By Joseph Fitzer
The story of the Queens Chapter is that of an artistic, educational and social organization which has grown steadily through twenty-five years—and grown chiefly by the voluntary efforts of a sizable number of devoted people. Some of them are singled out for special mention here; but these lines are at best a digest of the complete records of the chapter, which records are kept by the Librarian, Bertha Haas.
The very first chapter of the American Guild of Organists was the “New York City” Chapter, founded in 1896. For a long time the Borough of Queens, large tracts of which remained undeveloped until after World War II, simply formed part of the territory served by the New York City Chapter. By 1957, however, the President of the AGO, Dr. S. Lewis Elmer, and the New York City Dean, Harold Heeremans, felt that the great size of that chapter, along with the somewhat different needs of Queens places of worship, suggested the formation of a chapter in Queens. They asked two National Councillors of the AGO to undertake this task, our cofounders Anna Shoremount Rayburn, FAGO, and Lily Andujar Rogers, FAGO.
Letters were sent to musicians who might be interested; and meetings were held, January 28, 1957, at Mrs. Rayburn’s home, and February 4, at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Flushing. At the latter meeting forty-one persons signed a petition for the establishment of a Queens Chapter. The AGO granted this request on February 11; and at a worship service in the same church, on February 17, Dr. Elmer administered the oath of office to the Chapter’s first elected officers. They were—
Dean: Mrs. Rogers
Sub-dean: Roy Anderson, AAGO, ChM
Secretary: David Walker
Treasurer Hugh Campbell
Registrar Anna Schuh
Auditors: Mary Kaner and Ray Rayburn
Chaplain: Rev. August Bobzin (the pastor of the church)
Executive Committee: Anna Foulke; Marjorie Gulbrandsen; John Holler,
AAGO; Charles Schaefer; Grant Smith, AAGO; and Wilbur Walker.
The simplest way to chronicle the twenty-five years that followed is to
divide it according to the terms of service of the various deans.
From the outset the Chapter emphasized the educational aspect of the AGO. Thus at its first official meeting, held on March 11 at Victoria Congregational Church, Jamaica, Harold Heeremans was invited to speak on “The Making of a Musician.” Not surprisingly, the making of a musician turned out to be preparing for and passing the AGO exams! Here, then, was one type of meeting that would often be repeated in the years to come. April found the Chapter gathered for dinner at St. George’s Episcopal, Flushing, a church that, over the years, would be particularly generous in welcoming the Chapter.
The dinner was served, says a notice of the time, by the “Choir Mothers’ Guild.” (Those were the days of big congregations, but choirs, and big church budgets!) In mid-May the Chapter went to the First Church of Kew Gardens for another often-repeated type of meeting, the class on choral direction. This one was conducted by Willard Irving Nevins, president-emeritus of the Guilmant Organ School and a columnist for the World Telegram and Sun. At the end of the month the Chapter went to St. James Lutheran, Ozone Park, for a business meeting, which was announced as the last meeting of the year. Apparently, though, being a new AGO chapter was just too good to give up, so they had yet another meeting - yet another class on choral direction, this one by Mrs. Rayburn. It was held on June 16 at Good Shepherd Lutheran, Queens Village, where the organist, David Walker, demonstrated the new three-manual Schlicker organ.
Fall, 1957, began with a report by Roy Anderson and Lorraine Merritt on the International Congress of Organists, held in England, which they had attended. Then came an address by Ray Berry, editor of the old American Organist, on church architecture and acoustics, a presentation by Pastor Kreider of St. James on audio-visual teaching materials, and still another class on choral direction by Harold Friedell, music director of St. Bartholomew’s, Park Avenue.
Winter-Spring, 1958, saw the first instances of other continuing types of meetings. On February 9 came the first anniversary service, held at Grant Smith’s church, Ss. Luke and Matthew, Brooklyn; the speakers were Dr. Elmer and one of the Chapter’s most faithful friends among the clergy, Canon Dougald MacLean of St. George’s. On February 24 came the first guest-artist recital: Searle Wright played the 1922 four manual organ E.M. Skinner organ at St. George’s. In March there was another business meeting, and in April the Chapter gathered for what would be another lasting figure of its work: a members’ concert. Usually they played or sang the works of others, but at this first members’ concert, and not infrequently thereafter they performed their own compositions. Composers represented on this occasion were Wellington Adams, Lawrence Salvatore, Charles Schaefer, Manuela Jimenez, Doris Kane, and Rayburn. In May the Chapter developed a thirty-six voice choir from members and friends, which Mr. Nevins led in a sacred concert. After that eventful year the members relaxed over dinner, June 17 at the Colonial Church, Bayside, and listened to a tape of their May concert. And a new dean was ready to go to work, Wilbur Walker, organist and choirmaster of St. George’s.
It seemed particularly worthwhile to report the Chapter’s first, pattern forming year in some detail. Regrettably, evident limitations of space will restrict the rest of this account to the highlights of each year. It should not be overlooked, however, that in every year of its existence the Chapter has presented a full schedule of meetings, ranging from seven to ten in the September-June span, and that each year only one or two of these were primarily social. Friendships grew out of shared interests, but the interests were pursued quite seriously.
In the Fall, choirs continued to occupy the Chapter’s attention. Members Anna Rayburn, Anna Schuh and David Walker addressed themselves to the problems confronted in directing children’s choirs. (A later speaker - not one of the above - was to suggest keeping a mean-looking dog to inspire discipline.) Wesley Bartlett came from the Carl Fischer publishing house to conduct a sight-sing of his wares. And the superbly intelligent, but also extremely funny Medeleine Marshall came from Juilliard to unscramble the mysteries of English Choral diction.
In the Spring term there was, among other attractions, a festive anniversary service at Good Shepherd, with brass and percussion complementing the organ. Then came a “Young Artist” recital, in which two of the Chapter’s own recent AAGO’s played, and rather ambitiously. Doris Kane did three movements of Vierne’s Third Symphony; Richard Amend presented all three of Langlais’ Parapharases Gregoriennes. This term also held what is possibly the strangest program the Chapter ever offered. It was a fund-raiser called “Organ Music I Never Played,” and the idea was that you gift-wrapped some piece you disliked for sale to the unwary. All in a good cause. And a new dean was chosen, Roy Anderson.
November, 1959, saw the first AGO program at an instrument that later figured prominently in these programs, the new three-manual Casavant at the First United Methodist Church, Flushing; Lilian Carpenter was guest artist. It is worth noting that this and later public concerts arranged by the Chapter were meant both for their educational and spiritual value to the members, but also as fund-raisers. Records indicate that in order to present these concerts the members were very active in rounding up pre-concert subscriptions. In May there was a children’s choir festival at St. George’s; the record shows that some three hundred children, from thirty-one churches, took part. The records also contain some charming personal letters. Young Gerre Hancock, fresh from the North Texas Chapter, wrote he was “terribly anxious” to give a concert for the Chapter, adding, in case they had not heard of him, “I can secure references or other particulars regarding my performance abilities.” And Jane Schatkin thought she should join the Chapter, she wrote, because “This is my first year at Queens College as a music major.” At year’s end the deanship passed to Anna Schuh.
