Central Hudson Valley Chapter, AGO

Chapter News

Newsletter - November 2002

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Letter from the Dean

What a great start to our program year! My thanks to Pat Maimone for guiding us through the process for determining registration for playing Bach on organs that weren't really designed for playing Bach. We were able to use organs at the Reformed Church, Trinity Episcopal and Our Savior Lutheran in Fishkill. Click here to see photos of the event.

It was quite a sight watching a group of organists trying to cross Route 9 without getting run over! My most memorable contribution to the day's event was the idea that all organs should have a 1-foot Posaune rank. That way, every organist can play..."Posaune in the Highest!"

Our AGO national president Fred Swann was in town to play a recital at the Cadet Chapel. The recital was fabulous as you would imagine (it was the first time I got to hear Fred play), but an added bonus was that our Chapter Board had the opportunity to meet with Fred over lunch the day before. Click here to see a photo of that event. As Fred is making this his last year of doing concert tours, he's visiting with chapter leadership in the areas that he is playing and taking the time to sit and talk about AGO issues. We just hope that he doesn't hold the chapter responsible for my "Posaune" joke.

Please keep your eyes on the upcoming chapter and local events and plan to attend as you are able. Speaking of upcoming events, the largest event that we have ever planned will be happening June 22-25, 2005 -- the Region II convention to be hosted by our chapter. We will be holding a brainstorming session on November 17th at 7:00 PM at St. John's Lutheran Church in Poughkeepsie. We would like the entire chapter membership to attend this first step in our journey. Your input and ideas are important to us.

Our introduction to the organ for young piano students is shaping up nicely. We'll be introducing them to the pipe organ in two locations (Union Presbyterian in Balmville, and St. John's Lutheran in Poughkeepsie) on Saturday, November 2nd. The times will be 11-1 at St. John's and 10-noon at Union Pres. If you are willing to lend a hand at either location, please give a call or an e-mail to Susan Guse (for St John's) or to myself (for Balmville).

Looking forward to David Shuler's recital on November 24th. Click here for a printable poster (with photo) and biography of the artist. Hope to see all of you in November at one of our events, at least!

Membership Updates

  • Alice Cann was featured in a recent "Neighbor" column in the Poughkeepsie Journal by Michelle J. Lee. Click here for the full text of the article, which appeared on Monday, October 21. The writer focused on how Alice has maintained her creativity and her volunteer spirit in spite of losing her sight ten years ago. Those of us who know Alice are delighted, but not surprised, at this public recognition of her contributions. We are fortunate indeed that she is a member of our chapter.
  • Rob Brown has moved. His new contact information is as follows:
            Robert D. Brown
            30 Tree Top Lane
            Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
            E-mail: robrown1@optonline.net

Fred Swann at West Point - by Susan E. LaGrande

Listening to the full organ at the Cadet Chapel at West Point is like standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier at sea - you know there's something really big going on around you. With a lesser organist at the helm, you can imagine at least an occasional panicky moment when the endless rows of stop tabs seem to rise up like breakers and threaten to swamp the deck. But Fred Swann, at his concert on Sunday, October 20, presided over the massive instrument with serene elegance. Even the bosun's whistle of a cypher, quickly set right, did not disturb his unhurried grace and gracious humor.

His program, as he explained at the beginning of the concert, was designed to show off the organ, and it did. He began and ended with Passacaglias, the first by Rheinberger and the last by Willan. In between was a great variety of sound in a few pieces of greatly disparate character, including works by Sowerby, Bach, Franck, Weaver, and Duruflè.

Fred Swann was recently named Performer of the Year by the American Guild of Organists, and the honor is certainly well-deserved. He also is the new President of the Guild, and we are fortunate indeed to have a leader with great musical sensitivity as well as vast practical experience.

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