January JumpStart 2015

  • 17 Jan 2015
  • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
  • If you have paid your AGO dues for the 2014-2015 Season, please register as a member.
  • If you have paid your AGO dues for the 2014-2015 Season, please register as a member.
  • Even if you are not a members of the sponsoring chapters, you are most welcome to attend this event.
    registration fee includes the workshop and the choral packet.

Registration for ALL AGO Philadelphia Chapter members and Sponsoring Chapter Members is $25.00 ($30 at the door). All others, should register as a guest. ANY and ALL attendees, members or guests, must register for lunch at an additional $15.00 if you wish to join us for lunch. Brown Bag lunches are also OK.
Registration is closed


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church


Keynote Speakers:  

Plenum Session and the Chapel Service with
Michael McCarthy and Benjamin Straley
Director and Organist from the Washington National Cathedral
and the CHOIR from National Cathedral    
Workshop Slots:
Michael McCarthy- Benjamin Straley  
Director and Organist from the Washington National Cathedral    
8:30, 1:15, 2:30   One joint session at 8:30 AM and another session split between the two of them at 1:15 and repeated in the 2:30 slot.

Bertrand Cattiaux   French Organ Builder and Curator for the Organs at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.                          
One session on The Organs of France.  (repeated)    


Dr. Steven Ball   Organist at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City
           Artist-in-Residence, Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter and Paul
One session on the Carillon      (repeated)     
Introduction to the practice keyboard and go into the bell tower. Even play a mini-recital after each class!

Lee de Mets and Chris Kehoe  on the guild exams.  

 Jeff Brillhart  on Choral Repertoire.                      

Dr Amelia Garbisch on Conducting   

Gwyneth Michel on Moravian Music

Nancy Wicklund Gray on Dr. Erik Routley and Hymnody     

Erik Meyer and Rae Ann Anderson on Children's Choirs

See all of the details below......


Registration 8:00 AM and light breakfast food (included)
Breakout One             8:30 – 9:45 AM
Keynote  National Cathedral Staff          10 – 10:50 AM

Service  National Cathedral Staff and Choir   11- 12 noon

Lunch                          Noon – 1 PM     ($15.00 or brown bag)

Breakout Two             1:15 – 2:30 PM
Breakout Three           2:45 – 4:00 PM


$25.00 for Philadelphia Chapter Members and AGO Members from supporting Chapters   ($30.00 at the door)

$50.00 for Guests  ($55.00 at the door)

$15.00 for those who want Lunch

                OUR PRESENTERS


In the summer of 2003 Michael McCarthy was appointed Cathedral director of music. As director of music Michael oversees the Cathedral’s expanding music program, as well as serves as principal choirmaster.

Michael was the founder and director of the London [England] Oratory School Schola. Founded in 1996, the Schola quickly became one of London’s premier boys’ concert choirs, performing regularly on the London concert platform and in the studio for both the recording and film industries. Michael directed the Schola in recordings for films including Sleepy Hollow, The Lord of the Rings cycle, and Harry Potter.

A graduate of Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Michael has worked with numerous professional choirs including the Sixteen, the Gabrieli Consort, and the Monteverdi Choir under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner. In January 2002 he became the choir manager for the Monteverdi Choir. His experience directing young choristers includes duties as lay clerk at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and Saint Alban’s Abbey in Hertfordshire. He also served as master of music at Saint Benedict’s Abbey, Ealing, prior to beginning the London Oratory School.


Benjamin Straley is Organist and Associate Director of Music at Washington National Cathedral. Prior to this appointment, he was Organ Scholar at Trinity Church (Episcopal), New Haven as well as Director of Music for the Episcopal Church at Yale.

Upon the completion of his undergraduate studies with Marilyn Keiser at Indiana University, he entered the Yale Institute of Sacred Music in 2008, where he studied with Martin Jean and Jeffrey Brillhart.  In 2010, he became one of the few Americans in the history of the Haarlem Organ Festival invited to compete in its world-renowned contest in improvisation. He holds both Masters in Music and Divinity from Yale, as well as a Diploma in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School.