Highlights of Miss Schuh’s two years as dean included a discussion of the music of Reform Judaism by David Benedict, Cantor of Temple Israel, Lawrence. Other speakers were Seth Bingham, on the music of Langlais, Earl Berg, on “Music in the Small Church,” and Charles Dodsley Walker on improvisation. On May 7, 1961, Claire Coci gave a recital at Good Shepherd; and on May 27, 1962, choirs from eighteen churches, under the direction of Mary Kaner, gave a concert at St. George’s illustrating various possibilities in hymn use. In a note regarding the fifth anniversary dinner Lily Rogers drew attention to “five associates in five years, plus one choirmaster’s certificate, and several other examinations in the making: a fine record on which to build, and a testimonial to the alert and forward-looking membership of our Chapter.” This she attributed as well to the work of the Academic Welfare Committee, or AGO certificate-holders of the Chapter, acting as a kind of continuing-education impetus. As if to underscore her point, the Chapter came up with $250 to finance the participation of Mrs. Theo Rayburn Wee, an AAGO member, in the National Playing Competition of the Guild; it hurt less when she won.
During 1962—63 Robert Clearwater was dean. The main attactions of the year’s programming were an organ tour to the West Point Military Academy, which has one of the largest instruments anywhere, and the concert appearance at First Methodist, Flushing, of Alec Wyton. The Chapter also had the first of a number of handbell sessions; the performers on this occasion were a group from Babylon Methodist.
These years, under Dean Lorraine Merritt, contained perhaps the most ambitious programming, before or since, in the Chapter’s history. There was a master class in organ by Claire Coci and a session on choral direction by Alec Wyton. Charles Harmon, organist and choirmaster of St. Andrew Avellino, Flushing, led his choir in a long demonstration program of what would now be called “pre-Vatican II” Roman Catholic liturgical music. St. Andrew’s organ would now also figure in Chapter programs, a 1941 Casavant, three manuals, but fifty ranks. E. Power Biggs presented a concert on the recently renovated and enlarged St. George’s Skinner. And on May 17,1964 the Chapter presented a so called “Massed Choir Concert” at the New York World’s Fair.
1964—65 kept up the pace. There was a master class with Robert Baker. On November 24 Jean Langlais gave a concert at St. Andrew’s, including a generous sampling of his own compositions. Mr. Harmon still marvels, not only at the grace of Langlais’ execution, but at the mind-boggling ease with which the famous Parisian, blind from birth, familiarized himself with St. Andrew’s console. Later in the year Lady Susi Jeans lectured at Queens College (where David Walker is a faculty member) on English and Austrian organ music. On May 15 there was a second choral concert at the World’s Fair, actually two performances; and a recording was made. Of this Alec Wyton, now AGO President, wrote, “The program was notable, not only for the quality of music, . -. but also for the standard of its performance; and there was a large and appreciative audience from all over the world, listening to the results of the work of the AGO. . - . The officers and members of the Queens Chapter are to be resoundingly thanked for this incalculably important gesture.” To make sure their feet were on the ground the members had for their annual banquet a barbecue in the dean’s back yard.
Carleton Inniss, AAGO, served as dean in 1965—66. High points were a class by Margaret Hillis on choral direction and a concert, at Manhasset Congregational Church, by Virgil Fox. As would happen from time to time in the following years, the Queens and the Nassau Chapters pooled their resources to present an artist; for his efforts of the day Mr. Fox got, so reads his contract, “$500 plus 50% of the net after fee and publicity expenses.” In
1966—67 Lily Rogers was again dean; and there were concerts by Lilian Carpenter and David Craighead, plus a gala tenth anniversary concert, including Schubert’s Mass in G, conducted by the dean at her church, St. Gabriel’s Episcopal. On this occasion the postlude, Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue in g Minor, was played by a young man who had been one of Mrs. Rogers’ choirboys, David Hurd. A letterhead of the time reminds us that Richard Amend of Grace Episcopal had by now earned the FAGO and ChM certifications. During 1967-68 Hugh Campbell was dean. As part of its ongoing effort the Academic Welfare Committee presented another program on the AGO exams, this time on the Service Playing Certificate. Edgar Hilliar played a concert at St. George’s. Perhaps the biggest event of the year was the dedication of the new three-manual Austin at Douglaston Community Church. Robert Baker played a concert on May 12, and the following week Alec Wyton brought over the choir from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for evensong. The organist and choirmaster at Douglaston - then and now - is Gordon W. Paulsen, who is also the AGO’s legal advisor.
In the Chapter’s second decade all the deans, save in one instance, served for two years. During 1968-70 Roy Anderson was again dean. Reflecting the changing shape of worship, no less than three programs were devoted to American or new-folkloric religious song. Virgil Fox appeared in recital again, and Frederick Swann gave the inevitable class in choral direction. At Douglaston’s new Austin Jane Schatkin Hettrick gave the doctoral program she had prepared for Marilyn Mason at the University of Michigan, a recital of baroque period compositions in variation form. The Chapter was saddened by the passing of former dean Robert Clearwater on July 18, 1969.
Howard H. Epping was dean. At the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City, the Queens and Nassau chapters presented Frederick Swann in a workshop and concert. Later concerts at the same large Schlicker instrument were given by Heinz Wunderlich and Piet Kee. On May 7, 1972, a new activity entered the picture: the Chapter went to see and hear a distinguished old instrument, the 1871 Hook & Hastings at St. Alphonsus Church, Manhattan. Largely through the work of the Organ Historical Society Americans were beginning to discover that their 19th- and early 20th century organs were, and are, very beautiful indeed. The new dean would be Margaret Battle, Colonial Church.
Events of this period include some fancy items, such as jointly sponsored concerts by Paul Manz, Gillian Weir and Marie Madeleine Durufle, but also a good selection of altogether pleasant “down home” happenings, such as anthem sight-sings, members’ concerts, the members were still composing, and covered-dish suppers. On June 2, 1974, there was the dedication of the first new-old tracker organ in the Queens area, the thirteen- rank 1877 Ryder, relocated by the Organ Clearing House and fully rebuilt by Bozeman-Gibson, at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Maspeth.
