Category Archives: Features

Fifth Annual Guilmant Organ Recital Series at First Presbyterian Church, NYC

In February and March, the fifth annual Guilmant Organ Recital Series will be presented at First Presbyterian Church. This recital series is given in recognition of the Guilmant Organ School, which opened its doors at First Presbyterian Church in October of 1899 and was the first accredited school in America to offer diplomas in Organ Performance and Sacred Music. This innovative and successful school, which was founded before many of today’s American music conservatories, gave musicians the opportunity to study with major international artists in America without having to travel abroad. Students came from all over the country and many major organ recitals were presented during this time. The Guilmant School moved from First Presbyterian Church in the early 1960s.

All recitals are on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. and will last approximately one hour and are followed by a reception. A freewill offering will be received.

February 6 at 4:00 p.m.
Works by Saint-Saëns, Bach, Parry, Guilmant

Anthony Pinel is Director of Music and Organist of St. Peter’s Church, Morristown, New Jersey. A native of England, Mr. Pinel is a graduate of Huddersfield and has served as Assistant Organist at Bristol Cathedral and Director of Music and Organist at St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. Recent recitals have included The Riverside Church, Princeton University Chapel, St. Mary the Virgin, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, Boston.

February 13 at 4:00 p.m.
MARK BANI, Organist
Works by Bach, Franck, Reubke

Mark Bani is the music director and organist at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer here in New York City. He holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and from the Juilliard School. He has been heard on National Public Radio, both Pipedreams, and most recently, on Morning Edition. Mark Bani has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including first place winner of the New York City chapter National Young Artitsts’ Competition.

March 6 at 4:00 pm
Works by Bach, Schumann, Guilmant, Dupré

William Entriken is Organist and Choirmaster at The First Presbyterian Church and founder of the Guilmant Organ Recital Series. In addition, Dr. Entriken is also Associate Adjunct Professor of Organ at New York University. Last fall, his recording of the new Rees Jones Memorial Pipe Organ in church’s Alexander Chapel was released.

Read the history of the Guilmant Organ School at First Presbyterian Church

Church Contact Details:
First Presbyterian Church
12 W 12 Street
New York, NY 10011
Telephone: (212) 675-6150 Fax: (212) 675-8674

Newly Restored Royal Albert Hall Organ

We thought you’d be interested to know that the Royal Albert Hall will mark the completion of the great Organ’s first major refurbishment for 70 years by holding a Celebration Weekend in June and commissioning a new work for organ by leading British composer Howard Goodall for the occasion.

The Royal Albert Hall’s Willis Organ was originally built to be one of the finest, largest and tonally most comprehensive instruments in the world. In fact, following the refurbishment, the Organ can now re-claim its position as the largest in the UK, boasting 9,999 pipes. The recent refurbishment began in 2001, at a cost of £1,700,000. The work has been carried out by Mander Organs as part of the Hall’s eight-year Building Development Programme. The enormous project has restored the magnificent instrument to a condition that will ensure its reliability for generations to come.

To celebrate the completion of the restoration, we’re holding a weekend of concerts. On Saturday 26 June 2004at 7.30pm there’s the Inaugural Organ Concert. Discover the magnificent power, versatility and richness of expression of the instrument as three renowned organists, David Briggs, John Scott and Thomas Trotter perform a programme of virtuoso works by Bach, Poulenc, Barber, Liszt and Copland.

Then we’re pulling out all the stops with Pipe Up at the Royal Albert Hall!, a concert suitable for all the family on Sunday 27 June 2004 at 3.30pm. Join us for the world premiere of Jason and the Argonauts, a Royal Albert Hall commission by leading British composer Howard Goodall, based on the famous story from Greek mythology and performed by Thomas Trotter. The piece features text by the Irish Poet, Theo Dorgan and uses the ‘voices’ of the Organ to tell the tale. This is preceded by Saint-Saëns’ glorious zoological fantasy, Carnival of the Animals.

Families can also extend their afternoon even further and come along to our free family workshops! Fun and informal, these will take place in the Royal Albert Hall and are based on the music that will be performed at the concert. Discover how an organ is built and create some sounds of your own, or join in with the Carnival of the Animals workshop. Tickets for the workshop are free when you buy your concert tickets, available on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to availability. Information and an application pack will be sent with the tickets.

