September 2013 Newsletter

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The Opus – Sep 2013 – PDF file


Another Opening, Another Show! That’s the sort of feeling we all have at this time of year. Although many of our jobs are outside the world of academia, many of our schedules reflect the “school year.” Summer means no choir (for most of us!), maybe a different service schedule, some time off during the week, and a chance to reflect on the past liturgical year and to plan for the future. As we push ahead toward the autumn months, church, community, and professional choirs are in session, the various concert series around town are beginning, and most importantly, the AGO Program Year is in full bloom!

I am very pleased with the Program Committee’s work in planning this year’s events. A very special thanks to Kathleen Bolduan, Horst Buchholz, John Hawn, Pat Partridge, Richard Thompson, Bill Wade, and Rene Zajner for serving on this important committee! As you can see, we have a variety of ages, skill-sets, and denominations on our committee. If you would like to be a member of this fine group of peo ple, please email me at : for more information. I’ll give you an idea of what our program year holds in store for you, and I will also give you a few other program-related improvements that we’ll be implementing this year.

First off, to echo the purpose of the program survey that was mailed out last May, we will have comment cards available at each meeting. This will be a more effective way of getting feedback since the experience of the meeting will be fresh in everyone’s mind. We’re looking for positive feedback and constructive criticism (i.e., not like the people in your congregation who always hate the music and think the organ is too loud!). The next addition is a season brochure outlining all the programs that will be distributed to our mailing list. We will have several hundred copies of this available at the first meeting in hopes that you will take some along and distribute to your choir members, friends, neighbors, mail carriers, etc. This is a great recruiting tool for you to get colleagues to join the AGO as voting members, or for your music lover friends to join as Friends of the Chapter.

As for the programs this year, you will see on our website (hint, hint: please visit regularly to stay up-to-date on chapter events!) and in the season brochure that we have a wide variety of events planned for this year. My goal as Chair of the Program Committee is to have a broad spectrum of events that reaches out to the different types and levels of skills that our members possess. These are basic categories I have tried to cover: Choral, Musicology, Organ, Social, and Spirituality/Liturgy. Our membership is just as diverse as most of our congregations. Not everyone loves the same things, so we hope to welcome some of our membership back who have maybe been uninterested in our program offerings in the past.

Our opening program, the worship service, has become a staple in the program year. Our venue this year is Second Presbyterian Church in the Central West End with Andy Peters, Pastoral Musician, as our host. Our presider is the Reverend Mary Gene Boteler, Pastor of Second Presbyterian Church. As always, we will try to include a variety of music and texts that speak to why we’re gathered together. Several colleagues from the St. Louis music community, along with some of our own members, will join us in celebration. This year, I have chosen to focus on some music by past and present local composers. What a great way to celebrate the many talents of our members!

See you soon!
Stephen Eros,

The Details
Event: Opening Worship Service
Location: Second Presbyterian Church
4501 Westminster Place
St. Louis MO 63108
(314) 367-0366
Date: Monday, September 23th, 2013
Time: Dinner – 6:30 pm, Presentation – 7:30 pm
Host: Andy Peters, Pastoral Musician
Cost: Dinner $10 with reservations, $12 at the door
Reservations: Kathleenn Bolduan 314-725-1251 or
Please confirm reservation by Wednesday, Sep 11th.

From I-64 Westbound: Take exit 38A and merge onto Forest Park Ave. Turn right on South Taylor Ave. Turn left on Westminster Place. The destination is on your right.

From I-64 Eastbound: Take Exit 36A for Kingshighway Blvd. Keep left at the fork and follow signs for St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Turn left on S. Kingshighway Blvd. Turn right on Lindell Blvd. Turn left on North Taylor Ave. Turn left on Westminster Place. The destination is on your right.

From the Dean…

Welcome to the start of a new program year! I hope your summer has been punctuated with periods of rest, sprinkled with spells of excitement, and filled with fantasies fulfilled. I am thrilled with the diversity of programming for this year and look forward to seeing you at as many of the events as possible.

This year, we are offering a certification preparation opportunity geared to almost guarantee your passing of the Service Playing Certification. This is the most accessible and fun to prepare for of the five certifications. If you are years away from your last organ lesson, or are just finishing up a degree, the SPC is a great way to brush up on basic skills and experience the sense of achievement and success an AGO certification offers. You CAN do it and we’re going to help you achieve it by reviewing every requirement, teaching every skill, and practicing with you so there will be no surprises. Every requirement can be prepared for in advance. The chapter will even reimburse you for the registration fee after you receive the certification! This is a Win/Win, opportunity! We will also offer a certification pathway for the Colleague and Associate level certifications. If there is anyone interested in the Choir Master or the Fellow certifications, we can assist in arranging for mentors for those also.

