Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Chapter news

  • 13 Oct 2015 8:12 AM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)

    Music of Louis Vierne
    Saturday, November 14, 2015


    Photo: Jeremy Filsell with Workshop Attendees

    Workshop Information

    First Presbyterian Church
    512 Third Street SW
    Rochester, MN 55902

    Saturday Workshop Schedule:
    9:30 am – Refreshments and Fellowship
    10:00 am – Masterclass and Q and A

    Jeremy Filsell is the artist-in-residence at the Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C. 

    This is a free event sponsored by the chapter. All are welcome to attend! 


    Jeremy Filsell - Concert Organist & Pianist 

    Jeremy Filsell is acknowledged as one of only a few virtuoso performers on both piano and organ. He has appeared as a solo pianist in Russia, Scandinavia, the USA, and throughout the UK. His concerto repertoire encompasses Mozart and Beethoven through to Shostakovich, John Ireland, and Rachmaninov (1st, 2nd and 3rd concertos). He has recorded the solo piano music of Herbert Howells, Bernard Stevens, Eugene Goossens, and Johann Eschmann for Guild. Recently released were discs of Rachmaninovs piano music for Signum and two of French Mélodies accompanying Michael Bundy (baritone) for Naxos. 

    Jeremy Filsell has recorded for BBC Radio 3, USA, and Scandinavian radio networks in solo and concerto roles and his discography comprises more than 25 solo recordings. Gramophone magazine commented on the series of 12 CDs comprising the premiere recordings of Marcel Dupré’s complete organ works for Guild in 2000 that it was "one of the greatest achievements in organ recording." In 2005, Signum released a 3-disc set of the six organ symphonies of Louis Vierne, recorded on the 1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ in St. Ouen Rouen. This was BBC Radio 3's Disc of the Week in September of that year. He has taught at universities, summer schools, and conventions in both the UK and USA and has served twice on international organ competition juries. Recent solo recital engagements have taken him across the USA and UK and to Germany, France, Finland, and Norway. In North America, he concertizes under the auspices of Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists. 

    Jeremy Filsell studied as an organ scholar at Oxford University (Keble College) before completing graduate studies in piano performance at the Royal College of Music in London. He was awarded his PhD at Birmingham Conservatoire/BCU for research into aesthetic and interpretative issues in the music of Marcel Dupré. Before leaving the UK in 2008, he held lectureships at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and was a lay clerk in the Queen's choir at St. George's Windsor Castle. He currently serves as artist-in-residence at Washington National Cathedral, director of music at the Church of the Epiphany in downtown Washington, D.C., and is Professor of Organ at the Catholic University of America.

    Jeremy Filsell is represented exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC. 

  • 27 Sep 2015 10:13 AM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)
    Choral Evensong Francis of Assisi at Calvary Episcopal Church, Rochester, MN
    Sunday, October 4, 2015
    5:00 PM
    Featuring the Motet Choir
    Brian Williams, Choir Master and Organist


    SEMN AGO Opening Dinner and Presentation
    Sunday, October 4, 2015

    Following the Choral Evensong, members of the Southeast Minnesota American Guild of Organists are invited to a catered dinner ($15). With the dinner, at Calvary's Brackenridge Hall, there will be a presentation on national and chapter news.

    The Dinner Menu: Boneless Chicken Breast, Au Gratin Potatoes, Green Beans, Dinner Roll, Beverages and Dessert.

    Please RSVP for the dinner before September 30 to Jon Nienow at jcnienow@hotmail.com or Matt Lehman at lehman.mlr@gmail.com or 507-251-1698.
  • 22 Sep 2015 9:47 AM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)

    We are trilled that the Riverland Chapter of the AGO (LaCrosse, WI area) is able to join us, the Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the AGO, for a downtown organ crawl in Rochester. All stops are within five to six blocks of each other. Downtown parking is free on Saturdays.

    Revised Schedule on Saturday, October 3, 2015:

    • 9:30 am Coffee and Gathering at Church of St. John the Evangelist
    • 10:00-10:45 am – Church of St. John the Evangelist (Rieger-Kloss Organ, Opus 3721 and Rieger-Kloss Moveable Positive)
    • 10:45-11:15 am – Christ United Methodist Church (Wicks Organ Co. rebuilt in 2014)
    • 11:15 am - 12 noon – First Presbyterian Church (Casavant Frères, Opus 3767, 1998)
    • 12 noon – Lunch at The Loop
    • 1:00-1:45 pm – Trinity Lutheran Church (Wicks Organ Co. - Walker Digital Stops - Originally Reuter Organ Co (Opus: 971, 1952)
    • 1:45-2:30 pm – Calvary Episcopal Church (Norhren-Harris Organ - built 1974)
    • End Stop – A Tour of the Carillon at Plummer Building

    All are welcome to join us!

    Photos: Church of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester, MN



    Photos: Christ United Methodist Church, Rochester



    Photo: First Presbyterian Church, Rochester, MN


    Photo: Plummer Building, Rochester, MN - Carillon



  • 29 Aug 2015 9:18 PM | Anonymous

    Here's a photo from a chapter event in 1983 at Mabel, Minnesota. Help us identify all the members. Email Matt or Jeff.

    1983 Chapter Event in Mabel, MN

  • 17 Jun 2015 3:58 PM | Anonymous

    An exciting day was enjoyed by all in La Crosse, WI for an organ crawl on Saturday, May 30, 2015. The crawl was sponsored by Southeast Minnesota and Riverland Chapters, AGO.  We visited three area churches:

    • The Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman (Noack, Opus 152: the main organ in the choir loft and a smaller second organ in the chancel)
    • The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Noack, Opus 150)
    • The Chapel at Holy Cross Seminary (Kilgen).

