Category Archives: November 2000

Bachanalia 2000 concert by the Greater Hartford Chapter AGO


The American Guild of Organists:
Greater Hartford CT Chapter

Members Recital
Sunday, November 19 ~ 7 o’clock P.M.
St. Peter’s Church, New Britain, CT
For directions to the Church, click here

Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 545 Jason Charneski
From the “Eighteen Great” Chorales:
Fantasia super Komm, Heiliger Geist, BWV 651
Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654
Renée Anne Louprette
Allein Gott in der Höh Sei Ehr, BWV 662 Jason Charneski
Allein Gott in der Höh Sei Ehr, BWV 663
Allein Gott in der Höh Sei Ehr, BWV 664
Renée Anne Louprette
Prelude and Fugue in A Major, BWV 536 Jason Charneski
Concerto in G Major (Ernst), BWV 592 Gretchen Hill
I. Allegro
II. Grave
III. Presto
Anticipating Advent…
Pastorale in F Major, BWV 590 Renée Anne Louprette
Fuga sopra il Magnificat: “Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn”, BWV 733 John Nisbet
From the “Eighteen Great” Chorales:
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 Jason Charneski
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 661 Nancy Robbins
Prelude and Fugue in D minor (“Dorian”), BWV 538 Renée Anne Louprette
The Greater Hartford Chapter AGO Board would like to thank all those who donated their time and services to the preparation of this concert, especially our talented artists and performers, John Nisbet and the staff and clergy of St. Peter’s Church, Dave Harper and all volunteers from the AGO Chapter membership.Donations towards BACHANALIA and the Hartford Chapter events programming will be gratefully received in the collection plate at the church entrance.


Jason Charneski presently serves as the minister of music at Bethany Covenant Church in Berlin, Connecticut, where he plays for all services, directs three of the church’s six musical ensembles, and is responsible for the administration of the entire music ministry. In addition, Mr. Charneski is on the faculty of Mary Immaculate Academy in New Britain, Connecticut. Mr. Charneski holds his master’s degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, where he studied organ with John Mitchener, choral conducting with James Albritten, and served as the School’s music theory teaching assistant. While living in North Carolina, he served as music director of the First Presbyterian Church in Thomasville and organist for the Saturday and Sunday evening Masses at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Winston-Salem. He holds his bachelor’s degree, with distinction, from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he studied organ with David Higgs and organ improvisation with Richard Erickson and Gerre Hancock. During that time, he served as organist and choir director of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Henrietta, New York. While in high school, he studied organ with Edward Clark, Richard Coffey and Lorraine Revelle and served as organist and choir director of Trinity Covenant Church in Plainville, Connecticut. Mr. Charneski won first prize in the 1995 New Haven Chapter-American Guild of Organists Competition for Young Organists, and subsequently placed second at the New England regional-level competition that same year.

Gretchen Hill grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut and attended public schools there. She graduated from Valparaiso University with a B.Mus. in Church Music in 1972. Since then, she has returned to the Hartford area and held positions of Organist/Director at several Lutheran churches. She is currently Director of Music at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Meriden. She is also on the Board of Directors at Hartford Conservatory. Gretchen is married to Allen Hill and they have two sons, Jeremy, a senior at Eastman School of Music, and Jonathan, a senior at Glastonbury High School.

Renée Anne Louprette is a native of Albany, New York. She completed a Bachelor of Music degree (summa cum laude) in piano and a Graduate Professional Diploma in organ at the Hartt School, University of Hartford. Her teachers there included Margreet Francis (piano), Larry Allen (organ), and Robert Edward Smith (harpsichord). In 1997-1998, she pursued studies in organ and church music in London, England at the Royal Academy of Music and as a private organ student of Dame Gillian Weir. She is presently continuing her studies with James David Christie at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts. Renée has been a participant in the Organ Academy in Göteborg, Sweden and a recitalist at the In Tempore Organi festival 1999, Arona, Italy. She is currently serving as full-time Director of Music and Organist for the Church of Saint Ann (Roman Catholic) in Avon.