Wilbur Walker, St. George’s, served a second time as dean in 1974-75. Highlights of that year included the dedicatory recital of a new Schlicker at Dr. Hettrick’s church, Redeemer Lutheran, Bayside, a session on handbell ringing by Dean Walker, and a recital by McNeil Robinson at First Methodist, Flushing. The speaker at the annual banquet was Richard Westenberg. For the following two years the dean was Donald Ulm. During that time there took place, among other things, the presentation of a film-cum-recordings show developed by the Organ Historical Society; a lecture and recital devoted to Marcel Dupre, given by Dr. John Pagett; the dedication of the new Moller at Holy Trinity Lutheran, Hollis, with organist and choirmaster John Stump at the console, and additional recitals by Susan-Ingrid Ferre and Gerre Hancock. (Mr. Hancock, now of St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue, left no doubts about his performance abilities!) Members were both interested and concerned in the light of liturgical changes: addressing this need. Charles Harmon and Olga Conti provided the music for a post-Vatican II Mass at Mrs. Conti’s church, St. Margaret’s, Middle Village; and Dr. Eugene Brand lectured about Lutheran developments at Holy Trinity. The June banquet speaker for 1976 was Dr. Roberta Bitgood, President of the AGO. Speakers in June, 1977, were Dr. Jack Kemp of Westminister Choir College and the new dean, Dr. Joseph Fitzer of St. John’s University. Dr. Fitzer’s talk was subsequently printed in the AGO’s national journal (December, 1977: “Of Deans in Queens”).
With some reason Dr. Fitzer’s tenure as dean could be seen as a kind of turning point in the history of the Chapter. By now the public perception of religion had changed notably from what it had been in the Eisenhower era. Moreover, population shifts had brought to Queens new residents whose cultural traditions did not include the kinds of music described in these pages. The message now was clearly, no more big congregations, choirs and budgets. The Chapter’s programs reflected this situation. Ronald Bishop of Schantz Organs told why a pipe organ is still a better buy. Maureen Morgan, founder of the AGO’s Committee on Professional Concerns—compensation and conditions of employment—urged Chapter members to take a more active role in seeking their legitimate share of shrinking funds. (President Bitgood subsequently appointed Dean Fitzer to the Professional Concerns Committee, whose column in The American Organist he edits.) Dr. Grant Anderson, director emeritus of the Queens Federation of Churches, spoke of the tensions, but also of the rewards, of clergy-musician relations, as did Dr. Howard Hageman, President of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, at the June, 1978, dinner. But there were concerts, too: Paul Thomas and the Chapter’s most recent FAGO, Thomas Bohlert; Dean Fitzer presented a lecture and demonstration of Baroque Catholic organ-choral alternation. On the whole, however, the emphasis was on making-do and stabilizing: the first of two members’ concerts in 1978—79 celebrated the reconditioning (without tonal alteration) of St. Andrew’s 1941 Casavant. St. Gabriel’s Moller was rebuilt and expanded by William Fennimore. Barbara Owen spoke at the June, 1979, dinner; her subject: “Organ Restoration and What It Means to Us.” With sorrow, the second ‘78—79 members’ concert, February 4, commemorated the passing of former dean Roy Anderson.
The new dean was Martin Gigler, a former organ student of Mrs. Rogers, and (then) organist and choirmaster of the United Methodist Church of Maspeth. Programs of particular note included a presentation of “Music for the Small Organ” by Regional Chairman Donald Ingram, a concert at St. Gabriel’s by David Hurd (now of General Theological Seminary), a multimedia Lenten presentation, and two organ tours of Brooklyn, with Chapter members hearing and inspecting instruments by Odell, Jardine and Skinner. Chapter member Allen Dreyfuss relocated an 1895 Odell in the Protestant Chapel of Kennedy Airport. Continuing Chapter traditions, David Walker spoke on “Involving Children in the Children’s Choir,” and Walter Hilse of the AGO’s Examination Committee (and himself a native of Queens) gave two presentations on the Guild examinations. Former dean Wilbur Walker passed to rest in the Lord. But the life of the Chapter continues: on May 4, 1980, the Chapter, in co-operation with the Queens Federation of Churches, presented a kind of double-bill at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Richmond Hill. Erik Routley spoke on new trends in hymnody, and a choir specially prepared for the occasion sang Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, with John Stump at the organ. In 1981 Charles Harmon celebrated his fortieth anniversary at St. Andrew’s. The 1982 members’ concert contained works of Bach, Dubois, Franck, Widor, Manz and Langlais, played by organists Inniss, Stump, Hettrick, Foulke (charter member), Lisa Kelly, David Close, and William Gavigan (1981-82 Dean); the “producer” was cofounder Lily Rogers. —JPF
CHAPTER HISTORY 1982-2007
By Mary Kaner, Vincent Alukonis, and Kenneth Blue
William Gavigan commenced his second term as chapter Dean. The chapter continued its trend in offering interesting and varied programming. In addition to monthly events the chapter submitted a proposal to national headquarters to serve as the host for the 1985 Region II convention. The Brooklyn chapter agreed to co-sponsor the convention. With regards to programming the organization held two events at St. Teresa’s in Woodside- The October member’s recital and a January 1983 workshop on playing for Services at liturgical and non-liturgical churches. Between the above events our Dr. Gerre Hancock presented a program on improvisation at Holy Trinity, Hollis. In April 1983 we visited the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy to hear a custom built 3-manual Rodgers which had been enlarged via electronic wizardry. The June 5, 1983 Annual Organist/Clergy Dinner at the Community Church of Douglaston served as a fundraiser for the 1985 Regional Convention (which our chapter was approved to host). The program included Benjamin Britten’s Festival Te Deum, Zoltan Kodaly’s Missa Brevis, and Variations on “Veni Creator” by Maurice Durufle. Edna Wilson Walter was installed as chapter Dean.
