Feburary 2012 Newsletter

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The Opus – February 2012 – PDF file

Jan Kraybill Featured Organist February 27, 2012

Date: Monday, February 27, 2012
Event: Recital by Dr. Jan Kraybill
Location: First Church of Christ, Scientist
5000 Westminster Pl
St. Louis, MO 63108
Time: 6:30 PM – Dinner at First Unitarian Church, 5007 Waterman Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108
7:30 Recital
Host: Program—Martha Shaffer
Dinner—Emily Pearce
Cost: $10 for dinner
Reservations Kathleen Bolduan (314-725-1251 or kathleen.bolduan@gmail.com)
(Please confirm reservation by February, 22, 2012)
Driving Directions:
From I-64/US Route 40 East/Westbound-From I-44 East/Westbound:Exit at Kingshighway North. Go north on Kingshighway to Waterman Blvd. Turn LEFT onto Waterman (the gates will be open).

Dr. Jan Kraybill will be our guest recitalist for the February 27, 2012 program at the St. Louis First Church of Christ, Scientist located at North Kingshighway (at Westminster Pl), 5000 Westminster Pl, St. Louis, MO 63108.

Her program will feature a variety of music for diverse audiences at the three-manual, 41-rank Hutchings-Votey/Kilgen/Ott organ, installed 1904 and refurbished in 1998. Dr. Kraybill currently serves as councilor of Region VI of the American Guild of Organists. Her dynamic personality has inspired many of us to pursue certification and become more involved in the AGO organization. Leading by example, she earned the certification of Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, the highest level of AGO certification.

Dr. Kraybill is the principal organist and director of music at the international headquarters of the Community of Christ (formerly RLDS) denomination in Independence, MO. She performs regularly on the famous 113-rank Aeolian-Skinner auditorium organ and the Temple’s 103-rank Casavant organ.

Dr. Kraybill earned the bachelor of music education and master of music in piano performance from Kansas State University and doctor of musical arts in organ performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music.

She performs as a pianist and organist throughout the United States and abroad. She has appeared at regional and national musicians’ conventions, including the AGO, the American Choral Directors’ Association, the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. She has been featured frequently on Kansas Public Radio and has performed as harpsichordist and organist with the acclaimed baroque group the Bach Aria Soloists, the Kansas City Symphony and the Grammy-winning Kansas City Chorale.

We are appreciative of Dr. John Near, Martha Shaffer, Bill Seibert and the Board of Trustees at St. Louis First Church of Christ, Scientist for their enthusiastic support for our chapter by holding our February program at this church. And we are also grateful to First Unitarian Church, organist Emily Pearce, for hosting our pre-program dinner. For the program we will walk from First Unitarian across the shared parking lot to First Church of Christ, Scientist.

— Dr. Bill Wade, CAGO

From the St. Louis Chapter Dean…


There is no better way to begin than by thanking Bill Wade and Mike Kaberline for generously hosting an Epiphany Party in their beautiful home. Those who attended enjoyed themselves—good food, good friends and gracious hosts—that’s the way to CELEBRATE!

I hope all of you have recovered from the holidays and the associated musical calisthenics. My own recovery has been a bit slow. Apparently the OPUS editorial staff has crosscontaminated itself with some sort of “bug.” Poring over the same computer monitor may have done it.

I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the “100 for 100” project is now officially underway. Your OPUS editors need your contributions to the list of accessible pieces. We now have twelve pieces, not including the editors’ own submissions. The results of this compilation promise to be of use to all of us. Titles can be e-mailed to opusSLAGO@gmail.com. Anyone not having access to e-mail may send submissions to Henry Evans, 404 South Long St., Caseyville, IL 62232. With your submission, please include the following: title, composer, publisher and product number. The work should be currently in print, and may include collections.

— Henry Evans, Dean

KU Italian Organ Study Tour

100 Years poco a poco

From May 16-28, 2012 the University of Kansas will sponsor an organ study tour of Italy. This tour is open to anyone. It will be directed by Professor Michael Bauer working in conjunction with the noted Italian organist Francesco Cera. The tour will focus on restored Renaissance and Baroque instruments. There will be ample time available to take in the art and architecture of the various cities. Sites include Rome, Rieti, Assisi, Siena, Florence, Bologna, Mantova, and Venice. For further information see www.organ.ku.edu or write mbauer@ku.edu.

