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The Monthly Newsletter of the Northern New Jersey Chapter,
American Guild of Organists



Our Chapter's April Meeting

The service of VESPERS and RECITAL by Rodland Scholarship Winner Katie Gunn at West Side Presbyterian in Ridgewood on April 1st was an absolute delight!. 

Sincere thanks to Pastor Marc Oehler, who officiated at the service; the West Side Presbyterian Church Choral Scholars who sang; and Debbi Holden-Holloway, NNJ Chapter member and West Side's Minister of Music, who planned and directed the lovely liturgical offering. The choral works included John Weaver's settings of Psalm 141 and the Canticle of Simeon as well as Francesco Gasparini's Adoramus te, Christe and Giovanni Grazioli's God Be with Thee.

Thanks to our headliner, Katie Giunn, for sharing the warmth of her personality in such a poised and professional way and for the excellence of her performance. It was a thrilling experience for those of us fortunate enough to hear her play. Her program included:

-- Wie gläuben all an einen Gott, BWV 680 - Johann Sebastian Bach

-- Symphonie No. 1, Op. 36  - Rachel Laurin
    II. Scherzo

-- Prelude and Fugue in D Major, BWV 532 - Johann Sebastian Bach

-- Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 65, No. 4 - Felix Mendelssohn
    II. Andante religioso
    III. Allegretto

-- Organ Sonata No. 1, Op. 42 - Alexandre Guilmant
    III. Finale: Allegro assai

And what a finale it was! Wishing Katie all the best in her future endeavors.

Look for iPhone snippets to be posted on our Facebook page in the coming days. Click here to check it out:


Dear Colleagues:

 I read an interesting article (not about us!) about the need for volunteers in an organization to step forward and get involved. There are two important points that come to my mind as I read this.  First, the point was made that while the majority (over 50% was quoted) of members wanted to see the organization thrive, a very small number of members were willing to help the leadership run the organization.  That seems a bit contrary to me.  
More importantly, this article came to my mind as I was driving home last night following Katie Gunn's recital.  We had a number of our members step up to the plate to help bring this event to us:  Debbie Holden-Holloway set up the wonderful Vespers service at West Side.; Claudia Smith-Wyant worked hard to get all facets of the weekend publicized; Mark Wright, Cathie Ruppi, and Janet Montroy helped with various dining and transportation tasks throughout the weekend; and, of course, we couldn't leave out June Marano-Murray who hosted Katie for the three nights.  Thank you all!
While we who were involved with the planning for this event would have liked to see more in attendance, those who were with us on Saturday night loved the peaceful setting for the service, the wonderful choir, and the prayers.  And then... Katie stepped to the console to play a 35-minute recital.  This youngster (I can say that at my age, can't I?) showed us why she recently won the National  Undergraduate Competition for organists, held a couple of weeks ago in Iowa. On top of that, she won our hearts with her warm and engaging personality as we engaged with her over her three-day visit here.
Now that this weekend is behind us, it's time for some "post-event" reflection that the Executive Board will undertake at our June meeting.  If you have thoughts you'd like to share, let us know.
Back to the article referenced above, while our chapter has not (is not?) immune to the apathy that all volunteer organizations experience at some point, that was not the case with us this weekend.  Again, thank you all. 
Your appreciative Dean,


Mark Your Calendars Now!

We are offering an exciting array of interesting and informative programs in 2023. Be sure to add the following dates to your calendar:

MAY 15 (Monday 7:30 P.M.): Mark Wright presents Christ Church/Hackensack’s rebuilt organ. More details to come in the May issue.

JUNE 12 (Monday 6:00 P.M.) Picnic and Program at Old Paramus Reformed Church, Ridgewood:  iPads for Musicians: Yes, You Can! (Further details TBA)

We will be pleased to welcome members of the Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter in another joint venture for our June program!

Stay tuned for our 2023-24 season lineup in future issues of Reverberations

It's Not Too Early to Think About Attending!


AGO Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Dual Regional Convention! 

July 3-6, 2023

If you are planning to attend all or any part of the Convention, email us at We'll put together a list of potential attendees and their plans to share with the membership in case people want to buddy up for hotel accommodations or travel arrangements.

Opening Worship

Rye Presbyterian Church with New Choral Society
John T. King, conductor
Janet Yieh and Dina Foster-Osbourne, organists.

Closing Concert

Rye Presbyterian Church
Modus Opera Orchestra
Justin Bischof, music director
David Enlow, organist

Bookmark the website! Check out the venues and solo recitalists 
and look for the full schedule of events.
Click here:

Conference Headquarters

Sonesta White Plains
66 Hale Ave
White Plains, NY 10601

Mark Your Calendars Now to Support Our Chapter Members!

Those of you who have attended recent events noted in our newsletter will surely want to mark your calendars NOW! Don't miss two of our colleagues as they headline the Wednesdays at Noon series at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, 89 Ridge St., Newark, N.J. 

MAY 3  - Chung Hong in Recital

MAY 10 - Kristen Dabaghian with Genya Muzyczka
Celebrating Ukrainian Culture

Check it out here:


SPEAKING OF ... Are You Giving A Recital? Choir Concert? Special Service?


If you’re planning a concert, playing for a special service or giving a recital, let us know so we can alert our members and, hopefully, help build your audience. Email details to Newsletter Editor Claudia Smith Wyant at

The Chapter has a customizable banner which was created for use at our programs and for members to borrow. Let us know if you would like to add it to your program promotion.





Your AGO Chapter invested in this tiny four-rank instrument that's mighty big when it comes to building a pipe organ! It can be the start of something NEW for a budding musician -- a fun, interactive STEM* program for youngsters (and adults!).

We introduced the OrgelKit at our October 2021 meeting and those in attendance had tons of hands-on fun learning how it was constructed and playing it to see how sounded once it was all assembled.

The OrgelKit is available for members to borrow for a special stand-alone program or as a lead-in to a recital or concert. Our Orgelkit Committee members can help you set it up and repackage it at the end of the event. 

(* Four closely connected areas of study: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)

Items for the Next Newsletter...

Reverberations is published monthly (except in July and August) on or near the 1st of the month. Items for inclusion should be submitted to the Editor by the 25th of the month preceding the issue date. Please email your news to Newsletter Editor Claudia Smith Wyant at


Claudia Smith Wyant, Editor


Copyright © 2023 Northern NJ Chapter American Guild of Organists, All rights reserved.

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