An Evening of Music History and Prayer at King’s College

King’s College will host an evening of music history and prayer at its new Chapel of Christ the King at the George & Giovita Maffei Family Commons, 29 West North Street, Wilkes-Barre on Friday, November 8 at 7:15 p.m. The program will feature a lecture on the changing fortunes of the pipe organ in a historical context by organist and musicologist Dr. Sarah Davies and conclude with a sung prayer service.

Celebrating the “opening” of a new organ in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain and later America with an “organ sermon” was a phenomenon which occasioned both the praise and justification of instrumental music in liturgical worship and an anti-organ backlash in Calvinist tracts, ballads and broadsides. Through sermons and these extra literary publications, Dr. Davies’ lecture will define the instrument not only as an emblem of Anglican and Lutheran confessions but also as a symbol of the oppositional political positions of Puritan Parliamentarians and Scottish Presbyterians.

Back in Britain, a 1752 sermon preached in the provinces on St. Cecilia’s Day, is just one of many examples which, as a vindication of its naysayers, “demonstrated the Antiquity of Musical Instruments in the Publick Worship of God.” At this particular moment of civic pride, the dedicatory service was followed by a ball at a local inn which was “conducted with the greatest decency and harmony” because the church’s new organ, in fact, had been judged “the Compleatest and Perfectest Thing of its Kind.”

Sarah Davies, organist and musicologist, earned her Ph.D. at New York University with a dissertation on the geistlicherepertoire in Renaissance Swiss and German tablatures for lute and organ.  Over the past two decades she has given numerous papers on a variety of topics at musicology, keyboard, iconography, German and interdisciplinary conferences in both Europe and America.  She is also a regular lecturer for the early music series at St. Luke’s in the Village and for Polyhymnia in New York. Her current work includes research into the Toggenburg Hausorgel;  the place of the organ in German Lutheran Kirchenordnung;  and an ongoing project assessing the organ sermon of the 17th and 18th centuries. Her chapter, “Kirchen Cronor Baalsfeldzeichen: The Organ as a Sign of Confessional Identity, 1560-1660,” appeared recently in the book Music and Theology in the European Reformations(University of Leuven, 2019). She is also contributing a chapter entitled “’The Compleatest and Perfectest Thing of its Kind:’ The Organ, Organ Sermon and Organ Tract in Great Britain and America in the 17th and 18th Centuries” for Orgelpredigten in Europa, 1600-1800 (University of Regensburg, 2020).

This free, public program is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Northeast Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. For more information, please contact Raphael Micca, Dean, at 570-301-9253 or email dean@agopane.org.

Music Swap on October 18 in Clarks Summit

The Pennsylvania Northeast Chapter of the American Guild of Organists has received entire choral libraries from several churches as well as a collection of organ music. Everything from great choral masterworks to contemporary music is available, free for the taking. The AGO chapter has been trusted to be stewards of this collection and is interested in extending the useful life of the music by making it available to any individual or group that can use it.

On Friday, October 18, we will sponsor a free Music Swap at the First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit, 300 School Street, Clarks Summit from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

This is a prime opportunity to expand your school’s music library at no cost. If anyone has any unwanted/unneeded choral octavos in their current collection and would like to make them available for others to use, feel free to bring them along to the event. Please spread the word!

Join us for Celebrate America: An Independence Day Concert

The First Presbyterian Church of Wilkes-Barre, 97 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, will host our “Celebrate America: An Independence Day Concert” on Sunday, June 30 at 7:00 p.m. This free performance is sponsored by our chapter.

The concert will feature performances on the church’s recently restored Schlicker pipe organ, a community choir under the direction of John Vaida, several short readings, thrilling congregational singing, and music for brass and percussion. It is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Raphael Micca at 570-301-9253 or email dean@agopane.org.

Job Opportunity: East Stroudsburg United Methodist Church

East Stroudsburg United Methodist Church is seeking an organist. The job is primarily for a Sunday organist (one service at 8:30) with opportunities of collaboration with their Contemporary service director.  From September to May, the church has a choir, and the organist provides rehearsal accompaniment on Thursday evenings on the piano. There are also periodic special events during the year, i.e. Thanksgiving services, Lenten services, Spring Cantata, and occasional funerals and weddings for which the families pay additionally. The church has one of the Elite (III) organs by Allen, 2008 model with 3 manuals.  The traditional service requires a Prelude, Offertory music and Doxology, and a brief Postlude in addition to 3-4 Hymns at each service.  Full job description supplied on request. Qualifications include professional level proficiency with piano, organ and following a choral conductor. For more information, please contact Jenni Poole at 570-422-1289 (h) or 570-460-1322 (c).

Join us for a Music Swap at Church of Christ Uniting on May 31

Please plan to join us for  a Music Swap  at the Church of Christ Uniting, 190 South Sprague Avenue, Kingston on Friday, May 31 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Northeast Chapter of the American Guild of Organists has received entire choral libraries from several churches. Everything from great choral masterworks to contemporary music is available, free, for the taking. The AGO chapter has been trusted to be stewards of these octavos and is interested in extending the useful life of the music by making it available to any group that can use it.

Everyone is strongly encouraged to take as much or as little music as the individual groups could use. This is a prime opportunity to expand your choral group’s library free of charge. If anyone has any unwanted/unneeded choral octavos and would like to make them available for others to use, feel free to bring them along to the event. Someone, somewhere can probably use your no-longer-needed music.

