Utah Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
Newsletter • May 2021

Engage, Support, and Uplift Every Organist!
In this issue:
  • Dean's Message
  • May 15: Chapter in-person Informal recital
  • Diversify Our Repertoire by Miranda Wilcox, featuring Pei-lun Vicky Chang (1966- ) 
  • May 14: Concert at Oak Hills Stake Center with James Welch and friends
  • May 28: Renee Gastelum, sophomore recital
  • In the News: "Modern technology allows organ enthusiast to play Italy's oldest instruments from his Utah home."
  • Vintage church organ available
  • BYU Organ Online Training Sessions
  • Piping Up! - Organ Concerts at Temple Square
  • We value your membership
Dean's Message
Miranda Wilcox

Dear Friends, 

Last Saturday the chapter sponsored our first virtual Super Saturday. We thank Seth Bott, Jay Goodliffe, and DeeAnn Stone for their wonderful presentations, which are now available on the chapter’s YouTube channel. I would also like to thank the Super Saturday committee, chaired by Lori Serr, which included Mike Carson, David Chamberlin, Jennifer Morgan, and Heidi Rodeback. DeeAnn Stone and Harold Stuart were the technology wizards who made the committee's plans a digital and virtual reality.   

I would like to invite you to the chapter’s first in-person event in over a year on Saturday, May 15. We will meet for a Spring Informal at the Spanish Fork Stake Center (1006 East 200 South) at 7:00 pm. This is an opportunity for chapter members to share pieces they have been working on this year. It would be wonderful to hear pieces you have learned for Organ Challenges or as you have diversified your repertoire. If you would like to play, sign up for a time slot at the organ when you arrive. You can download the organ stop list to plan your registration in advance. We will sanitize the organ console in between players. If you do not want to play, please come and listen. We need to wear masks and social distance while in the building. I look forward to renewing relationships at the Spring Informal. 

Happy spring, 
Join us for our Spring Informal...We need an audience, too!
The chapter plans to meet in person for an Informal on Saturday, May 15 at 7 pm at the Spanish Fork Stake Center, 1006 East 200 South, Spanish Fork. We invite you to share music that you have been working on for the organ challenges and any other pieces. We will follow the social distancing guidelines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the Informal. Here's the STOP LIST, so you can plan your registrations in advance. 

Diversify Our Repertoire 
by Miranda Wilcox

In addition to enriching our organ skills by participating in the monthly organ challenges, chapter members are also invited to accept the challenge to learn a work by a woman or minority composer and perform this piece at the member recital in May 2021.  

Sadly, little of the organ music performed or recorded is by women or minority composers. Organists and audiences are missing out on unknown or forgotten gems. Every month I will spotlight an organist and invite the chapter to "diversify our repertoire."

This month's featured musician is...
Pei-lun Vicky Chang (1966- ) 
Pei-lun Vicky Chang was born in Taiwan in 1966. She fell in love with the organ when the church she attended during college recruited her to play their new pipe organ. After completing a BM in piano at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan, she moved to the US to study the organ. She earned an MM in organ at the Manhattan School of Music and a DMA in organ performance at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. 

Chang is the music director at St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church and of the Festival Chorus in Lancaster, New York. She has performed extensively as a recitalist; her first solo recital in Beijing was broadcast across China. She also accompanies orchestras and chamber groups, including the Empire Brass Quintet. 

In 2004, she released a book and performance CD, The Organ in Taiwan and Its Influence. In 2006, Wayne Leupold published her Suite for Organ (based on Taiwanese Folk Songs) containing “Cloudy Sky,” “Raining Night’s Flower,” “Bird,” and “Train.” According to the notes in Leupold’s edition, Chang began to compose in her teens.

She composed “Cloudy Sky” and “Raining Night’s Flower” for her Taipei National Concert Hall recital. She describes the three parts of “Cloudy Sky”: “First there is a short introduction; second, there is the introduction of the Taiwanese folk tune ‘Teanh-oh-oh’ with a new phrase arrangement at the beginning of the second section which uses an ostinato pattern in the pedal and a rhythmic pattern on the manual to accompany the melody; third is a development section.” Chang explains that “Raining Night’s Flower” is “based on the Taiwanese folk tune ‘Woo-yah-hwui.’ This piece can be divided into four parts. First a short introduction in which the melody is generated by the first and last phrases of the folk tune, and both are highly ornamented. Second, there is a simple hymnal style, in which the entire folk tune is placed on the soprano line. Third, there is development from measure 32-to 38, the descending triplet passages resembling the raindrops, while it modulates into a different key. At the end, it is a trio in canon with a little coda.’”

You can listen to more of Chang’s pieces on her CD, Travel by Music---Organ Music Selections for All Age (2010), which is available on Amazon, YouTube, Apple Music, and Spotify.  

