Dean’s Column

Dear Fellow AGO Members,

This will be my last letter to you as SLCAGO Dean. I hope you have been able in the last 2 years to enjoy some of the events we have sponsored. As I look over this time, I am grateful for the new friends I have made. I have enjoyed the “shot in the arm” to inspire me to practice harder and do better. I have loved listening to others play and present things that they love about the organ.

We have lost 2 great members during the last few months of my tenure. Franklin Eddings, and Carolyn Taylor Harmon, who passed away on February 6, 2014. I was privileged to have known Mr. Eddings since I was a young girl. I loved playing many of his pieces including his “As Joseph Was A Walkin” which I have done on several Christmas Recitals at the Tabernacle. Carolyn and her husband came to both of our opening socials. I was happy to get to know her and her husband. Carolyn did many things to promote organ music in her circle. I have also had the great opportunity to get to know her husband Lawrence more since her passing. He attended both our April and May events. We will miss these great people in our midst.

Now I need to thank the people who have helped me make things happen the last 2 years. I couldn’t have done it without my executive board. Alex Oldroyd, Sub-Dean, who will now serve as your Dean. Becky Azera, Secretary, who has also graciously accepted to continue on. Charles Black, treasurer, who after 6 years will get a break. I am grateful to their contributions in scheduling events, promoting them, and making sure they happened here in the SLCAGO. It would have never happened without their work. I also appointed Ryan North, who served as the Education Chairman, and Valerie McDougal who made sure we had a newsletter each month. If you see these people, thank them for their service. It takes all of us to make things happen.

I would like to thank the new people who have committed to continue on the great tradition of the SLCAGO group. Matthew Plooster will be your new Sub-Dean and Ian Christensen will be our new Treasurer. I am thrilled that they have stepped up to fill these positions.

In closing, I will say learn some new music this summer. Make a difference in your organ circle, as Carolyn and Mr. Eddings did. Make some new organ friends. I hope to see you all in the future – and yes, I will look forward to getting to know new people, still.

Heidi J. Alley, Dean

Community/Chapter Events

AGO2014logo
Great City·Wonderful Music·Inspired Learning·Compelling Instruments·Gracious Hospitality  On behalf of the Steering Committee, I extend a warm invitation for you to join us June 23-27 for the 2014 National Convention in Boston. Centered in Boston’s Back Bay, within easy walking to many of our great churches, this 4 ½ day convention will inspire and thrill with a diversity of instruments – from Meantone to Wurlitzer – played by an outstanding international roster of organists. It will feature many recently installed instruments in addition to a long list of landmark organs.We will not only feature great organs, but outstanding choral concerts, many commissioned works, a diverse array of worship opportunities, and stimulating workshops.The convention is created for you to be comfortably paced. Celebrate your choices.We encourage you to register before January 31, 2014 to take advantage of discounted rates. Register online now at regonline.com/agoboston2014 to ensure your choices. Registration by paper is available using the form in the October issue of The American Organist.The Marriott Copley place is our convention headquarters hotel.  You may register for hotel reservations through the Marriott’s online system at https://aws.passkey.com/reg/326GFM29-G682, or by calling the hotel directly at 800.228.9290. Ask for the AGO 2014 Convention rate of $195/night when calling.

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@agoboston2014.org.  We will respond quickly to your inquiries. New England beckons you to join us for an inspirational week.

Ray Cornils
Convention Coordinator

 

GABRIEL DESSAUER Organ Concert
Friday, September 5, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Salt Lake Tabernacle (Temple Square)

Gabriel Dessauer, cantor and organist at St. Bonifatius in Wiesbaden, Germany, and a member of the organ faculty at the Musikhochschule Rheinland-Pfalz, will present a concert in the Salt Lake Tabernacle as part of the Temple Square Performance series.  The concert is free.

 

SUPER SATURDAY
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Libby-Gardner Hall (President’s Circle, University of Utah)

Be sure to mark this correct date! We’ll have wonderful repertoire classes, hymn playing classes, choral music, and more! Don’t miss it!

 

Dulciana

The Organ, an Encyclopedia

Douglas E. Bush, Editor
Richard Kassel, Associate Editor

(Following is one short article taken from the “D” section.)

DULCIANA

From Latin dulcis (“sweet”), a Dulciana is a diminutive Diapason of English origin, smaller in scale than a normal Diapason, and softer and more delicate in tone (often the softest stop in a particular organ).  The name dates from around 1640, when it was used for gentle flue stops of various forms.  It was introduced to England in 1754 by John Snetzler, who probably encountered the name while working in Austria.  It brought him great acclaim, and was soon a favorite of English organbuilders.  Eventually English builders apparently grew tired of the tone of the Dulciana, and began voicing it with a stringy tone, or even a hornlike tone like the Keraulophone.  In 1905 Wedgwood wrote without remorse that “the real Dulciana is rapidly becoming obsolete, yielding its place to the Salicional.”