For further details about the concerts or to book, please call the Royal Albert Hall Box Office on 020 7838 3106 or book online at Tickets are priced from £10 – £27.50 for the Inaugural Organ Concert and £5 – £15 for Pipe Up at the Royal Albert Hall!

Come and experience the power and majesty of the Royal Albert Hall’s great ‘Willis’ Organ as it returns to the world’s stage. We’d be grateful if you’d help us spread the word and look forward to welcoming you to the Royal Albert Hall for this exciting and historic weekend!

Iveta Apkalna, Award Winner

July 2005
P R E S S R E L E A S E Iveta Apkalna, concert organist from Riga/Latvia has just been awarded with one of the most prestigious prizes for classical music in Europe and the world, the Germany-based “ECHO-Klassik”.Iveta Apkalna is receiving the award in the category “Instrumentalist of the Year” together with a.o. Anne Sophie Mutter (violin) and Helene Grimaud (piano).Since its foundation in 1994 the “ECHO-Klassik, Instrumentalist of the Year” had never gone to an organist.Iveta, who was as a 16-year-old officially nominated organist during pope John Paul II’s visit to Latvia in 1993 and accompanied the Pope’s mass in Anglona is nowadays trying to free the organ from being considered a church instrument only. She is striving for a renaissance of the “Queen of Instruments” and wants a broad public to perceive organ also as a normal concert instrument in concert halls and philharmonies.As Naji Hakim says: ” A noble popular intention is in the heart of this admirable and most respectable artist of the organ scene.” (The Gramophone, March 2005).

Iveta Apkalna is awarded the “ECHO” for her latest CD with the title “Himmel & Hoelle” (Edition Hera, HER2117), recorded on the Rieger-organ of St. Martin´s church in Wangen/Allgau, Germany.

The awarding will be live-broadcast on German TV channel “ZDF”, October 16th, 2005.

More Info:
Winners of the ECHO award (in German)

Lukas Pollack, Germany,
concert management and public relations Iveta Apkalna

November 2004

Samples (MP3):

Seventy-two minutes of sacred & sorcery pieces are presented on Iveta Apkalna’s latest CD “Himmel und Hölle” (Heaven & Hell) produced by the German label “Edition Hera”, recorded on the splendid German/French romantic Rieger organ of St. Martin’s church in Wangen/Allgäu (Germany) from 1987. This production is marking due to the outstanding quality of the performing artist and due to the exceptional capacity of its sound engineer and producer Ralph Kulling a fixed star in the universe of organ CDs. Iveta Apkalna presents pieces that have hardly or never been performed (3 world premier recordings) displaying and mastering a repertoire on this CD in total which is setting a new scale for performers on the “Queen of Instruments” worldwide.Two of the most tricky and demanding pieces in organ literature, Reger’s transcription of Liszt’s second piano legend “St. Francis of Paula walking on the waves” and Sergej Prokfjew’s legendary “Toccata op. 11” transcribed by Jean Guillou are included and realized by Apkalna with stunning skill. Even more astounding and breathtaking are the Latvian star-organist’s interpretations of two mere pedal pieces, Hakim’s “Quatre Etudes-Caprices” and Thalben-Ball’s “Variations on a theme of Paganini”. As a consequence of this, one of Germany’s most observed printed publications in classical music, the “Klassikmagazin Crescendo” did not hesitate to draw public attention towards the organ’s most remarkable shooting star in ages by making Iveta Apkalna the cover-story of their actual December/Christmas issue.

