Dean’s Column

Dear friends,

This is my first column as Dean. It’s truly an honor to serve you in this capacity. I was fortunate to meet and get to know many of you better over the past two years while I served as sub-dean. I’m constantly amazed by your talents and the countless ways in which you support our chapter, each other, and your craft as organists and organ enthusiasts in general. Some of you have been members of our chapter longer than I have been alive! (Although you’re still young at heart!)

With the help of Larry Blackburn and Janet Griffin, I compiled a list of past deans of our chapter. It began in 1937 as the Utah Chapter, and grew to the point where another chapter was founded, and in 1954, the Salt Lake Chapter was formed. We’re now in our 60th year in this organization! It was a humbling experience to look through this list and add my name to it. Many of these names are musical giants and legends in their own right. Some of them have been mentors and teachers to me, and people I look to for musical inspiration. Many of these names are your names- those who served the chapter and then continued to be members. I’m grateful for the great history of this organization.

Of course, many of you have served in other capacities, and are not named on this list. Your service may (at this time) be nameless, but certainly not thankless. So, on behalf of the chapter, THANK YOU!

I’m excited for this new program year and the many exciting things it will bring. I’m looking forward to getting to know more of you. I’m anxious for you to get to know Matthew Plooster, Sub-dean and Ian Christensen, treasurer. Becky Azera has continued on as secretary. I’m fortunate to have a wonderful team of people!

Please take time to review the events and other items in the newsletter. There are a lot of wonderful things coming up. Also review the calendar. It’s updated on a continual basis and is a good resource for you. Resolve to attend more guild activities and concerts this year. It will be well worth your time. I’m excited for a great year!

Lastly, if there’s anything I can do or the chapter can do for you, please let me know. Feedback, event ideas, concerts and other events, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Alex Oldroyd

Upcoming Events

Chapter and Community Events

Temple Square Organ Recitals

Attend a free 30 minute organ recital performed by Tabernacle Organists and special guest organists. Held every day of the year (including holidays) except the first Saturday/Sunday in April and October at noon in the Tabernacle. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, a second performance is added at 2:00 at the Conference Center. Enjoy varied repertoire on some of the country’s finest instruments performed by some of its finest organists.

Eccles Organ Festival 2014-2015

The Eccles Organ Festival will begin Sunday September 14, 2014. This year’s Festival, which marks the 20th anniversary of the festival’s founding, will include world-class performers, out-of-the-ordinary programming, and a new format for the festival.

In a departure from the previous format, which packed five recitals into an eight-week period, the festival will now “spread the wealth” a bit more evenly throughout the concert season. The recitals will take place on the second Sunday of each month, beginning in September and ending in February. (There will not be a recital in December.)

The exact dates are: September 14; October 12; November 9; January 11; and February 8. Mark your calendars now, and watch this page for the names of the performers and other exciting details in the coming weeks. Each concert begins at 8 PM at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, unless otherwise noted.

The first event of the 2014-2015 Eccles Organ Festival (on Sunday, September 14) will be dedicated to the memory of Dr. Douglas E. Bush, whose untimely death in October 2013 at the age of 66 left a great void in the Utah organ world. Dr. Bush was a charter committee member of the Eccles Organ Festival, and he performed two recitals under the festival’s auspices: one in July 1994, as part of the very first festival; and one in September 2013, as he valiantly battled the final stages of cancer.

Each year, one of the festival recitals features a performer with a local connection—either an organist who is currently living and performing in the area, or else one who has lived or studied in the state—and the recital honoring Dr. Bush will be played by not one, but two of his distinguished students: Dr. Robert Jan August, and Dr. S. Andrew Lloyd.

Robert Jan August has been the Director of Music and Organist at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth, Texas since 2006. He previously served as Assistant University Organist and Choirmaster at Harvard Memorial Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from Brigham Young University.

S. Andrew Lloyd currently serves as Organist at First United Methodist Church in Denton, Texas. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas, where he studied organ under Dr. Jesse Eschbach. Dr. Lloyd also holds degrees from the University of Kansas and Brigham Young University. In addition, he has studied composition with Forrest Pierce at the University of Kansas, and with Jon Nelson, Andrew May, and James Worlton at UNT. The program will include several of Dr. Lloyd’s own works for organ.

Mark your calendars for September 14 at 8:00 p.m.!

