Utah Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
Newsletter • May 2023

Engage, Support, and Uplift Every Organist!
In this issue:
  • Dean's Message
  • Upcoming Activities
  • Super Saturday Thanks! 
  • BYU Student Recital
  • BYU Organ Music Exchange
  • BYU Organ Workshops
  • Eccles Organ Festival 
  • Tabernacle Virtuoso Performance Series 
  • Piping Up! Online Organ Concerts at Temple Square
  • Utah Valley Pipe Organs Highlight: Provo Utah Sharon East Stake Center
  • We Value Your Membership
Dean's Message

We’ve had a great year!
Our activities have been of the highest quality. Our amazing opening social, our member recitals, our visit to the Tabernacle, and the recent Super Saturday event, have all helped us fulfill our mission to promote the organ and increase the quality of organ music and performance in our area. Our chapter serves as a great example to other chapters of how do to things right.
Much thanks goes to the members of our board, who have labored diligently and accomplished a great deal. They serve without much acknowledgement and for no earthly compensation, yet our work would be impossible without them. I honor them for their service.
I’m also really pleased that members of our chapter are magnifying their talents and abilities. We have several members who have taken certification tests and have learned much, whether they passed or not. I honor their efforts and encourage each chapter member to achieve a level of certification.
Next year also promises to be a great year. Whatever challenges we face, we will rise to them. We will pass the heritage of the King of Instruments on to those who follow us with vigor and enthusiasm. It, too, will be a great year.
Harold Stuart, CAGO

Upcoming events
Join the chapter for a Closing Social at the Oak Hills Stake Center in Provo. Bring a piece to play on the Shantz organ. Don Cook will be helping with registration. Light refreshments will be served. Chapter members may bring a desert to share.
Super Saturday Thanks!

Many thanks to Jennifer Morgan and her committee (Harold Stuart, Becky Azera, Nora Hess) for planning and executing a wonderful Super Saturday! Many thanks to BYU School of Music for hosting the event. Many thanks to James Kasen for delivering the keynote address, Debbie Faires for the prelude and opening hymn, Renee Gaselum for the hymn sing, Tyler Anderson for providing organs, Kathleen Stuart for managing registration and lunch orders, Katherine Rosenvall for providing lunch, and Lori Serr for organizing the private lessons. Many thanks to the instructors (James Kasen, Don Cook, Harold Stuart, Neil Harmon, Landon Finch, John Longhurst, Mike Carson, Becky Azera, Nora Hess, Renee Gastelum, Levi Kelley, David Chamberlin, Blaine Olson, Miranda Wilcox, James Welch, Mark Atencio, Millie Camire, Lori Serr, Alena Hall, Chad Staten) and volunteers (Kathleen Stuart, Daniel Splattstoesser, Rob Stillmar, Susan Morris, Dorothy Jensen, Glen Hicks, Chelsea Hicks, Janet Olsen, Holly Frantz, Rachel Wadham, Brigham Morgan).

BYU Free Organ Music Exchange

Dear AGO colleagues:
We are pleased to welcome you to take part in The BYU Free Organ Music Exchange. This library is contained in several white crates placed above the twelve organs in the BYU Organ Lab (2217 Music Building). Having been donated by individuals who are downsizing their libraries or from estates, they are available to organists for free.
You are welcome to come to the lab, play through the scores, and take those that you or your students will use. Please do not remove them with the intent to resell. The lab door is unlocked Monday through Saturday between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., but you can stay after 6:00 p.m. if you wish. Please avoid group organ class times: MW 8-5, TTh 9-10 and 4-5, Friday 9-3.
If you have organ scores or books that you’d like to donate, please contact or to arrange for drop-off or pick-up.
Don Cook and Neil Harmon

BYU Organ Online Training Sessions

The BYU Organ Online Training Sessions for Entry-level Organists have been scheduled for the coming season. These webinars are free of charge and available to pianists and organists in any location! 

The presentations will offer a pre-recorded video from 7:00-8:00 pm Mountain Time, with interactive chat with the instructor during the video, followed by a live Question & Answer session until 8:30 pm Mountain Time. Recordings of each class will be available to view for one month following the live presentation.

Additional sessions for Beyond the Basics topics and Individual Feedback will be scheduled soon. We hope to see you at many, if not all training sessions!

Figuring out Pedaling for Hymns
Instructor: Elizabeth Forsyth
May 4, 2023
7:00-8:30 pm MDT

The Organ for Primary Series
Instructor: Laurie Swain
May 18, 2023
7:00-8:30 pm MDT

Register for BYU Online Training Sessions
BYU Organ Workshop 2023

The BYU Organ Workshop will be held at the new BYU Music Building on August 7-11, 2023. Click here for more information and to register.
The 29th Season Replay! Did you miss a performance or want to enjoy it again? Click the Eccles Festival button below to watch on YouTube.
Eccles Festival
The 2023 Tabernacle Organ Virtuoso Performance Series presents James O'Donnell, Professor of the Practice of Organ at Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, as the featured performer on May 19, 2023 at 7:30 pm in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. The Tabernacle Organ Virtuoso Performance Series was inaugurated last year to showcase the Tabernacle organ and organists at the top of their field.
Recital Press Release

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 this online concert stream: 

Utah Valley Pipe Organs Highlight: Provo Utah Sharon East Stake Center
by Blaine Olson

