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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,

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.

Yours truly,

David Enlow, Dean

From the Sub Dean

"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 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. 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 information shortly.

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

"Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here."

–J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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)

Tempus fugit...

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.

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

Joke 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

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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