FROM THE DEAN:
Can you believe it?! Spring has FINALLY sprung! I thought this season would never get here.
I often wile away winter hours by reading books or scouring the internet to deepen my practice of vegetable gardening. It helps me to "feel" thawed, even when the bitter midwest winter howls around me. This winter seemed interminably long, and the eventual poking-up of my sedum, comfrey, crocuses, and garlic resulted in a "Yippee!!" that could be heard throughout Overland Park.
Take THAT, Old Man Winter.
And now, I am ready to get a little dirty and do some work. I have many garden beds that shall soon be filled with veggies and flowers of all kinds. There will be feeding and weeding, hoeing and mowing, and, of course, a ruthless war on chipmunks and squirrels in which no mercy will be taken.
(Special Note: if you have a proven method for encouraging these varmints away from your garden, please share said techniques with your Dean. Thanks in advance.)
Our chapter of the AGO is a lot like a garden. There are structures in place and traditions that are tried and true; there is also lots of potential for experimenting. Most of all, there will always be room for something new alongside the things we've grown to hold dear.
Every year, our nominating committee does the faithful work of gently prodding our members into service for the chapter. Sometimes those who accept this call have been involved in leadership before, and sometimes a new person is drawn into the fold. Praise Heaven for both! Our chapter's very survival literally depends on the creative efforts of those who say "Yes!" to helping make the AGO work.
The jobs for the AGO range as wide as the work required for tending a vegetable garden. Some jobs take more time and attention (see: war waged on chipmunks and squirrels; see also: literally a never-ending battle). Other jobs take some effort at the start and then you can relax a while while nature takes its course (see: chuck seed potatoes and garlic deep in the ground, cover with soil, harvest when ready; see also: easy-peasy lemon-squeezy).
It may seem odd to write about this when our nominations process is completed and we're nearly ready to swear in our newest leaders. What I hope is that you might feel inspired, at any time of the year, to plug in somehow to the leadership of our chapter. This can include being an usher for a concert, or sending programming ideas to the sub-dean. Your contribution can come in a great variety of ways! And when that faithful member of the nominating committee calls, inviting you to make a more formal commitment to leadership, I do hope you'll say "Yes." Or maybe you'll even say "Yippee!," because who knows what kind of chapter we can grow when we dig in and get to work.
Thanks for your faithfulness, friends. Here's to spring!
NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has selected internationally acclaimed organist and teacher JOHN WALKER as the honoree for the 2019 AGO Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award Recital and Gala Benefit Reception on Friday, April 26, in Pittsburgh. The public is invited to attend. Complete information is available online at Agohq.org/2019-gala.
The celebration begins at 7:30 p.m. with a free recital by John Walker at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, 5121 Westminster Place, where Dr. Walker previously served as minister of music (1992–2004). His program will include Guilmant’s stirring March on Handel’s “Lift Up Your Heads,” Virgil Fox’s transcription of Bach’s Come Sweet Death, John Knowles Paine’s virtuosic Concert Variations on Old Hundredth, and John Weaver’s Sine Nomine, along with other selections.
The Gala Reception (advance tickets required) benefitting the AGO Endowment Fund will follow the recital at Mansions on Fifth, an elegant Gilded Age hotel, located just a few steps from the church. Guests will enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while mingling and visiting with John Walker. Purchase tickets online at Agohq.org/2019-gala by April 12 to attend.
The AGO Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award Recital and Gala travels around the country to celebrate distinguished members of the organ world, to raise awareness for the Endowment Fund, and to secure gifts to strengthen it. All proceeds from the 2019 Gala will honor John Walker in perpetuity. Annual earnings from the AGO Endowment support educational programs and outreach. To purchase Gala Benefit Reception tickets, commemorative program book ads, or participate from a distance by making a contribution in honor of John Walker, visit Agohq.org/2019-gala. All donors and advertisers will be recognized in the commemorative program book. April 12 is the deadline to be included. For more information: 212-870-2311, ext. 4308, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOHN WALKER has performed in recital and as concerto soloist throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He has performed three times at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and other cathedrals and churches in Europe and the U.S. In Taiwan he has performed frequently at the National Concert Hall in Taipei and as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared frequently with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, notably as soloist in Lou Harrison’s avant-garde Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra. “A lot of people can play the notes, but there’s always something indefinable in John’s playing,” remarked Frederick Swann, past president of the AGO and Walker’s predecessor at the Riverside Church in New York City. “It’s playing that can reach out to people. John always understands the music he’s performing. He seems to have a way of projecting the music that enables the people to know what the music is saying. He doesn’t put himself out in front. The music always comes first.”
A profound practitioner of the art of sacred music, John Walker is minister of music emeritus at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, following distinguished tenures at the Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, the Riverside Church in New York City, and First Methodist Church in Palo Alto, Calif. Walker is the immediate past president of the American Guild of Organists (2014–2016). As president, he led the organization representing more than 15,000 members. He was vice president for six years and treasurer for four. In addition, he coordinated two regional conventions and was dean of the San Jose and New York City AGO chapters. He was the first director of the Task Force on the New Organist, which conceived and implemented the highly successful Pipe Organ Encounters program, now occurring annually throughout the U.S. and abroad.