Earn your AGO Certification for FREE!!

I know, nothing in life is really free, but this offer is hard to pass up! The executive committee has agreed to cover the certification fees for anyone who successfully earns his/her certification on any of the five AGO certification cate-gories (Service Playing Certificate, Colleague, Associate, Fellow, and/or Choirmaster). Refer to page 65 in the January 2012 issue of The American Organist for specific information. Important dates to consider are:

  • Service Playing Certificate – October through April – submitted on CD
  • Colleague Certificate – May 11, 2012 and November 16, 2012
  • Associate Certification – June 7 and 8, 2012
  • Fellow Certification – June 7 and 8, 2012
  • Choirmaster – June 6, 2012

For anyone interested in participating in preparation for any of the certification exams, please contact our exam coordinator Dawn Riske at driskehoy@juno.com. More information is also available online at the AGO headquarters site: http://www.agohq.org/docs/pdf/ProfCertRequirements.pdf.

Soli Deo Gloria? The American Guild of Organists

“Soli Deo Gloria” (Glory to God alone) is the motto of The American Guild of Organists (AGO). While excavating the history and evolution of the AGO, one discovers that the motivation for organizational change often occurred more in response to economic and political pressures than to theological intention as the motto might suggest.

The American Guild of Organists was chartered through the university law of the state of New York in 1896 as an organization to:

  • Advance the cause of worthy church music
  • Elevate the status of church organists
  • Increase their appreciation of their responsibilities, duties and opportunities as conductors of worship
  • Obtain acknowledgment of their position from the authorities of the church
  • Raise the standard of efficiency of organists by examinations in organ playing, in the theory of music and in general musical knowledge and
  • Grant certificates of associateship and fellowship to members of the Guild who pass such examinations.
  • Provide members with opportunities for meeting, for the discussion of professional topics, and to do other such lawful things as are incidental to the purposes of the Guild. (Samuel Atkinson Baldwin, The Story of the American Build of Organists, NY:HW Gray, 1946, p. 22.

These purposes have been slightly revised to their present version:

  • To advance the cause of organ and choral music
  • To increase their contributions to aesthetic and religious experiences, and to promote their understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment
  • To improve the proficiency of organists and choral conductors
  • To evaluate, by examination, attainments in organ playing, choral techniques, conducting, and the theory and general knowledge of music, and to grant certificates to those who pass such examinations at specified levels of attainment
  • To provide members with opportunities to meet for discussion of professional topics, and to pursue such other activities as contribute to the fulfillment of the purposes of the Guild (American Guild of Organists, 2011 National Membership Directory, NY: American Guild or Organists, 2011, p. 13.

These purposes have been distilled into the current 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.” (AGO, 2011 National Membership Directory, p. 4). Effective accomplishment of this mission is primarily an educational endeavor through the examination and certification process.

Academic degrees in church music were not common in the late nineteenth century in the United States. Consequently, the opportunity for continuing education and recognition of achievement by organists was welcomed by most organists at the time. Originally, the only method for new people to join the Guild was through the examination process. There was no provision for general membership of non organists, clergy, choirmasters, or those who loved the organ but were not proficient in playing the instrument. Such a limited membership restriction did not propel the organization into rapid growth. Though such elitist restrictions were well established and respected in European guilds, the lack of accommodations for a broader membership caused political and economic barriers for the expansion of the AGO in the United States. In response to increasing pressure to expand the membership opportunity, together with the financial incentive of greater influence and participation of more people, the constitution of the organization was changed in 1909 to allow for the admission of general members to be known as “colleagues”. Clarification was made about the status of a general member as one who had not passed an examination and one without a certifi-cate or academic standing. Also changed at that time was language that would allow for the establishment of chapters and membership throughout the United States and Canada.

