FROM THE DEAN:
Today is the first day of Spring…a little rain, a little sun, a little frigid. I’ll take it. I have friends and family on Massachusetts’ coast!
By the time you read this you will already have attended our March program, which featured organist Rhonda Sider Edgington at Westport Pres. Delightful. Next month is, of course, Bachathon XXXIX at Village Pres. (Prairie Village) April 15th. Spread the word!
While in DC visiting family recently, we attended Choral Evensong at the Washington National Cathedral. A lovely, well-sung service of course, but one anthem really excited me and if you don’t know it, GET it! “All wisdom cometh from the Lord” by Philip Moore (b. 1943) Beautiful text (Ecclesiasticus 1; Psalm 119) and sumptuous setting. The celebrant had a good sense of humor, preceding his short homily with a colleague’s directive: “Be brief, be blunt, and be gone!”
I have begun work on “resurrecting” the “small folk” AGO calendar for students in grades 4 through 12. If anyone would like to jump on-board with me (post-convention) LMK. A lot of good work and thought has already occurred in years past, so we will build upon that. The State of the Chapter so to speak, is pretty good. We are slowly growing membership, convention registrations are coming in fast, and our fiscal health appears to be improving.
Happy Spring and Easter.
GKCAGO Chapter Dean 2017-18
|NO CHAPTER MEETING THIS MONTH|
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Village Presbyterian Church
6641 Mission Road
Prairie Village, KS 66208
2:00pm – 6:00pm
by Lynn Bratney, Convention Coordinator
2018 AGO National Convention, July 2-6, 2018
by Lynn Bratney, Convention Coordinator
As you are reading this, your Steering Committee for the National Convention is working on multitudinous details at the two hotels in the Crown Center complex. Our final four meetings, with two scheduled in June, will be very busy with many things happening on multiple fronts. Much collaboration and last-minute decisions will be clarified among the many components. We are happy to welcome either James Thomashower, AGO’s Executive Director or Michael Velting, Counselor for Conventions to those meetings who provide expertise and can answer questions immediately. It’s amazing to see this all come together.
Be assured that things are going well. Our break-even registration number is 900 paid attendees and we’re already well above 800 registrants with three months left to go. Several programs, as they stand at this time, are currently closed due to attendance reaching capacity of the venue but stay tuned for a possible update as we work through this. I think we’ve surprised many people with the number of people wanting to come to Kansas City, which doesn’t surprise any of us.
One of the standout causes for this is the number and the quality of the workshops that Ken Walker and Nancy Stankiewicz and the Continuing Education/Workshops Committee have been working on for years! Their list of available workshops, open to all registered attendees, is a testament to their time and work invested. By the numbers, they have scheduled 75 unique events, which include workshops, reading sessions, lectures, and a field trip. They will take place on Wednesday through Friday, July 4 – 6. These educational opportunities include no less than 15 music reading sessions for both choral and organ literature. Many of these sessions will take place in rooms just off the main exhibit hall during exhibit hours enabling those wandering through the exhibits to purchase the music for something they’ve just heard.
Other important areas of interest included in the three days of workshops are: health, scholarly interests, topics of interest to church musicians, practice and performing skills, youth outreach, historical interest, career support, and guild leadership. Several unique sessions will be offered including:
|•||Early Daily Morning Exercise open to all attendees|
|•||Specific preparation for the SPC and the CAGO exams|
|•||An AGO Youth Panel Discussion on Engaging Musicians and Social Media|
|•||A 3-part Bach seminar covering manuscript sources, new discoveries in the first 6 volumes of the Leupold Edition of the Complete Bach Works, and performance practice issues|
|•||K-12 Music in Worship|
|•||Workshops on good keyboard technique|
|•||15 choral and organ literature reading sessions|
If these don’t grab your interest, there are many others for you to consider. Workshops are a great standout in our convention. Take advantage of a wonderful opportunity increase your knowledge in an in-depth workshop session.
One other piece of information I just received apart from our convention, but of great interest to many, regards a special offer made to members of the AGO by the Hymn Society, a sister organization of the AGO and where our own Jan Kraybill is the Executive Director. Their annual conference will be held in St. Louis from July 15 – 19. As a gesture of goodwill to the AGO, members may register for that convention at Hymn Society rates which is $375 (discounted fro $425) until June 1. I know some members of our chapter enjoy going to this conference. If you love Hymn Festivals, you will love this conference. Please go to http://www.thehymnsociety.org/2018-st-louis for more information.
We certainly hope to see many of you at some of these workshops. You will find them informative, unique, and in many instances, fun. With 75 workshops to choose from, surely something there is of interest to you. This line up of scholars, speakers, and music reading sessions is one of the best learning offerings in recent memory, and we hope that you will find several that just draw you in. We have certainly been working very hard on all aspects of this. I believe you will certainly enjoy it. Please refer to the convention website at www.agokc2018.com for more complete information.
