member, you are supporting the cause of organ music in our community.

There is an election of officers and board members this month; John King and his committee have worked to prepare the slate as best they can, and your board and I hope all members in good standing will participate in the election process. Whether the election is contested or not, it gives confidence to those who serve to see that a fair number of votes were cast.

Under “more good news”, we were treated to a very good registrar’s report at our Presidents’ Day meeting; Larry Long reports that membership is increasing still, up well over ten percent from two years ago, particularly among dual members. Special thanks to those of you who belong primarily to other chapters and dwell elsewhere, but belong to NYC AGO also!

With grateful best wishes for a beautiful and enjoyable Spring season of music and collegiality,

Yours truly,

David Enlow

Upcoming Chapter Events

Dr. David Hurd
  Dr. David Hurd

MONDAY, 23 MAY 2016 • 6.00 PM

Chapter Dinner with Dr. David Hurd

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 The Hymnal 1982, among his many other endeavors. This event will be catered by St. Thomas's executive chef, Heidi Thomas, with full open bar.

St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue
1 West 53rd Street – Parish House
Hosts: Stephen Buzard and Benjamin Sheen
Cocktails at 6; dinner at 7
Tickets: $75 per person


Diane Bish to Receive Distinguished Career Award

Diane Bish  
Diane Bish  
The NYC Chapter AGO announces that the inaugural Distinguished Career Award for 2016 has been awarded unanimously by the executive board, gathered at its Presidents' Day meeting, to Diane Bish. Miss Bish honors us and the AGO by accepting this award, and we look forward to greeting her when she plays her recital at the Marble Collegiate Church on April 29, 2016 (for tickets and more information: www.marblechurch.org). Please note this concert is not a free chapter event, and tickets will be required of any who wish to attend.

The award has been created to honor people for exemplary service to the organ, choral music, and related fields. Diane Bish is an inspiration to so many, and we add our best wishes to Miss Bish and her many fans.

David Lloyd ben Yaacov Klepper   Arthur Lawrence

Quote of the Month

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music."

-Sergei Rachmaninoff (April 1, 1873 – March 28, 1943)

David Enlow FAGO   Harold Rosenbaum, conductor

From the Editor

  John Bishop
  John Bishop

The date we celebrate Easter is "officially" the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox (March 20), so the earliest possible date is March 22, two days after the Equinox. The next time that will happen is the year 2285. The early date should have made things easy for organ tuners. Christmas and Easter would both be "winter tunings," but surprise! Temperatures went into the 70's early in March. You'd have thought we were in Tucson. But no, it was unusually humid as well, and stopped wood pipes swelled up as if it were May.

Lots of organists are used to the "Christmas and Easter" schedule for organ tuning. Here in the northeast, it's typical for both holidays to be in winter, but who ever heard of weeks in the 70's in March in New York City? While large buildings with heavy walls stayed pretty stable, smaller buildings, especially those with frame construction, were fooled into thinking it was spring.

If an organ is tuned twice a year, I think it's best to go with the seasons - once for cold weather (heat on), and again for warm weather (heat off). That's the best schedule to ensure that things will sound good in both winter and summer. But beware. Tuning in really hot weather is dangerous. When it's in the 90's, Principal pipes in buildings without air conditioning go sky-high in pitch, and if you try to tune the reeds to match, it's easy to cause damage to the curve of reed tongues, and to tuning scrolls. Plan your reed-heavy weddings in May and June - in late August the Trumpet Voluntaries are likely to sound awful.

Pentecost is May 15 this year. Maybe it would be better to have a "Christmas and Pentecost" routine. Or maybe not. The way things have been going, it'll probably snow on May 1.

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

Joke of the Month

At the intersection of US Route 1 and Maine Route 27, Wiscasset, Maine. Keep your politics to yourselves!

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

  New York Life Insurance Company

In 1868, the New York Life Insurance Company built its headquarters at 108 Leonard Street, at the corner of Broadway. As the company grew, they planned to expand the building eastward to fill the block between Broadway and Lafayette, and engaged architect Stephen Decatur Hatch. Hatch died before the project was complete, and NYLIC hired McKim, Mead & White to finish the building according to Hatch's plans. The famous clock was built by the E. Howard Clock Company as the addition was completed in 1894.

New York Life moved to Madison Square Park in 1928. The City of New York owned the building from 1967 until 2013, when it was sold to developers Peebles and El Ad who would convert it to luxury condominiums. They planned to create a dream apartment inside the space occupied by the clock. The original mechanical clock mechanism would be replaced with an electric system, and the residents of that fancy apartment would peer through the clock faces from the inside.

But the building was on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1987, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission named the exterior and interior as landmarks, specifically mentioning the clock mechanism. The developers thought they had a loophole, but preservation prevailed, and the clock will stay. It's going to stay tracker. You'd have to be cuckoo to want to live in a place like that.

Click on the photo to see the story in March 31 issue of the New York Times.

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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