V o l .   67 ,   N o .  4
D e c e m b e r   2 0 1 6 /
J a n u a r y   2 0 1 7

In This Issue
From the Dean
From the Sub-Dean
Quote of the Month
From the Editor
Joke of the Month

From the Dean

Christmas Bells (1863)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
" There is no peace on earth," I said;
" For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
" God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

From the Sub-Dean

By the time that you will be reading this, two successful events will have taken place in November. The first was a masterclass with Marie Bernadette Dufourcet-Hakim held at Brick Presbyterian Church (Keith S. Tóth, host). Ms. Dufourcet is a superb performer and pedagogue, and her teaching was informative and thrilling in equal measure. Many thanks to our three excellent volunteers, Maria Rayzvasser, Christopher Sahar, and Alessandro Pittorino. We will also have enjoyed the Conducting from the Console masterclass with Dr. Andrew Henderson at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Renowned artist and teacher Jeffrey Brillhart will lead our annual improvisation mini festival on Saturday February 4th 2017 at the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle (Valerie Shondel, host). The church is located on the corner of Columbus Avenue & West 60th Street. The class is at 1:45 PM and the solo improvisation concert at 3:30 PM, lasting an hour. Mr. Brillhart is Director of Music and Fine Arts at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr, PA and on the music faculty at Yale University, where he teaches organ improvisation. He is also Artistic Director of Philadelphia's famed Singing City Choir. Please contact me by clicking here if you would like to be coinsidered to play for the masterclass.

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 artists Peter Krasinski and Chelsea Chen, and speakers John Bishop (our very own editor!), and Jonathan Ambrosino. Our principal venue is Marble Collegiate Church (Kenneth Dake, host) with its new Sebastian Glück instrument. We will also have a concert on the Fisk organ at the Church of the Transfiguration (Claudia Dumschat, host).

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, is presenting the 2015 award to Daniel Roth, who will give a concert for the Chapter on Tuesday March 28th 2017 at 7:30 PM at the Church of Saint Francis Xavier (John Uehlein, host).

With my best wishes, on behalf of the Program Committee, for all that lies ahead this month!

James Kennerley, Sub-Dean & Program Committee Chair

Quote of the Month

Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn.

~Charlie Parker

Arthur Lawrence David Enlow FAGO  

From the Editor

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

In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, Trinity Church Wall Street opened St. Paul's Chapel as a care station for the first responders and rescue workers. Aid workers provided refreshment, counseling, massages, and everything else imaginable to help ease the strain and grief of those intimately involved in that horrible tragedy. Within a few days, the iron fence around the chapel became a moving memorial, bedecked with photos of missing family members, poetry, teddy bears, flowers, and countless statements about our collective loss.

A few days after the attack, I was on the site to inspect the church's organs, and was appalled by what I saw in that neighborhood, what I learned, even what I smelled. I lived in Boston at the time, and although I had watched dozens of hours of television coverage, I was not prepared for the reality. I had a brief encounter and conversation with the church's rector, a tall handsome fellow with an enviable white coif, and I commented that it seemed strange to be focusing on a pipe organ in the face of all the devastation and tragedy. He replied, "The work of the church has never been more important."

We have just endured the nastiest political season anyone can remember. The country's raw underbelly has been exposed and it's not pretty. Our nation that was founded on freedom of religion and speech is in a terrible mess. No matter how each of us voted, or how we feel about the results, we share that mess. Both sides of the political spectrum are faced with painful truths that must be confronted for the continued prosperity and safety of the country and world.

As organists, conductors, singers, and organbuilders, it's our job and calling to share in the ministry of the Church through the art and gift of music. Every note we play, every pipe we tune, adds to the rich experience of the worshipers. Somehow the words of the hymns are a little more poignant, and the sounds of our organs bore deeper into our souls. We have the ability and the responsibility to bring peace to those who are troubled, and joy to those who are saddened and frightened. It's our privilege. Go do it.

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

Joke of the Month


Kings Roxy

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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