Welcome to Northern New Jersey's new website!
The Northern NJ Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is a professional organization of organists, church musicians, and organ enthusiasts, who work together to promote, teach and educate each other about the organ and its profession.
Membership is open to all. There are many benefits to being a member of our chapter. The yearly dues paid to through our national headquarters at www.agohq.org will provide these member benefits:
- A year's subscription to The American Organist, our national magazine
- A chapter newsletter mailed out monthly containing news of concerts, member's notes, and a calendar of events
- Approximately 8 meetings a year, featuring choral and/or organ workshops, concerts, social events
- Access to colleagues' addresses and phones
- Trips to major venues such as the Ocean Grove Auditorium, West Point Chapel, Philadelphia's Wannamaker organ
- Advertising for your musical events, workshops
- Lists of substitutes and job openings
- Benefits from the National Headquarters of the AGO which can be found at www.agohq.org.
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TAKE A LOOK AT OUR PROGRAMS THIS YEAR... so far
October 14: 27 Year old Thomas Ospital thrilled us with a magnificent masterclass in which 6 members performed; Janice Van Dyke (Durufle's Chorale and Variation on Veni Creator), John Connor (Adagio from Widor's VI Symphony) , Claire Bachner (Bach's "Little" Prelude in F), Kristen Dabaghian (Finale from Guilmant's Sonata On in D) Stewart Holmes (Allegro from Bach's Organ Concerto in a minor), and Stacie Yao (Toccata in b minor by Gigout). Ospital offered concrete suggestions which participants and audience alike could appreciate and employ, no matter their level of proficiency. However great it was, Saturday's masterclass was eclipsed by a stunning recital the next day to a substantial crowd at West Side Presbyterian Church. The high point of the recital was improvising a 4 movement symphony for over 20 minutes, based on 6 themes prepared by West Side's Minister of Music, Debbie Holden-Holloway. It is clear why he is Titulaire of the grand organ at Saint-Eustache Church in Paris and newly-appointed Organist in Residence at Maison de la Radio (Radio France Concert Hall). It was a breath-taking weekend which in this writer's opinion will be hard to top.
On September 29, 2017 the Northern NJ Chapter, the Metropolitan NJ Chapter, and the Garden State ater Organ Society (GSTOS) joined forces in September to attend a “show” by theater organist Dave Wickerham at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey ater in Jersey City, NJ. The lavish movie palace contains the massive 4/23 “Wonder Morton Theatre Organ” which has been magnificently restored by GSTOS. The theater itself is in the process of being restored. Much of the main theater has scars of the past and marks of the current renovations, but images of what the theater must have been, and what it will again be are easily merged in one’s mind. The enormous 3 story Grand Lobby with marble columns supporting the rotunda is simply stunning. The 3,200 seat auditorium has coffered ceilings covered in gold leaf in Baroque style. As with many theaters in the 1970’s, the auditorium was divided up into smaller spaces to make it a multiplex cinema. The organ was removed at that time. In the 1990’s “Friends of the Loew’s” set forth a phased approach to renovate the theater, and GSTOS was able to acquire The Bob Balfour Memorial Wonder Organ for re-installation in the theater. It was one of 5 Wonder Morton organs built and installed in large Loew’s NY-Metropolitan area “Wonder Theatres”. The organ chambers, console, wiring, and relays have all been refinished. Dave Wickerham, the entertainer for the show, is currently the Co-Manager and Organist at the Crystal Theatre Performing Art Center in Chrystal Falls, MI. His credits include a designation as the 2011 Performer of the Year of the American Theater Organ Society. What an unusually thrilling evening for Church Organists! See photos on the photo page!