While the earliest examples of the Dulciana were most often at 4′ pitch, the English form is most often found at 8′ pitch, though 16′ examples are not uncommon and 32′ and 4′ pitch not unknown.  The true English Dulciana is invariably made of cylindrical open metal pipes of small scale, though the scale may vary considerably, from 3′ to 4.5′ at 8′ C.  The 8′ octave is occasionally made of wood, sometimes stopped wood, and, when space or funds are limited, borrowed from another stop, usually the Stopped Diapason (although it is impossible to get the proper tone from a stopped pipe).  While most sources agree on the definition of the Dulciana as a diminutive Diapason, and not a strong, Skinner felt that, although its origin was as an Echo Diapason, it should be classified as a muted string, on account of its scale.  Synonyms include Dulciane and Dulcian: the latter is also a synonym for Dulzian, a reed stop.

Dean’s Column

Dear Salt Lake City Chapter AGO Members,

I hope you were able to attend our last meeting which was held at the Salt Lake Tabernacle and given by Dr. John Longhurst. He did a superb job on Joseph Ridges, his life, and his part in the making of the Tabernacle organ. Everyone who was there was richly fed. Some of my favorite stops on the organ were put in by him – now I know.

We are looking at the last AGO event of the year. It will be held on Saturday, May 10, at 9:30 am. We will meet at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, where a demonstration will be given of the organ, a tour of the pipes, and some time given to each of you to play the instrument. At 11:30 am we will go to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the Assembly Hall to see the organs there. You will also get to play those instruments. We hope that you will all make an effort to come, play, and be involved in this May activity.

Another note of business, in case you were not at our last event, the nominating committee announced the new board for SLCAGO for the 2014-2016 years. We will be lucky to have Alex Oldroyd as our new Dean with Matthew Plooster as the Sub-Dean, Ian Christensen as Treasurer and Becky Azera will continue as the Secretary. We are grateful to these people for saying “yes” to carrying on the AGO tradition here in the Salt Lake Area.

I hope you had a joyful Easter Season. It is a wonderful time for reflection as well as playing beautiful organ music. I enjoyed rehearsing the hymns for the services I played and brushing up on some of my favorite Easter Postludes. I rejoiced that I am able to play the organ and contribute to the beauty of Easter.

I hope you all have a wonderful month. I would love to hear from you about what you are playing for May. Do you do Mother’s Day songs? Do you play songs to “remember” people? (Memorial Day) Do you play songs to remind you of the spring season? I am always looking for new ideas to make the music I play for others more enjoyable to them. It helps me to know what you are doing.

Keep Practicing-the Eternal Challenge!