Iveta’s CDs are distributed in the US by
Albany Music Distributors
915 Broadway
Albany, NY 12207
tel: 518-436-8814
fax: 518-436-0643

and can be purchased here:
ArkivMusic LLC – The Source for Classical Recordings
360 W 55 ST
New York NY 10019
212 586 1504
518 692 1133

Lukas Pollack, Germany,
concert management and public relations Iveta Apkalna

July 2004

apkalna_cd2One of Latvia’s at present most acclaimed artists abroad, concert organist Iveta Apkalna has returned home to Riga after a four month concert tour leading her through festivals in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Finland. Having been one of the top festival highlights during the renowned Handelfestival in Halle/Saale (Germany) with thousands of listeners in her concerts there the Latvian Music Award winnner will now perform “at home” again on July 21st at 13.00 in the Saviour’s church and on July 23rd at 19.00 in St. John’s church, Riga.Iveta’s 2nd CD, “Touch down in Riga”, recorded last autumn in Riga Dom Cathedral, will be first time available in Latvia on the occasion of these concerts. The album was produced by the German label Querstand and officially released in Germany on June 11th following a TV profile about Iveta Apkalna shown in Germany’s most viewed cultural TV magazine “Titel, Thesen, Temperamente” which is produced and broadcast by the TV-channel “ARD”.Back to Germany in September, Iveta Apkalna will take part in the opening of the concert season of theKonzerthaus Dortmund on September 25th. The opening event will be a spectacular organ night including celebrity concert organists like Barbara Dennerlein and Simon Preston beside Latvia’s organ star.Lukas Pollack, Germany,
concert management and public relations Iveta Apkalna

April 2004

apkalna_cakeIveta Apkalna, concert organist from Riga (Latvia), was the winner of the public award, installed in 2004 for the first time by the Latvian Ministery of Culture in connection with the Grand Latvian Music Award ceremony which is annually held in Riga Opera House since 1993. Internet users from all over the world were asked to vote online for their favourite among the eight award recipients this year (conductor, choir leader, composer, primaballerina, tenor, musicologist, chamber music ensemble, organist). Main sponsor of this public prize was Latvia’s most exclusive chocolate manufacturer Emil Gustavs who presented Iveta Apkalna a huge, artistic chocolate creation over and over decorated with marzipan roses weighing ca. 6 kg and having a value of roundabout 250 US$.Lukas Pollack, Germany,
concert management and public relations Iveta Apkalna

February 2004

iveta_apkalnaA Grand Latvian Music Award goes to the Latvian concert organist IVETA APKALNA due to special merits in the field of music.It is only for the second time in the long tradition of this prize (award holders a.o. Gidon Kremer, Mariss Jansons, Peteris Vasks, Baiba Skride, etc.) that the instrument organ is being considered in this awarding. Iveta will be honoured during the award ceremony held in Riga Opera House on March 5th 2004.Previously, in September 2003, Iveta was the winner of the 3rd International Mikael Tariverdiev Organ Competition in Kaliningrad (patron Vladimir Putin) placed by the Russian media on one stage with the prestigious Tchaikovski-competitions in Moscow.Moreover, Iveta is Bach-prize holder of the “Royal Bank Calgary International Organ Competition” (musical director Simon Preston) and winner of its European selection round held in St. John’s, London, 2002.

Iveta’s first CD was issued in September 2003 by the German label Edition HERA, a live-recording from a concert in the “Stuttgarter Johanneskirche” (Germany) with works of Liszt, Vasks, Bach, Hakim and Glass. Her second CD will be released in May 2004 by the label “Querstand”, Germany, (Deutscher Schallplattenpreis 2003), recorded on the legendary Walcker-organ of Riga Dome Cathedral with works of Reger (2), Vasks and Hakim.

iveta_cdIn 2004 Iveta will perform a.o. as a concert soloist in the International Bodenseefestival (May) and the renowned (since 1922) Handel-festival in Halle/Saale (June) and she will give a solo recital on the famous Ladegast-organ of Merseburg Dome, Germany, straight after its refurbishment in October 2004.

Lukas Pollack, Germany,
concert management and public relations Iveta Apkalna

The First Israeli Organ Festival

The First Israeli Organ Festival will take place simultaneously in Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem between the 17th and the 20th of November 2003.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe First Israeli Organ Festival is organised by the

Israel Organ Society.
22 Itshar Street,
Jerusalem, Israel
In Tel-Aviv the Festival will be held at the Clairmont Recital Hall in the Tel-Aviv University campus. The 39 stops, three keyboard organ was built in 2002 by the German organ builder Hermann Eule.

In Haifa: in the Hecht Museum Auditorium of the Haifa University. The organ was built in 1998 by the Israeli organ-builder, Gideon Shamir. It has 32 stops, and two keyboards.