The 1983/1984 Guild start started with the Chorale Setting of Evening Prayer at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Hollis. The meeting continued with supper and a slide presentation by Martin Gigler, General Chairman of the 1985 Region II convention, of the convention center- The Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston. In October 1983 the chancel choir of Siloam Presbyterian Church, under the direction of Carleton Inniss, AAGO, presented a concert of African music at Trinity Lutheran Church, Middle Village. The recital featured African spirituals and the Missa Luba. The November 1983 event was a professional concerns workshop moderated by Mary and Joseph Fitzer. The topic was “Responsibilities of the Church to the Musician and the Musician to the Church.” Panel members were The Reverend D. Stewart Alexy and Reverend N.J. L’Heureux and organists David Close and Margaret Battle. On November 13, 1983 William Whitehead played the dedicatory recital on the new 3-manual, 42 rank Casavant of St. Matthias RC Church, Ridgewood. Another 3-manual Casavant, this instrument at St. Andrew Avellino RC Church, was utilized for the February 1984 member’s recital. Participants were Lily Rogers, Richard Amend, Carleton Inniss, Olga Conti, Joseph Fitzer, and Charles Harmon. Our March event featured Raymond Glover, general editor of the Church Hymnal Corporation, on the new 1982 Hymnal. The event titled “The Church’s Song for Today and Tomorrow” showcased some of the materials in the New Episcopalian Hymnal. Dr. Jane Schatkin Hettrick presented a meeting in May 1984 concerning editing from original sources. She demonstrated general principles that apply to music editing, utilizing the works of Antonio Salieri which she was currently editing. The June 3, 1984 organist-clergy dinner at the Bayside Yacht Club featured Madeline Marshall, of the Julliard School faculty, on the subject of diction. Edna Wilson Walter commenced her second term as Dean. In addition to the excellent programming the chapter started a Memorial Fund. The name to be memorialized was to be written in a memorial book and placed in back of the chapter banner. The 1984 season began with an organ crawl. Olga Conti performed organ literature on the 3-manual pipe organ built by our own Allen Dreyfuss at Faith Chapel, Creedmore. The next mini-recital was by Ed Arter on the organ of Ascension Lutheran Church in Glendale. The crawl ended with a mini-concert by Richard Amend on the new Casavant at St. Matthias RC Church, Ridgewood. The November meeting was presented by the Choristers Guild to sample their offerings of anthems and larger musical publications for children’s choirs. The 1985 calendar year commenced with a discussion on the way(s) to function in our role as parish musician. The discussion, led by Richard Amend, shed light on the goal for career enhancement and satisfaction. The member’s recital was held on February 10, 1985 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Jackson Heights. Ivan Guevara, Thomas Sarkauskas, Edna Neff Schloton, and Joseph Kubler played the church’s 1969 2-manual Casavant. The venue of our April 1985 meeting was a subject was will visit several times in the future- Wedding Music. Olga Conti and our members presented wedding music for both for organ and solo voice. A fundraising dinner for the 1985 Region II convention was prepared and presented by Edna Neff Schloton at the home of Edna Wilson Walter. John Stump will become our Dean after the convention.
The September 1985 meeting at the Queens Reformed Church was a fundraising banquet to help alleviate the debt from the Regional convention. The banquet was prepared by Edna Neff Schloton. A sing-along of “golden oldies” followed the dinner. In October 1985 we sponsored a recital by Marek Kudlicki, who was organist and harpsichordist for the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra of Vienna, at Zion Episcopal Church. November 1985 saw a recital by Christopher Herrick, organist of Westminster Abbey, at the Community Church of Douglaston. Fifty percent of the ticket sales to or by Guild members were to benefit the convention deficit fund. The chapter received a Memorial Fund contribution from the Church Council of Christ Lutheran Church, Fresh Meadows, in memory of George Hinkson who died December 8, 1985. The members’ recital, held in memory of George Hinkson, was held February 23, 1986 at the Community Church of Douglaston. The performers were John Stump, Sally Park, Joseph Fitzer, Thomas Sarkauskas, Ivan Guevara, and Gordon Paulsen. . On March 1, 1986 The Canticum Novum Singers, under the direction of Harold Rosenbaum, performed a benefit concert for our chapter at Zion Episcopal Church. The performance included “Nisi Dominus,” Dixit Dominus,” “Amor-Lamento della Ninfa,” and Zefiro Torna.” In April 1986 Joseph Fitzer presented an afternoon of theatre organ music on the E.M. Skinner organ of Trinity Lutheran Church in Long Island City. The Annual Dinner held at the Bayside Yacht Club featured Arthur Lawrence, associated editor of The American Organist as the dinner speaker. The Guild exams, a topic we have explored several times, was the venue for the September 1986 meeting at the Community Church of Douglaston. The presenter was Alfred Fedak, the regional professional certification chairman. A month later we were still in Douglaston, but this time at Zion Episcopal for a discussion of temperaments. Our Dean, John Stump, offered a brief explanation of temperaments, how they are set, some of their differences, and historical usage. Participants were invited to get a first hand feeling by playing literature on the church’s piano, harpsichord, and pipe organ. William Gavigan, a past Dean, sadly passed away in November 1986. The calendar year 1987 commenced with a program by John Stump called “Bach and Buxtehude- A comparison.” The event consisted of pairs of organ works, one by each composer, in an effort to show the possible influence of Buxtehude’s music that Bach might have heard while visiting Lubeck on Bach’s organ compositions. The members’ recital, presented in memory of the late William Gavigan, was held February 8, 1987 at the Bowne Street Community Church, Flushing. The artists were John Stump, Ivan Guevara, Thomas Sarkauskas, Joseph Fitzer, and Jeffrey Schlinder. The Annual Dinner was a real treat- an organ crawl of the instruments of the State University of New York at Purchase followed by dinner at the Cobblestone Restaurant. Anthony Newman, of the Purchase faculty, has arranged for friends and colleagues to see the Flentrop that was intended for Carnegie Hall, a copy of Couperin’s organ built by Rieger of Austria and a copy of Franck’s organ built by Ruffatti of Italy. During the Annual Dinner Doreen Folmer was installed as our Dean.
The 1987/1988 Guild year started off on a sad note- we learned that our colleague, past Dean, and friend Edna Wilson Walter entered eternal life. Edna, who passed away on July 13, 1987, was always willing to assist the chapter, especially during the 1985 Region II convention. Doreen Folmer followed in Edna’s legacy- a hard worker devoted the mission of the Guild. The legacy can be viewed via the itinerary under Doreen’s leadership. The September meeting at Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians RC Church in Woodside was an overview of the recent Region I /II regional conventions. We hear reports on workshops including Bach at Weimar, improvisation, singing children, practical service music, working with an orchestra, and a Gillian Weir Masterclass. Our October 1987 event was an organ recital by Christopher Herrick, formerly of Westminster Abbey, at the Community Church of Douglaston. The annual Christmas party was held December 1, 1987 at the Hollis Presbyterian Church. The February 1988 members’ recital was held at St. Matthias RC Church in Ridgewood. The participants were Maureen Pennyfeather, Donald Hossack, Sally Park, Joseph Fitzer, Ivan Guevara, Thomas Sarkauskas, Andrew Andela, and John Stump. A hymn festival was presented on April 24 at Bowne Street Community Church. The festival was led by Mary Kaner, Carleton Inniss, and John Stump. The hymns included “When In Our Music,” “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “As With Gladness Men Of Old,” “O God Our Help In Ages Past,” “O Sacred Head , Now Wounded,” “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today,” “Come Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire,” “Festival Canticle: Worthy Is Christ,” and “All People That On Earth Do Dwell.’ The Guild season ended with dinner and entertainment at Zion Episcopal Church. Glen Wilder, organist of the church and a gourmet chef, catered the meal. A beautiful program of vocal music and French horn selections were given by Cheryl and Martin Gigler. During our summer recess it was reported that Mary and Joseph Fitzer had moved to Massachusetts. The second half of 1988 started with a theme our chapter would visit several times- playing/substituting for different denominations. Many colleagues lacked knowledge concerning the Order of Service or Mass. In September 1988 Sister Sheila Browne and Richard Amend (now at St. Kevin’s in Flushing after many years as Director of Music at Grace Episcopal, Flushing) presented a program on Roman Catholic liturgy. The discussion of denomination liturgies carried over to our October event with a presentation of the Lutheran liturgy by Pastor Norman S. Dinkel and Sally Park at Trinity-St. Andrew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Maspeth. Edna Schloton, chairperson of our Professional Concerns committee, also presented a report on the subject. The February 1989 members’ recital was at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Woodhaven on their new 2-manual Reuter pipe organ. The artists were Kenneth Lord, Sally Park, Thomas Sarkauskas, Edna Schloton, Carleton Inniss, and John Stump. In April 1989 the chapter presented Earl Miller, who was a recitalist for our 1985 Region convention, in concert on Trinity Lutheran’s (Long Island City) E.M. Skinner instrument. “”Pops” On Pipes!” was an organ recital in a format used at the turn of the 20th century- a time when the organ was used to provide popular and classical music for all. The recital included literature by Buxtehude, Handel and Franck as well as John Knowles Paine, Arthur Pryor, and J.L. Battmann. The Annual Organist-Clergy Dinner was held at the New Hyde Park Inn on May 19, 1989. During the dinner our colleague, Professor David S. Walker, presented a program titled “Teaching the Concept of Rhythm to the Seven Year Old Through the Seventy Year Young.” John Schick was installed as Dean.
