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In This Issue
From the Dean
From the Sub Dean
Appointments and Transitions
Quote of the Month
Do You Know Any Student Organists?
From the Editor
Joke of the Month

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

From the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

We have recently concluded an election cycle. Thank you, most sincerely, to those who participated in the nomination process, those who stood for election, and those who have agreed to serve. There is much work to be done for the Guild, and all of us who volunteer hope that our work together advances the cause of great organ music in our region. What a great cause!

In program news, what a treat it was to have a chapter dinner with David Hurd at St. Thomas's. It was fitting to end our season celebrating with one of our distinguished members.

Your program committee is hard at work preparing a season of events and programs for next year that will build on our history of workshops, classes, and performances for you, the chapter members.

Speaking of chapter members, did you know that the NYC AGO membership has grown by 15% since 2012? We’re often told in so many areas of musical life that the sky is falling; that growth is at least one thing to be grateful for.

With my best wishes for an enjoyable, pleasant, and safe summer,

Yours truly,

David Enlow

From the Sub Dean

Your Program Committee is hard at work curating a thrilling season of events for the 2016-17 season. Those details need to be discussed, voted on and approved by the Chapter Board, and then the contracts can be prepared, signed, and the full details released to you, our members. It's a long and complicated process, but we've been busy throughout the year working on various parts of that process, and the year looks to be a particularly exciting one.

Our first event is a Members' Recital and Champagne Reception on Monday September 19th at 7:30 PM. Our venue is the stunning and all-too-unknown Church of Saint Vincent Ferrer (James D. Wetzel, host) with its IV/68 Schantz Organ Co., Op. 2224 (2002) in the Gallery, and the II/18 Schantz Organ Co., Op. 2145 (1998) located in the Chancel.

Our second event of the season is a Master Class with Marie Bernadette Dufourcet-Hakim on Thursday November 3rd at 7 PM (venue TBA). Please email me to be considered to participate in this Master Class by clicking here.

Our third and final event of 2016 is a Conducting from the Console Master Class on Monday November 21st at 7 PM at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. Our guide is Dr. Andrew Henderson, known to many as a superb teacher and colleague. Please email me if you would like to participate as a singer or as an organist-conductor.

As many of you know, the Chapter's grandest celebration of all things relating to NYC and the organ takes place on Presidents' Day. Please mark Monday 19th February 2017 in your calendars and look forward to a fantastic weekend celebrating the art of silent film accompaniment and much more, with featured guest Peter Krasinski.

In addition to the regular program year, we have another International Performer of the Year Award due to take place in 2017. In the meantime the Chapter, along with the Peragallo Pipe Organ Company, are presenting 2015 award to Daniel Roth, who will give a concert for the Chapter on Tuesday March 28th 2017 at the Church of Saint Francis Xavier (John Uehlein, host).

We are finalizing complete details of the 2016-17 season and will send those out shortly – so be sure to watch this space!

With my best wishes, on behalf of the Program Committee, for a restful and productive summer.

James Kennerley, Program Committee Chair

Appointments and Transitions

Members of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists are invited to submit notices of appointments and transitions for publication. Did you move to a new position? Get married? Have a baby? Send a note and a photo to newsletter editor, John Bishop: john (at) organclearinghouse.com

David Lloyd ben Yaacov Klepper   Arthur Lawrence

Quote of the Month

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."

–Victor Hugo

David Enlow FAGO   Harold Rosenbaum, conductor

Do You Know Any Student Organists?

NYC AGO presents educational programs and master classes throughout the season, in addition to social and ‘networking’ opportunities for organists of all ages, career paths, and levels of experience. If you know a student organist who doesn’t belong to AGO, why not encourage that young person to join up? Student membership fees for AGO are minuscule compared even to ancillary expenses of music study.

Some young organists might think we just have tea parties, and not realize that AGO programs are also a great educational supplement to conservatory training. The students may also get to know their future peers in the profession. All our officers and board members are ready to help: visit nycago.org to find out who’s who or for more information.

From the Editor

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

Up with the birds.

Organists love to do things "in context." We research how the ancient masters approached and performed their music, and try to emulate how that music would have sounded "back in the day." We study intricate details of historic organs, and work hard to ferret out what stops a particular musician would have used playing a particular piece on a particular organ. It's challenging and interesting, and it provides great insight into the soul of that music.

We don't have a corner on that market, nor must it be limited to early music. During this year's Aldeburgh Festival, the French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard performed Olivier Messiaen's challenging and colorful suite of piano pieces, Catalogue d’Oiseaux, a three-hour tour de force comprising thirteen pieces that highlights Messiaen's love of bird calls. The composer requires the performer to imitate the calls of 77 species of birds, the equivalent of a "lifetime best day" for a serious bird watcher.

Aimard's sense of authenticity produced some unusual programming. He divided the suite into four separate performances on Sunday, June 19, highlighting the time of day that the various species of birds would be active. The programs were held outdoors, and the venue was opened at 3:30am for the audience, who were encouraged to wear "sturdy" clothes. Larks are among the most colorful singers and the earliest risers of the bird world, and you'd have to think the opportunity was a lark to get to a concert at that hour of the day!

Here are a couple of newspaper articles describing the event.



Pretty compelling stuff. It's not just Respighi who's for the birds.

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

Joke of the Month

Fred Opporknockity was hired to tune the organ at Yankee Stadium. He arrived on time, and slaved over the instrument for hours. There was a ballgame that night. The next morning, the organist called Fred to complain about the tuning, demanding that he come back that day. "Sorry," said Fred. "Opporknockity tunes but once."

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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