In Jerusalem: at the Brigham Young University Center for Middle-Eastern Studies on Mount Scopus. The organ is 1983 Marcussen with three keyboards and 38 stops.

The program is composed of 18 two-hour-long organ concerts. It covers most of the classical repertoire and several modern pieces which will be heard in Israel for the first time.

The organists taking part of this event are:
Francois Espinasse, titular of Saint-Severin church in Paris
Vincent Warnier, titular of Saint-Etienne du Mont church in Paris
Sabin Levi, organ-player and composer, residing currently in the USA
Istvan Ella, well-knowned Hungarian organ player from Budapest
Elisabeth Roloff, German organist residing in Jerusalem
Roman Krasnovsky, organ-player and composer residing in Israel
Yuval Rabin, organ-player and composer residing currently in Switzerland.

More Information:
Sabin Levisabin*XNOSPAMX* (replace *XNOSPAM* with @ to send mail)
The Israeli Organists’ and Organ lovers’ Club

Brighton Dome’s famous 1936 organ to be re-installed in September 2003

The Brighton Dome organ returns to the Concert Hall Sunday 28th September, 2.45pm.


Dome Concert Hall
Corn Exchange

Pavilion TheatreThe Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra opens its 79th concert season with a spectacular concert, which includes the chance to hear Brighton Dome’s famous pipe organ for the first time since its reconstruction. Michael Maine will performSaint-Saëns‘ fabulous Organ Symphony, which provides a fantastic showcase for the instrument, with the BPO conducted by Principal Conductor Barry Wordsworth. Coincidentally the last organ performance by the Brighton Philharmonic was the same Saint-Saëns work performed by Stephen Hicks on 27th March 1994.

The Brighton Dome are also programming several dedicated organ concerts for the Spring/Summer season (2004) with such luminaries as Thomas Trotter, Carlos Curley and Wayne Marshall. Whilst next year’s Brighton Festival programme will feature one or two orchestral pieces which make full use of the organ’s fantastic versatility.Brighton Dome was built in l803 as the stables adjoining the Prince Regent’s (George IV) oriental extravaganza, The Royal Pavilion. In 1850 the Dome was converted into a Concert Hall which included a 4 manual Father Willis organ, which when the building was re-designed in l935 was taken out. When the l930s art deco interior was introduced the present Norman, Hill & Beard dual-purpose concert organ was installed in l936, it was tailor-made to suit the many uses of the Concert Hall during that period and therefore built to be played as either a cinema or classical organ. It was designed by Dr Stanley Roper (Organist of HM Chapel Royal, London), Quentin MacLean (famous cinema organist of the Trocadero, Elephant and Castle), and Brighton Borough Organist at the time, Dr Alfred Abdey.

The instrument became famous through the many broadcasts of Douglas Reeve in the heyday of the BBC Light Programme’s 10am theatre organ programmes. His twice-weekly summer series of Pack up Your Troubles organ concerts attracted capacity audiences. He also inaugurated, just after the 2nd World War, the weekly Tuesday Night at the Dome variety shows, which made the Guinness Book of Records as the longest running seaside variety show in the world (1600)!

Brighton Dome’s Concert Hall re-opened in March 2002 after three years of extensive restoration and re-building after years of neglect. The job of restoring the organ was given to David Wells (Organ Builders) of Liverpool, who are one of the best of only 10 organ builders in the country. Although the Concert Hall re-opened over a year ago, it has taken far longer to install the organ, largely due to the fact that it is now a working venue and the organ needs to be installed in a dust-free environment. Although the chambers were installed some time ago, the final components will finally be put in place in August when the venue closes for routine maintenance.

The wonderful acoustics of the Concert Hall’s new Carmen system means that the organ will be heard in prime condition.

