Central Hudson Valley Chapter, AGO

Chapter News

Newsletter
April 2006


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April, 2006

It’s almost Easter, and you know what that means. Many hours of rehearsal, extra services, scrambling for brass players, scrambling to replace the brass players you had all set up and who got sick or moved out of town, scheduling additional rehearsals that will not conflict with too many choristers’ personal lives, more practicing, consultations with clergy, and so on. I know that in the press of the daily grind, the practical decisions which need to be made, the demands on my time from many quarters, I can tend to overlook the most basic message of this holy day: Christ is risen and so are we. We are not invited by him merely to lead a better life, but to live life on a different footing, to be spiritually transformed, in short, to live the resurrected life with him. What a good reason to reintroduce the “Alleluia!” into our Sunday vocabulary – perhaps even extending it to Monday now and then. For me, this makes those hours of potential drudgery a holy preparation for making a joyful noise to the Lord. A joyous Easter season to you all!

Meanwhile, on the musical program scene, please, please, please check our calendar carefully. There are many wonderful things happening in this valley of ours, so often dismissed as a cultural Sahara. Let me especially urge you to attend Craig Williams’s presentation on continuing education. If you have not had the pleasure of hearing him speak, you are missing a rare treat. Craig is interesting, informative and to the point. I have always found that he has a worthwhile message to communicate, whether in word or music. Let’s come out and support him – of course. But really, do yourself a favor and come out. It will be worth your while.

Lastly, please let me or Jack Davis know if you will participate in the members recital, and please do plan to attend whether you perform or not. The date is Sunday May 21 at the Poughkeepsie Reformed Church.

Until we meet in person, be well and God bless you.

Membership News


  • Jeffrey Parries has rejoined the chapter. His contact information is:
    32 Tanglewood Drive
    Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
    845-297-6870 – Cell: 845-702-4746
    parries@verizon.net
    Jeffrey is a student at Washington University in St. Louis and has added his name to the Sub List.

  • Jeffrey’s brother David has also joined the chapter, in his case for the first time. His contact information is:
    David Parries
    32 Tanglewood Drive
    Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
    845-297-6870
    parries@verizon.net
    David is also a student and has added his name to the Sub List.

  • Jackie Hourani has accepted the position of Director of Music at St. Denis Church, Hopewell Junction, NY.

  • Mary Gold’s e-mail address has been listed incorrectly in the past. It should be: mary@goldlogon.com


Archdiocese Announces Church Closings, Realignments


On Tuesday, March 28, the Catholic Archdiocese of New York announced its recommendations for changes in parishes and schools, including several changes in the Hudson Valley. These recommendations result from two years of consultation with lay representatives and clergy, and are subject to review and appeal. .
The proposals affecting Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, and Rockland counties are as follows:
  • New parishes to be established:
    • St. Paul, Bullville (mission to a parish) – Orange County

    • Our Lady of the Assumption Mission, Bloomingburg – Orange County

    • Our Lady of the Lake Mission – Orange County

    • Stormville area – Dutchess County

  • New churches for existing parishes:
    • St. Margaret, Pearl River – Rockland County

    • St. Gregory Barbarigo, Garnerville – Rockland County

    • St. Peter (relocate to Holy Rosary, on the grounds of Hudson Valley Psychiatric Center) – Dutchess County

    • St. Anthony, Pine Plains – Dutchess County

  • Parishes to close:
    • St. Mary, Newburgh – Orange County

    • Most Sacred Heart, Port Jervis – Orange County

    • St. John the Baptist, Poughkeepsie – Dutchess County

  • Parishes in transition to missions or chapels
    • St. Stanislaus, Pine Island (St. Joseph, Florida) – Orange County

    • St. Francis of Assisi, Newburgh (Sacred Heart) – Orange County

    • St. Francis de Sales, Phoenicia (St. John) – Ulster County

  • Missions reuniting with parishes
    • St. Edward Mission, Florida (St. Stephen, Warwick) – Orange County

