Central Hudson Valley Chapter, AGO

Chapter News

Newsletter - May 2002

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Letter from the Dean

Another month gone by. I don't know about you, but I've had very little problem finding things to do. I missed the April event, Cynthia Powell's recital, because I was singing in a production of "Madama Butterfly." And no, John Sullivan, I did NOT have the lead role. I was elevated from Dean to Prince, though… The following weekend I played "Mr. Bumble" in Sacred Heart School's (Highland Falls) production of "Oliver." It was great – I got to be mean to young children AND found out that a high Db REALLY rings in a gymnasium. Yes, I mean 4th line treble clef Db. I finished off the weekend by playing my first solo organ recital at my church in Monroe. Attendance was sparse, but those in attendance were warm and enthusiastic.

Soon you will be receiving this year's ballot for the election of officers, as well as the membership application for 2002-2003. Please note that dues have increased this year. Both the ballot and your dues must be received by May 31st – please do send them in as soon as you receive them.

We have this season's remaining chapter events planned out and ready to roll. The next one is a choral reading session on Saturday, May 11th at Christ Church in Poughkeepsie, John Sullivan, host. It will be presented by Oxford University Press. The more the merrier, so feel free to bring as many of your choir members as you wish. (See directions to Christ Church on page 3.)

June 9th is the annual members' recital – please contact Susan Guse if you want to play. My wish is that SO many members will want to share their talents that we will have to have a special board meeting to decide who will play… Speaking of annual events, we are looking to have the July picnic at Greg Citarella's home this year.

I'm sorry to say that I'll have to miss the members' recital unless we move it to Wisconsin, where I'll be going for two weeks to continue work on my Master's degree. But before that, I'm singing in a production of "The Tales of Hoffman." Hopefully my pronunciation of the French language will improve before opening night…

Keep an eye on the coming events, and please consider supporting our members' efforts with your participation or attendance. If we don't care, who will? See you at the choral reading! GO PHILLIES!

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: 845-226-3248

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.

Membership Updates

    Gregory Citarella reports that, although he has not moved, his house has a new number, courtesy of the US Postal Service. His new address is:
    Gregory Citarella
    784 Old Route 9N
    Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
    His phone number and e-mail address remain the same.

Pulitzer Prize Awarded to Organ Composition

Among the 2002 Pulitzer Prizes, which were awarded on April 8, 2002, was a composition for organ and orchestra. The prize of $7,500, "for distinguished musical composition of significant dimension by an American that has had its first performance in the United States during the year", was awarded to "Ice Field" by Henry Brant. This work premiered on December 12, 2001 at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA. A review in the New York Times had this to say about this performance:

    Eighty-eight years old, exceedingly small but very much on his feet, his white tie and tails accessorized by a poker dealer's visor, Mr. Brant banged away at the organ as Michael Tilson Thomas and the orchestra brought a stunned and happy audience "Ice Field," written for San Francisco and scored for just about everything you could think of. … Things happen regularly but never in quite the same way at every performance. Mr. Brant's organ chords and manic passagework seem to cue each new onslaught.

For the complete text of this review, please visit the New York Times web site at: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/18/arts/music/18MAVE.html

Directions to Christ Church, Poughkeepsie

Adapted from directions provided on the Christ Church web site: http://www.christchurchpok.org

  • From West:
    1. Take Mid-Hudson Bridge (Route 44/55).
    2. Turn right onto Academy Street at 4th traffic light.
    3. Go through first traffic light at the intersection of Montgomery and Academy. Christ Church is on left.
  • From North:
    • Take Route 9 South to Route 44/55. Continue as (2) above.
  • From South:
    • Take Route 9 North to Route 44/55. Continue as (2) above.
  • From East:
    • Take Route 44/55 (westbound arterial) to intersection with 44/55 (eastbound arterial). Turn left onto 44/55 eastbound. Turn right at second traffic light onto Academy Street. Continue as (3) above.

    Parking is on the street behind the church on Carroll Street.

Organ Crawl in Hudson

Why not make a day of it on Saturday, May 11, beginning with our chapter's choral reading at Christ Episcopal Church in Poughkeepsie from 10:00 AM to Noon, and proceeding at 1:00 PM with an organ crawl in Hudson? The latter is co-sponsored by the Hudson-Catskill Chapter, AGO, and by Rosenberry & Myers, organbuilders. Steve Rosenberry, organist and Organbuilder, will be playing a program at each of the following churches in Hudson:

  1. 1:00 PM. Emanuel Lutheran Church, 20 S. 6th Street, Hudson. Organ: J.W. Steere & Son, 1890's Tracker with original stenciled case pipes
  2. St. John's Lutheran Church, 6th and Columbia Streets, Hudson. Organ: J.W. Steere Tracker rebuilt in the 1970's by the Berkshire Organ co., modern tracker action, Neo-Baroque style voicing.
  3. St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, 429 Allen Street, Hudson. Organ: William W. Laws, 1930 - Pneumatic action. Chancel and Gallery divisions. The Gallery has been unplayable due to leather failure and falling plaster-water damage.
  4. St. John the Evangelist Church (Episcopal), 107 County Rte 25, Stockport. Organ: Wm J. Stuart & Bro., Tracker 1891, moved to this church from Albany, NY. Stenciled case pipes. The church was built in 1847.
For more information, contact: Matthew Jones, Dean HCCAGO, 845-687-8820 or e-mail: m-v-jones@worldnet.att.net

Chapter History Sought

Jack Davis has expressed an interest in putting together some information about the history of our chapter. He writes, "I, personally, have been paying dues to the CHV Chapter for more than 45 years. On checking with Kay Pearson, a charter member, it becomes apparent that we are probably 51 years old! She is going to check her records, and will get back to me. Perhaps, through our present and former members, we can recreate some of the lost records." Anyone who can help in this project is invited to call Jack at 845-831-1761 or e-mail at: jdavisjr@idsi.net

Similarly, the editor of this newsletter would be grateful if anyone could provide copies of our chapter newsletter prior to 1994 to complete our archive. Please contact Susan LaGrande at 845-226-6496 or e-mail at: susanel2@hotmail.com.

List of Organ Substitutes

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