All press enquiries: Caroll Pinkham, Press Officer, Brighton Dome 01273 260 826 or
Brighton Dome official website
Organ of Brighton Dome

Thomas Murray recital on the E.M. Skinner organ at St. Ann & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

murray skinner
Thomas Murray & E.M. Skinner,
Opus 524 (1925, V/80)
A Concert to Celebrate
Stage I Restoration of an
American Masterpiece –
The Solo Stops Speak Again!
Come join us!
Sunday, September 28, 2003 – 8:00 pm
Suggested Donation $15.00, Students/Seniors $10.00
157 Montague Street (Corner of Clinton St.)
Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201
(718) 875-6960

The Chicago International Organ Festival 2001

February 18-20 2001
chicago_pipesThe Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago
126 East Chestnut Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611-2094
312.787.2729, ext. 252
1971 Aeolian Skinner Organ, Opus 1516 4 manuals 126 ranks “Self-Portraits: The Composer as Performer”This year’s festival will feature international artists performing their own compositions in concert.

Pre-Festival Concert Saturday, 17 February 7:30 p.m.
Enjoy an evening of organ music as Chicago composers perform their own compositions.
Frank Ferko, assisted by Jeremy Ruthrauff, saxophone
Aaron David Miller
Richard Webster, assisted by Kevin Hartman, trumpet

A free-will offering will be received.

Sunday, 18 February 3:00 p.m.
Dan Locklair : Premiere of Commissioned Work

Monday, 19 February 7:30 p.m.
Jean Guillou : Improvisation

Tuesday, 20 February 7:30 p.m.
John Weaver assisted by Marianne Weaver, flute : Premiere of Commissioned Work

Suggested Donations:
Individual Concerts: $15 / $12 (students and seniors)
All Three Concerts: $35 / $25 (students and seniors)

A reception will follow each concert. Recordings and printed scores by all artists will be available for purchase. To order tickets, contact Wannida Scott by e-mail: Visa and Mastercard accepted.

Fourth Presbyterian Church Department of Music and Arts
John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music
Mary Theresa Reed, Director of Children’s and Youth Choirs
C. Carroll Cole, Arts Administrator
Wannida Scott, Administrative Assistant

C. Carroll Cole
Arts Administrator
Fourth Presbyterian Church
126 East Chestnut Street
Chicago, IL 60611-2094
312.787.2729, ext. 252
facsimile: 312.787.4584

Guilmant Organ Recital Series 2001 at First Presbyterian Church, NYC

Annual recital series at The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, 12 W. 12 Street. This year’s recital series features concert organists who are associated with the Greenwich Village.
Second Recital: William Entriken on February 11, 2001. 4:00 PM
Third Recital: David Shuler on February 25, 2001. 4:00 PM

In October 1899, the Guilmant Organ School, the first school in America devoted to the teaching of organ and church music, opened at The First Presbyterian Church. Named after the famous 19th-century Parisian organist and founder, Alexandre Guilmant, the School was highly regarded as an institution for the training of church musicians. During the sixty-three years that the Guilmant School was at First Presbyterian, many organ recitals were given at the church by internationally acclaimed organists, and by Guilmant students. Many of the Guilmant students were appointed to important music positions around the country.

Sunday, February 11 at 4:00 p.m. William Entriken , Organist
William Entriken is Organist and Choirmaster of The First Presbyterian Church in New York City. Dr. Entriken will perform:
Carillon de WestminsterVierne;
Fantasia in G, BWV 572Bach;
Fantasia in F minor, K608Mozart;
Meditation ReligieuseMulet, and
Prelude and Fugue on the Theme BACHLiszt.
The program is designed to show the Baroque and Classic sounds of the organ at First Presbyterian Church as well as the symphonic proportions of this grand instrument. Dr. Entriken has been Organist at First Presbyterian since 1988 when he succeeded his teacher, Dr. Robert S. Baker. Prior to coming to First Presbyterian Church, he was Organist and Choirmaster at The Church of St. Luke in the Fields, New York City. William Entriken’s bio

Sunday February 25 at 4:00 p.m. David Shuler, Organist
Mr. Shuler is currently Director of Music and Organist at The Church of St. Luke in the Fields, New York City. He will perform:
Choral-Improvisation sur le “Victimae paschali”Tournemire;
Andante in F Major K616Mozart;
Prelude and Fugue in E Flat Major (‘St. Anne’)Bach;
Air with Variations from Suite for OrganSowerby and

DAVID SHULER was educated at the Eastman School of Music, Columbia University, and the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood. He studied organ with David Craighead and Leonard Raver, and composition with Joseph Schwantner, Samuel Adler and Gunther Schuller. He has received numerous awards, including a BMI-SC award for composition and First Prize in the Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter American Guild of Organists Organ Playing Competition.