Our first meeting for anyone interested will be on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 10:30 AM at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 6800 Washington Ave, University City, MO 63130. Our guest speaker will be Kathleen Thomerson, MM, FAGO, ChM, Director. American Guild of Organists Committee of Professional Certification. Kathleen used to live and teach in Saint Louis and was organist at University Methodist Church in the Loop. She is now organist and music director at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas. Please e-mail me if you have any questions.

Dr. Bill Wade, CAGO, Dean

All the trouble for blueberries

08/03/2013 by Dr. Vidas Pinkevicius online at reprinted with permission

Dr. Vidas Pinkevicius
When people pick wild blueberries in the forest during the first 30 minutes it is really fun – beautiful nature, singing birds, we put the berries into the basket one after another. It’s even better when the berries are fairly large – then you can have the full basket fairly fast.

But later, the further you are into the forest, the more effort is needed. If you try picking with a bent back – your back begins to hurt; if you are picking on your knees – they begin to hurt also.

After about 2 hours of this process, it becomes a real suffering for most people. Your body hurts in any position. However a lot of people don’t stop picking the blueberries here. They try to ignore the physical pain and continue picking them until they have full baskets.

Why? The answer is simple. These people have a goal – they don’t want to come back home with empty baskets. Practicing organ music is similar to picking blueberries. At first practicing gives much pleasure, the sounds of the organ are relaxing and you are in a good temper.

But if you try to really focus and continue playing after about 30 minutes, practicing begins to be not so easy. Often you would want to switch to another activity.

But if you have a goal such as learn and master a certain organ composition or prepare for a public performance, then you are able to overcome your struggles and practice with pleasure much longer (with frequent breaks for stretching and relaxation, of course).

Do you have a goal?

St. Louis 2015

Who? Us
What? North Central AGO Regional Convention
When? June 22-24, 2015
Where? Right here!
Why? We haven’t hosted one for a while, and it’s time to showcase our neck of the woods.

How are we going to pull this off? Since April, the steering committee and its sub-committees, working from the input received from chapter members this past spring, have been preparing a program proposal, securing a hotel, lining up venues and drafting a budget to meet the mid-September national deadline for submission and approval. The members are:

Bill Aitken, Programming
Rick Burk, Hotel
Cathy Cassy, Secretary
John Hawn, Gifts and Grants
Brent Johnson, Program Book and Web
Mike Kaberline, Treasurer
Wes Kassulke, Hospitality
Suzanne Manelli, Volunteers
Regina Morris, Registrar/Registration
Chuck Peery, Exhibits
Andy Peters, Convention Coordinator
Martha Shaffer, Logistics
Bill Stein, Regional Competition
Wm. Sullivan, Publicity and Promotion
Jim Threlkeld, Transportation
Bill Wade (ex officio), Chapter Dean

Upon receiving approval of our proposal from national AGO and the Committee On Regional Conventions in October, we look forward to announcing the convention program, artist, presenters, accommodations, and other details in our newsletter and on our dedicated convention website, (watch it grow).

Two areas of need, one immediate and one soon: The immediate need is (you guessed it!): Money! We have no problems spending it—just finding it. If you have friends, business contacts, or if you work for companies that might entertain the possibility of corporate or individual sponsorship, underwriting a recital, paying for the program book, or whatever, please reach out to John Hawn. Soon and very soon (that’s kind of catchy—might make a good song) things are going to get busy, and we are going to need your help in days ahead. If you see an area of work in which you would like to participate, reach out to that committee member. If someone reaches out to you, please consider how you can help.

Stay tuned.
Wm. Sullivan

For Sale

Wicks “Portatif”

3 ranks
16’ Bourdon
8’ Gedeckt
4’ Flute
2’ Choral Bass

8’ Gemshorn
4’ Flute
1-1/3’ Quint

8’ Copula
4’ Gemshorn
2’ Bl. Fl.

$43,000 plus Wicks’ Removal cost of chest. Total Dimensions when all pieces are installed:
7-1/2’ High
7’ Wide
7-1/2’ Deep with Pedals, Chest, and 16’ Pd. Overhang.

INQUIRIES CALL: 636-329-0938

Upcoming Concerts


Fridays in September, October and November Third Baptist Church Friday Pipes. Hear different artists performing on the recently restored 72-rank pipe organ of Third Baptist. Concerts are free and open to the public. Every Friday 12:30pm.

