Utah Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
Newsletter • October 2020

Engage, Support, and Uplift Every Organist!
In this issue:
  • Dean's Message
  • October Challenge: Organ Registration
  • Other events coming up in November and December
  • How to record a video for the December Christmas Informal
  • Enhance Your Organ Skills through Certification - Jennifer Morgan
  • Diversify Our Repertoire - Miranda Wilcox
  • Piping Up! - Organ Concerts at Temple Square
  • Eccles Organ Festival - Community Concert October 11
Dean's Message
Miranda Wilcox

Dear Friends, 

As an educator, the start of a new school year always brings new people and opportunities into my life. This school year has been filled with an exceptional number of new experiences. I am learning to teach on Zoom and wearing a mask. My students and I are experimenting with new ways of communicating and learning. Changing habits and learning new things is never comfortable—it takes work, time, and courage. I am grateful that my students have been very patient and flexible navigating new paths. 

The new year of UVAGO activities has likewise been filled with new experiences: a new board, meeting by Zoom, and monthly organ challenges. The board is experimenting with new ways of communicating and sharing music with the chapter. As we learn new technologies and explore new platforms, we appreciate your support, patience, and flexibility. 

As a chapter, let us embrace this opportunity to grow as we try new things. The monthly organ challenges offer us individually and collectively new ways of deepening our engagement with the organ. I learned new things about how different organ consoles work at our September chapter Zoom discussion hosted by Jack Stoneman. Many thanks to Jack and all those who contributed. Diversifying our repertoire opens new musical horizons as well. Learning Florence Price’s Organ Suite No. 1 has enriched my daily practice, and I am inspired by her courage to make music despite prejudice.  

Next month, explore the sounds on the organ/s you play, and try some new combinations. Join the chapter conversation about organ registration hosted by Jennifer Morgan on Friday, October 9, at 7:00 pm. In November, watch Dr. Neil Harmon’s presentation about Baroque chorale preludes on the chapter's new YouTube channel. Also, start preparing a favorite or new Christmas piece to share with the chapter at our annual Christmas Informal. The Informal will be online this year, so we are asking you to record and upload your video on the chapter YouTube channel. The chapter will watch the videos of the Christmas pieces together on Thursday, December 10, at 7:00 pm as a Facebook Watch Party.  

Healthy wishes, 

P.S. 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 roundtable discussion; other months we’ll invite you to record and post your performances online, or join us for a watch party on Facebook.
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

October's Challenge: Organ Registration
The chapter is inviting all organists to learn something new this year. October’s challenge presents an opportunity to learn or review general principles of organ registration.

Click on the button below to access a series of questions about organ registrations, including some online resources to help you!
October's Challenge - Organ Registration

Don't forget to join us for the Zoom roundtable discussion:

Topic: October Organ Challenge Discussion
Host: Jennifer Morgan
Friday, October 9
7:00 p.m. (MST)
To join the Zoom meeting, click on the link below a few minutes before start time, and enter the meeting ID and/or passcode, if prompted. 
Meeting ID: 986 3455 6745
Passcode: 767679
Other Events Coming Up
  • In November, watch Dr. Neil Harmon’s presentation about Baroque chorale preludes on the chapter YouTube channel. Date and time to be determined.
  • Start preparing a favorite or new Christmas piece to share with the chapter at our annual Christmas Informal. The Informal will be online this year, so we are asking you to record and upload your video on the chapter YouTube channel. The chapter will watch the videos of the Christmas pieces together on Thursday, December 10, at 7:00 pm as a Facebook Watch Party.  
How to record your video for the Christmas Informal 

1. Choose the piece you would like to play. If you are looking for a new piece to try, check out free pieces, most in public domain, on IMSLP in the "Scores Featuring the Organ" and the "Scores Featuring the Organ (arr)" categories. Try a title search for "Christmas," "Noel," and "Carol.” 