Immediately following the expansion of the membership opportunity, new chapters began to form in more geographic areas in North America and Canada. By 1911, there were AGO chapters in Saint Louis, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Virginia, District of Columbia, Northern California, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. These chapters were in addition to the early chapters in New York, New England, Pennsylvania, and Chicago. By the Golden Anniversary in 1946, the Guild had expanded into a national organization with about 5,000 members and 125 chapters and branches. Today, the Guild serves over 20,000 members in 330 chapters across nine regions in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Organizational diversity has been part of the tapestry of membership from the early years of the organization. Four of the founders were women and the issue of admission of blind organists was resolved at the outset. The current Code of Ethics stipulates that “members shall not discriminate against others on the basis of race, national origin, age, religious affiliation, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or medical condition (including, but not limited to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).” (AGO, 2011 National Membership Directory, p. 11). AIDS was first used as a term for a serious human retroviral infection in August of 1982. Early in the epidemic there was widespread discrimination and confusion about the disease and those who had it. Scores of musicians, composers, organists and entertainers became infected and, sadly, many died. The AGO boldly took a positive step in specifically including this condition among its non-discrimination categories.

More recently, the AGO has become involved with the Internet, both as a vehicle for accessing and disseminating information, and also for online payment of dues, online store portal, and utilization of e-mail. There is a national endeavor to assist all chapters with websites and online portals. Migration to a more paperless system has forced some chapters to replace volunteers who lacked the knowledge or desire to familiarize themselves with emerging technology. Repurposing the talents of these individuals is both an opportunity and challenge.

Locally, the Saint Louis Chapter has celebrated its centennial anniversary in October, 2011! In recognition of this milestone, the chapter is making a concerted effort to increase participation in the examination and certification opportunities. The Chapter is also featuring several anniversary concerts highlighting organists young and old. The motto of AGO may be “Soli Deo Gloria”, but the practicality of survival requires the ability of the organization to change with the times, to focus on recruitment and retention of members, and to answer the call to remain relevant to the members and churches, synagogues, and schools they serve. When accomplished, all the work can be dedicated “to the Glory of God alone.”

— Dr. Bill Wade, CAGO

Music Minutiae

Henry Evans mentioned to me the other day that he had found the hymn, “Trinity” or “Italian Hymn” in The Hymnal, (1982) of the Episcopal Church with the hymn-tune name “Moscow.” This oddity got my attention. I turned into my alter-ego who resembles a dog that just knows there’s a bone buried somewhere in the yard; no garden plant will survive the search.

I went into my studio and began digging through the indices of my hymnal collection (musty old books from dusty old “used-stuff” stores). I began with the New Church Hymnal (Fleming H. Revell Company, 1937) and found the tune name “Italian Hymn.” The Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (Eden Publishing House, 1941) had the tune name “Trinity.” Pilgrim Hymnal (The Pilgrim Press, 1931) had the tune named “Italian Hymn.” Then I looked in a less geriatric edition. Christian Worship A Hymnal (Bethany Press, 1982) had the tune name “Italian Hymn (Trinity)”—a compromise. A number of other hymnals yielded similar results. Then I turned to a well-worn Unitarian hymnal Hymns for the Celebration of Life, (1964, Beacon Press). This hymnal includes notes on virtually all hymns and readings—composers, authors, translators, and sources. The Unitarians are, as a denomination, scholarly.

Here’s the Unitarian scoop: “TRINITY, named for this text, was published in The Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes Sung at the Chapel of the Lock Hospital, 1769. The composer, Felice de Giardini (1716-96), a native of Italy, was a leading violinist and opera conductor in London from 1752 to 1784 who died penniless in Moscow. This widely used version differs slightly from the original. The tune is often, if incorrectly, called ‘Italian Hymn’ or ‘Moscow.’”

Ahhh! The sense of satisfaction! I had unearthed a new bit of trivia. This could become a passion! Unfortunately it would not enhance my performance skills, but it certainly is fun.

Two conclusions may be drawn: First, your editor is a trivia “junkie;” and second, more importantly, more copy is needed for The Opus! Thanks go to Henry Evans for inspiring this foray into old books, and a big thank you to Bill Wade for sending in his not trivial essay on the AGO, thus saving us from mailing out blank spaces!

