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

Engage, Support, and Uplift Every Organist!
In this issue:
  • Dean's Message
  • February Challenge: Embellishing Hymns with Heidi Rodeback, Jack Stoneman, and Mike Carson - February 26
  • Looking ahead to March: Bach & Baroque virtual recital on YouTube - Upload deadline is March 15
  • Enhance your organ skills with Jennifer Morgan in an Online Study Group
  • Diversify Our Repertoire by Miranda Wilcox, featuring Samuel Coleridge-Taylor 
  • Eccles Organ Festival - Gabriele Terrone performs Feb. 14
  • BYU Organ Online Training Sessions
  • Piping Up! - Organ Concerts at Temple Square
  • We value your membership
Dean's Message
Miranda Wilcox
Dear Friends, 

Many thanks to Mike Carson for his fantastic presentation about creating preludes from the hymnal last month. Over 80 people joined that Zoom meeting, and Mike has posted his handout on his website. Please join the next Zoom conversation on Friday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m. to expand the skills you learned last month. This month, Heidi Rodeback, Jack Stoneman, and Mike Carson will discuss methods for embellishing hymns, specifically: how to extend a sacrament hymn, how to find and use a last-verse harmonization, and how to solo out the melody. 

In honor of Black History Month, I decided to spotlight Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Coleridge-Taylor was a popular English composer and conductor; although a contemporary of Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams, few people are familiar with his music today. You can learn more about his musical life below. In addition, I encourage you to explore the following resources.  Biery recommends her favorite pieces in King of Kings, Volumes 1-3, Organ Music of Black Composers, Past and Present, compiled and edited by James Abbington. This collection includes pieces by Florence Price, who we spotlighted in September, and Samuel Taylor-Coleridge’s Arietta, Melody, Elegy, and Impromptu. The second volume also includes a lovely Prayer: An Offertory by George Walker. George Walker (1922-2018) was the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1996. 

Best wishes for the new year, 

We are making 2020-2021 a year of achieving challenges for organists. Each month, we’ll suggest something that you can do to improve your efforts. We’ll help you by sharing handouts or worksheets and hosting online forums. Some months these will take the form of a Zoom presentation; other months we’ll invite you to record and post your performance online, or join us for a premier on our YouTube channel.
Click on the button below and take a minute to look at the overview for the year. You’ll find there’s something for everyone.
Organ Challenges Overview
What was the challenge last month?
January's Challenge:
Creating Artistic Preludes from a Hymnal
January's challenge was to learn how to create artistic preludes at the organ from a hymnal, considering timbre (tone), texture, and other handy tricks. A Zoom presentation was given by Mike Carson on January 14. If you missed it, you may watch it here:  Use passcode: B+67*Wkk. The handout is available at:
February's challenge...

Join Zoom meeting on February 26 at 7:00 p.m.

Looking ahead to March's Challenge.... Deadline for uploading your performance is March 15!
The UVAGO will hold its annual Bach recital virtually in March 2021. We hope you will share a recording of your performance of a piece by Bach or any chorale prelude or other piece by another Baroque composer. Please upload your piece onto the chapter's Google Drive following the instructions below by March 15. A recital playlist will be made public on the chapter's YouTube channel on Bach's birthday, March 31.
  • Make a video recording of you playing the piece by Bach or another Baroque composer that you would like to share with the chapter. It would be great if you would give some musical and/or personal context about the piece you are playing.
  • Here are some tips about recording on mobile devices from an AGO webinar.
  • If you would like help recording your piece, please contact UVAGO board member Margo Wilcox ( 
  • If you would like to record your piece on the Bigelow Opus 16 tracker organ at the Provo Central Stake Center, please contact Laura Pettersson ( to make arrangements.
  • Please record in one of the following video formats: MOV, MPEG4, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, 3GPP.
  • After the video is ready, you will upload the recorded video to the chapter's Google Drive account by March 15. Once you've uploaded your video to the chapter's Google Drive account, DeeAnn Stone will upload it to the chapter's YouTube channel.
How to upload the recorded video from a computer or smartphone to your personal Google Drive account.  

1. Access your Google Drive account and go to “My Drive” or "Recent."
2.  Find and select the uploaded video file. Before you share the file to the chapter's Google Drive account, be sure to rename the file how you want it to appear at YouTube. Find and click “Share.”  
3.  When the box comes up that says “Share with people and groups,” type (or copy and paste) in the area that says “Add people and groups.” 
4.  In the description caption, please include your name, the composer, the title of the piece you recorded, and the BWV number (if you are playing a piece by Bach, and if you know it). Then click the post button.