Join us for our Spring Gathering at St. Peter’s Cathedral


The public is invited to attend our chapter’s upcoming Spring Gathering at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Scranton, on Friday, April 26, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

The evening will begin with Easter Vespers in the Cathedral. After dinner, Peggy Haas Howell will present a fascinating lecture-demonstration of organs and organ music in the United States and Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries. Peggy is Organist and Choirmaster at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lynchburg, VA, and is the Music Director of Cantate Children’s and Youth Choir. She has been a member of the American Guild of Organists since the age of sixteen, and is currently Dean of the Lynchburg Chapter.

Tickets are $14.00 per person for non-members and $12.00 for AGO members. Please RSVP before April 22, 2019 by calling Raphael Micca, Dean, at 570-301-9253 or email dean@agopane.org.

Job Opportunity: St. Paul Lutheran, Tannersville

St. Paul Lutheran, Tannersville seeks a part-time (10-15 hours per week) individual(s) to fill the choir director and accompanist roles. Versatility in playing the organ (2 manual Allen Digital Computer Organ), piano (Young Chang baby grand), and electric keyboard is desired. Two choirs (adult vocal and bells) provide musical leadership for one Sunday liturgical service (9:00 am) as well as evening Lenten services and weddings/funerals. First Sunday of the month is contemporary worship with praise band and may or may not request keyboard input, which would have separate compensation scale. Salary is commensurate with experience and level of musicianship. Please send resume and request for job descriptions to St. Paul Lutheran Church, attn. Personnel Committee, P. O. Box 196, Tannersville, PA 18372, or by e-mail: parishcoordinator@stpaultannersvillepa.org.

Join us for our Fall Gathering in Wilkes-Barre

You are cordially invited to attend our chapter’s Fall Gathering at St. Mary’s Church of the Immaculate Conception, 134 South Washington Street, Wilkes-Barre, on Saturday, September 29 at 6:30 p.m. The program will begin with Vespers followed by a buffet-style dinner and the installation of officers.
The program is open to the public: please spread the word and invite your pastor, colleagues, and any other interested persons. Tickets are $12 for AGO and NPM members and $15 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door, but reservations are required.
Please R.S.V.P. by Friday, September 21 by calling 570-301-9253 or email dean@agopane.org.

Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza is coming to Scranton!

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, October 14 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Scranton from 2:00 to 4:00 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.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR PEDALS, PIPES, AND PIZZA!

Job Opportunity: St. Stanislaus Polish National Catholic Cathedral, Scranton

Saint Stanislaus Polish National Catholic Cathedral in Scranton is seeking a skilled, experienced organist to play its three manual 41 rank Austin pipe organ for Sunday worship services, Holy Day Liturgies, and other services and functions, including weddings, funerals, concerts, and recurring parish events. The selected candidate will also serve as Director of Music Ministry, cooperating with the pastor and other music staff, to plan and coordinate the music program. The ideal candidate will have experience in conducting adult and youth church choirs.  Degreed candidates familiar with the Catholic liturgy are preferred. Others are strongly encouraged to apply. This is a salaried position with benefits.  Interested candidates should email Bishop Bernard Nowicki at bishop@saintstanislauspncc.org or telephone at 570-343-6017.

Job Opportunity: Mount Calvary Episcopal Church, Camp Hill

Mount Calvary Episcopal Church, Camp Hill, is seeking an Organist/Choir Director. The church has a 2 manual, 13 rank Moeller pipe organ. Two services weekly (Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday at 10:00 a.m.), plus Christmas Eve (2 services), Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Easter Vigil and 2 services on Easter Morning. Position includes directing the Senior choir, conjunction with the Rector, and weekly staff meetings. Salary commensurate with education and experience. For more information or to apply, please call 717-737-9834 to speak with Father Greg Welin.

Job Opportunity: Clarks Green United Methodist Church

Clarks Green United Methodist Church is in need an organist. The church is offering $8000 as a starting salary. A summary of duties is listed below. For more information or to apply, please contact Julie Nicholas at janicholas13@yahoo.com.
Sunday duties
  • 8:30 or 9:00 rehearsal with Gospelaires  – Men’s Choir – 8 members
  • Praise team 4 members – 9:15-9:45 rehearsal (2nd Sunday of month) – Gospelaires will rehearse at 8:30 due to Praise Team rehearsal at 9:15
  • Sanctuary Choir 10 members – 9:30 rehearsal (1st Sunday of month) – will generally start Gospelaires rehearsal at 8:30 or 8:45 due to Choir rehearsal at 9:30
  • Service 10:00 am -11:30
  • Arrange special music for any 5th Sunday or play something for special music; will also play special music on the 4th Sunday of the month should the bells be unable to perform
  • Be available to accompany the Sunday School singers whenever the need arises
 One Tuesday/month
  • Sanctuary choir rehearsal – 6:30-7:15 (generally September through May or June with summers off) – Small Choir – 10 members
  • Responsible for finding appropriate music;
  • Also, for Easter and Christmas – Rehearsal 2 weeks before to accommodate members schedule
Summers – No extra hours
  • Arrange for special music for each Sunday and/or play something if no one is available, involves putting up a signup sheet in advance and asking people as well
 Funerals/Weddings – Only by schedule
  • Not many weddings in the past few years, but be available to do so; usually scheduled far in advance
  • Potentially be available for funerals during the week  (substitute can be arranged if Organist has full time work)
Holidays
  • Two services on Christmas Eve (5:30/11:00pm) – 1 hr services
  • Ash Wednesday – up to Pastor – 1 hr in evening
  • Holy Thursday/Good Friday – up to Pastor – 1 hr – during the day