    A delicious lunch was enjoyed by all in the cafeteria of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

  • 13 May 2015 11:56 PM | Anonymous

    Bravo! Bravo! To the Scholarship Winners, we shout, “Bravo!”  Ten young men and women treated the audience of family, friends, and chapter members to an astounding recital. Showcased were pieces by Bach, Vierne, Langlais, Hampton, Buxtehude, Karg-Elert, Burkhardt, and many others. Each student demonstrated his or her hard work of practice and mastery of “the king of instrument”.  Applause of thanks greeted each recitalist as the last note concluded of their final selection.

    Two students will be graduating from high school. We bid them a fond-farewell and best wishes as they head-off to college in the fall. The remaining eight scholarship students will continue their studies with our incredibly talented teachers, Lee J. Afdahl, Andrew R. Galuska and Brian A. Williams. Before the recital, Nancy Wales, the Scholarship Committee Chair, recognized Rev. Robert E. Scoggin for his diligent dedication as a former tenured teacher.

    In anticipation, we eagerly await what the students will be performing at the next recital. To them: “Best wishes, practice well and have fun learning!”

    Scholarship students 2015

    Thank you for supporting the Students Scholarship Program as funded by the J. Isabelle Dyck Fund of the Rochester Area Foundation and facilitated by the Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

    Scholarship Committee: Nancy Wales, chair, Lee J. Afdahl, Rosalie Alcoser, Dr. Peter Dyck, Andrew R. Galuska, Rev. Robert E. Scoggin, and Brian A. Williams.



    Jonathan Beardall in recital at First Presbyterian Church, Rochester, MN. Ten Scholarship Winners treated the audience to some marvelous organ music.

  • 13 May 2015 11:41 PM | Anonymous

    On April 18, 2015, twenty-four individuals attended the masterclass for Southeast Minnesota chapter’s scholarship students. Isabelle Demers, Professor and Head of the Organ Program at Baylor University, Waco, Texas, was our guest instructor. Four enthusiastic students had the opportunity to play a piece for Professor Demers. The selections played by the students were: Toccata in B Minor by Eugène Gigout, Antiphon from First Suite by Calvin Hampton, Prelude in A Minor, BWV 543 by J. S. Bach, and Epitaphe (24 Pièces en style libre, Op. 31) by Louis Vierne. She was kind, encouraging and insightful in her instruction. As a chapter, we are grateful to Professor Demers for this instructional time with these students.

    A special thanks to the J. Isabelle Dyck Fund of the Rochester Area Foundation facilitated by the Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the American Guild of Organists for supporting these chapter students. With deserved respect, we thank our dedicated instructors, Lee J. Afdahl, Andrew Galuska and Brian Williams, for their fine work with these students. Finally, in gratitude we thank Lee J. Afdahl and First Presbyterian Church, Rochester, MN for hosting this chapter event.

    Scholarship students 2015

    From left (front row) Andrew DeZiel, Jonathan Beardall, Hope Giesen, Maria Kramer, Teresa Kramer, Professor Isabelle Demers, Grant Natzke (students). (back row) Lee J. Afdahl and Brian Williams (teachers). (Not pictured) Annie Sun (student) and Andrew Galuska (teacher).

  • 10 Apr 2015 11:23 PM | Anonymous

    Organ Dedication Concert at Christ United Methodist Church

    April 18, 2015
    7:30 PM

    Music of A. Guilmant, L. Vierne, C. Saint-Saens and others
    Andrew R. Galuska, organist
    Mayo Clinic Chamber Symphony
    John A. Schultz, conductor Symphony

    A freewill offering will be taken in support of our concert series.

  • 16 Jul 2014 2:56 PM | Anonymous

    Accompanying and Leading Congregational Singing
    Saturday, November 15, 2014
    St. John the Evangelist Church
    11 Fourth Ave. SW
    Rochester, MN 55902

    The class will focus upon accompanying and leading congregational singing. Dr. Jan Kraybill will be the masterclass instructor. She will address a wide variety of styles included in many congregational settings demands that we adapt our organ techniques. The class begins with a discussion of effective techniques for hymn playing, and expands to include a variety of nontraditional and global styles.

    Saturday Masterclass Schedule:
    9:30 am – Refreshments and Fellowship
    10:00 am – Masterclass and Q and A
    Group lunch following the morning event.

    This is a free event sponsored by the chapter. Register to Matt Lehman at lehman.mlr@gmail.com (507-251-1698)

  • 01 Feb 2014 9:48 PM | Anonymous

    Thank you for your participation!

    On a cold Saturday in early February, 17 students from the ages of 11-16, enjoyed the warm hospitality of Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester, MN for a day of Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza. Thanks to the coordination and hospitality of Kristy Giere, Organist at Zumbro Lutheran the young students were fascinated by the beautiful 52 rank Aeolian-Skinner organ.

    Their eyes opened in wonder at the first notes of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. That piece was used as a teaching tool throughout the morning. They learned about why and how to use different manuals, what different manuals accomplish, what a stop is, how pedals work, what the combination action is and how, by pressing just one key you can get a full spectrum of sounds. Each student took advantage of the opportunity to play their piano score and experiment with different sound settings.

    Jeff Daehn showing organ pipesAn instructional video provided by the AGO, Pulling Out All The Stops was shown to an attentive audience. Then organ technician Jeff Daehn showed the enthusiastic students a row of pipes and a good look inside the organ.

    All this excitement ended with pizza, ice cream, and lovely fellowship. This is an event that the chapter will certainly repeat in the near future!

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