We look forward to hearing your piece on YouTube! 
Enhance your organ skills with Jennifer Morgan in an Online Study Group

Are you interested in joining an online organ study group? Under the guidance of Jennifer Morgan, Education Coordinator for the Utah Valley chapter, we are now ready to launch this new program!
The mission and vision of the American Guild of Organists is to foster a thriving community of musicians who share their knowledge and inspire passion for the organ; to engage, support, and uplift every organist. These new study groups are a great way to connect during these socially-distanced times.
Whether you are newer to the organ and would like to connect with other new organists as you learn the basics together, or are studying for an AGO Certification exam and want to work alongside others who are doing the same, we have a group for you!
Please join our Zoom meeting on Tuesday, February 16th at 7:00 p.m. for our kick-off event. Here we will get to know each other, divide into study groups, and make plans for future gatherings. Bring your questions or successes to share, and be prepared to have a great time!
If you have any questions, or would like to help facilitate these groups, please reach out to Jennifer via email at
Joining information follows:
Topic: UVAGO Study Groups
Time: Feb 16, 2021 07:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 923 3507 5919
Passcode: 715463

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...
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was one of Britain's most popular and acclaimed composers. He was born in London in 1875 to Alice Hare Martin. His mother named him after the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His father Dr. Daniel Peter Hughes Taylor returned to Sierra Leone before Samuel’s birth. Samuel grew up with his mother’s family in Croydon next to a railway and downwind of a slaughterhouse. He learned to play the violin from his grandfather, and his musical talent was clear early. As a teenager, he saved up money to buy a piano while taking music lessons from local musicians and singing in church choirs. At age 15, his extended family made arrangements for him to study at the Royal College of Music. Three years later in 1893 he won an open scholarship at the Royal College of Music. There he switched from violin to composition, and he learned how to play the organ, though he did not aspire to be a church organist. While a student, he wrote this Clarinet Quintet. After completing his degree, he was appointed a professor at the Crystal Palace School of Music, and he conducted the orchestra at the Croydon Conservatoire. 

In 1899, Coleridge-Taylor married Jessie Walmisley whom he met at the Royal College of Music. They had a son named Hiawatha and daughter Gwendolyn, who became a conductor-composer. 

Coleridge-Taylor was known as a skilled conductor. He composed for multiple instruments (mostly piano and violin), theater, and choral groups. He was also a respected judge and composer at music festivals. At age 22, he premiered the first section of his three cantatas on the epic poem, Song of Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His Song of Hiawatha was performed for choir and orchestra to great critical acclaim; it was as popular as Handel’s Messiah in Edwardian England. Coleridge-Taylor's popularity extended to the US where he made three tours in the early 1900s. He was the youngest delegate at the first Pan-African Conference in 1990 and met President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. 

Coleridge-Taylor wrote accessible Romantic-style organ music. Novello published his lovely Three Short Pieces for Organ in 1898: Arietta, Melody, Elegy. Here is a link to a performance of Melody and Arietta. Three Impromptus for Organ appeared in 1911 about which Richard Hills describes their varied color and mood:

“Stylistically, the Three Impromptus bear a closer resemblance to the composer’s theatrical works than to those intended for the church or concert hall. This light-hearted approach to organ composition is all the more striking when one compares these pieces with others written during the same period by Coleridge-Taylor’s colleagues and teachers, many of whom were heavily influenced by the German Romantic tradition of Josef Rheinberger and Max Reger. As original compositions (as opposed to transcriptions) the Three Impromptus should prove an invaluable addition to the repertoire for recitalists wishing to programme sophisticated lighter fare that has immediate appeal.”

Here is a link to Katie Burk playing Impromptu No. 1, Op. 78. In 1916, Arthur Hull arranged two volumes of his organ music

Coleridge-Taylor died of pneumonia at the age of 37. King George V bestowed an annual pension on his widow, demonstrating the high esteem in which Coleridge-Taylor was held.

See “Who was Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the English composer referred to as ‘Black Mahler’?” or Jeffrey Hill’s Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: A Musical Life (Taylor & Francis, 2015) for more information about this composer. 
February 14, 2021
​Cathedral of the Madeleine, at 8pm

Gabriele Terrone

Cathedral of the Madeleine, Salt Lake City, UT
Originally from Rome, Italy, Gabriele Terrone is the Organist and Assistant Director of Music at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also serves on the faculty of the Madeleine Choir School and is the Director of the Eccles Organ Festival. 
View program & more!

BYU Organ Online Training Sessions

This is a new 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!. 
Learn How
Do you have Facebook?
So do we!

"Like" our page to stay in touch with people, events, and important information regarding the Utah Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.


Photo by Kari Nay

Copyright © 2021 Utah Valley Chapter, American Guild of Organists, All rights reserved.

Our website is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp