Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza is coming to downtown Wilkes-Barre!

The pipe organ has been called the “King of Instruments.” The sounds of the pipe organ have inspired worshippers for centuries. Great composers have written countless works for the instrument. Pipe organs have been installed in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls and theaters. The American Guild of Organists is passionate about the pipe organ and we want to share our love with a new generation.

Join us on Sunday, April 15 at First Presbyterian Church of Wilkes-Barre from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. for Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza. Participants will receive a behind the scenes tour of the instrument in addition to a chance to play it themselves (and eat some pizza!). All are welcome to attend. Students currently studying the piano are encouraged to bring a piece to play on the organ.



Upcoming Lenten recitals around our region

Since the 1920s, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, 35 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, has offered free recitals prior to the noon Community Lenten Service every Wednesday during Lent. A simple soup and sandwich lunch is available immediately following the services in the auditorium for $4.00. The series began on Ash Wednesday and continues through Holy Week. It is sponsored by the Downtown Ministerium of Wilkes-Barre. For more information and a complete list of performers and preachers, please visit St. Stephen’s parish website.
St. Stephen’s will also have the honor of hosting the Treble Choristers of the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys in a concert on Tuesday, March 6, at 7:00 p.m. Many consider the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys to be the leading ensemble in the Anglican choral tradition in the United States, so it is a rare treat for them to visit our region! The choristers will be directed by Daniel Hyde, Organist and Master of the Choristers, and will be accompanied by Benjamin Sheen, Assistant Organist. The concert is free; a free-will offering will be taken.
Lastly, First Presbyterian Church, 3231 Tilghman Street, Allentown will be hosting a series of Lenten recitals on Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. This coming Sunday will feature our own chapter member and Past Dean Canon Mark Laubach and on Sunday, March 25, First Presbyterian will welcome Nathan Laube, Assistant Professor of Organ, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. Here is the complete list of recitalists:
Feb 18. Mark Laubach, Organist/Choirmaster, St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, PA. Past Dean, Pennsylvania Northeast Chapter AGO
Feb 25. Stephen Williams, Organist/Director of Music, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, PA. Past Dean, Lehigh Valley Chapter AGO
Mar 4. Gavin Black, harpsichord, Director, Princeton Early Keyboard Center, Princeton, NJ.
Mar 11. Adam Bergstresser, Organist/Director of Music, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Doylestown, PA.
Mar 18. Thomas Dressler, Organist/Choral Director, First Presbyterian Church, Allentown, PA. Dean, Lehigh Valley Chapter AGO
Mar 25. Nathan Laube, Assistant Professor of Organ, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY
Please spread the word about these wonderful recitals! Have a blessed Lent!

Mark Laubach to perform at Jerusalem Lutheran, Schuylkill Haven

Canon Mark Laubach will be giving a recital at Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 252 Dock Street, Schuylkill Haven, on Sunday, January 21 at 3:00 p.m. The recital will feature works by Bach, Brahms, Manz, Searle Wright, Otto Nicolai (transcribed by Liszt), Mendelssohn, Gigout, Stephen Paulus, and Vierne performed on the church’s beautifully voiced 1995 Schantz pipe organ. Please spread the word about this fantastic performance!

Allegro con Fuoco keyboard duo to perform in Bloomsburg

Allegro con Fuoco keyboard duo, featuring chapter member Jordan Markham and Tyler Canonico, will perform at Wesley United Methodist Church in Bloomsburg as part of the church’s Cornerstone Concert Series on Friday, February 2 at 7:00 p.m. The program will include works for four hand piano, four hands organ, piano and organ duets, Pietro Yon’s Concerto Gregoriano, and more. The concert is free and open to the public; a reception will follow. Please spread the word!

Richard Elliot to perform at St. Luke’s, Scranton on Friday

Richard Elliot, principal organist of the Mormon Tabernacle, will perform the rededication concert of the newly refurbished 1964 M. P. Möller pipe organ at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 232 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton, on Friday (January 5) at 7:00 p.m. A gala reception will follow. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.
Richard Elliot began his career as the Mormon Tabernacle organist in 1991 after he worked as assistant professor of organ at Brigham Young University. He studied at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, Catholic University of America, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Eastman School of Music.
Congratulations to Mother Rebecca Barnes, Maria Zengion, and to everyone at St. Luke’s Church in Scranton on this momentous occasion in the life of their parish.

Advent and Christmas Events

Now that Christmas is just one month away, there are a number of wonderful musical events on the horizon.

First, on Saturday, December 9 at 2:00 p.m. Michael Seroka, organist, and members of St. Joseph’s Parish Choir will present “Joyful Music of Advent and Christmas” at St. Joseph’s Church, 526 North Street, Jim Thorpe. The program will include organ and choral works by J.S. Bach, Bedard, Dandrieu, Krebs, and others performed on the church’s Austin Organ (built 1917 and rebuilt 1964 by Fritzsche). A flyer with more information is attached.

On Wednesday, December 13 at 6:00 p.m. St. Stephen’s Church, Pro-Cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, Wilkes-Barre, will hold its annual Advent Lessons and Carols Service featuring music by Palestrina, Charles wood, Robert Twynham, Orlando Gibbons, Herbert Howells, and others under the direction of organist and choirmaster Canon Mark Laubach and guest conductor Dr. Rick Hoffenberg. This year’s music will feature a repeat performance of the new setting of the Magnificat which the church commissioned from composer Robert Nicholls for their 200th Anniversary and premiered a few weeks ago on October 29.

On Wednesday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m., students from The Lutheran Academy in Scranton under the direction of Carsten Bjornstad will present a Festival of Lessons and Carols at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 238 Reese Street, Scranton.

On Sunday, December 17 at 6:00 p.m. First United Methodist Church, Shickshinny, will hold its annual Lessons and Carols service featuring the Shickshinny Area Community Choir and the choir of the First Reformed United Church of Christ, Berwick as well as congregational carol singing. A reception will follow in the church’s social hall.

Do the hustle and bustle of the season have you at your wits’ end? Recharge your spirits by joining the Wyoming Valley Band, Conductor Donald Williams, and guest organist Canon Mark Laubach for an evening of traditional holiday fare on Tuesday, December 19 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Church, Pro-Cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem in Wilkes-Barre. Exciting works for concert band by various composers, including popular Christmas carols and songs, will highlight the program. A reception will follow. Admission will be free, though concert goers are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items and canned goods to help stock St. Stephen’s Food Pantry.

Fall Gathering at the Lutheran Ministry Center

Our Fall Gathering was a beautiful time of fellowship, prayer, and learning. The evening began with a Service of Light featuring The Lutheran Academy choir and a message from Pastor Kristian Bjornstad. Dinner and fellowship followed and the evening concluded with a fascinating presentation by organist, musicologist, and chapter member Dr. Sarah Davies on “The Organ as a Sign of Confession in the First and Second Reformations, 1524-1624.” Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Gathering and to all who helped make it possible! A special thanks to our friends at Peace Lutheran Church and The Lutheran Academy for being such gracious hosts.