2. Submit the title and the following information about the piece as soon as possible to Miranda Wilcox at Please include:
  • your name,
  • the title of the piece,
  • name of the composer,
  • the title of the volume (if you are playing a piece in a book),
  • the publisher of the sheet music,
  • the date the sheet music was published.
For example: Chloe Smith plays “Silent Night” by Jim Kasen (Christmas Postludes, Vol. 1, Jackman Music, 2004).
3. Make a video recording of you playing the Christmas piece that you would like to share with the chapter at the Christmas Informal. The videos will be shared on the chapter's YouTube channel and a Facebook Watch Party on Thursday, December 10, at 7:00 pm. 4. After the video is ready, you will upload the recorded video to the chapter's Google Drive account by November 23. Look for instructions in the November newsletter on how to upload your video. 

An invitation to...

Enhance your organ skills!
Jennifer Morgan

Have you ever wanted to know more about certification through the American Guild of Organists, or have you wanted to start working towards one of the five levels of certification? This year, as the Education Coordinator for our chapter, I’m excited to host online training or study groups for these AGO exams.

If you’d like to start working on some of the required skills, participate in an overview discussion of all of the exams, solicit feedback from your peers, or would just like a little more information, please reach out to me. In the email let me know your interest and availability, so that I can create these groups. In the meantime, click the button below for more information about certification through the American Guild of Organists.

Even if certification isn’t something that you’re interested in right now, you may still wish to learn more about transposition, accompanying, harmonization, or sight-reading. If so, I hope you’ll consider participating in these Zoom meetings.

I’m really looking forward to collaborating with you!

Jennifer Morgan

Click the button below to learn more about organ certification in the AGO.
Learn More

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 organist is...
Carlotta Ferrari (b. 1975)  
Carlotta Ferrari is an Italian composer and organist. As a child she was attracted by the spiritual dimension of the organ, and she was astounded by how long an organ sustains sound. Her passion led her to study organ and composition at the Conservatory in Milan. She served as chair of music composition at Hebei Normal University in Shijiazhuang, China, and she is currently professor of music composition at the European School of Economics in Florence, Italy. 

She composes in many genres and for a variety of instruments. As a student Carlotta was drawn to composition because she wanted to be a total creator, not just a recreator as a performer. She was trained to write music in the style of master composers of the past, such as Corelli, Vivaldi, and Bach. This training yielded attentiveness to the blend of past and present in her compositions. She loves exploring counterpoint and modal techniques, and her compositions are widely performed around the world. For fun, try her “Black Cat Toccata,” “White Cat Toccata,” “Tarantella sul nome di Bach,” or “Yankee Doodle Variations.”   

Learn more about Carlotta Ferrari in this interview, “On Counterpoint, Modes, and Being a Female Composer” and on her website. You can listen to her organ pieces on YouTube or performed by Carson Cooman. She encourages wide distribution of her music and offers hundreds of her pieces for free on IMSLP.  

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: 

This month we will present an evening of music and friendship, featuring Salt Lake City organists Larry Blackburn (First Presbyterian Church) Seth Bott (St. James Episcopal Church) David Chamberlin (Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church), Gregory Glenn (Cathedral of the Madeleine) and Scott Mills (First United Methodist Church).

Note: The free attendance passes are sold out, but please join us on the Festival's YouTube channel to listen to these performances. More information is provided below on how to access the channel.

October 11, 2020
​Cathedral of the Madeleine at 8pm
Organ Community Concert


David Chamberlin
Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) 
Sonata Op. 65, No. 3
      I. Con moto Maestoso
      II. Andante tranquillo                                
Seth Bott
Robert Cundick (1926–2016)
Divertimento – 2nd movement (Moderato)                                                  
Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, WoO 9 
Scott Mills 
William Mathias (1934­–1992)
Charles-Marie Widor (1844–1937)
Adagio, from Fifth Organ Symphony, Op. 42, No. 5
Larry Blackburn
Michael Burkhardt (b. 1957)
from “Balboa Park Organ Suite: A Celebration of Many Peoples”:
  • Theme and Variations
  • Carol Miniature
  • Festival March 
Gregory Glenn
Jean Langlais (1907–1991)
De profundis, from “Neuf Pièces pour Grand Orgue”
Arnolt Schlick (before 1460–c. 1521)
Maria zart
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
Fuga sopra il Magnificat, BWV 733
All Festival recitals will be live streamed via YouTube. 

Subscribe to the YouTube channel of the Festival, turn the notification bell on, and enjoy live performances in the comfort of your living room! Here's the link to subscribe to the YouTube channel:
Detailed Season Schedule
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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