V o l .   6 6 ,   N o .  8
M a y   2 0 1 6

In This Issue
From the Dean
Upcoming Chapter Events
Thank You, New York, from Eugene, Ore. Chapter AGO
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,

This season of Spring we have the opportunity to honor, cherish, and enjoy two greats in the profession, Diane Bish and David Hurd.

Just before this issue came out, I was present at Diane Bish’s concert at Marble Collegiate Church, where Ken Dake had invited her to be part of the inaugural season of the new Glück organ there. Just before the intermission, I presented Miss Bish with the Distinguished Career Award on behalf of all chapter members. I am so pleased that the chapter has begun this new award, which recognizes long years of service in a field which is sometimes lacking in recognition of achievement. As an ambassador for the organ and its music, reaching concert audiences which many organists cannot reach, and bringing organ music from many of America and Europe’s beautiful houses of worship to television viewers for decades, it is hard to imagine a candidate for the first award more deserving.

David Hurd’s career has also been of great influence across the country and beyond: through his contributions to organ performance, composition, hymnody, choral music, liturgical music, and his long tenure at the General Seminary, it is hard to find an area of the profession in which Dr. Hurd’s footprints do not leave a great trail! On May 23rd (mark your calendars and book your tickets today!) St. Thomas’s opens the doors of its parish house for us to enjoy a dinner with David Hurd, catered by the choir school’s own excellent Heidi Thomas, to hear Dr. Hurd speak after dinner, and as a pleasant side benefit, to visit and connect (perhaps to commiserate, and of course, never to gossip!) with colleagues from near and from far. Most of our events are free of charge to members; this one is worth a little extra!

Yours truly,

David Enlow

Upcoming Chapter Event

Dr. David Hurd
  Dr. David Hurd

MONDAY, 23 MAY 2016 • 6.00 PM

Season Finale Dinner with Dr. David Hurd

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

We will gather for cocktails in the Parish House and then head to a spectacular dinner in Andrew Hall. Executive Chef Heidi Thomas is renowned throughout New York City for her stunning cuisine featuring ingredients from local farms. The evening's menu is centered around a Mexican fiesta and will serve as a fitting finale to the Chapter's season. Vegeterian and vegan options will be provided.

We look forward to celebrating with you!

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


Thank You, New York, from the Eugene, Oregon Chapter of the AGO

  Click on the photo to see the Orgelkids website

The Eugene, Oregon Chapter of AGO wishes to thank you, the NYC Chapter, for joining us in ushering in a powerful addition to AGO outreach programs: Orgelkids. An ingenious educational program developed in the Netherlands by organist Lydia Vroegindeweij, Orgelkids is a reusable curriculum & kit. With Orgelkids, young children are empowered to build a two rank, 2-octave mechanical-action pipe organ. AGO member Peter Scheessele, age 7, secured Ms. Vroegindeweij’s blessing and cooperation in bringing her program to America. And here is where you, NYC AGO, enter: This January the NYC AGO Centennial Millennium Fund awarded the Eugene Chapter $5,000 towards Orgelkids, kicking off our fundraising campaign. Thank you!

Orgelkids complements and extends AGO’s three existing national outreach programs: PipeWorks (grades 4-6), Pedals, Pipes & Pizza (PPPs, age 9-14), and Pipe Organ Encounters (POEs, age 13+).
• is designed to capture interest at a younger age than AGO’s existing programs. Orgelkids can be used with kindergarten groups on up.
• lowers the threshold for participation: PPPs & POEs have the prerequisite of prior piano experience. Orgelkids has no requirements for its participants beyond curiosity.
• is mobile. It comes to the audience rather than vice versa. Orgelkids can be shared at Maker Faires, music festivals, and museums and schools.
• can integrate with the existing programs, becoming part of PPPs & POEs, or its curriculum can stand alone.
• is hands-on and appeals to both musicians and builders.

Eugene AGO intends to serve as a pilot program as it is our hope that Orgelkids will grow into a national program. The Eugene Chapter has set a goal of raising $15,000 this spring and summer. Once we get past the pesky business of raising funds and get Orgelkids up and running, we will send Orgelkids to New York for a couple of weeks in gratitude, so be on the look out!

Orgelkids makes the King of Instruments accessible. What is accessible is then lovable. To ensure a vibrant future for the pipe organ, we should capture the interest of the next generation when they are young, and then they will always have a place in their heart for the organ.

You can find a video & learn more about Orgelkids at our website: www.orgelkidsUSA.org
& follow our progress on Facebook: www.facebook.com/OrgelkidsUSA

PS: If having a pipe organ dedicated in your honor is on your bucket list, do we have a deal for you!

David Lloyd ben Yaacov Klepper   Arthur Lawrence

Quote of the Month

"Works of art make rules. Rules do not make works of art."

-Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

(Debussy lived from the middle of the American Civil War to the end of World War I)

David Enlow FAGO   Harold Rosenbaum, conductor

From the Editor

  John Bishop at the Willis Organ at Blenheim Palace
  The Willis Organ at Blenheim Palace (click on photo for specification)

Wendy and I have just returned from a trip to the United Kingdom, where we visited London, Durham, York, and Oxford. We heard Evensong at Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, and York Minster, and I played the organs at Durham Cathedral, Blenheim Palace, and the spendid new Dobson organ at Merton College, Oxford.

The great Willis/Harrison & Harrison (1876/1905) organ of Durham Cathedral, with its two, count them, two Open Wood Diapasons, and six 8' Open Diapasons (four on the Great, two on the Swell!) is an inspiration, and a lesson in the beauty and necessity of fundamental tone. The 1891 Willis organ at Blenheim Palace is a lesson in tonal refinement and rich solo colors.

Perhaps the purest musical experience of the trip was the afternoon I spent alone in St. Dominic's Priory in the Belsize Park neighborhood of London, near Hempstead Heath. The organist was busy teaching so we never met, but he invited me to help myself. I sat at the 1883 Willis organ for two hours comparing voices, building choruses, and marveling in the sophistication of the organ's sounds and mechanical systems.

I've written thousands of words about how the organs of Cavaillé-Coll inspired the school of French organ composition. Without him, we wouldn't have the music of Widor, Dupré, Franck, and a host of others. Likewise, the great school of English Cathedral Choral Music was inspired by the organs of Willis and Harrison & Harrison. Think of that Solo Tuba in the H&H organ at King's College - we've all heard it proclaiming Christmas Carols. What would church music be if those sounds hadn't been invented? Those great organs are the support of the music from Wood to Parry to Stanford to Taverner.

What an education. What a tradition. And what fun!

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

Joke of the Month

Careful what you wish for

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

  Corner of Sec ond Avenue and 17th Street, New York City
  The corner of Second Avenue and 17th Street. Click on the photo for a link to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

The other day I was walking home from tuning an organ in our neighborhood and noticed the street sign for "Dvorak Way" at the corner of Second Avenue and East 17th Street.

Antonín Dvorák (1841-1904) was appointed director of the National Conservatory of Music in 1892, and held that position for three years. He lived at 327 East 17th Street in a three-story row house which has since been demolished. During his American tenure, he composed his Ninth Symphony (From the New World), Biblical Songs, and his cello concerto.

Organists are especially drawn to Dvorak's lovely and lyrical Mass in D Major, so beautifully arranged for organ accompaniment. It's fun to know that this important European composer lived and worked here in New York City.

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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