McCarthy - Straley:  THEIR SESSIONS
As stewards of the music program at Washington National Cathedral, Michael McCarthy and Benjamin Straley are charged with upholding the centuries-long tradition of Anglican music. This they do on a daily basis. At the same time the institution is required to engage in and host a variety of services which fall outside of the daily routine. Sometimes these services come in the form of Presidential Funerals, others a response to a national or international events that requires a multi-cultural/multi-faith collaboration. Other times there can be an event within the diocese where only a large space can accommodate the needs of that particular worship experience.
While the scale of these events can vary dramatically they all serve the purpose of bringing together a community of people in prayer with music functioning as the binding agent. There is a commonality in approach which, while not formulaic, does suggest a structure which can nurture and inspire the needs of those gathered in community.
As part of this Jump Start program, the morning will be devoted to planning, rehearsing an executing a service. The nature of the service, while hypothetical, is intended to be relevant to a parish community and which required that community to be inclusive of other faiths and those who carry no faith identity but for whom the occasion in nonetheless significant.  With the Cathedral’s professional ensemble, Cathedra, in attendance, the workshop will be able to devise a service where instrumental, choral and congregational repertory find  good balance.
8:30 AM Workshop
Planning a service at short notice.
10 AM Plenum
Rehearse – 50 minutes
11 AM
Worship service
1:15 PM Workshop
Benjamin – Considerations of service playing
Mike – Considerations of choral rehearsal
2:45 PM Workshop  (REPEAT)
Benjamin – Considerations of service playing
Mike – Considerations of choral rehearsal


Six centuries of French Organ Building

a lecture-presentation in sights and sounds, or French organbuilding throughout centuries.
I have prepared a presentation with photographs and musical excerpts on the subject of French organbuilding, from the sixteenth century until the present. Through my experience in restoring and rebuilding numerous old organs, including very famous instruments by Clicquot and Cavaillé-Coll, I have gained a vast knowledge of how French organs are built to make their sounds in the true French style.

Bertrand Cattiaux was born in 1955, in Étampes, not far from Paris. He recalls that one day he discovered the inside of the organ of Notre-Dame d’Étampes. He was instantly fascinated by this instrument and, at that moment, decided to become an organ builder.

After his schooling, he was trained by Jean-Loup Boisseau and, later, became his partner. For almost 20 years, they restored instruments dating from the 16th to 19th century. Many famous organists such as Pierre Cochereau, leader of the French organ school, and Jean Boyer, concert artist and teacher, also have influenced Bertrand’s musical sensibility.

In 1998, he moved his workshop to the southwest of France, where he now practices his art, restoring and creating French style organs with his team of highly-skilled craftsmen. In addition to his reputation for producing instruments of the highest caliber, Bertrand is known throughout the world for the quality of his voicing.


An Introduction to the Carillon, its history,  and its Technique

A brief lecture covering the history of the carillon, its origins, repertoire and the techniques of performing.  This program is specifically designed for organists or pianists as an introductory course in the instrument, and will feature an interactive seminar/studio class from interested volunteers in the audience who wish to participate, learn music for and then prepare a mini-performance on the carillon Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church carillon.

Dr. Steven Ball occupies a rather unique place in the musical world of the organ. In addition to being a Fulbright Scholar, he is part of a small number of artists proficient in the genre of the theater organ ever to have achieved a doctoral degree in music, and the first to have ever done so with a degree in organ performance. Widely recognized for his scholarship both with classical improvisation as well as the art of silent film composition and accompaniment, he has traveled and performed extensively in both the United States and abroad including concerts in The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Portugal, Ireland, England and Switzerland. Some important firsts include the world premiere of the first concerto for theater organ and orchestra ("Once Upon a Castle" 2003 by Michael Daugherty) and the first silent film accompanied by a carillon.
July 1 2013, Dr. Ball has accepted a new appointment as Organist and Director of Outreach for the world's largest pipe organ located at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ as well as Artist in Residence at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, PA. Previous to this appointment, he was Senior Staff Organist at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, University Carillonneur at the University of Michigan as well as a member of the Faculty of the Organ Department in addition to being Director of the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments. He was also Cathedral Organist at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit.


Choral Repertoire  Enjoy singing through the music of Andrew Carter, Stephen Paulus, Ned Rorem, Craig Phillips, William Ferris, Pablo Casals, Harold Friedell and Philip Wilby just to name a few!!

Jeffrey Brillhart is an American organist and conductor. He has served as Director of Music and Fine Arts at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church since January 1983. He is Music Director of Philadelphia's Singing City Choir, one of the first racially and religiously integrated symphonic choirs in America. He teaches organ improvisation at Yale University. He first gained national recognition for his abilities in organ improvisation after winning the 1994 National Competition in Organ Improvisation, sponsored by the AGO.


Overcoming Auto-Pilot: Effective Warm-Up Strategies to Teach Choral Music

In this presentation, session attendees will learn strategies for creating focused vocal warm up exercises meant to aid in the introduction and rehearsal of several frequently performed middle and high school choral pieces.  Participants will learn existing warm up exercises and will create new vocalizes based on specific excerpts from familiar choral compositions.

