Diane Meredith Belcher, concert organist, will perform this Sunday, November 17 at 4:00 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Our chapter is co-sponsoring this exciting performance with Music from St. Stephen’s. Diane is an internationally renowned, multi-faceted classical musician whose virtuoso performances have been described by American Record Guide as “glowingly brilliant, rhythmically vibrant, consistently expressive.” Having made her solo recital debut at age 15, she has since garnered widespread acclaim as organist, organ teacher, choral conductor, church musician, professor of music theory, and composer. A free-will offering will be received to support Music from St. Stephen’s (suggested donation – $10 per person).
Derry Presbyterian Church in Hershey, PA is seeking a full-time Director of Music Ministries (DMM) who will provide vision and leadership for a music ministry in harmony with our mission statement, “to proclaim God’s word, share God’s love and practice God’s justice and our vision “to be an inquiring, inviting and inclusive Christ centered community.
The DMM plans, produces, and provides music ministry programs that create community, educate listeners, and glorify God. Music is a vital part of our ministry together, so we seek a Director who leads from a place of spirituality rather than performance and who promotes a music ministry that is inclusive of various people, talents, and styles of worship music. We are passionate about mission and desire a missional music ministry that not only leads in worship but also reaches out and ministers to our community.
The Director of Music Ministries (DMM) will be a ministry leader in the church who will report directly to the Pastor (Head of Staff) and work in collaboration with our dedicated staff and congregational volunteer leaders. The DMM will have a passion for sharing their love of God and of music with children, youth, and adults.
Fosters and creates communication and community within the music ministry of Derry and promotes a philosophy of music in the service of worship.
Provides music and musical leadership at Sunday services and special worship services in partnership with the Sanctuary Choir Director.
Directs and rehearses the handbell choirs, the youth worship ensemble, and other choirs and ensembles as needed.
Collaborates, oversees and supports volunteer directors with resources, encouragement, and communications to ensure all ensembles and choirs have leadership.
Is active in the music and arts community in the Hershey/Harrisburg area and builds relationships with local musicians.
Provides music for member funerals and memorial services and works with pastors and families in the selection of appropriate music for weddings, funerals, and memorial services.
Is responsible for the administration and expenditure of the music ministry budget.
Leads efforts to recruit new choir and ensemble members.
Searches out and is receptive to the introduction of diverse musical genres, styles, and programming for worship and concerts.
Qualifications & Characteristics:
Evidence of formal organ and choral training along with demonstrated skills.
A deep love of the musical and spiritual formation of children and youth.
Leadership skills for initiating, developing, and maintaining a high-quality music ministry program.
Demonstrated excellent teaching and communication skills.
Efficient and effective administrator with strong attention to details.
Inclusive of all in the music ministry, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, and any other characteristic.
Willing to plan and develop new styles of worship; open to new ideas.
Ability to use music notation software such as Finale or Sibelius to arrange music and parts.
Interested? Send a one-page cover letter that speaks to your experience and passion for music ministry, a résumé, and contact information for three professional references who can attest to your skills and abilities as a choir director and/or organist to Kathy McGrath at email@example.com. Applicants are encouraged to submit links to streaming audio or video of their current choir and/or organ playing. For more information go to www.derrypres.org. See News – we are hiring.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
Shavertown United Methodist Church is seeking a part time Director of Music Ministry. A detailed job description is available on the church website. To apply please e-mail a cover letter and resume to Robert Bullock, Chair of Staff Pastor-Parish Relations at email@example.com. Anticipated start date is mid-August 2019. Salary is
$30,000 commensurate with experience.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).
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.
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 email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 email@example.com or telephone at 570-343-6017.