A Fellow (FAGO) of the American Guild of Organists, Walker is professor of organ performance at Baltimore’s Peabody Institute. Previous appointments include the music faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, where he was organ department chair; Duquesne University; Westminster College; and San Jose State University. He holds the doctor of musical arts degree from Stanford University as well as two master of music degrees cum laude from American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. In 1999 he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and to perform in Taiwan. In 2015 he was visiting professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and in 2017 he adjudicated international competitions in organ performance in both Taipei and Shanghai, marking his seventeenth professional visit to Asia. Photo available at: https://bit.ly/2GM3fZ8
NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has been awarded a $20,000 Art Works grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support educational programs and career development for organists and choral conductors in 2019. The Guild has received regular support from the NEA since 2005 totaling $200,000. “It is an honor for the Guild to be recognized again by the NEA, the most prestigious independent federal agency in the United States responsible for funding and promoting artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation,” stated AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “This Art Works grant covers the full breadth of the AGO’s educational activities for current and prospective members as well as our programs of outreach to the public.”
The AGO promotes lifelong learning opportunities ranging from Pipe Organ Encounters (POEs) for youth and adults to a professional certification program for organists and choral conductors. This summer, more than 100 participants are expected to attend POEs, which include a POE Advanced and a POE Technical, while more than 100 people will improve their skills and opportunities for employment through the Professional Certification Program. Thousands of people will benefit from educational workshops and extraordinary performances of organ and choral music at seven AGO Regional Conventions held from coast to coast this summer.
Art Works is the NEA’s principal grant making program. In February, the Arts Endowment stated that it received 1,605 Art Works applications for this round of grant making and will award 972 grants in this category totaling $27 million. “The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal, and to celebrate,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “The NEA’s funding sends a positive uplifting message to the entire organ community: our instrument and its music are vitally important to the American people,” Thomashower added. “NEA grants such as this represent our tax dollars at work. The award validates the AGO’s ongoing efforts to ensure that music for the organ is appreciated by the widest audience possible.”
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities.
Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, visit Arts.gov. For further information about the AGO’s educational programming, visit Agohq.org.
NEW YORK CITY—The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is proud to announce four PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTERS (POEs) and one POE (Advanced) for participants aged 13–18, and a POE (Technical) for participants aged 16-23 in 2019. Application deadlines to attend vary from site to site. Complete information for each weeklong program can be found online at Agohq.org. The summer schedule follows:
POE (for ages 13–18)
July 15–20 Cape Cod, Mass.
July 14–19 Seattle, Wash.
July 28–Aug. 3 St. Louis, Mo.
Aug. 1–7 Helsinki, Finland
POE Advanced (for ages 13–18)
June 23–28 Houston, Tex.
POE Technical (for ages 16–23)
July 21–27, 2019 River Forest and Oak Park, Ill.
The PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTER (POE) is an introduction to the pipe organ through instruction in organ playing, repertoire, history, design, and construction. These regional summer music camps for teenage participants provide private and group instruction in service playing and solo repertoire, opportunities to learn about the musical heritage of various religious denominations, and a chance for young musicians to meet others with similar interests. Piano or organ proficiency ranging from intermediate to advanced is required. Scholarship assistance is available.
The POE Advanced provides intermediate to advanced classes in areas such as organ literature, history, pipe organ construction and design, music theory, improvisation, conducting, and service playing for participants who have achieved a high level of success in organ study. Scholarship assistance is available.
The POE Technical is a program designed for participants who are interested in learning the art and craft of organ building. The event is hosted in the workshop of an organ builder working in cooperation with a local AGO chapter. Scholarship assistance is available.
Generous funding from the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America (APOBA), the American Institute of Organbuilders (AIO), the Jordan Organ Endowment, and the National Endowment for the Arts will support these summer educational programs from coast to coast and abroad. Scholarship assistance is provided
by the AGO New Organist Fund.
“The AGO and APOBA have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship since 1975,” declared AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “Likewise, the AIO has been active in supporting the Guild’s educational programs, beginning with their partnership in Pulling Out All the Stops, a video produced jointly in 1996 by the AGO, AIO, APOBA, the Organ Historical Society, and the American Theater Organ Society and aired on PBS. In addition, we are delighted to receive support from the Jordan Organ Endowment at Columbus State University as well as a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts supporting our educational activities this year.”
The AGO lending library has found its resting place at the William Baker Choral Foundation building just off of SMP at the Einstein Coffee shop. At this point however, the small room is crammed with heavy boxes containing music in no order at all. If some of us would be willing to converge on the place and begin to organize the collection, I think it would do more good as a lending library. Or, if the material is of no interest, then we can free up the room for someone else to use. Please contact me if interested. Shenry24@kc.rr.com
--Stephanie Henry (Chair, Youth)
The chapter election email with the subject line of GKCAGO Election for 2019-20, should have read: Members at Large: Long Range Planning Class of 2022. With apologies for any confusion caused by this.