Only four months until Kansas City puts is on the biggest stage in the organ world. Worship services will play a large part on this stage as they potentially provide an emotional release through prayer, speakers, and above all, music.
With the recognition of the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI and the only National Memorial and Museum to that Great War located in Kansas City prominently displayed on Memorial Grounds south of Union Station, the 2018 Kansas City National Convention of the American Guild of Organists will feature many commemorative events during the convention. Events with programming focused on that anniversary include workshops, recitals, and, of course, worship services. Our worship chair, Ben Spalding and his committee have been very hard at work over the last several years working on five convention worship services, three of which honor the contributions and sacrifice of millions of soldiers and civilians killed in World War I.
The Opening Celebration on Monday evening at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opens with a tribute to John Obetz who we all lost in 2015 and who was known by so many organists across the country through his weekly “Auditorium Organ” program which he played for many years. Following this tribute, a processional will bring in National AGO personnel as well as elected AGO leaders. The program becomes a moving commemoration of the end of the War with poppies, an improvised requiem setting, several clergy, hymns, a world premiere by Sir James MacMillan, and narration by Dr. Matthew Naylor, President and CEO of the WWI Museum. Other participants include Jan Kraybill, organist; Spire Chamber Ensemble conducted by Ben Spalding; and Convention Festival Brass and Percussion.
Wednesday’s Hymn Festival also in Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center, is not to be missed. The festival will have both new and familiar hymns. Organists Tom Trenney from First-Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska and James Bobb from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, will play the service on organ and piano. Anton Armstrong, also from St. Olaf College, will conduct the Convention Festival Choir, the Festival Brass and Percussion, and the congregation in anthems and hymns. Celebrated hymn writer Mel Bringle of Brevard College will offer devotions and her own hymn “God’s Dream Is Like a Haunting Dream” to the tune RESIGNATION. All those who attend will leave with an overall feeling of peace.
“The Road Home” is the name of the Arts Worship Service offered at Atonement Lutheran Church on Friday, July 6. This worship service is in memory of Stephen Paulus whose Pilgrims’ Hymn will be sung and honors the soldiers and civilians killed during the war. Actual letters sent home from soldiers are a moving part of this service. Participants in this service include Störling Dance Theater, Te Deum Chamber Choir, conducted by Matthew Shepard, Elisa Bickers and Jan Kraybill on piano, Lara West and Michael Bauer on organ, and reflections by AGO Chaplain Don Saliers.
In addition to these worship services focused on the Great War, there are two other worship services, each promising extreme beauty. A Bach Vespers service will take place at Visitation Catholic Church on Tuesday, July 3. Bach motets will be sung by the Spire Chamber Ensemble lead by Ben Spalding and accompanied by the Spire Baroque Orchestra. Jan Kraybill will provide a prelude and postlude.
A beautiful candlelit Compline Service of Contemplative Night Prayer will be presented at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception later that same evening. It will be presented by Kantorei of Kansas City, directed by Chris Munce. Kantorei Choirs is a professional vocal ensemble dedicated to performing music selected from the medieval period through the 21st century, exploring the historical links between music of all eras and art, politics, literature and culture, and most importantly, all with an attention to detail.
In honor of our convention and its commemoration of WWI throughout the convention, the National WWI Memorial and Museum is offering a special admission rate to all convention attendees with a convention badge: buy one admission, get one free during the week of the convention. This museum is recognized as one of the top 25 museums in the country.
Be sure to take advantage of this offer and any or all these beautiful worship services. Each of these will leave you with a feeling of awe, inspiration, and beauty.
My SPC Preparation and Exam Experience
By Keith Sandrock
I was just beginning the fall semester of my junior year at Central Methodist University in Fayette, MO. Up to this point with each semester, my organ professor, Dr. Barbara Anderson and I would discuss my accomplishments prior and what my goal would be. We both were members of the Central MO AGO Chapter at the time and she mentioned the SPC. We read through the requirements together. It seems like a daunting task with the rest of the repertoire I was learning for school. But, after much discussion, I felt I wanted to do something ‘different’ and challenging and decided to do this. With a fun goal set for myself after deciding to take on this challenge, I ordered the packet from the guild. I was very excited to get the materials and to start preparing for the exam. There were many requirements for this certification. Here is a breakdown of the requirements from when I took the exam and some helpful preparation tips that I did to prepare myself for the exam.
The first requirement was to choose two hymns from the AGO examination booklet and play two stanzas of each as you would accompany the congregation. There were several things to consider for this. One, make sure your registrations reflects the text of the verse being played. Being colorful with the registrations was key here. I remember I ended up changing registrations during the verse to add more color that matched the text. Phrasing is very important. Let the organ breath when the congregation would breath in appropriate places in the text.