Organ Recital Venue Available

Scott Rowley, Music Director at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection is inviting any organ or piano teachers to consider using the church as a venue for student recitals or other musical events. The church has a well-maintained Baldwin grand piano, and a 2-manual Johannus organ. They also have a Yamaha console piano in the choir room that can be wheeled into the Sanctuary if a second piano is needed.

Scott would also love to have any organ students that want some church service playing experience to contact him.

If any of your students has a piece of music that they’ve learned that they would like to perform as Prelude or Postlude, or during their church services, this would be wonderful as well. This could be an opportunity for your students to can gain some performance experience. Scott would need to consult with you in advance to assess the suitability of the music.

There is no cost involved to use the building for student recitals. Please contact Scott Rowley at, or 801-913-4403 for further information or to schedule an event.

From the Treasury

Dear Organists,

As your new Treasurer and Registrar, I have learned from AGO Headquarters that only 26 (40%) of our 65 chapter members last year have renewed their membership thus far.  The July 25 deadline that was originally imposed holds some flexibility–it’s not too late for your to renew your membership!

As one whose playing and social circle have been greatly enhanced by previous Guild-sponsored education and activities–and knowing that another year of great events is ahead of us–I invite you to take the opportunity to renew your membership by following this link.  Paid in a lump sum, many would agree with me that the average $6 to $8 per month cost of your membership enriches your life rather than impoverishes it.  The TAO magazine, alone, would be worth the cost of your membership, the social and musical opportunities sweeten the deal even more.

Don’t worry that you don’t have your TAO with you or that you’ve forgotten your username or password.  There’s a link on the renewal page that helps you find and reset both quite easily. (For members who don’t use email, a USPS renewal form has been sent to them.  I will be making an effort to contact those members who have not received this email.)

While you’re logged in to your renewal page, you will want to verify that all of your information is correct.  Somehow my ZIP code was recorded incorrectly, as was my email address.  (I’m not sure how I’d been receiving emails and TAOs from the AGO.)

In the coming weeks, I plan on reaching out to members who have cancelled their membership by not renewing in years previous to this one.  Perhaps you could find an opportunity to make a phone call to an old acquaintance–even if that association was only casual–to encourage them to renew.  AGO Headquarters shows that, since 1998, 123 members of our chapter have not renewed a membership which they previously held with us.  Some of those 123 certainly include moved or deceased persons, but others continue to live among us and have simply not renewed.  How much more vibrant would our guild be, how much better would the music be in our concert halls and congregations if even 25 of these organists were to again join us?  Would we practice more?  Would they?  Would performances be more thrilling with better attendance?  They have gifts and insights to share; we have the same.

Ian Christensen, CAGO

Super Saturday

Mark your calendars and plan to attend our Super Saturday weekend on September 5-6. We have some exciting things lined up that you won’t want to miss.

Beginning on Friday September 5 at 7:30 PM, Gabriel Dessauer will give a recital in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. Gabriel Dessauer is cantor and organist at St. Bonifatius in Wiesbaden, Germany, and a member of the organ faculty at the Musikhochschule Rheinland-Pfalz. The concert is free thanks to the Temple Square Concert Series.

The next morning, Saturday September 6 we will have several great workshops at the University of Utah.

Keynote Presentation: “Conquer Stage Fright: Perform with Confidence” by Dr. Jon Skidmore.

You will learn how to:

  1. Create “An Optimal Performance Mindset.”
  2. Use proven and practical strategies to manage performance anxiety.
  3. Use the “Five Stages of Peak Performance” to prepare yourself musically and mentally for a great performance.
  4. Really play on stage.

Dr. Skidmore is a performance coach, practicing psychologist, educator, researcher and musician. He has been on the faculty of the Brigham Young University School of Music for over twenty years teaching the Psychology of Music Performance. His research on creating an optimal performance mindset was recently published in the Journal of Research in Music Education and the Music Educators Journal. He has a private psychological practice in Orem, Utah.

His passion and commitment is teaching performing artists to master the psychological skills of performance so they can truly play on stage.

Additionally, there will be classes from Teresa Clawson, Dr. Don Cook, Scott Mills, Lynn Thomas, and others.

Watch for a separate registration email with more details.

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

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 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, 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  We will respond quickly to your inquiries. New England beckons you to join us for an inspirational week.

Ray Cornils
Convention Coordinator


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.


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!



The Organ, an Encyclopedia

Douglas E. Bush, Editor
Richard Kassel, Associate Editor

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


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