September 22—9:00 and 10:15 a.m. Worship Service, Webster Groves Presbyterian Church
Christopher Grundy, progressive musician. “Music in a Great Place” – 17th Season 45 West Lockwood Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119 Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries, Sr. Organist 314-962-9210 x 3108

September 29—10:15 a.m. Worship Service, Webster Groves Presbyterian Church
Gress-Miles Pipe Organ re-dedication Sunday “Music in a Great Place” – 17th Season 45 West Lockwood Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119 Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries, Sr. Organist 314-962-9210 x 3108

September 29 –3:00 p.m. Webster Groves Presbyterian Church Concert , St. Louis Metro Singers 45 West Lockwood Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119 Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries, Sr. Organist 314-962-9210 x 3108


October 6,—4:00 p.m. Webster Groves Presbyterian Church Concert, Ugandan Orphan Choir (World Communion Sunday) 45 West Lockwood Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119 Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries, Sr. Organist 314-962-9210 x 3108

October 27—4:00 p.m. Webster Groves Presbyterian Church Concert, St. Louis Gateway Ringers 45 West Lockwood Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119 Contact: Shawn Portell, Director of Music Ministries, Sr. Organist 314-962-9210 x 3108


St. Catherine of Siena American National Catholic Church, Danforth Chapel, 826 Union Blvd, St Louis, MO 63108 is seeking an organist to come and worship with us. We are a new and growing independent Catholic community just one block from the Delmar Loop. We are a traditional, yet modern inclusive Catholic community which believes that all people are welcomed into the fullness of the Catholic faith. Our worship uses the traditional Catholic liturgy. Currently, we have one mass on Sunday mornings at 10:00am and other special services during the church year. A basic knowledge of traditional liturgical services would be appreciated. We currently use the latest addition of the Glory & Praise hymnal. We are GLBT friendly. The Chapel has a 1989 Doyle 2 manual, 5 rank full pipe organ. This position would be perfect for beginning liturgists and organists interested in entering the world of liturgical music. Students are welcome! Please contact Fr. Phillip Lichtenwalter – Pastor. Church: 314-329-8207 or email:

St. Mark Lutheran Church in Belleville, IL is seeking a part-time Director of Music to rehearse and direct both voice and handbell choirs; working closely with an accomplished, supportive organist. Excellent acoustics. A full job description may be obtained by emailing a request to: Please send resume and references no later than September 30, 2013 to St. Mark Lutheran Church, 105 East “D” Street, Belleville, IL 62220.

St. Francis’ Episcopal Church in Eureka, MO seeks an organist/pianist and choir direc- tor. St. Francis’ is a growing congregation. We rent our office space — at 210 S. Central in Eureka — and our worship space; we do not own a building. We worship on Sunday morn- ings at 616 Stockell Dr. in Eureka, in the Masonic Lodge. We own an Allen digital organ housed at the Masonic Lodge; a piano, owned by the Masons, is also there.

The Music Director works for the Vicar, the priest-in-charge, and with the volunteer choir to provide meaningful and lively worship. Duties include playing on Sunday mornings, selecting anthems, and rehearsing the choir. In addition to Sunday mornings the Music Director plays for a few special worship services throughout the year, including during Holy Week and at Christmas.

A Bachelor of Music degree, AGO certification, and a working knowledge of the Episcopal Church’s liturgy are desired. For more information and a full job description call the St. Francis’ church office at 636-938-3733 or send an e-mail to The position will be open until filled.

Trinity Lutheran Church, ELCA, in Kirkwood, MO is looking for a new organist and choir director. Trinity is an energetic congregation that desires a balance of old and new musical tastes. Our congregation has a rich musical tradition and an accomplished choir seeking new leadership. We view our worship service as our main asset at Trinity, and offer a traditional service with contemporary elements sprinkled in.

St. Anthony of Padua Parish, 3140 Meramec Street, St. Louis, MO 63118 is seeking a part-time organist & Music Director. We seek a person who is creative and has musical experience and training in liturgical and sacred music as well as strong interpersonal and pastoral skills. The Music Director’s responsibilities would be to select/prepare music for Sunday Eucharist, holy days, special liturgies; direct an adult choir; work with our cantors and be available to play for weddings. The individual must have knowledge of Catholic liturgy, conducting skills, proficiency at organ and piano. St. Anthony Church has a Schulke/Wicks III, 47 organ and Steinway piano. Salary is negotiable and commensurate with experience. Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resumé by August 15 to Fr. Michael Fowler, OFM, pastor. The position will be open until filled, For more information, please contact Fr. Michael Fowler, OFM, St. Anthony of Padua Church 3140 Meramec Street, St. Louis, MO 63118 or 314-655-0513 or


Experienced in traditional and contemporary music, composing/arranging. Trumpet and vocal soloist with teaching experience. Experienced in leading praise teams and instrumental ensembles. Resume available. Contact Dallas Blair, (314) 725-5945 or e-mail