To learn more about organs in Asia, explore Calvert Johnson’s East Asian Works for Harpsichord and Organ.  Chelsea Chen’s Taiwanese Suite and The Moon Lady are also beautiful pieces, welding Eastern and Western musical traditions. 
Concert at Oak Hills Stake Center, Friday, May 14, 7:30 p.m.
James Welch, with Brigham Child and Hannah Gouff
On Friday, May 14, at 7:30, James Welch will present a concert on the Schantz organ at the Oak Hills Stake Center, 925 E. North Temple Drive, Provo. The program will include works by French, German, American, Canadian, and Portuguese composers. Of special interest will be the “Toccata parisienne,” composed by Rulon Christiansen for Welch’s recital at Notre Dame Cathedral in 2015.
Joining Dr. Welch on the program will be two young artists from Oak Hills 5th Ward: pianist Brigham Child, who will play the Prestissimo from Beethoven’s Sonata No. 1 in F minor; and violinist Hannah Gouff, who will perform “Adoration” by Borowski. View the complete program HERE.
James Welch studied at BYU and received his doctorate in organ from Stanford University. Before moving to Provo, he served as bishop of the Stanford YSA Ward. He and his wife Deanne have a mission call to the BYU Jerusalem Center and plan to leave for Israel when conditions permit. More information at:
Renee Gastelum to present sophomore recital

It's nearing the end of the school year at BYU, and so we're entering the student organ recital season! Renee Gastelum will perform her sophomore recital on Friday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Madsen Recital Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, BYU.

All BYU student recitals are planned to be streamed on the BYU School of Music website. They are open to the public as well, but due to COVID there are restrictions as to how many people can attend (i.e., maximum of 20 in the Madsen Recital Hall).
In the News!
After John Hoopes performed in the chapter's Bach & Baroque virtual recital on March 31, his presentation was featured in the Deseret News: "Modern technology allows organ enthusiast to play Italy's oldest instruments from his Utah home."
Vintage Church Organ Available

Dear UVAGO friends,

I have an organ which was built by Associated Organ Builders in Auburn, Washington. The console is full AGO specifications as nearly as I can tell. The technology is originally from Saville. The instrument is still supported via Britson Organ Works in Washington state. Tom Britanyak at Bristson is very pleasant and indicates that he has full testng and support for all the compoents of the instrument. Tom seems to be able to diagnose things over the phone, based on my converations with him. He is located in Buckley, Washington. His phone number is (253) 863-2331. The organ would be ideal for someone who is an organist and enjoys electronics as well. It needs to find a good home with someone who can use and appreciate it. The organ is in Orem, Utah.

Here are some photos of the organ I have available. I've never tried to turn the organ on since acquiring it. I do know that it has discreet speakers and cicuitrty for all the channels, which apparently make the tonal quality significantly better than most of the electronic organs of that vintage. The various electronic circuit boards in the organ are easily removable. 
I paid $400 for the instrument when I was in Fairbanks, Alaska. The individual I bought it from acquired it because he was interested in all the speakers that came with it. I'm very flexible on the sale price and would even be happy to donate it to a charitable institution of some sort in exhange for a donation receipt.  
Feel free to pass this information along to anyone who might be interested. The case, keyboards, and full AGO concave and radiating pedalboard might make a suitable basis for a Hauptwerk installtion. It might have some real potential in that regard.
David C. Hobson
(907) 987-5292

BYU Organ Online Training Sessions

This is a monthly offering of nine different topics of interest to early-level church organists, including those serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All events are free of charge and available to pianists and organists in any location. 

Each month includes a 2-part series:
  • a live presentation on the given topic
  • and a live masterclass that follows up on the topic discussed in the presentation.
The live presentations take place on the first Thursday of each month, followed by the mid-monthly masterclasses (reinforcing the same topic) on the third Thursday of the month, both from 7-9 pm Mountain Time. Previous sessions may be viewed online. Contact Sharee Thompson at for assistance in finding the recorded sessions.

Learn more by clicking the button below to enroll for the sessions of interest. We hope to see you at many, if not all of the training sessions!

Dr. Don Cook
Sharee Thompson
Learn More

The five accomplished Tabernacle and Temple Square organists, Richard Elliott, Andrew Unsworth, Brian Mathias, Linda Margetts, and Joseph Peeples, plus occasional guest organists, are featured in a new online concert stream: 

We Value Your Membership

The chapter appreciates your continued support of its mission to "engage, support, and uplift every organist." If you already have a membership, you may receive an email reminder when it is time to renew it. Your contributions enhance the chapter's ability to sponsor monthly organ events each year. Please reflect on how your associations in the guild have supported and uplifted you, and consider joining or renewing today!. 
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