Central Hudson Valley Chapter, AGO

Chapter News

Newsletter - December 2002

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Letter from the Dean

This month's Dean's letter is one full of mixed emotions. Although we have entered into the season of Advent with its anticipation of the excitement of Christ's birth, this year we are looking back and grieving over the passing of Margaret Pecoraro. Margaret was a staunch supporter of this chapter and its membership. She will be missed by us all.

Two wonderful chapter events were held in November. First, our workshop for young pianists was quite sucessful on both sides of the river. Working with the Hudson/Catskills chapter of the MTNA, I think this will become a popular and successful annual event. Over 30 youngsters were given an introduction to the organ and also the opportunity to play. Thanks to Susan Guse and Margaret Small for hosting the events.

Second, on November 24th, David Shuler presented an outstanding all-Bach recital at Christ Church in Poughkeepsie. Click here for a more detailed account.

Plans are now underway for our chapter's hosting of the 2005 regional convention. You will be hearing much more about this from John Sullivan, our convention coordinator. We had a lively brainstorming session on November 17th, and we'll continue moving forward from here. Lots of excitement, lots of opportunity for service to the chapter still available!

We have no chapter events scheduled for December -- I trust all of you can find something to do until Spuds and Sundaes on January 12th! May you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Membership Updates

  • Welcome to our newest member! We look forward to meeting him at a chapter event in the near future. His new contact information is as follows:
            (Mr.) Maris Kristapsons
            13 Park Dr # 104
            Pleasant Valley, NY 12569
            E-mail: mariskr@yahoo.com
            Organist at Poughkeepsie Latvian Evangelical Congregation (monthly service); also supply organist
  • Glenn May has moved. His new address is:
            148 Eastwick Ct.
            Matawan, NJ 07747-1865

David Shuler Recital Reviewed

Sunday afternoon, November 24, found some fifty enthusiastic listeners in Christ Church, Poughkeepsie, to hear David Shuler's all-Bach program. His interpretations and playing were superb and exciting, as were his chosen registrations. (Click here for David Shuler's biography and photo.)

We were led from the capricious "9/8" Prelude and Fugue in C major to Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele with its well-known tune, to the bright "Little" Fugue in G minor, thence to the great O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig to the heroic Prelude and Fugue in E flat, (St. Anne). The tempi of the three fugues (which are purported to represent the Trinity) were cohesive and reasonable. The Prelude does indeed go on and on, but Mr. Shuler made it interesting by his crisp playing of its rhythmic features. The fugues are to me the quintessence of Bach's wonderful works.

After an intermission, we were treated to the Pièce d'Orgue, with its sparkling beginning at a wicked tempo, followed by organo pleno, pedal scales and finally a toccata over pedal ostinato. A fun performance! We then heard three settings of Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland (for Advent-to-be), each treated with respect. All the chorale-preludes on the program were from the Great Eighteen collection. The closing opus was none other than the magnificently crafted Passacaglia in C minor. Again Mr. Shuler's performance was insightful and grand.

In all, a wonderful, inspiring and inspired concert. That is the good news. The sad news is that in spite of our chapter newsletter and web site coverage, and implementation of the chapter "calling tree," only a mere nine (9) chapter members attended. To me, this lack of participation was an insult to the artist and to the chapter itself. Too many of us missed an uplifting and educational experience. Where were you and your students?

                                by Mary S. Caskey

Performance Space Offered

St. Nicholas-On-The-Hudson Episcopal Church is an "intimately" sized church in the quaint little hamlet of New Hamburg, New York. Musicians and other performing artists looking for a venue are invited to use this setting by the majestic Hudson River on Sunday afternoons between 12 noon and 4:00 PM. The space is FREE and the setting is spectacular!

Seating capacity in the church is limited to 90 persons. For outdoor performances, there is a wonderful lawn/flower garden to one side of the church during the spring and summer that could be used as a "stage" with the magnificent Hudson as a backdrop.

There is a an Allen Digital Computer organ which has been recently overhauled and is now reliable. However, artists are encouraged to bring their own portable keyboards, harpsichords, chamber instruments, etc.

For information about using this free performance space, please contact Gregory Citarella at 845-297-7693 or e-mail at organmaster1@hotmail.com.

Scholarship Opportunity

We have received word from Craig Cramer, Professor of Organ at the University of Notre Dame, that he is recruiting candidates for the university's organ program for the fall of 2004. He writes:

"Do you know of anyone who would like a free masters degree? We can pay graduate students a stipend of $10,000 per year for two years plus full tuition in exchange for ten hours of musical work per week. Notre Dame also has much money with which to attract fine undergraduate students who qualify. If you know of anyone who might be interested, I would appreciate hearing from you. I am of course willing to contact prospective students directly. Our new Fritts organ will be available around the start of school in fall 2004, so I really want to have some quality students in place soon to enjoy the new organ!"

Sounds too good to be true? Not this time - it's been checked out, and it's for real. For information, contact Professor Cramer at 574-631-7836 or e-mail at Craig.J.Cramer.1@nd.edu. .

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
All material in this newsletter (except for lists of members' addresses and phone numbers) is available on our web site at www.chvago.org

Newsletter Items Wanted

Contributions to this newsletter are always welcome. We have been very pleased to offer a member profile in previous issues. If you would like to be profiled, you may write your own biography (up to 500 words) or contact the editor to arrange an interview.

We also solicit news of upcoming events for our Calendar page, as well as reviews, particularly of recent chapter events. Articles and news items may be submitted to the editor by mail or by e-mail at the address above. Articles may be edited for length or clarity.

About Our Web Site

We are certainly pleased with the response to our new web site, and we encourage everyone to visit it frequently to keep up with periodic updates and improvements. Once again this newsletter (as well as previous issues) is available on the web site. However, please be aware that while the entire text of the newsletter is reproduced on the web site, some sections have been split off into separate web pages. For example, the List of Substitutes is accessible from the Home Page by clicking on the "Sub List" button. This not only avoids duplication of this information across multiple issues of the newsletter, but also makes it easier for a visitor to find it.

Be sure to spread the word about our web site among fellow organists, other musicians, students, and members of the clergy, so that our web site can serve as wide an audience as possible.

Website by Dan Long