Our first event under the deanship of John Schick was a re-visitation of music for weddings. The workshop was chaired by former Dean John Stump and held at St. Pancras Church. In addition to appropriate church music John discussed wedding fees for musicians. In December 1989 Sister Sheila Browne presented a program on handbells. The February 1990 member’s recital was held at the Immaculate Conception Seminary. A workshop on improvisation was given by John Stump at the Allen Organ Studios in May. The Annual Dinner was held at Durow’s in Glendale. The 1990/1991 Guild season started with an anthem/read share on November 4, 1990 at the Queens Reformed Church. Former Dean Doreen Folmer, Director of Music/Organist at the Queens Reformed Church, chaired the event. In December of 1990 our members were invited to hear the Notre Dame choir, under the direction of John Schick, perform Lessons and Carols at the First Reformed Church in New Hyde Park. The holiday dinner was held January 1991 at the New Hyde Park Inn. A few months after the holiday dinner a recital was given by Gordon Turk at The Community Church of Douglaston. The Annual Dinner was held on May 24, 1991 at Durow’s of Glendale. Vincent Alukonis was installed as Dean.
Vincent Alukonis was our first Dean to serve three consecutive terms. In his first Dean’s message Vincent made note of two important factors. First, through the efforts of the Queens Federation of Churches, it was noted that there were 662 church organists and 1700 clergypersons in Queens county in 1991. Second, Vincent saw a cartoon on an organ console depicting extinct species. The last frame of the cartoon was the organist. Gone are the organs in the majority of municipal auditoriums, theatres, ice skating rinks, and sports facilities. This means the only remaining professional positions at colleges/conservatories and houses of worship. Vincent’s vision for yearly calendar of events should be a mixture of events for colleagues and lovers of organ music. In an effort to widely publicize our program year the 1991/1992 calendar of events was printed gratis by Brooklyn Union Gas and sent to all houses of worship in Queens county via the monthly mailing of the Queens Federation of Churches. Vincent followed the usual tradition of commencing the Guild year with an eating event. This time it was a Get-together Bar-B-Que at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Flushing. Ken Lord was our chef for the event. Our October workshop was held at another Lutheran Church- Redeemer Lutheran in Bayside. Our own Jane Schatkin Hettrick gave a program/recital called “Salieri- the Man and His Music.” Moving to November 24, 1991 we featured that lovable, internationally-known musician who started his career at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hollis- Gerre Hancock. Gerre gave a workshop on Service Playing Techniques followed by a recital at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Flushing. The recital included literature by Franck, Bruhns, J.S. Bach, Sowerby, and an improvisation on two submitted themes. We celebrated the holiday season with the Annual Christmas Dinner at the Colonial Church of Bayside. In January of 1992 we re-visited a venue of interest to our members, especially the substitutes- playing for various denominations. As we had previously learned about the Roman Catholics and Lutherans we now turn to the Episcopalians. Naturally, our tutor is our Founding Dean Lily Andujar Rogers. Lily was now the Director of Music/Organist at Grace Episcopal Church in Whitestone, having left St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Hollis a few years earlier. 1992 was the 35 anniversary of our chapter. Thus, an Ecumenical Festival Service was presented during our founding month, February, at St. Kevin’s R.C. Church in Flushing. The hymns and anthems were rendered by Richard Amend and his Noel Chorale. The Service included a homily by our chaplain Sister Sheila Browne and reflections on the chapter by Lily Rogers. The pinnacle of the Service was the world premiere of David Hurd’s “Arioso & Finale, which was commissioned for our 35th Anniversary. A month after our 35th Anniversary Service we co-sponsored another very popular event- an anthem reading session. Our clinician for the choral reading workshop was Walter Ehret. The session, which drew approximately 150 colleagues, was co-sponsored by the Queens and Nassau Chapters and was held at the Floral Park United Methodist Church. April 1992 found friends and colleagues on a tour and organ crawl of West Point. The members’ recital was held in May at Faith Chapel of Creedmoor. Our own Allen Dreyfuss built and installed the Chapel’s pipe organ. While the organ was used publicly the first time on September 16, 1972 the instrument commenced its existence in the summer of 1969 when the first pipes were transported by Mr. Dreyfuss from Vermont via U-Haul trailer. Other pipes came from Holland and Germany. Our 35th Anniversary members’ recital featured Ivan Guevara, Sally Park, Lily Rogers, and David S. Walker. We ended the 1991/1992 season with the Annual Dinner at Niederstein’s in Maspeth. Soon after the dinner we started planning our 1992/1993 Guild year. Due to the illness of our then librarian/historian several of the late 1992 and early 1993 monthly newsletters are missing. However, someone was smart enough to keep a monthly itinerary from July 1989 through June 1996 in our program files. So what did we do during the last quarter of 1992. We commenced the 1992/1993 season with another social event- a Bar-B-Que at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Flushing. Ken Lord, again, served as our chef. In October 1992 we took an organ crawl to visit three very different instruments- the Skinner of St. George’s in Flushing, the new Bedient tracker of Queens College, and the theater organ in Chaminade High School in Mineola. November of 1992 saw a turning of the tables- a concert by members of the clergy who were organists. While we do not have a program of the recital, held at The Community Church of Douglaston, I recall the name of one artist- Rev. Fritz Wendt who was pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Fresh Meadows. The AGO Exams was the topic of our first meeting in 1993. Our clinician for the event was Walter Hilse. I recall that many of our members were not interested in taking the exams, but that the information imparted by Walter Hilse would be extremely useful in our professional capacity. Given the lack of enthusiasm for the exams plus that the weather was snowy I expected a dozen colleagues at the event (and Tommy eating all the goodies). It was shocked when forty members arrived for workshop. In February we delved into a new topic- the finances attached to purchasing a new pipe organ or rebuilding the church’s present instrument. The event was held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Astoria. Richard Brode, organist of Trinity Lutheran, spoke about the church’s financial campaign to fix their Skinner organ. Joan Perchmann and Ann Walsh of St. Saviour’s R.C. Church in Park Slope outlined the work and financial resources for their Reuben Midmer instrument. David Murray informed us about the tentative purchase of a 19-rank Wicks organ for his Springfield Gardens United Methodist Church. Next month we took a step in sending a candidate to the young artists competition for the 1993 Region II convention. The competition of four young artists associated with our chapter took place on March 20, 1993 at Bowne Street Community Church. Unfortunately, three of the four competitors dropped-out at the last moment. Sung Jo Kim, the sole candidate, was not declared a winner by the three judges. However, the board voted to award her a $250 cash prize. The topic for the April meeting was professional concerns, a venue we occasionally visit. From the prospective of the Dean recent professional