– Nancy Barbee

Upcoming Concerts


Friday, February 3, 2012
– 7:30 p.m.
7th Annual Valentine Concert featuring MUSIC OF ‘FIDDLER ON THE ROOF’ excerpts performed by members of St. Paul Music Ministry. Public invited to attend. Freewill offering. St. Paul UCC Activity Center, 115 West ‘B’ Street, Belleville, IL 618-233-3303

Sunday, February 12 – 4:00 p.m.
The Cornet Chop Suey Jazz Band will present a concert. The seven-member band plays jazz, swing, blues, and more. Second Presbyterian Church, 4501 Westminster Place, St. Louis, MO 63108. For further information, call 314-367-0366. The concert is free and open to the public.

Friday, February 24, 2012
– 7:30 p.m. COTTEY COLLEGE WOMEN’S CHOIR & DANCERS In Concert. Public invited to attend. Freewill offering. St. Paul UCC Sanctuary, 115 West ‘ B’ Street, Belleville, IL 618-233-3303

Sunday, February 26 — 9:00 and 10:15
Worship Services. Chloe and Stevie Gonzalez, Worship Dancers. Webster Groves Presbyterian Church, 45 West Lockwood Ave. , Webster Groves, MO 63119. Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries/Sr. Organist.

Sunday, February 26 — 9:00 and 10:15
Worship Services. Chloe and Stevie Gonzalez, Worship Dancers. Webster Groves Presbyterian Church, 45 West Lockwood Ave. , Webster Groves, MO 63119. Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries/Sr. Organist.


Saturday, March 24 — 7:30 p.m.
“A Russian Spring” featuring Rachmaninov’s Vespers Saint Louis Abbey Church, West Saint Louis County The Masterworks Chorale, Dr. Stephen Mager, conductor Ticket and venue information at www.singmasterworks.org

March 25
– Chanson du Soir – Chelsea Camille, soprano and David Isaacs, guitar 10:15 a.m. Traditional Worship Services Webster Groves Presbyterian Church, 45 West Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119. Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries/Sr. Organist.

Sunday, March 25 – 3:00 p.m.
Saint Clare Catholic Church, O’Fallon, Illinois “A Russian Spring” featuring Rachmaninov’s Vespers The Masterworks Chorale, Dr. Stephen Mager, conductor Ticket and venue information at www.singmasterworks.org

Sunday March 25 — 4:00 p.m.
Chanson du Soir, a California-based duo with soprano Chelsea Camille and guitarist David Isaacs, will present a concert on at Second Presbyterian Church, 4501 Westminster Place, St. Louis, MO 63108. For further information, call 314-367-0366. The concert is free and open to the public.

Positions Available

First Christian Church Bonne Terre, MO, a small membership congregation affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), seeks a part-time church organist/pianist to participate in leading Sunday morning worship. We believe that music is a way of teaching, learning, and transmitting the gospel as well as our faith tradition. We need a musician (either pianist, organist, or both) to help us deepen the congregation’s appreciation and enjoyment of singing. This position does not require a degree, but applicants should be musically trained. The position requires preparing and playing for our 10:30 am traditional service of worship. This church organist/pianist plays for congregational singing, worship music, and special music for regular services of worship as well as special services during religious holidays. The weekly salary for this position is $35. Interested persons may send a resume to: Search Committee, First Christian Church, PO Box 526, Bonne Terre, MO 63628.

St. Catherine of Siena American National Catholic Church, 600 N. Euclid Street, St Louis, MO is seeking an organist who can play for mass. There is one mass per week on Sundays at 2:00 PM. Position has a stipend included. We are willing to work with a student or person just getting started in the field of church music. Please call the church at (314) 329-8207 or email: pastor@saintcatherinestl.org for more information.

St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 601 Claymont Drive, Ballwin, Missouri is seeking an organist. Position will become available in January, 2012. St. Mark has a 28 rank Quimby organ. The key duties and responsibilities are: select and present music for the Prelude, Offertory and Postlude; accompany hymns for two Sunday worship services; accompany choirs/soloists as needed during rehearsals and worship services; provide music for other services such as weddings, funerals and memorial services, as requested. Please send resume with references to: beckster918@yahoo.com. For further information or questions please contact the church office at 636-394-2233.