The second requirement was to transpose a hymn of your choice from the same booklet a whole or a half step up or down. The challenge was to transpose without writing anything on the music. You must look at the original key and play it in the transposed key. This I had never done before, so it was truly a challenge. A method that worked for me was to take a measure at a time and practice it alone until I had it correct. Once I got the measure down, I went to the next measure and practiced that while including the previous measure. Eventually, I had the whole hymn rehearsed and ready. The good thing about this is you can prepare in advance what key you are transposing to and have it all worked out before the exam.
The third requirement for the exam was to play the accompaniment to a psalm chant also provided in the AGO hymn booklet. At the time, I had no experience with this. My playing days were with Methodists and Baptists. So, this really opened my eyes on styles of registrations and utilizing different manuals for the Cantor/Congregation response. My organ professor, who at the time was playing for Masses at a Catholic parish in the area, helped me with this. By understanding the chant and response, it didn’t take long to prepare this part.
The fourth requirement was to select two anthems listed in the certification requirements. To challenge myself, I chose pieces that were very expressive, needed a lot of registration changes and included a lot of ornamentation, something my organ professor loved to have me get more used to. I had to take into consideration the nature of the text of the piece. First, I would read the text and make sense of what the text was communicating to me. Then, once I had the feeling and understanding of the words, I began creating the registrations for the piece. After I figured that out, I worked on the breaths that a choir would take. Figuring out expressions and tempos was very important as well. Last, I would suggest meeting with your choir director or a friend who knows a lot about choir music and play through the piece for him/her. Their feedback and point of view would be helpful. Since I was a college student at the time, the choir director dedicated a few moments to listen and critique. Getting the point of view from the other side really helps!
The fifth requirement was to select three organ pieces chosen from a list of works from different historical periods. The three pieces required a lot of in depth practice that included a lot of ornamentation techniques and registrations based on the historical periods in which the piece was composed. What was helpful was learning about each composer and the period of the piece. The hardest part was getting the ornamentations correct and getting creative with the registrations.
Last, the fun part, sight reading! When it was time for me to do the exam, the proctor had a piece for me to sight read from headquarters. The best way to prepare for this is to pull a piece of music, a hymn or something a couple of times a week and just sight read it. I had no clue what was being presented to me on the day of exam. The exam gives you 60 seconds to look at the piece of music. This gives you just enough time to select the registration, look at the key signature and sight-read the music. This is what I did every time I sight-read a piece of music for the first time.
Taking on an exam is very rewarding. It opens your mind to how you can expand yourself as an organist. Waiting to receive the results in the mail is exciting. The neat thing was to receive feedback and suggestions from those who listened to the CD and graded the exam. Reviewing what I had prepared helped me understand what they were looking for on the exam. Because of successfully earning the SPC, I feel that it has made me a better organist and enabled me to do more at the organ with the music I provide each week. Of course, my certificate proudly hangs on the wall next to J.S. Bach himself as it should with the hard work that was put into earning the certification.
If you haven’t pursued the SPC, I encourage you to do so! It will be beneficial for you to have this accomplishment. Contact our Exam Coordinator, Claudette Schiratti firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the process.
For more information about the Service Playing Certification and the other certifications, go to https://www.agohq.org/certification/.
The Greater Kansas City Chapter of AGO has in place a thriving “Young Organist” membership and would now like to focus on younger keyboard students who may be interested in checking out the King of Instruments! This group would include students from 5th Grade up through High School.
Before we can lock in on activities appropriate for age and number or participants, we’d like to get an idea of how many would be interested in participating. We will be putting together a mailing list and get in touch with those that are interested in participating. If you know of any youth that are interested in “getting to know the organ”, have them contact Dr. Stephanie Henry at email@example.com or by phone at 816-678-6372. Include information like their AGE, #years taking piano lessons, and contact information.
Nicholas Good will present his third doctoral recital at Bales Recital Hall, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. The recital at 7:30 pm on Monday, April 16, 2018 will include compositions by Marchand, Frescobaldi, Lubeck, Distler, Litiaze, Reger and Bach. Nicholas is organist at Christ Church Anglican in Overland Park and a member of the Kansas City and Topeka AGO chapters.
Admission is free and open to all.
The Kansas City Boys Choir and the Kansas City Girls Choir celebrate the changing of the season with "A Salute to Spring," at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 8th, at Central United Methodist, 5144 Oak Street.
"This year, the choristers chose songs that upon who they are, their accomplishments and how they want others to recognize them," said Ah'Lee Robinson, choir CEO and artistic director.
The girls' choir will perform "All I Want to Be is Understood," a rousing rendition of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," and "Amazing Grace." The boys' choir will perform "12th Street Rag," Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up," "It’s The Real Thing" and "Amen Siakudumisa," a South African song of celebration and praise.
