Centennial Celebration Concert
April 30, 2022
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 107 State St, Albany, NY
The Eastern NY Chapter of the American Guild of Organists was founded in September, 1920. Due to the pandemic, the centennial celebration concert was postponed until April 30, 2022. Here are some excerpts from the welcome speech at this concert, given by Dean Susan Lohnas:
It is a very different world now than in 1920 when the Eastern NY chapter was founded. Since then we have survived wars, economic upheaval, social changes, and two years of a pandemic. We have endured because of the dedication of our members and their passion for the organ, the King of Instruments.
Over the years, Eastern NY chapter members have enhanced the worship experience of thousands of people attending religious services in the area. The community has benefited from artists who the chapter has brought to the area for concerts and workshops. For a fascinating history of the chapter, please read the decade-by-decade timeline in your program booklet. Thanks to our chapter Historian, Kate Storms, for the Herculean job of compiling this history.
As a lasting tribute to the chapter’s centennial, long-time member and well-known composer Al Fedak has written a piece, An Albany Processional. It is based on the hymn tune Albany, written by John Albert Jeffrey in 1886 for the celebration of Albany’s bicentennial. The text for this hymn, Ancient of Days, was written by Bishop William Doane. Today’s concert will begin with the premier of An Albany Processional. Immediately following it you are all invited to join in the singing of Ancient of Days, which is an insert in your program booklet.
A commemorative recording has been created that captures the glorious and sublime sounds of eight fine organs in the area, played by accomplished local organists. Thanks to Brad Day for leading this effort, to the churches whose organs were recorded, and to the organists who gave their time and talent to make this recording.
We are so fortunate to have Joey Fala play for us today. He is a remarkable young organist who was recently named one of the top “20 under 30” by The Diapason magazine. Originally from Hawaii, Joey came to the Capital District not too many years ago to study architecture at RPI. During that time, he was a member of the Eastern NY chapter and was the organist at First United Presbyterian church in Troy.
After graduation from RPI, Joey followed his passion for music and went on to earn a master’s degree in organ performance at Yale. He served two years as organ scholar at Duke University, and is now the director of music at University Presbyterian Church, Chapel Hill. Please take the time to read his biography in the program which includes a long list of honors and recitals in the US and abroad.
This was truly a once-in-a-hundred-years event! The pictures tell the story:
Used Music Extravaganza!
November 13, 2021
Allen Organ Studios, 10 Becker Terrace, Delmar
The Used Music Extravaganza on November 13th was a big success! About 30 chapter members and friends attended, finding treasures of organ music, books, CDs, and LPs. How wonderful it was to catch up with each other! There were lots of smiles, laughter, and even some organ playing.
This collection has approximately doubled since the pandemic, due to a large donation from the estate of Robert Wells and several other significant contributions. Thanks go to Joan Pearson, Donna Tallman, Chris Uhl, and Jim Slingerlands for spending many hours sorting and organizing, and to Brad Day for his help preparing for the sale and for housing the collection at his Allen Organ Studios in Delmar.
The proceeds of the sale, $200, will be earmarked for scholarships.
Picnic and Concert at Meta Organworks
August 21, 2021
Members of the Binghamton Chapter joined members of the Eastern NY Chapter for a “Picnic and Organ Concert on the Lawn” at Daniel Lemieux’s Meta Organworks Studio in Argyle, NY. The concert featured the latest Meta Virtual Pipe Organ which will be installed in the newly constructed 1,000 seat concert hall at the Indian Hill Music School (Groton, MA) in 2022. The organ consists of 12 Sample sets of exciting pipe organs from around the world, 41,600 Watts and 42 speaker cabinets.
Randy Steere was the guest artist and played works from Mendelssohn, Whitlock, Lidón, J.S. Bach, Widor and Guilmant. In his concert he played four of the twelve organs sample sets that are playable from this console: The American eclectic organ built by Rosales (Opus 11 in Portland, OR); Jordi Bosch’s Santanyi, a Spanish Baroque Organ (Mallorca, Spain); Sonnenorgel, A German Baroque Organ (Görlitz, Germany); and Cavaille-Coll’s French Romantic St. Étienne organ (Caen, France).
Despite Mother Nature’s gift of rain during the concert, everyone had a great time listening to some wonderful organ music, meeting and talking with other chapter members.
THANK YOU to our hosts, Dan & Melissa Lemieux and family!
For more information, including a recording of the concert, go to: