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

Engage, Support, and Uplift Every Organist!
In this issue:
  • Sub-dean's Message
  • Upcoming Activities
  • Past Activity Picture
  • Utah Valley Pipe Organs Highlight: American Fork East Stake Center
  • BYU Organ Workshops
  • Eccles Organ Festival 
  • Tabernacle Virtuoso Performance Series 
  • Piping Up! Online Organ Concerts at Temple Square
  • We Value Your Membership
Sub-dean's Message

Being new to the AGO, I had never attended the annual Pedals,  Pipes  and Pizza event until last Saturday when our guild sponsored that activity for local youth and their families. Thanks to the  expertise of David Chamberlin from Bigelow Organs and Dr Neil Harmon,  I knew we were in for a special treat. 
What I wasn't prepared for was the joyful scene taking place in the chapel. There were youth taking turns playing the glorious Bigelow Organ with Neil helping at the console, small groups taking a behind-the-organ tour with David, probably seeing in inner organ workings for the first time, and happy chatter taking place amongst participants and family members. I received an email from one youth saying, "It was great! I personally really enjoyed the attitude of the leaders. They didn't act intimidated by the inexperienced teenagers, and were very personable with all of us. Thank you so much for the opportunity!"
Following the organ experience, we all enjoyed eating pizza and fruit, wonderfully prepared and served by Kathleen Rosenval's superb food committee. 
Although I have enjoyed all of the AGO activities, this was by far my favorite. To provide an opportunity for children and youth to have an up-close experience with the organ seemed to me to be the most wonderful way to spend time and resources and instilled in me an excitement for more organ experiences  involving our youth. 

Please join us this month for the Bach & Baroque Recital on March 17 at the Provo Central Stake Center. We have time for more performers, so don't hesitate to sign-up--click the link below the recital flyer below. We would love to hear a Baroque piece you have been working on.

Please consider volunteering your time and talents at Super Saturday on April 29th. If you are willing to help, please sign up via this link: Thank you so much for your willingness to serve the local organ community!

Marcine Sawyer

Upcoming events
Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza RSVP
Sign up to play in the Bach & Baroque Recital

Super Saturday is our chapter’s gift to the growing community of church organists in Utah Valley and beyond. This free training day, held April 29, 2023 in the new Music Building on the campus of Brigham Young University, is open to the public to learn more about the organ and to be inspired to improve organ-playing skills. If you are a pianist wishing to try the organ, someone called to play for church services, or an advanced organist with the desire to meet with others who share your love for music, this workshop is for you!

Super Saturday begins with a keynote address by local organist, choral director and composer James Kasen, followed by several break-out sessions, and concludes with a hymn sing. Classes are offered on varied topics geared towards youth, beginning, intermediate and advanced organists. We invite all to come and enjoy!  Admission is free.

Super Saturday would not be possible without volunteers like you! Please consider volunteering your time and talents on April 29th. We are currently seeking volunteers to help with Super Saturday, please sign up:

Thank you so much for your willingness to serve the local organ community!

UVAGO Organ Crawl at the Tabernacle at Temple Square in January.
Photo by Kari Nay
Utah Valley Pipe Organs Highlight: American Fork East Stake Center
by Blaine Olson

The refurbishing of the American Fork East Stake Center organ (825 East 500 North in American Fork) is now complete, and the 7-rank Schantz organ is singing a little sweeter now that several digital voices have been added to its stoplist.  The console has been refinished, and original stop action magnets (SAMs) were replaced with new ones.  Originally built in 1993, the organ's upperwork (stops above 4’ pitch) had been borrowed from the 8’ and 4’ ranks (and there was very little of this upperwork to begin with)!   Originally, the only 16’ stop in the Pedal was a downward extension of the Swell's 8’ Gedeckt, which was called 16' Gedeckt Bass.  There had been a stop tablet for a 16' Contre Trompette, but this was a "prepared for" feature, the pipes for that stop having never been installed in the original instrument. The newly redesigned Pedal department now features a digital 32’ Contra Violone, 16’ Principal, 16' Contre Trompette, and 4’ Clairon as new digital supplements to the original Pedal stops, making a night-and-day difference in the organ’s Pedal department!  There is also a Swell to Pedal 4’ and a Bass Coupler (auto pedal) in the revised Pedal that were not in the original.  In all, the Pedal has gone from 8 stops in the original organ to 14 stops in the new Pedal, (including couplers).

In the manuals, the upperwork (the stops above 4’ pitch) have been replaced with digital voices, thus eliminating a lot of the borrowing, with the Swell expanding from 8 stops in the original organ to 16 stops in the new Swell, which now includes a digital 4’ Prestant, 2 2/3' Nasard, 2’ Blockflote, 1 3/5' Tierce, 16’ Contre Trompette and 4’ Clairon, plus Swell to Swell 16’ and 4’ couplers and Unison Off, which were not in the original Swell.  (The original Swell had a 1 1/3’ Nasat, which was the only mutation in the entire organ.  It has been renamed Larigot). 

The new 2 2/3' Nasat and 1 3/5' Tierce balance incredibly well with the 8' Gedeckt to make a rich synthetic 8' Clarinet!  However, trying to make a synthetic 8' Orchestral Oboe does not work well on this organ, as the Gemshorn (which is the closest thing to a String on this organ) has too much fundamental to be able to provide the thin sound (of a Salicional) needed for the basis of the Orchestral Oboe sound (along with a thin 2 2/3', as from a String rank also).

With the presence of a digital 16' Contre Trompette and 4' Clairon to supplement the wind-blown 8’ Trompette, (and if needed, the use of sub- and super-couplers), the Reed section of the Swell is capable of adequately producing the majestic voices needed for the Trumpet arpeggio-fanfare that I always play (starting at “And the rockets’ red glare…”) when accompanying the “Star Spangled Banner”!  Like the awe-inspiring roar of an American fighter jet over the battlefield, this powerful fanfare brings tears of joy and patriotism to the eyes of the congregation, and I am always so grateful to have at my disposal a fine organ capable of accomplishing this!  

The Great has gone from 7 original stops to the new complement of 13 stops, which includes borrows from the Swell.  A solid state control system with 100+ memory levels in the combination action, plus record/playback features and transposer was also added.  The entire organ is under expression.  For an organ of only 7 ranks, this organ (with its new additions) is pleasantly surprising… but digital chimes would have made a nice addition too!  (Can't do "Silent Night" without chimes descant throughout the song)!

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

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!

German Baroque Registration
Instructor: Dr. Daniel Kerr
March 16, 2023
7:00-8:30 pm MT

Hymn Playing
Instructor: Dr. Jacob Hofeling
April 6, 2023
7:00-8:30 pm MT

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

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

Register for BYU Online Training Sessions
BYU Traveling Workshops

South Utah County Organ and Choral Workshop
March 18, 2023, 9:00 am-1:00 pm
Free classes for anyone interested in organ playing basics and choral conducting beyond the basics.
Register by March 15
Flyer and registration

Mapleton Organ Workshop
March 24-25, 2023
Register by March 21
Flyer and registration

Sunday 12 March 2023 at 8:00 PM

Adam Brakel
Director of Music for St. James Cathedral and the Diocese of Orlando, Florida

All events are held at the Cathedral of the Madeleine and live-streamed on our YouTube channel. Performances are offered free of charge. Donations are welcome.
The 28th 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 Tabernacle Organists are pleased to announce that James O'Donnell,
Professor of the Practice of Music at Yale University, will perform the next Tabernacle Organ Virtuoso Performance Series recital on Friday, May 12 at 7:30 PM.

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: 

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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Photo by Kari Nay

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