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It's hard to believe that the summer is just about over. I'm sure most of you are getting ready for that first choir rehearsal of the season. At the very least it will soon be the Sunday when your church begins Sunday School and suddenly the pews will have more worshippers than in the summer. It always feels good, at least to me, to be beginning all over again. I have grand plans for the choir and for the organ pieces I will surely find time to learn THIS year.
To help us all get started we have a fantastic program on September 19th from 2-4 PM at Vassar College on Choral Technique with Christine Howlett. If you are not the choir director at your church why not invite him or her to come with you as your guest (there is no charge for the workshop - your dues at work). I have been singing with Christine in Cappella Festiva for several years and I can vouch that she really knows her stuff. I have been learning a lot about vocal production, pronunciation, etc. just in our rehearsals. Christine's official title at Vassar is Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities. She conducts the Vassar College Choir and the Women's Choir and also teaches music theory and voice. She has a bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Toronto, a Masters in Early Music Voice Performance from Indiana University. She also earned her Doctoral Degree at Indiana in Choral Conducting. She has many solo performances to her credit. If you heard the BachFest performance of the St. Matthew Passion in August then you heard her do several of the soprano solos.
I believe the workshop will be held in Tekla Hall which is on the top floor of the building connected to Skinner Hall. (If you turn on to Raymond Ave. from 376 Skinner Hall is the first stone building on your right. It contains the concert hall with the Paul Fritts organ.) I will try to post a note on the door of Skinner and also the door to the right where we should enter. There is an elevator to the top floor for those who can't walk up all those stairs! Please plan on attending. You'll be very glad you did.
It is not too early to begin talking to your choirs and congregations about attending the Hymn Festival at West Point on October 18th at 3 p.m. I'm often amazed at the number of people who tell me they have never been to West Point. This is a perfect opportunity. We need LOTS of people to make this a really joyful occasion. At a hymn festival we are all participants and the enjoyment of it will be in proportion to how many people we have singing the hymns! So that means all of us, our friends, choirs and congregations. It's a big chapel to fill and the more the merrier. So put it on your calendar and on your parish calendar. Make announcements, talk it up and plan to attend.
So let's all take a deep breath, say a few prayers and get ready for another good year of serving God in his churches and synagogues. To God be all the Glory!
Beverly Simmons, Dean
Deadline for Next 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, fax or phone. Just contact the editor, Susan LaGrande, using the information given below. Remember, the deadline for the next newsletter, to be available the first week in October, is September 23rd.
This newsletter is published by the Central Hudson Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The editor is:
12 Montrose Lane
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
Phone: 845-226-6496 (home) - Fax: 845-226-1035