They say the gospel is true wherever you go, but it’s just a little “truer” when a pipe organ is present to testify as to the truthfulness being spoken.  That being the case, the Provo Utah Sharon East Stake Center is a veritable truth magnet, with a pipe organ that only makes the already beautiful chapel there even more stunning and awe full.  (I said “awe full,” not awful.  There IS a difference, you know).
Located roughly a block due north of the Provo Temple  (at 2400 North 1060 East), this gorgeous chapel houses an equally gorgeous pipe organ.  Upon entering the chapel, the worshipper’s eyes are immediately drawn to the beautiful symmetry of the pipe display.
Built in 1979, the 11-rank Wicks organ underwent a renovation in 2020, when it was expanded from a mere 4 general presets on thumb pistons (duplicated by toe studs) with no memory options to choose from, to 15 presets on 128 levels of memory, with digital voices also added at that time.  The memory level is selected by turning a rotary dial (next to the readout on the far right side) to the desired memory level. 
The digital additions to the organ include a 32’ Contra Violone, 16’ Principal, and 16’ Gemshorn in the Pedal.  The 16-foot Gemshorn also appears in the Great. 
The 16’ SubBass is an extension of the 8’ Gedeckt in the Great.  All other Pedal stops are borrows or digital.  It’s nice to have several 16’ stops in the Pedal, and even nicer to have a 32’ Contra Violone and 16’ Reed for those exuberant hymns that require a little fire to heat the building.  (They used to call “The Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning” “The Tabernacle Heating Song” because the early saints would sing that moving hymn on cold days before the Tabernacle was heated, and they claimed it made the auditorium feel warmer).  But then, too, they used to sing all 6 original verses to that song!  Original verses 4 and 5 have been omitted in the current hymnals—(too much sacred info revealed therein).
Being essentially near floor level rather than way overhead, the Swell chamber is easy to look directly into to admire its 5 ranks of pipes— plus it makes the Swell more easily heard by the organist, which means much of the guesswork as to how the organ sounds is eliminated (although all of the Great pipes except for the very lowest “offset” pipes are located atop the Swell box).  The Swell shades all move in unison in small increments, as opposed to moving individually, one at a time.
I was very surprised as I looked thru the shades into the Swell and saw that the pipes of the Salicional were tapered, looking more like Gemshorns than Salicionals.  In all the 55+ years I have been studying pipe organs, I have never seen conical Salicional pipes before, so I had to do some research.  The fact is, Salicional pipes are almost always conical metal pipes with high tin content to help assure a bright string tone, BUT there actually have been a few rare instances where Salicional pipes were made using conical construction (the shape of a Gemshorn).  Still, I can’t help but wonder if they are the actual original Salicional pipes, or if they are replacements… perhaps Gemshorns voiced on the stringy side?  Whatever the case may be, they sounded quite lovely, especially when played with the matching Céleste.
The Swell has had a digital 4’ Principal,  2 2/3’ Nazard, 1 3/5’ Tierce, 16’ Contra Trompette, and 4’ Clarion added to the original stoplist, while the 2’ Blockflöte is still an extension of the 8’ Rohrflöte.  While the 16’ Contra Trompette in the Swell is digital (and not as powerful as the 8’ wind-blown Trompette), the one in the Pedal is actually an extension of the true 8’ Trompette of the Swell.  This way there is a powerful 16-foot Reed in the Pedal while the manual 16’ Reed in the Swell does not compete with nor overpower the 8’ Reed in that same division.
In the Great, the 4’ Prestant is an extension of the 8’ Principal.  (This is always a disappointment for me, as I would rather have the 2’ be an extension as opposed to the 8’ and 4’ coming from the same rank.  It just sounds better if 8’ and 4’ ranks are independent). The 2’ Principal and Mixture III are independent of other ranks, not borrows.  (It’s always nice to have an actual 3-rank Mixture as opposed to a “derived” Mixture where the elements of the Mixture are borrowed from among various other ranks, even when the Mixture is digital).  
The Great does borrow pipes from the Swell’s Rohrflöte to provide a 4’ Rohrflöte for its choruses.  The Swell’s Salicional, Céleste, and Trompette are also playable from the Great. The loudspeakers for all of the digital voices, including the Chimes, are located inside the Swell enclosure, so the volume of the Great Chimes is influenced by the position of the Swell expression shades.
I did notice a few problems with the organ, including a few pipes that were slow-of-speech (just like Moses). Another problem with at least one of the pipes was a quick “hiccup” in which a pipe sounds the note again very quickly and briefly upon releasing the key for that note. While I have a pretty good idea what the possible causes of these problems may be, the explanation of the technical details probably would not be of interest to most readers here.  The problems are fixable.
While the organ does need some attention, it is nonetheless a very nice organ since its digital additions were put in place.  And to have another organ in the Valley with 37-note Chimes is just fantastic, even if the Chimes are digital reproductions.  They are both sweet and convincing.  One of the organists there told me that everyone really looks forward to Christmastime when the Chimes bring out the best in this organ!
The chapel is without doubt one of the most beautiful ones in the Valley, on par with the Springville Spring Creek South Stake chapel and organ, built the previous year.

To see more photos of this and other pipe organs in the Valley, click on the Utah Valley Pipe Organs link.
Utah Valley Pipe Organs
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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