Dr. Amelia Garbisch holds an undergraduate degree in music education from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, a Master of Music in choral conducting from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in choral music education, also from Temple University.  Most recently, Dr. Garbisch studied as a summer conducting fellow at Oxford University, Oxford, UK, where she conducted the Westminster Williamson Voices, and the Boy Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford.  Dr. Garbisch is an assistant professor of choral music education at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and has had the privilege of conducting throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City.  Engagements include performing at the annual Festival of Lights concert at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and conducting Temple University Ensembles at the Temple Performing Arts Center. Dr. Garbisch is the Director of Music at Mount Airy Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA, where she directs the adult and children's choirs, and conducts the oratorio series. Prior to her graduate studies, Dr. Garbisch taught music in Middletown Township, NJ, and Warminster, PA. In addition to conducting and teaching, she has performed as a singer and ensemble instrumentalist throughout North America and Europe.


What is Moravian Music and How Can I Use It?  One of the oldest Protestant denominations in the
world, the Moravian Church has always placed a heavy emphasis on music.  The Moravian Music Foundation is responsible for over 10,000 musical manuscripts from this rich heritage, representing compositions from the 18th to the 21st centuries. This workshop will explore some of these Moravian “treasures” and how they can be used in your church program.

Gwyneth Michel
is the Assistant Director of the Moravian Music Foundation and the Director of Music at College Hill Moravian Church in Bethlehem, PA.  She received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Moravian College and a master’s in Church Music from Westminster Choir College, and is a veteran of the music publishing industry. 


CHOIR CAMP - Build it and they will come!
A Choir Camp for children's or youth choir is a great way to recruit new members, build singing skills, learn new repertoire, reach out to the greater community, and provide a fun goal for young people to achieve.  And you can do this yourself, at your own parish - yes you can!  Erik Meyer has run a highly successful choir camp at St. Martin's, Philly, which has tripled in size in three years (and his previous church's choir camp grew the children's choir from 8 to 25).  Erik's camps are always tailored to fit the specific needs of the parish and community - so there are no excuses like "this won't work at my church"!  Rae Ann Anderson is director of the Settlement Children's Choir (of 140 singers), and joined the staff of St. Martin's choir camp this summer.  Rae Ann brings a wealth of experience in dealing (musically and otherwise) with large groups of children (and their parents).  Erik and Rae Ann will present on their experiences with Choir Camp, successes and failures, on all subjects from advertising, repertoire, scheduling, and legal matters.

Rae Ann Anderson is the Director of Music for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Glenside, Pennsylvania. In addition, she is also the Director of the Gleeksman-Kohn Children’s Choir of Settlement Music School, the largest community school of the arts in America. This is a program that consists of six Settlement branch choirs that combine to become a 130 voice children’s choir. Ms. Anderson did her professional study in Missouri, Ohio, and Germany.

Erik Meyer was raised in Collingswood, NJ, where he began his organ studies at thirteen, studying with the Rev. J. Bert Carlson. He continued his studies with Donald Sutherland at the Peabody Institute of Music.  He was a semifinalist in the 2006, 2008 and 2012 NYACOP, and has performed over one hundred recitals throughout the world,and often performs organ-flute duo recitals with his wife, Anna.  Erik currently serves as Director of Music at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Philadelphia, where he oversees a large and active parish music program and semi-professional choir.  An active composer,  Erik's portfolio includes numerous anthems, canticles, a mass setting, orchestral works and opera.


Erik Routley:  Great Britain's  Envoy to North America

Erik Routley (1917-1982), an English minister, musician, and writer, made significant contributions to hymnody in the U.K. and North America. From his first journey in 1955 until his death, he was invited to speak on hymns and other aspects of worship at music and church-related conferences, universities, seminaries, and individual churches. His unique communication style, caused his audience to howl with laughter while learning and considering profound ideas. After he moved to the US in 1975, to become a church music professor, his itinerant activities increased. How his work evolved and its importance will be examined.

Nancy Wicklund Gray is Associate Professor/Librarian Emerita, at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where Erik Routley taught from 1975-82. Her research on Routley's life and work has been presented at annual conferences of the Music Library Association, the Hymn Society in the US and Canada and elsewhere. She wrote Routley's biography and other articles for the recently published Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology http://www.hymnology.co.uk/

The Philadelphia Chapter of the American Guild of Organists • www.AGOPhila.org

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