John Nisbet is Music Director and Organist at St. Peter Church, New Britain, CT. John directs the vocal and instrumental ensembles at St. Peter Church, and administers the Sacred Music concert series “Music Celebrating the Church Year”. An active pianist as well as an organist, John has studied and performed at the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival and The Marlboro Music Festival, with pianists Luis Batlle and Bruno Canino. John began his organ study at St. Mark’s, Philadelphia, with Wesley Parrott.

Nancy Robbins is a member of the Hartford Chapter AGO Executive Board and the Professional Concerns Committee. Nancy holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, where she was elected into Pi Kappa Lambda, the national honor society for musicians. She has studied organ with Edward E. Clark and is presently studying with Ezequiel Menendez at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Hartford. She has held organist/director of music positions at Prospect United Methodist Church, Bristol, and at First Congregational Church, Cromwell, as well as interim positions in several other churches including Rocky Hill Congregational Church. She has been accompanist for the Connecticut Gilbert & Sullivan Society, as well as orchestral pianist for two of its productions. In years past, she has been continuo organist for many concerts of major choral works accompanied at South Congregational Church, Hartford. Presently, she is rehearsal pianist as well as continuo harpsichordist for the New Britain Musical Club’s annual presentation of Handel’s “Messiah.” She also is a member of The Musical Club of Hartford where she performs regularly as pianist and organist.

The Oberlinger organ at St. Peter’s Church is a two-manual mechanical-action organ built in the Middle-Rhine tradition. This tradition of organ building has blended the best of the German and French organbuilding traditions for over 250 years.

The wide-scaled, cone-tuned principal pipes are made of 75% tin, flutes are made of 40% tin, and the reeds are made in the French manner. The glass Positive shutters are behind a carved grill, and following the French practice, the Hauptwerk and Pedal are behind a single facade.

The manual keyboards have scored naturals of grenadilla with carved fronts, and sharps of rosewood capped with ivory. The case is of oak, with carved details matching appointments in the church. The Oberlinger organ at St. Peter’s is recognized as one of the finest concert organs in the Greater Hartford area.
John Nisbet , Music Director and Organist at St. Peter’s, is also the USA Representative of Oberlinger Orgelbau.

Dr. Susan Armstrong and Michael Sklader perform at Elm Street Congregational Church in Southbridge, MA

Elm Street Congregational Church located in Southbridge, Massachusetts, is proud to present a concert featuring internationally known concert organist Dr. Susan Armstrong on Sunday, November 19, 2000 beginning at 7pm.

Dr. Armstrong will be performing on the Church’s 1891 Johnson Tracker Organ. Dr. Armstrong received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Boston University, is an associate of the American Guild of Organists, and writes frequently for The New England Organist, and American Organist magazines. She has concertized widely throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada.

A versatile player, she has performed music ranging from Baroque and American music to “Great Romantic Masterpieces” such as Fantasies by Max Reger, and Symphonies of Vierne and Widor. She combines historical perspectives with an individualized concert presentation and performance for each occasion.

Performing with Dr. Armstrong will be Michael Sklader. Mr. Sklader has been playing the organ since he was 13 years old. He is currently the organist at the Portland Street Baptist Church in Haverhill, Massachusetts, where he plays an 1885 Hook and Hastings organ. A graduate of Montclair State College, he has performed in concerts throughout New England and New York.

The concert is part of Elm Street Congregational Church’s 200th Anniversary Celebration, and is being sponsored by the Men’s Fellowship group. Following the concert, a reception featuring food and fellowship will be held sponsored by the Women’s Fellowship group. Admission to the concert is free and opened to the public. Elm Street Congregational Church is located on the corner of Elm and Park Streets in Southbridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please contact the Church office at 508-764-8058.