Welcome to the Southeast Region Blog!

Welcome to the Southeast Region Blog!

Greetings to all members in the Southeast Region of the American Guild of Organists. I hope that this blog can be an easy way for us to keep in touch. Please contact me for news and events from your chapter that should be included. I'm happy to spread the word! Scroll to the bottom of the page for the regional events calendar.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2015-2016 season.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Carolina celebration, part three . . .

The Greensboro convention comes to a close . . . the final concert was held at Christ United Methodist Church. The AGO joined forces with the Eastern Music Festival to present four organ concerto premieres! New concertos by Pamela Decker, Robin Dinda, Rachel Laurin, and Dan Locklair. What a night! (And, a gala reception followed, I'm smiling!)

Earlier in the day, we traveled to UNC-Greensboro to hear a splendid recital by Chelsea Chen and a unique recital by Andrew Willis on fortepiano. Afternoon workshops followed (I attended a great session by North Carolina legend Margaret Sandresky).

Five days in Greensboro -- organ music, choral music, and great fellowship. What a wonderful week! Thanks to the Greensboro steering committee for doing a GREAT job!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Carolina Celebration, part two . . .

More news from the Greensboro Regional: on Monday night Dame Gillian Weir gave a fantastic recital at First Presbyterian Church. Her musicality is superb . . . such a joy to listen to her perform. On Tuesday morning the 'crew' headed to High Point for a recital by AGO/Quimby RCYO winner Bryan Anderson (what a great talent!) Next: Kernersville Moravian Church for a BBQ lunch followed by Bach's Clavierubung III performed by Hans Christensen. The choral ensemble "Bel Canto Company" closed out the day with a fine concert at West Market Street UMC. I just love good choral music. All in all, another GREAT day in Greensboro!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Greensboro -- A Carolina Celebration!

The Greensboro Regional has begun! Sunday night: a pre-convention program by the Raleigh Ringers and an opening festival of hymns at First Presbyterian Church with featured organist Dr. Joyce Jones. On Monday morning we heard splendid recitals by Dr. Faythe Freese (West Market Street UMC) and Dr. Timothy Olsen (Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church). Afternoon workshops included one by me entitled "How to Jump Start Your Chapter." I hope attendees left with a few good ideas.

I'm about ready to hop on the bus for the featured evening recital by Dame Gillian Weir. Gotta love regional conventions . . . thanks, Greensboro AGO!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists, the results . . .

On a sunny Saturday in June, six accomplished young organists competed for the title of 2011 AGO/Quimby RCYO winner in Region IV. The competition was held at Wesley United Methodist Church in High Point, North Carolina, on a 65 rank Austin organ. Check out information on the Sanctuary Organ.

Each competitor performed a major P & F of Bach (we heard the DM, FM, Wedge, am, and 9/8 CM), a romantic work (ranging from Franck, Vierne, and Bossi), and a contemporary work (Langlais to Demessieux to Hakim).

The judges of the event had a difficult decision to make -- the playing was fantastic! Thanks to judges Dr. Faythe Freese, Dr. Boyd Jones, and Dr. Timothy Olsen for their time and expertise. Also, thank you to Dr. Andre Lash for serving as director of the competition and overseeing a myriad of details.

Drum roll, please??? The results of the Region IV AGO/Quimby RCYO held on June 25: 2nd place, Wesley Hall; 1st place: Bryan Anderson. Bryan will play for Region IV convention attendees on the morning of Tuesday, June 28.

Congratulations, Bryan! And, thanks to all of the competitors for their hard work and fine playing. The future of the organ is certainly in good hands.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

One week to Greensboro!

I look forward to seeing everyone in Greensboro next week for the regional convention! Get your bags packed and get ready for a great time. Want to remind yourself of the exciting events? Check it out at http://www.ggago.org/carolinacelebration.html. See you all soon!

Columbia 2013, Program Committee Meeting

On the road again! Saturday, June 18, found me at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Columbia, South Carolina. I sat in on a meeting of the Columbia 2013 Regional Program Committee. Yes, the 2013 Regional Convention is 2 years away, but committees are hard at work. Their website is already up and running! Find it at http://www.regional2013.org/.

POE 2011, Birmingham . . . . Friday, The Final Day

Friday at the Birmingham POE. We've had a full week of organ playing, practicing, recitals, and, oh, yes . . . lots of food! The closing recital, held at Hodges Chapel, was the highlight of the week for me. The performances by the students were really first-rate . . . what is the future of the organ? Well, working with these students for the week gives me confidence that the future of the organ is looking good in Region IV!