concerns seminars became a venting session for church musicians. It was about time that people who frame or structure our professional lives not only hear our story, but we can listen to their side. The Annual members’ recital was held at Floral Park United Methodist Church. Participants were Kenneth Lord, Thomas Sarkauskas, Sally Park, Ken Blue, James Martin and Craig Williams. The Annual Dinner was held at Neiderstein’s. After a summer break Walter Hilse commenced the 1993/1994 Guild year with another workshop on the Guild exams. The lengthy symposium, which included a dinner break, covered all the Guild exams. In October 1993 the chapter delved into the question posed in a recent The American Organist column- “Does the Organ Have an Audience?” We noted that the only organ music heard over the New York City airwaves came from PIPEDREAMS. A panel discussion including representatives from WQXR-FM, WNYC-FM, and local tabloids was arranged at Queens College. No media representatives attended, but the time slot was rescued by Jane Hettrick who played the Queens College Bedient organ for us. Allen Dreyfuss enlightened us the following month with a discussion/demonstration of pipe organ maintenance at his workshop/home. Our holiday party was held on December 15 at the home of Andrew Andela. The first two meetings of Vincent’s last six months as our Dean was a visitation of a recent theme- playing for liturgical and non-liturgical churches. As we had already discussed the Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Episcopalians we now will learn about other denominations. In January 1994 Willie Heard, director of the Bethany Baptist Choirs, gave a workshop on gospel music. A month later, February 1994, we visited the Free Synagogue of Flushing to learn about the Jewish Service. The event was led by Stephen Pearlston, cantor of the congregation. A choral reading session, with anthems supplied by Carl Fisher and GIA Publications, was held at the Springfield Gardens United Methodist Church in March. The annual members’ recital was given on the 3-manual 69 rank organ of the First Presbyterian Church of Jamaica. After serving three terms as our Dean ,Vincent was promoted to District Convener for the New York Region of the Guild. Our Annual Dinner was held at Koenig’s. Kenneth Lord became the Dean.
We commenced the 1994/1995 term with something we enjoy doing-eating. Ken Lord hosted a pot-luck dinner at his church, St. John’s Lutheran in Flushing. The following month we planned an event to be enjoyed by all- a recital by Michael Kaminski on the three-manual Moller at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston. The literature included works by Durufle, Franck, Vierne, and Widor. The November event was devoted to the topic of handbells. Margarite Espada, of The Community Church of Douglaston, and her volunteers gave us an introduction to bell ringing and working with a volunteer group. The annual Christmas dinner followed the approach we had for the past few years- hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at the home of Andrew Andela with a catered meal being served at the Church on the Hill. The 1995 calendar year started with sad news. We learned that our long-time colleague, friend, and supporter David Walker had died on December 7, 1994. The following statement about his death appeared in the Queens College News: “David Walker, an alumnus and Professor of Music, died on December 7. A member of the faculty since 1960, he was a celebrated organist, harpsichordist, choral conductor, composer, arranger and author. Nationally known as a music educator, Prof. Walker co-authored a series of books that at one time was used in over 90 percent of U.S. elementary schools and translated into Japanese, German and other languages. He was instrumental in the installation of the Rosenthal Tower carillon, even overseeing the casting of some of the bells in Europe.” January 1995 found us at Floral Park United Methodist Church for an anthem reading session under the direction of David Murray with Ken Blue at the piano. Tunings was the topic of our February 12 meeting. Utilizing the new Allen Organ at Church on the Hill our former Dean John Stump explored and demonstrated how different tuning strategies affect the music we play. A towel and pillow, not music, were required items for our March 1995 workshop at Floral Park United Methodist Church. At that meeting Joyce Suskind would introduce us to the Alexander Technique: body awareness and movement, and how it can help with organ performance and injury avoidance. We were asked to participate by lying on the floor and trying the techniques. In May 1995 our members’ recital was given on St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church’s Reuter organ. Artists for the event were Thomas Sarkauskas, Virjinijus Barkauskas, Dean Avdoulos, and Ivan Guevara. The Annual Dinner was held on June 14 at the Douglaston Club. Between program years we learned that Charles Harmon died on July 5, 1995. Charles was the Organist/Choir Director at St. Andrew Avellino R.C. Church in Flushing for 54 years. In 1992 Charles received a Citation Medal “Pro Ecclessia e Pontiface” (for the Church and the Pope) from Pope John Paul II for outstanding musicianship and dedication. Bishop Thomas V. Daily presented the medal to him at St. James Cathedral, Brooklyn. Our final 1994/1995 venue and first 1995/1996 event were of the same ilk- eating. We were back at Ken Lord’s church in Flushing for a pot-luck dinner. After the dinner our Regional Councillor, Richard Erickson, gave us a viewing/talk about the Pulling Out All the Stops” video. Two months after our pot-luck dinner we heard Roger Lowther, winner of the 1995 Regional Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance, at The Community Church of Douglaston. His program included works by Mendelssohn, Buxtehude, Bach, Franck, Vierne, and Dupre. The Christmas Dinner followed tradition- hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at the home of Andrew Andela followed by dinner at Church on the Hill. The dinner was topped off by a handbell concert under the direction of Barbara Levers. Our January 1996 choral reading session of music or small choirs was cancelled due to a blizzard but would be coupled with the February event. The February program was an audio-visual slide presentation about the various organs and musical cultural life of Paris. K. Bryan Kirk led us through the architecture, arts, organs, and churches which he personally recorded in Paris. Returning from Paris we found ourselves in Redeemer Lutheran Church in Bayside on March 10, 2006 for a music-sharing seminar. The aim was to bring and listen to music based upon hymn tunes. The chorale preludes and voluntaries were to be fairly simple and contemporary in nature. It should be noted that 1996 marked the 100th birthday of the American Guild of Organists. The national convention would be held in New York City. An AGO Centennial Quilt will be raffled. One of the biggest events in which all the AGO chapters wiould participate in was the World’s Largest Organ Recital. The recital took place on Sunday, April 14 and commenced at 6:00 PM EST with Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in d minor. Steven Frank started the concert at Faith Chapel of Creedmoor Hospital. Other artists included Ivan Guevara, Ken Blue, and Virginijus Barkauskas. The May 1996 program was a professional concerns workshop. Thomas Bohlert, professional concerns officer for Region II, discussed contracts, job security, and what the Guild can do to help resolve diputes at our church jobs. The annual Installation was held at the Douglaston Club. Vocal entertainment was provided by Yolanda Dowling. The editor of this history sadly notes that Yolanda was killed on the last day of her temporary job at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The deanship was passed to Ken Blue.
Our first newsletter for the 1996/1997 season reported the recent death of Rosemarie Dreyfuss, mother of Allen Dreyfuss. We returned from summer vacation to a viewing of Vintage Virgil Fox and the completed “Pulling Out All the Stops” video. October 1996 was a recital by the National Young Artist Competition winner Heather Hinton at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City. In November we were at Queens College, but the Bedient organ had nothing to do with our visit. We did tour the electronic music lab at the College. There we saw how the computer can be used as a tool for the composition, editing, and production of music. We started 1997 with an Epiphany Party at the home of Andrew Andela. The February 1997 gathering was a dual event- the AGO exams and the World’s Largest Town Hall Meeting.
Walter Hilse was our clinician for the Guild exams. Following his presentation we held the World’s Largest Town Hall Meeting. Each Guild chapter was asked to participate in “WoLTHaM.” Following the meeting a report was to be sent to the Task Force. The following two questions were posed for discussion: 1. Where do you see our profession in five years? Ten years? Twenty years? How should the AGO respond to our changing profession and changing needs? 2. Given our view of the future of the profession, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the AGO at the local level? At the national level? What can be done to strengthen the weaknesses and highlight the strengths of our organization in light of our considerations of question number 1? 1997 also marked the 40th anniversary of our chapter. To mark the occasion a Festival Worship Service was held on Sunday, April 20, 1997 at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston. The Service featured a prelude by Steven Frank and the postlude by Virginijus Barkauskas. In addition to anthems provided by SEQUENCE (under the direction of David Murray) there was a welcome by Dean Kenneth Blue, a scripture reading by
Rev. N.J. L”Heureux, Jr., Executive Director of the Queens Federation of Churches, a message from Rev. Robert Perless, Pastor, Church on the Hill, and reminiscences by Mary Kaner. May 1997 featured a choral reading session featuring solos/duets and music for small choirs at St. Fidelis R.C. Church, Whitestone. The Annual Installation Dinner was held at the Douglaston Club on June 1. We were saddened to learn of the passing of our colleague Thomas Sarkauskas in February 1999.
The first event held under David Murray’s leadership was a pizza-and-finance workshop held at Transfiguration R.C. Church in Maspeth. Presenting the financial aspect was chapter Friend Vincent Russo. We were saddened to learn that our former Dean Doreen Folmer passed away during the summer of 2000. On Sunday, October 15, 2000 the chapter was a part of “Pipes Spectacular.” The recital was held at St. George’s Church in Flushing. Two months later we celebrated the holiday season with a party at the home of Andrew Andela. The March 2001 topic was Louis Vierne. And who better to present a master class and recital on the composer than Michael Kaminski of the Brooklyn chapter. His workshop/recital was given at Love of Christ Presbyterian Church, Bayside. Another organ recital was slated for May 2001- our Steven Frank at St. Rita’s R.C. Church in Long Island City. The Annual Installation Dinner was held June 3 at the Douglaston Club. The September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States will never be forgotten. The chapter paused to remember those killed in the tragedy. We specifically remember our chapter Friend Yolanda Dowling who lost her life in an attempt to save her co-workers. Yolanda would wish that we keep the chapter moving forward, which we did. In September 2001 Allen Dreyfuss presented the Historic Pipe Organs of Austria. The video featured the history, sound, and artistry of the casing for numerous pipe organs in Austria. A few days after Thanksgiving 2001 we had another treat- a choral reading session with John Rutter as the clinician. The session was held at Grace Episcopal Church In Massapequa. Our first event for the calendar year 2002 was a January 15 tour of the Steinway factory in Astoria. We thank Calvin Kerr, head of Institutional Sales for Steinway, for an informative tour of the factory. In March we did what we enjoy the most-eat. This time the eating was a buffet at Greenfield’s Brazilian restaurant in Corona. We revisited another topic in April- wedding music. The workshop, at Church on the Hill, discussed fees and organ, instrumental, and vocal music. Two weeks after the wedding workshop we were at the Immaculate Conception Church in Jamaica Estates for the members’ recital. The Annual Installation Dinner was held at Café On The Green in Bayside. Vincent Alukonis became Dean for the second time.
The chapter was saddened as we learned on the untimely death of our member Richard Noel Amend. Richard was called to eternal rest on August 15, 2002. A member of the chapter’s Academic Welfare Committee (being an FAGO, ChM), he was very active during the first early and middle part of our history. Richard was dedicated to the mission and goals of the Guild. In his memory we planned and implemented an active 2002/2003 Guild season. Our colleagues returned from summer rest to a social event- a bar-b-que at the home of Andrew Andela on September 14. The social event was not only intended for our present members, but as a casual way to introduce prospective members to the chapter. In an effort to attract non-colleagues to the flock the board thought an introductory organ workshop was in order for October 2002. Thus, we invited Walter Hilse to give a workshop on Creative Hymn Playing followed by a recital at the Community Church of Douglaston. Extensive publicity via e-mail and information disseminated by the Queens Federation of Churches did not produce the number of non-Guild members we had hoped for. Walter’s recital that evening featured the works of Buxtehude, Bach, Mendelssohn, Vaughn Williams, Hilse, and Durufle. Interest in the organ and its’ literature moved from adults to young people as the chapter sponsored a mini Pipe Organ Encounter for young people on November 2 at Faith Chapel at Creedmoor Hospital. Our Allen Dreyfuss, who built and installed the organ at Faith Chapel, showed how the organ operates. Katie Meloan demonstrated the families of sound, explained the console, and gave a brief recital. A pizza party followed the Encounter. The November newsletter also noted that Gordon Paulsen and his wife are moving to Pennsylvania. We thanked him for his years of dedicated service to the Guild at the national and local level. For many years Gordon served as the legal advisor for the Guild. At the chapter level he was always pleased to have events at his church- The Community Church of Douglaston.
