Message from the Dean

From the March, 2014 newsletter

Hello AGO Friends,

It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Olivier Latry recital last Friday night. I don't know about you, but I thought it was one of the best organ recitals I've heard, if not at the very top. Many thanks to the Rev. Brian Cole at Good Shepherd for his support of the organ program there, to Good Shepherd Organist/Choirmaster John Linker for making all of the arrangements, and to the parishoners of Good Shepherd for helping the Lexington and Louisville AGO chapters bring this exciting recitalist to Lexington! As I looked around Friday evening at the congregation it was wonderful to see many AGO members from around the state, and particularly to see so many younger organ students in attendance. Facebook was really buzzing with their comments afterwards: "Could you believe that improvisation?!" "That was amazing--I need to go practice now!" and just simply, "WOW!!"

One of the missions of AGO is to provide a forum for education and to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music. Our upcoming Bach Marathon will build on the excitement we've generated with the Latry recital. I know of at least one person (a non-organist) who found out about Bach Marathon and signed up to play his instrument during the afternoon portion of the program, and that might not have happened without all the publicity you helped to generate about our chapter and its activities. If you know of a young person who likes music, why not invite him or her to come to a portion of Bach Marathon with you? You never know when a simple invitation can ignite a spark of encouragement for someone.

While we're on the subject of education, I want to extend a huge shout-out of congratulations to Kathy Egner, who has successfully passed the Guild's Service Playing Examination! Kathy has been writing for this newsletter about her experiences in preparing for the exam. May her success inspire more of our members to prepare for a Guild exam. We are happy to help you get started!

See you at another great organ event real soon,

Jane

Lexington Bach Marathon

Performers in the 9th Annual Bach Marathon will continue the AGO Lexington Chapter's trek towards performing the entire organ works of J.S. Bach. This year's marathon begins at Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church and features the six trio sonatas. Please note the starting time has been moved forward to 10:00am. Here are a list of the performers.

  • Sonata in E-flat Major, BWV 525 John Linker
  • Sonata in c minor, BWV 526 Glenna Metcalfe
  • Sonata in d minor, BWV 527 Zach Klobnak
  • Sonata in e minor, BWV 528 Jerry Martin
  • Sonata in C Major, BWV 529 Mark DeAlba
  • Sonata in G Major, BWV 530 Schuyler Robinson

Bring a friend and enjoy these sublime pieces together.

The afternoon portion of the Bach Marathon begins at 1:00 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 1000 Tates Creek Rd. A wide variety of community musicians will be performing, ending with a students' segment from 5:00 to 6:00. We still have openings in the schedule, so if you or your students would like to play some Bach, please contact Bonnie Harstad (bharstad@windstream.net) or Kristy Kirsh (klkirsch@windstream.net).

Faith has a 13-rank Steiner tracker organ and a Yamaha grand piano; practice times can be arranged. Of course, we always appreciate an enthusiastic audience! You are welcome to come and go as you please throughout the afternoon as we celebrate Bach's 329th birthday! For a schedule of performers and times, please check Faith's website (www.faithlutheranchurch.com), beginning two weeks before March 22.

Music at the Abbey

No, not Downton, but Kentucky's own Gethsemani! Enjoy an afternoon of fellowship, music, and contemplation on May 17 at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, KY, where monks have lived, worked and prayed for over 150 years.

You may be familiar with their cheese, fruitcake, and the writings of the notable Thomas Merton, but praying the Liturgy of the Hours is at the heart of religious life at the Abbey. Singing through the 150 psalms according to a 2-week cycle forms the backbone of their 7 daily prayer services, and our chapter will have the opportunity to participate in one of them.

We will begin our excursion with lunch in Bardstown at Talbott Tavern at 11:15, including the Installation of Officers led by our chapter chaplain, Larry Sivis. From there, we proceed to the Abbey, where Br. Luke will show and invite us to play the church's LeTourneau organ, followed by the 2:15 service of None, approximately 15 minutes long and open to the public. Next, we adjourn to the choir room for an introduction to the choral works of Gethsemani composer Fr. Chrysogonus Waddell. Br. Luke will share some of Waddell's unpublished hymns written for the Abbey, and Bonnie Harstad will lead a read-through of several octavos published and provided by World Library Publications. From that point, you are free to roam the Abbey's 1200 acres, visit the Welcome Center, and attend the 5:30 Vespers service if desired, leaving whenever you wish.

Feel free to bring a guest or family member to participate in our planned activities, or to explore the church and grounds on their own. For more information about the Abbey of Gethsemani, visit their website at www.monks.org; drive time from Lexington is approximately 1.5 hours.

Mission Statement

The purpose of the American Guild of Organists is to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members.

© 2014 American Guild of Organists
Lexington, KY chapter