    • Blessed Sacrament Mission, Fort Montgomery (Sacred Heart, Highland Falls) – Orange County

    • Our Lady of Lourdes, Allaben (St. Francis de Sales, Phoenicia) – Ulster County

    • Our Lady of LaSalette, Boiceville (St. Francis de Sales, Phoenicia) – Ulster County

    • St. Augustine Chapel, West Shokan (St. John, West Hurley) – Ulster County

  • Merger
    • Presentation, Port Ewen and Sacred Heart Mission, Esopus – Ulster County

  • School Closings and Mergers

    • St. Joseph, Florida (Closing) – Orange County

    • St. Peter, Regina Coeli, Hyde Park (Merger) – Dutchess County

We will watch these changes closely, as they may affect some of our members.

Source: Press Release: “Next Phase of Realignment Process Underway,” issued by Joseph Zwilling, Archdiocesan Spokesman, March 28, 2006 – http://www.archny.org/032906.pdf

Workshop by Grant Chapman – A Review by Beverly Simmons


I have heard Grant Chapman speak twice, at our Convention last year and most recently at our chapter meeting, and both times I have learned a tremendous amount. Grant is a gifted teacher who uses his vast experience in servicing pipe organs to help teach those of us who sit at the console what to do when something goes wrong. And it isn’t just a question of “call the tuner.” What we do or don’t do before the tuner comes and the way we write our notes to him will greatly influence how quickly and easily we will get the help we need.

Mr. Chapman’s first rule of thumb is “do no harm.” It sounds elementary until you listen to some of the horror stories of things that people do to try to fix the instrument themselves. Often they only make matters worse. So our job is to do all that we can to analyze the problem and leave a very clear note, without making anything worse.
When you have a cipher, don’t do anything to try to fix it until you have tried to locate what note it is. Stop playing immediately and look at the notes and stops you were just using. Then by process of elimination figure out the note and stop playing. Only then should you try the standard methods of getting rid of the cipher (play triplets on the key, play trills up and down both a half and whole step, turn the stop on and off and the organ on and off, etc.) Do not enter the pipe chamber unless you really know what you are doing or it is an emergency and you have to pull the pipe.

Do you know how to leave a note for your tuner? It is important to write down your concerns in such a way that your technician can quickly and easily locate what you are talking about. Don’t just say a note is out of tune. You should know (or ask) what stops are used as tuning stops on your organ and reference anything out of tune with that stop. And how do you say what note you mean? Do you say 3rd octave C or do you say # 25? Find out what your tuner prefers. It will save him time and you money. Be as specific as you can about what the problem is and what you may have done to try to fix it. Know the “lingo” – such as “dead note” (won’t play), “run” (2 notes playing at once), “hangs on”, (delay in decay), “cipher” (won’t stop speaking), etc.

Grant also shared with us an article he had written about all the things that can influence the tuning of an organ. Once an organ is installed much of it is beyond our control. But we need to be aware of what things like temperature can do. Even the placement of the blower and where that air is coming from (inside or outside) will affect the ability of the instrument to keep its tune.
Whether you know a lot or a little about organ maintenance there is always more to learn. And we are fortunate to have a real expert in our midst in Grant Chapman. The next time you have a chance to hear him speak, don’t miss it!

Deadline for Next Month’s Newsletter


We are always glad to receive input for the chapter newsletter in the form of calendar items, reviews of recent concerts and events, biographies, letters, photographs, etc. In order to make sure these submissions can be processed in a timely fashion, please make sure they are received by the 23rd of each month. You may submit newsletter material by mail, e-mail, or phone. Just contact the editor, Susan LaGrande, using the information given below. Remember, the deadline for the May newsletter is April 23rd.

Editor’s Corner


This newsletter is published by the Central Hudson Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The editor is:
Susan LaGrande
12 Montrose Lane
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
Phone: 845-226-6496 (home) - Fax: 845-226-1035
e-mail: SUSANEL2@HOTMAIL.COM

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