POE 2011, Birmingham . . . . Thursday, Day Four

The day began with lessons . . . then to Hodges Chapel for our group picture (below):

What a great looking group, eh?

After lunch, Dr. Bradley Welch gave a masterclass for POE participants. Some fine playing!

After dinner, we traveled to East Lake United Methodist Church for a concert of transcriptions and improvisations. Hmm . . . . Star Wars and Star Spangled Banner were highlighted! A sudden thunderstorm welcomed us as we returned to the dorm.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

POE 2011, Birmingham . . . . Wednesday, Day Three

Day Three at the 2011 POE began with a bus ride to nearby Tuscaloosa to tour the organ facilities at the University of Alabama. Dr. Faythe Freese presented an energetic program, allowed the students to try out the historic Holtkamp, look inside the case, and even gave one of her CDs to all the POE attendees! See a photo of the concert hall below:

Following afternoon lessons all were treated by a colorful recital by Dr. Bradley Welch at St. Mary's Episcopal Church. And, oh my, what a reception! A photo of recitalist Dr. Welch:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

POE 2011, Birmingham . . . . Tuesday, Day Two

Your daily report from the 2011 POE. Morning lessons followed by two GREAT faculty presentations. Mr. Herb Buffington challenged us all with tips on improvisation and Mr. Scott Elsholz shared his "Eleven Principles of Hymn Playing." Pictures of the clinicians are below
(Mr. Buffington, left photo; Mr. Elsholz, right photo).
The day concluded with a pool party and barbeque at a local home. Check out all the photos at the 2011 POE Blog: http://poe2011.birminghamago.org/

POE 2011, Birmingham . . . . Monday, Day One

Monday at the Birmingham POE began with morning organ lessons. Then, yours truly gave a presentation on practice techniques in Hodges Chapel . . . . I have the picture to prove it (see below!)

And they didn't fall asleep! (see evidence below . . . . )

The day concluded with a fantastic recital by Weston Jennings at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Thanks for an incredible program, Weston! (pictured below)

On right:

POE attendees pictured with recitalist
Weston Jennings in the balcony of
St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
What a great bunch!

POE 2011, Birmingham . . . . Sunday night check-in

To all the naysayers: the organ is not dead! Region IV's POE is currently being held in Birmingham. 22 students descended on the campus of Samford University for the 2011 edition of the Region IV 'Pipe Organ Encounter.'

Sunday night parents dropped students off at Reid Chapel.
(see picture at left)

Our home away from home were dormitories on the Samford Campus . . . hot showers and a place to sleep. Perfect!
(see picture of the female dorm on right)

The opening evening concluded with a visit to The Alabama, home to a fantastic Wurlitzer theatre organ. Ken Double, President and CEO of the American Theatre Organ Society, gave us all a great musical tour of the organ and all the POE attendees were able to try out the instrument. What a great prelude to the week!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mormon Tabernacle Organist to perform in Sarasota next Spring

Richard Elliott is right at home at the massive console of the Tabernacle organ, having previously served as an assistant organist for the world's largest functioning pipe organ in Philadelphia's Lord and Taylor (formerly John Wanamaker) department store. His background in jazz and popular music has likewise prepared him well for his role as accompanist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, with its broad range of repertoire.

Richard Elliott will be in recital at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road, in Sarasota, on the Sunday afternoon following Easter, April 15, 2012 at 4 o'clock. Tickets can be reserved at the church (924-4664) for $15 and AGO members with membership cards will be admitted free.

On Saturday, April 14th, at 10 AM at the church, Elliott will conduct a workshop on hymn playing, choral accompanying, and other issues related to the church musician. This event is $10 and is open to anyone.

As Principal Tabernacle Organist, Richard Elliott performs, tours and records with the Choir. He also plays for the weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts and joins with his fellow organists in presenting daily 30-minute organ recitals in the Tabernacle. He works alongside the rest of the Choir's musical staff to ensure perfect balance among the singers' voices, the organ and the Orchestra at Temple Square, thus producing the Choir's signature sound. In addition, Elliott performs widely as an organ recitalist and has recorded on the Tabernacle organ for several record labels.

Prior to his appointment in 1991 as a Tabernacle organist, Elliott was an Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University, where he taught courses in organ and music appreciation. His early musical studies were undertaken at the Peabody Conservatory and the Catholic University of America. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the famed Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and later received Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

Elliott is a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and was a featured performer in the Guild's national convention held in 1992 in Atlanta. He is a published composer and has also written articles for several music journals. Elliott currently sits on the advisory boards for the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ and for the Eccles Organ Festival at Salt Lake's Cathedral of the Madeleine.