Heidi J. Alley, Dean

Sub-Dean’s Column

Dear friends,

     It’s hard to believe we’re already at the close of our 2013-2014 season! This year has really flown by. I hope you had a wonderful Easter.
     Easter is associated with a great deal of wonderful music. I hope you’ve taken time to enjoy some of it- whether you were a player, singer, or audience member. Last weekend, I attended the “Messiah” performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It was the first time I’ve heard the entire work performed live, and by such a large group of musicians. It was phenomenal. One of the particularly interesting things to me was that all of the soloists – wonderful musicians, world-renowned in their own right – all came, or live in, Salt Lake City. We live in an area with so much talent, including all of you. I’m glad to be involved with such a talented, wonderful, and kind group of people.
     This is my final letter to you as Sub-Dean. It’s hard to believe these two years have gone so quickly. I’ve enjoyed getting to know and working with many of you, and I’m looking forward to continuing that over the next two years as Dean. It’s truly an honor, and I hope that I and our new team can provide valuable events to you, and serve you as members as we promote the purpose of the AGO- to enrich lives through organ and choral music.
     I’ve had the great fortune to work alongside people who have become dear friends to me: Heidi Alley, Charles Black, Becky Azera, Ryan North, and Valerie McDougal. These people have worked tirelessly to keep the chapter running smoothly. I hope you will take time to thank them for their contributions.
     Heidi cares deeply for each of you as members. I have seen her rejoice in your accomplishments, both musical and otherwise and grieve for you over difficulties and losses in your life. It was amazing to see how much she knew about you and cared for you. She’s left some truly big shoes to fill! In addition, she’s a terrific organist, playing guest recitals at the Tabernacle and for services and concerts at St. Paul’s. Those of you who heard her play the organ (and Charles conduct) the Duruflé Requiem know how gifted she is.
     Charles has served 3 consecutive terms as treasurer for the chapter. I don’t know how many of you love accounting and operations. Those of you who do will know what a tough job this is. Keeping records and financials alone for a non-profit organization like our chapter is a difficult task. He makes sure we stay on budget and that the chapter is secure financially. Additionally, he has also been responsible for organizing membership records, submitting dues and information to national, and making sure you receive your TAO magazine. During this time, Charles has also gone back to school, graduated, and started a new business, in addition to serving as music director at St. Paul’s. What a busy schedule! He’s also a great organist at St. Paul’s. One of my most favorite hymn re-harmonizations was his spin on “All Creatures of Our God and King” at a chapter hymn sing a few years ago.
     Becky Azera has done a great job keeping notes for all of us. In a room full of creative people, she is the gravity pulling us back to earth. Becky is a dedicated student of the organ- studying with several wonderful teachers! She did a great job at our member recital in February. She’s also a NICU nurse. She even learned that she’s a dessert chef during our time together (though she might not admit it)! I’m so glad Becky will be staying on with our new group next term.
     Ryan North has helped some of you work on your certifications. It’s a challenging process with many details to organize. I hope more of you will challenge yourselves to take the examinations for certification. It’s one of the greatest benefits the Guild offers to its members. Ryan has done a wonderful job in this capacity, as well as help us organize educational events for the chapter. Many of you also benefited from his Tacky Toccata presentation at St. Ambrose earlier this year. Bravo!
     Valerie has her hands full preparing this newsletter each month. When she’s not chasing content from us (sorry Val!), she’s been busy working on her degree in organ performance at BYU. She gave a wonderful recital this season at St. Mark’s which some of you were fortunate enough to attend. I’m grateful for the key work she has done so well for our chapter.
     These dear people deserve a round of applause!
     I hope to see you at our upcoming event in May at Temple Square. If the words “open console” and “conference center organ” in the same sentence aren’t enough to entice you, Bill Hesterman will be giving tours of the pipe chamber, one of the Tabernacle Organists will demonstrate the organ and provide insight into its construction, and you’ll also get to play the organs at the Assembly Hall and Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Don’t miss it! (Saturday May 10, 9:30 am. Meet in the Conference Center Auditorium).
     Mark the date, September 6th for our upcoming Super Saturday.  You won’t want to miss it!
      Make a commitment now to attend these events, and to supporting the chapter. If there’s something you’d like to see us offer as an event that would be interesting or beneficial to you, let us know!
See you in May,
-Alex Oldroyd

New Board Members for 2014-2016

On behalf of the Nominating Committee, I am announcing the new board members for the 2014-2016 years. I did announce this at the last AGO meeting held at the Tabernacle, but in case you were not there, here is the line-up.

Dean: Alex Oldroyd
Sub-Dean: Matthew Plooster
Secretary : Becky Azera
Treasurer: Ian Christensen

I would like to thank these people for accepting these positions. We are grateful that they are willing to serve.

Dr. Ken Udy
Nominating Committee

Chapter/Community Events

UVAGO Super SaturdayUVAGO 2014 Super Saturday
Saturday April 26, 2014, 8:30 a.m.
HFAC, BYU
Bonnie Goodliffe, Temple Square organist will give the keynote presentation. The event is free, open to the public, and has presentations for all organists from beginning to advanced. See attached flyer.

 

 

 

 

CLOSING SOCIAL
Temple Square Organ Crawl
Saturday, May 10, 2014, 9:30 a.m.

SLCAGO May Temple Square eventJoin us for our closing event as we visit three of the finest organs in the area on Temple Square. We’ll begin at the Conference Center where a member of the Tabernacle Organ staff will demonstrate the organ and provide insight into its construction. Next, we’ll tour the pipe chambers with Bill Hesterman. Finally, you’ll have a chance to get your hands on the enormous 130-rank Schoenstein organ in the Conference Center. Following that, you’ll be able to play both the 65-rank Sipe organ in the Assembly Hall and the 45-rank Casavant organ in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Bring your music and your shoes – don’t miss it

 

 

Click on picture(s) to view full size.

Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/slcago

 

HANS UWE HIELSCHER Organ Concert
Friday, May 23, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Salt Lake Tabernacle (Temple Square)

Hans Uwe Hielscher, organist and carillonneur at the Marktkirche in Wiesbaden, Germany, will present a concert in the Salt Lake Tabernacle as part of the Temple Square Performance series.  The concert is free.

AGO2014logo
Great City·Wonderful Music·Inspired Learning·Compelling Instruments·Gracious Hospitality
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
On behalf of the Steering Committee, I extend a warm invitation for you to join us June 23-27 for the 2014 National Convention in Boston. Centered in Boston’s Back Bay, within easy walking to many of our great churches, this 4 ½ day convention will inspire and thrill with a diversity of instruments – from Meantone to WurliTzer – played by an outstanding international roster of organists. It will feature many recently installed instruments in addition to a long list of landmark organs.We will not only feature great organs, but outstanding choral concerts, many commissioned works, a diverse array of worship opportunities, and stimulating workshops.The convention is created for you to be comfortably paced. Celebrate your choices.We encourage you to register before January 31, 2014 to take advantage of discounted rates. Register online now at  regonline.com/agoboston2014 to ensure your choices. Registration by paper is available using the form in the October issue of The American Organist.The Marriott Copley place is our convention headquarters hotel.  You may register for hotel reservations through the Marriott’s online system at https://aws.passkey.com/reg/326GFM29-G682, or by calling the hotel directly at 800.228.9290. Ask for the AGO 2014 Convention rate of $195/night when calling.

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@agoboston2014.org.  We will respond quickly to your inquiries. New England beckons you to join us for an inspirational week.

Ray Cornils
Convention Coordinator

 

GABRIEL DESSAUER Organ Concert
Friday, September 5, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Salt Lake Tabernacle (Temple Square)

Gabriel Dessauer, cantor and organist at St. Bonifatius in Wiesbaden, Germany, and a member of the organ faculty at the Musikhochschule Rheinland-Pfalz, will present a concert in the Salt Lake Tabernacle as part of the Temple Square Performance series.  The concert is free.

 

SUPER SATURDAY
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Libby-Gardner Hall (President’s Circle, University of Utah)

Be sure to mark this correct date! We’ll have wonderful repertoire classes, hymn playing classes, choral music, and more! Don’t miss it!

 

At the Bench

100_1809The following article is by Alexandra Ripperger.  Alexandra is a student at St. Olaf College, majoring in Biology- Pre-Veterinary Medicine. She was introduced to the organ by Jeanine Walter, who is double-majoring in music (organ performance) and nursing. Alexandra wrote a paper about Jeanine as a living organism for a science class.

 

On Assumptions: How An Organist Taught Me To Be More Open-Minded

              I didn’t know anyone under the age of 50 played the organ. To me, the instrument was the huge thing with the pipes that an older woman played during a church service. Those preconceived notions were drastically altered on my first day of college when I met my roommate, Jeanine Walter. A bubbly, blunt California girl, Jeanine shocked me when she explained she was an organ performance major; she didn’t just know how to play the organ, she planned on doing it professionally.

 Three years later, after watching Jeanine play the organ on numerous occasions, I have a deeper appreciation for the time and dedication it takes to become good at this grand instrument. My social biases against organists have come crashing down, as Jeanine slowly introduced me to the small community of collegiate organists. Although it can be difficult to not have initial judgments when it comes to something foreign, I quickly realized I needed to be more open-minded during my next four years at St. Olaf.    

             Watching Jeanine prepare to play a song on the organ is like watching someone adjust a car to his or her exact specifications for driving. She flicks on the light and sets her sheet music on the stand. Leaning over, she twists the knob on the side of the bench, lowering it a little. Jeanine sits down, tests the height out, and deems it too high. She repeats this process three times before being satisfied.

 Every St. Olaf student has seen the massive organ in Boe Chapel; with 5,068 pipes, it is hard to miss. But without Jeanine as my roommate, I would have walked past Skifter Hall on St. Olaf’s campus every day for four years never knowing what was inside. Thankfully, she gave me a tour of the building, which houses the organ practice rooms. The seven small rooms, no more than 10ft by 10ft, each contain a different organ that fills almost the entire space. Even with multiple practice organs available, Jeanine says “the worst part about being an organist is not having your own personal instrument that you can carry around with you and claim as just your own, like a trumpet or flute. And it can get complicated sharing the best ones with other students, having to practice at odd times to fit others’ schedules and in public where anyone can interrupt with noise and presence.” I hadn’t realized until this point how constantly playing tucked away in Skifter Hall withdraws the organists’ visibility from the St. Olaf community. Not only are there only 25 organists at St. Olaf, people rarely get the opportunity to watch them play.