The choirs will also perform two original songs written by Robinson: "It's in Their Eyes," performed by the girls' choir and "Nothing Is Impossible to Me," performed by both choirs.
Choir Associate Byron Hyde, a freshman at the University of Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, arranged "Ndikhokhele Bawo," which will be performed by both choirs.
Financial assistance for this project has been provided by ArtsKC, the Kansas City Neighborhood Tourism Development fund and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
The Boys Choir was founded in 1995, the Girls Choir was founded in 2006. Choir members are boys and girls ages 8-19 and are selected by audition. The choirs strive to bridge cultural gaps and foster talent through music education, community service and scholarship.
1968 Wick Pipe Organ
Two-manuals, AGO Pedalboard
Located at Ottawa University
Contact: Mike Pagan at (913) 785-2521
New Music Terms
Alleregretto: When you’re 16 measures into the piece and suddenly realize you set too fast a tempo.
Angus Dei: To play with a divinely beefy tone.
A Patella: Accompanied by knee-slapping.
Apologgiatura: A composition that you regret playing.
Approximatura: A series of notes not intended by the composer, yet played with an “I meant to do that” attitude.
Approximento: A musical entrance that somewhere in the vicinity of the correct pitch.
Dill Piccolini: An exceedingly small wind instrument that plays only sour notes.
Fermantra: A note held over and over and over and over and…
Fiddler Crabs: Grumpy string players.
Flute Flies: Those tiny insects that bother musicians on outdoor gigs.
Frugalhorn: Sensible and inexpensive brass instrument.
Gaul Blatter: A French horn player.
Gregorian Champ: The title bestowed upon the monk who can hold a note the longest.
Placebo Domingo: A faux tenor.
Spritzicato: An indication to string instruments to produce a bright and bubbly sound.
Tempo Tantrum: What an elementary school orchestra is having when it’s not following the conductor.
Placement Coordinator: John Schaefer firstname.lastname@example.org
Placement listings are available only to paid GKCAGO members. Become a paid AGO member by clicking on the Join Our Ranks link at the bottom of any page on the website.
Substitutes listed are members of the local organ guild. The people who hold AGO certificates have passed requirements of the National American Guild of Organists for various levels of service playing and choral conducting. However, the GKCAGO is not an endorsement agency for service provided by the persons listed here. To learn proficiency of substitutes, feel free to ask them for references. Feedback regarding the hiring of GKCAGO substitutes is welcome and encouraged. Please send feedback to John Schaefer email@example.com.
These substitutes have passed various levels of AGO certification requirements:
|Mary Bronaugh Davis,
MA, CAGO, org
|(816) 436-1419 or
(c) (816) 456-0343
BME, SPC, organ, piano
|(816) 353-4826 or
(c) (816) 289-9760
MM, MME, SPC org, piano
MM, SPC, org
AAGO, ChM org, dir, lit
MM, AAGO, org, dir, lit
|(c) (913) 530-0960 or
BM, MM, CAGO org, piano, dir, lit
|(c) (301) 714-8030
|SPC = service playing certificate | CAGO = Colleague certification | AAGO = Associate certification | FAGO = Fellow certification org = organist | lit = liturgical worship | dir = choral director | piano = pianist|
The following have various degrees in organ or church music at the college or post-graduate level:
MM | org
|(816) 741-7388 or
MM | org, piano
|(913) 406-5327 or
MM | org, dir, lit, bass soloist
|(785) 250-4141 or
DMA Choral Music org, piano, dir.
DMA | org, lit, dir, handbell
|(785) 842-2053 or firstname.lastname@example.org|
BM, Church Music | org, dir, piano
BM, MM | org
|(785) 843-2622 or email@example.com|
DMA | org, piano, lit, dir
|(309) 333-8745 Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org|
MM | org, lit
|(913) 341-5113 or email@example.com|
|Ann Marie Rigler,
DMA | org, lit
|(816) 415-3792 or
BA | org, lit
The following also offer their services:
|Boyd Ahrens org, lit||(816) 453-8406
|Betty Bauer | org, lit||(913) 814-9021 or
|Rebecca Bell | org, lit||(816) 405-1957
|Doris Daniels | org, lit||(816) 431-3244|
|Phillip Grubbs | org||(816) 721-2325
|Shayla Van Hal | KU student firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Edward Poston | KU student email@example.com|
|Marilyn VanderLinden | org, lit||(816) 665-4441|
|Margaret Werth | org||(785) 478-0256|
|org = organist | lit = liturgical worship | dir = choral director | piano = pianist|
The absolute deadline for submissions to the Bombarde editor is the 20th of each month. Please email your information to firstname.lastname@example.org.