January 2003 found us back at Greenfield’s Restaurant in Corona for a holiday luncheon. A recital by young artist John Hong, an organ student of John Weaver at the Julliard School, was slated for February 9 at Church on the Hill. A month later we were at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Little Neck to listen to choral music composed by two members of the Brooklyn chapter- Derek Healey and Brian McAnuff. The anthems were sung by the choir of Church on the Hill with Andrew Andela at the keyboard. We headed east for our April program- a master class by Christa Rakich at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre. Participants were Michael Bower, Frank Crosio, Ivan Guevara, and Katherine Meloan. The member’s recital was held May 4 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help R.C. Church in Ozone Park. The concert featured solo organ literature. The choir of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church under the direction of Olga Conti, the cantor of St. Fidelis R.C. Church (College Point), and trumpet/organ music. June was a month of farewells. We noted the death of Phillip Hahn, immediate past president of the Guild on April 13, 2003. We bid “good luck in your new home” to Ken and Ruth Blue as they moved to Kentucky. Ken served as our Dean from 1996-2000 and Ruth served as the secretary during the 1999/2000 term. Ken and Ruth were never concerned about titles as they always fought for the “little guy” even when they never held office in the Guild. We also bid adieu to the 2002/2003 Guild season with our Annual Dinner at Giordano’s Restaurant. The 2003/2004 season commenced with the typical food event- a bar-b-que at the home of Andrew Andela. We also welcomed Jan-Piet Knijff as organist-in-residence at the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, CUNY. The position includes playing recitals, accompanying the choirs, playing with the orchestra, and performing at college ceremonies. October 2003 found us back at Church on the Hill for a recital by Andrew Andela celebrating the 10th anniversary of the installation of the Allen organ. Professional Concerns was the venue of our November meeting at the Quinn Memorial Building in Astoria. Mollie Hamilton, Professional Concerns Coordinator for Region II, talked about contracts, salary, termination, negotiations, and unemployment insurance. It was also announced that PIPEDREAMS returned to the airwaves. The program is now on WNYE-FM. It was suggested that members call the station to thank them for returning the show to the New York City airwaves.
January 2004 featured an Epiphany party at Donovan’s in Bayside. We always prided ourselves on presenting an event each month from September to June of the next year. However, due to poor attendance and lousy weather the board decided not to have a February or March 2004 meeting. We now found ourselves in April 2004 for a bring-your-favorite-anthem(s) reading session at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Little Neck. “Farewell” was the keyword for May 2004 as the New York Region bid goodbye to Judith and Gerre Hancock at a recital on May 2 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Manhattan. We repeated the keyword Claire Arnold and Bob Wyatt as they left the helms of Allen Organ Studios in Mineola. We were supposed to bid a fond “farewell” to Olga Conti at our Annual Dinner at Carasello Restaurant in Howard Beach, but Olga decided not to move to Texas. Returning from summer break we again found ourselves at Andrew’s home doing the usual - eating. Next month, October, we witnessed one of the crowning achievements for our chapter- the PIPEDREAMS LIVE concert at LeFrak Music Hall of Queens College, CUNY. The concert would raise money for the continued transmission of PIPEDREAMS on WNYE-FM. Michael Barone, host of PIPEDREAMS, served as master of ceremonies for the concert. In an effort to attract colleagues and friends to the recital from the Greater New York Region it was decided to invite guest artists from the area to perform at the recital. The recitalists were Michael Bower, Jan-Piet Knijff, Ivan Guevara, Carol Weitner, Katherine Meloan, Maxine Thevenot, Frank Morana, Stephen Hamilton, the Queens College Brass Ensemble, and Jeanette Zyko on the oboe. And we had a surprise artist- John Scott, the new organist/director of the choirs at St. Thomas Church, Manhattan. Via ticket sales and ads in the program booklet we raised $3,500 for WNYE-FM. The PIPEDREAMS LIVE concert was sandwiched between farewells. In November we are saying goodbye to Theodora and Darfoon Du as they move to Pennsylvania. Another Queens College, CUNY faculty member served as our clinician for the November 14, 2004 workshop- James John. His program “Vocal Techniques for Volunteer Choirs” covered such topics as posture, breathing, relaxation, phonation, vocalizing, and diction.
January 2005 featured a Holiday luncheon at Koenig’s of Floral Park. February 2005 was our first try at AGO “Jeopardy.” It was the Queens team vs. the Nassau team at St. Agnes Cathedral. Our Andrew Andela “composed” the answers and served as the master of ceremonies. We headed back west for our May 2005 event- Contemporary Christian Music. Our chapter member Rev. Ransford Manigault showed us how traditional and non-traditional harmonies can work on the organ and synthesizer. The following month we went to the newest church in Queens county and had a chance to hear the newest pipe organ- St. Thomas More Church of St. John’s University with a splendid two-manual Peragallo pipe organ. Participating in the recital were Terence Purtell, James Martin and his son on the violin, Rev. Andrew Klocek, Katherine Meloan, Ivan Guevara, Adam Singleton, and Thomas Sexton on the trumpet. The Installation Dinner was held at the White House Restaurant in Whitestone. It was noted that Vincent Alukonis and Mary Kaner will be forming a committee to plan our 50th Anniversary year.
The 2005/2006 Guild year started with a Bar-B-Que at the home of Andrew Andela. A month later the chapter offered its version of “Bach to Brooklyn.” We visited five historic houses of worship in the Greater Astoria area. The itinerary included St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, First Reform Church of Astoria, The Presbyterian Church of Astoria, Trinity Lutheran Church, and Steinway Reform Church. At each site Robert Singleton of the Greater Astoria Historical Society presented a history of the church. A brief organ recital followed the presentation. We are grateful to our Allen Dreyfuss who brought to pipe organs back to life gratis!! In November we found ourselves back at Queens College for a concert by the organ students of Jan-Piet Knijff. January 2006 was our Holiday luncheon. That year we feasted at Monahan and Fitzgerald Restaurant in Bayside. Our next two events featured topics we only presented once. The workshop given by James John on vocal techniques for volunteer choirs was so popular and well received that he gave another one in February 2006. In March we went to Nassau County, St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, for a second AGO “Jeopardy.” Our master of ceremonies was Kenneth Lord. The contestants were the “great” team and the “swell” team. After the show the contestants and “peanut gallery” were treated to sandwiches prepared by the choir and to the pastor’s very delicious chili. Do you wonder why we scheduled the same event in the same location during our 50th Anniversary season. By April we traded the sandwiches and chili for pizza and soda as Allen Dreyfuss presented pictures and videos of the Organ Historical Society’s trips to Europe. May 2006 members shared interesting organ literature with each other at a “show and tell” at St. Benedict Joseph Labre R.C. Church. The Annual Installation Dinner was held on June 11 at the Douglaston Club.