 The Boe Chapel organ allows organists to set “memory levels” in the console. Each organist has specific “memory level” numbers that, when entered, set the organ’s pistons correctly for the organist’s songs. The pistons, which are cylindrical rods with knobs on the ends, correspond to a set of organ pipes. Depending on if they are pulled in or out like a drawer, they allow or prevent airflow through the pipes to make a sound. This may sound simplistic, but the Boe Chapel organ, like many church organs, has over 100 pistons. Imagine having to individually set all of them each time you played a song!

 The Boe Chapel organ has three levels of hand keys that can be played, and it also has foot pedals, which essentially look like extra large piano keys (complete with sharp notes). Did you know organists must wear special shoes when they play? Jeanine’s shoes look like plain black pumps with a thick heel; organ shoes must have a heel so that multiple foot pedals can be played at the same time. Jeanine pulls on her shoes and settles in. She fools around for a bit, playing a fun, simple tune to check that everything is in order. Finally, she flips to her senior soloist audition piece and prepares to play.

 If you have never closely observed someone playing the organ, you would not be able to appreciate the physicality involved. Jeanine is currently playing Organ Symphony No. 1 by Guilmant for her organ professor, and although I know nothing about organ compositions, the number of notes on the sheet music almost makes my eyes water. I can’t imagine how one person will be able to play all the right notes at all the right times. As Jeanine begins, there is so much movement involved I forget momentarily to listen to the music. She leans, slides, and shifts across the bench to reach various notes. Her feet are also in constant motion, and occasionally cross in a heel-toe action as she moves down a series. Her body is even sometimes diagonal, if her feet need to reach pedals to the far left and her hands need to reach keys to the far right. On top of everything, her entire body rocks back and forth through the entire piece, emphasizing certain notes and evoking passion. After she is finished, her organ professor comes over togive a few constructive criticisms. She tells Jeanine the piece “must be perfect, you are here to impress and move people.” She goes on to remind her of an organist alumnus who, at the end of every song, would throw himself off the bench in excitement. “Nobody noticed that half the time he messed up the final chords, because his enthusiasm was so incredible.”

I think it is safe to say if you chose to major in organ performance, you have a great passion for the instrument. Jeanine started playing the piano when she was six years old and moved on to the organ when she was 11. “I went to a Lutheran school from kindergarten to 8th grade, so my teacher gave lessons in the chapel. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have gotten into playing church music at all,” she explains. After a successful audition at St. Olaf, Jeanine decided she couldn’t turn down the chance to continuing playing and take music history classes (which, she now notes, were “ridiculously hard”). Her favorite organ pieces to play are from the French Romantic era, which Jeanine says are characterized by “emerging individualism in music, the emphasis on human emotion rebutting rationality…and huge, powerful chords.” Jeanine describing her favorite organ pieces is similar to an elite athlete at the top of their game: “the feeling of vulnerability paired with raw power is right at my fingertips, and I zone out completely when I know a piece well and can jump into it completely.” Although Jeanine knows all the organs at St. Olaf well, she says her favorite organ is at the Macy’s department store in Philadelphia, because it has seven keyboards and “so many stops and pistons that [you feel] literally engulfed, like in an airplane cockpit.”

Society tells us college is a part of your life overflowing with change, particularly in regards to your assumptions and beliefs about the world. I never would have guessed one of my hidden presumptions would be exposed and smashed into pieces within hours of moving in. I’m glad to have been educated on the preparation and facets of playing the organ, but more importantly, I’m glad to have become friends with one of best collegiate organists in the U.S. The next time you see a blonde girl playing the organ in Boe Chapel, pause for a moment and take a closer look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piccolo

The Organ, an Encyclopedia

Douglas E. Bush, Editor
Richard Kassel, Associate Editor

(Following is one short article taken from the “P” section.)

PICCOLO

An open metal or wood manual Flute stop of 2′ (less often 1′) pitch.  In its unison form, its smooth and full tone blends well with various flue choruses, but it lacks sufficient bite at upper registers to be truly imitative.  A harmonic (double-length) variant is closer to its model, and is usually referred to as an Orchestral Piccolo.

Event reminder / Parking info

Don’t forget our event tomorrow: John Longhurst will deliver a special lecture on Joseph Ridges at the Tabernacle on Temple Square.

Saturday April 12
10:30 AM
Tabernacle on Temple Square. Enter through the doors by the flagpole on the east side of the building.

Parking is on your own. A map of available facilities is available here: Downtown-Parking-Map—2012—COMPLETE, and you can always take FrontRunner/Trax to the Temple Square station.SLCAGO Joseph Ridges lecture poster web