Ago Chapter News

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Boston, Mass. The chapter's Organ Library Committee has unanimously approved an application from Nancy E. Osborne of Vermont for the 2009 Margaret Power Biggs Research Grant, which reimburses travel and photocopy costs for on-site study of the library's holdings essentia] to completion of a project. Ms. Osborne has searched the library's Murtagh-McFarlane Collection (1953-75) in preparing a book-length biography of her late teacher Claire Coci (1912-78). A master teacher and recitalist, Dr. Coci was a pioneer in the acceptance of female artists in the organ world. Ms. Osborne has been invited to donate an inscribed copy of her published book to the library. The most recent winner of the M. P. Biggs Grant was Kevin Birch in 2007.

Dec. 31, members again took part in Boston's annual First Night festival, a celebration promoting art and community on New Year's Eve. The chapter's program, which was organized by member Rodger Vine, was held at historic Arlington Street Church and featured performances by members Brian Jones, Rosalind Mohnsen, and Christian Lane. The large crowd was treated to music by Vierne, Lefébure-Wély, Schumann, and others. The concert concluded with Frederick Hohman's "Comic Variations on Good King Wenceslas."

- Peter Mclntyre and Christian Lane

New Hampshire. Oct. 30, the chapter presented "Pipescreams Spooktacular! - A Unique Organ Concert" at South Congregational Church in Concord (Mark Frazier, host music director). The participants (many in costume) included organists Mark Frazier, Charles Woodbury, Michael Joseph, Mary Copeley, David Wold, Nicholas Girgus, Ken Gallager, and R.P. Hale, along with several guest vocalists and the church's Memorial Bells. Highlights included a recitation of Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" with an accompanying organ improvisation, several incidental skits, and music by Bach, Boëllmann, Duruflé, Grieg, Hale, Joseph, MacDowell, and Messiaen. Also featured was authence participation in the singing of "Pumpkin Carols." Following the program, refreshments were served at the "Hospooktality Table" in Fellowship Hall.

- Nicholas Girgus


Binghamton, N.Y. Nov. 7, Bruce Neswick presented "How to Dress Up Your Hymn Playing" at the First Presbyterian Church, leading chapter members through several steps in the art of improvisation. The following day, Mr. Neswick played a recital on the church's 1998 Guilbault-Thérien organ. His program included a four-movement improvisation.

- Leland Roseboom

Buffalo, N.Y. Sept. 14, a convocation ("Meet, Eat, and Sing"), held at Kenmore Presbyterian Church, was hosted by Dianne Green and chaired by Curt Holmes. The 40 attendees, led by Dean Mark Schweizer and accompanied at the piano by Roland Martin, sang through published works from the Saint James Press. …