Mr. Shuler is presently Director of Music and Organist at the historic Church of Saint Luke in the Fields in New York City. Prior to that appointment, he was the Director of Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Stamford, Connecticut. He has also held positions as Organist and Choirmaster at the Church of the Holy Trinity in New York City and Assistant Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Mr. Shuler has been particularly active as a champion of contemporary music. He has premiered organ works of Charles Wuorinen, William Albright, Ralph Shapey, Gunther Schuller, and Frank Retzel, among others. Mr. Shuler received a 1983 National Endowment for the Arts Consortium Commissioning Grant to commission works from Ralph Shapey, Charles Wuorinen, and Gunther Schuller as well as a grant from the Washington, D.C. American Guild of Organists Foundation for the promotion of contemporary music. He has recorded the organ music of Frank Retzel (for Opus One) and Richard Toensing (for Owl). In addition, he has recorded the choral music of Frank Wigglesworth with the Choir of the Church of St. Luke in the Fields for CRI. In May of 1991, Mr. Shuler was invited to present a concert of contemporary American organ music at the University of Chicago in honor of Ralph Shapey’s seventieth birthday. He has performed numerous recitals throughout the United States to critical acclaim.

Mr. Shuler has been featured as an organ soloist on both the East and West coasts in productions of the ballet Voluntaries, Glen Tetley’s choreography of Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani by the American Ballet Theatre and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Mr. Shuler is a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, and was awarded the certificate at the age of 22, one of the youngest organists to achieve this distinction. He has served on numerous AGO committees, both at the national and local levels, and was for seven years the Director of the National Examination Committee of the A.G.O.

A freewill Offering will be received. Please mark your calendars and bring a friend to these Sunday afternoon concerts.

Previous Recital in the Series:
January 14, 2001 at 4:00 PM: Christopher Creaghan    Concert Recitalist

Read the history of the Guilmant Organ School at First Presbyterian Church

Church Contact Details:
First Presbyterian Church
12 W 12 Street
New York, NY 10011
Telephone: (212) 675-6150 Fax: (212) 675-8674

Guilmant Organ Recital Series 2001 at First Presbyterian Church, NYC

Annual recital series at The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, 12 W. 12 Street. This year’s recital series features concert organists who are associated with the Greenwich Village.
First Recital: Christopher Creaghan on January 14, 2001. 4:00 PM

In October 1899, the Guilmant Organ School, the first school in America devoted to the teaching of organ and church music, opened at The First Presbyterian Church. Named after the famous 19th-century Parisian organist and founder, Alexandre Guilmant, the School was highly regarded as an institution for the training of church musicians. During the sixty-three years that the Guilmant School was at First Presbyterian, many organ recitals were given at the church by internationally acclaimed organists, and by Guilmant students. Many of the Guilmant students were appointed to important music positions around the country.

Christopher Creaghan will play the first recital on January 14 at 4:00 PM. For the past six years, Mr. Creaghan was Music Director and Organist for St. Joseph’s Church in Greenwich Village. Mr. Creaghan is a frequent recitalist in New York’s major churches and has performed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Park Avenue Christian Church, Church of the Ascension, St. Peter’s Lutheran, and the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. His program will include works by Bach, Franck and Dupré and will last about one hour.

A native of Canada, Mr. Creaghan received the A.R.C.T. degree in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, and the Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Organ Performance from Manhattan School of Music. At graduation he was presented with the John Ceravalo Award for “outstanding accomplishment in the performance of the music of J.S. Bach”. Mr. Creaghan is Organist for Temple Israel of New Rochelle, and is on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music.

Other Recitals in the Series:
February 11 at 4:00 PM: William Entriken
Organist and Choirmaster, First Presbyterian Church, NYC

February 25 at 4:00 PM: David Shuler
Director of Music and Organist, Church of St. Luke in the Fields, NYC

Read the history of the Guilmant Organ School at First Presbyterian Church

Church Contact Details:
First Presbyterian Church
12 W 12 Street
New York, NY 10011
Telephone: (212) 675-6150 Fax: (212) 675-8674

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.