Our Program Committee has been active and we have completed the initial phase of scheduling events for the next season. The GKCAGO Board has approved our programs, and now we are working to finalize the many details. We would like to share some of our programs and artists with you at this time.
The French Festival is slated for August 25, 2019, and the 41st Bachathon will be May 2, of 2020.
We are kicking off the new season with a program that may well be called "organs galore!" Just a block away from the 18th and Vine jazz district is a church with 3 organs. A 1928 original Wurlitzer theater style pipe organ, a C3 Hammond, and a 3 manual digital organ. There will be a whole lot of multiple organs playing, singing, and surprises! We hope this is a program you will want to invite your friends to come along and enjoy it with you!
This year we have three nationally known artists scheduled. Jonathan Gregoire (KU grad) will be at St. Andrews Episcopal church. Jeannine Jordan and her husband David will be doing an organ and media presentation at Village Presbyterian. To celebrate the 150th birthday year of Louis Vierne, we will be listening to several of Vierne's organ symphonies at the Community of Christ Temple, as performed by Eric Plutz, Princeton University organist.
We have a Schola concert, technology and media learning event, members recital, and a program demonstrating the melding of pipe organ and digital instruments scheduled, also. More information and details of these events will follow in the months ahead!
It is an exciting series in the works! We hope that you will support these programs with your attendance and also hope that you will consider a donation to the program series whenever you renew your membership!
Boyd Ahrens, Program chair
Betty Bauer, Lynn Bratney, Lara West, Bill McCandless, Craig Smith, and Reggie Watkins
Ushers and Cooks and Coffee Handlers are all needed to help make the Bachathon XL the total experience it can be. Please send an email to email@example.com, or sign-up at our next meeting on April 6th.
Sunday, April 7, 2019, 3pm - Sacred Concert at Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS 66208 - featuring Faure's Requiem and Poulenc's G Minor Concerto; Will Breytspraak and Matthew Christopher Shepard, conductors; Elisa Bickers, organist.
Thursday, April 11, 2019, 12:15pm-12:45pm - Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS 66208 - Second Thursday Recital Series: Featuring Rosi Penner Kaufman.
Friday, April 12, 2019, 12:10pm – Westport Presbyterian Church, 201 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO 64111 – Westport Center for the Arts Brown Bag Concert: “Beyond the Guarded Gate” featuring mezzo soprano Jennifer Weiman and Neil Long.
Sunday, April 14, 2019, 5pm – Central United Methodist Church, 5144 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO 64112 – The Kansas City Boys Choir and the Kansas City Girls Choir: “More Than A Song.” Concert admission is $15.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 7pm - Grand Avenue Temple UMC, 205 E. 9th St., Kansas City, MO 64106 - Temple Tuesdays Concert Series: Featuring Samantha Koch playing a solo recital of music with an Easter theme.
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 12:15pm-12:45pm - United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Avenue, Leawood, KS 66224, Building A Sanctuary - Finale of Lenten Concert Series with organ and two pianos featuring sacred and secular music - Barbara Eichenberger and Ray Smith performing along with Eleanor Hill and Nancy Sidenstucker.
Lowrey Pageant electric organ, "like new." Make offer please. Loretta Reistroffer, 913-599-4250.
Piano for Sale: 1967 Estey console. It has the practice mute feature which means you can play it without hearing much sound. Great after the kids go to bed or for apartment dwellers. It has a matching bench. Asking $650 if we tune before sale or $550 if buyer tunes after they move it (recommended method). Contact: Marvie Sneegas (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Two-Manual organ available for donation to a church or to an individual at a nominal price. For more information,
please contact Bill Ashley (816) 945-8901.
Placement Coordinator: John Schaefer email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
These substitutes have passed various levels of AGO certification requirements:
|Mary Bronaugh Davis, MA, CAGO
(c) (816) 456-0343
|Nancy Custead, CAGO, B.S. Music Ed org, piano||(816) 590-9414
|Barbara Eichenberger, BM, CAGO
|Stephen Kucera, CAGO, BM
|Linda Mann, BME, SPC
organ, piano (Weddings/Funerals only)
(c) (816) 289-9760
|Marjorie O’Konski, MM, MME, SPC
|John Pitchford, MM, SPC,
|John Schaefer, AAGO, ChM
org, dir, lit
|Claudette Schiratti, MM, AAGO,
org, dir, lit
|(c) (913) 530-0960
|Jerrold Tidwell, 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:
|Joyce Berg, MM
|John Deahl, MM
org, dir, lit, bass soloist
|Stephanie Henry, DMA Choral Music,
org, piano, dir.
|Sharon Hettinger, DMA
org, lit, dir, handbell
|(785) 842-2053 email@example.com|
|Ronald Krebs, BM, MM,
|(785) 843-2622 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sarah Lyons, DMA
org, piano, lit, dir
|(309) 333-8745 Sarah.email@example.com|
|MacKenzie Reed, MFA, BM
org, piano, lit
|Ann Marie Rigler, DMA
|Nancy Stankiewicz, BA
The following also offer their services:
|Edward Poston — KU student
|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.