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||David Enlow, Dean
From the Dean
September marks the beginning of another
program year for the New York City chapter.
I write from Atlanta, where the chapter here
has a very similar program season. They have
a program just about every month, with a
variety of artists and subject areas.
The Dean here and I were just discussing
the wisdom of having so many programs, at
a time when chapters often think of reducing
costs and having fewer events. My view, and
the view of your chapter executive membership,
is that we as a leading chapter of the AGO
have a responsibility to promote the organ
through as much programming as we possibly
can, within the bounds of good financial
stewardship and our income. I hope many of
you will take advantage of our programs this
year, for continuing education, for inspiring
performances, and for social interaction
and professional connections. If you see
a program advertised which you cannot attend,
would you consider passing the notice along
to a colleague who may not be aware of it?
The first event of this program year is
a chapter board members' recital, at the
church of Saint Vincent Ferrer, which you
will see advertised later in this newsletter.
In this time of new beginnings, the start
of another season of music for all of us,
please accept my best wishes on behalf of
your chapter leadership for everything you
do, and for every audience you will reach
with music-making this year.
David Enlow, Dean
From the Sub
|"Let us entertain you!" A
Members' Recital and Champagne reception on Monday, September
19th at 7:30 PM.
Our first event is "Let us entertain you!" A
Members' Recital and Champagne reception on Monday,
September 19th at 7:30 PM. Our venue is the stunning and
of Saint Vincent Ferrer (James D. Wetzel, host) with
its IV/68 Schantz Organ Co., Op. 2224 (2002) in the Gallery,
II/18 Schantz Organ Co., Op. 2145 (1998) located in the Chancel.
Performers include James Wetzel, Chelsea Chen, Colin MacKnight,
Ryan Kennedy, Claudia Dumschat, and a surprise duet performance
by your very own Dean and Sub Dean! We look forward to welcoming
you on Monday.
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.
Renowned artist and teacher Jeff Brillhart will lead our annual
improvisation mini festival on Saturday, February
4th 2017. Save the date in your calendars and look for more
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
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
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
of the Month
"Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic
beyond all we do here."
–J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Do You Know Any Student
NYC AGO presents educational programs and master
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.
||The Willis Organ at Blenheim Palace
(click on photo for specification)
Yesterday, I made a service call at a church in Boston where
I maintain a fine three-manual organ that was built in 1971.
I first tuned that organ in 1984. I was 28 years old, and a
new employee of Angerstein & Associates of Stoughton, Massachusetts.
(That company closed in 1987 when Daniel Angerstein joined
M. P. Möller as Tonal Director.) The organ was only 13
years old when I first knew it - a wonderful product of the
Revival of Classic Organbuilding, both celebrated and notorious.
It has three free-standing cases, one for the Great and Swell
with keydesk attached, one for the Rückpositif, and an
immense thing for Pedal with a marvelous polished 16' Principal
in the facade.
The organ was built with electric solenoid stop action, and
one of the earliest solid-state combination actions and stop
action control systems. The solid-state equipment had been
designed and built by the organ builder, so when things started
to go wrong, there were no replacement parts available. I remember
that I was able to repair the first few glitches by re-soldering
cold joints, but when I started robbing parts from stops that
were less used, it was obvious that we would have to replace
the whole shebang. Solid State Logic (SSL, now known as SSOS)
had introduced a system that could universally be applied to
any organ, so I received a quotation and wrote a proposal to
the Trustees of the Church.
The Chairman of the Trustees was from a family who had made
a fortune in the middle of the nineteenth century making shovels,
in huge demand at that time for the building of railroads,
and sadly, digging graves during the Civil War. Trustee meetings
at this church were very proper affairs, held in the townhouse-style
parish house in Boston's Back Bay, and I dressed carefully
for the meeting at which I was to present my proposal. I described
the trouble in the organ, my plan for replacing the system,
and the costs involved. The Chairman stared at me for a moment,
and said, "When we ordered this tracker organ, they told
us it wouldn't need major repairs for a hundred years."
The organ is now 45 years old. The SSL system is 25 years
old and still works perfectly. I've releathered all the schwimmers
(equipment that regulates wind pressure without the use the
of traditional bellows or reservoirs). I've had all the pipes
out of the organ, a division at a time, because the space-age
lubricant used on the sliders turned to goo. And I've replaced
the resonators of the lowest 12 notes of the Pedal Bombarde
because the original electrolytic zinc wasn't sturdy enough
and the pipes collapsed. More money has been spent repairing
the organ than was originally spent to build it.
But yes, Mr. Chairman, the original tracker key action has
functioned nearly perfectly through it all. It's the modern
stuff that failed.
of the Month
The opera is like a husband with a foreign title - expensive
to support, hard to understand, and a supreme social challenge.
– Cleveland Amory
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