Wednesday, December 8

A Musical Masterpiece: Rebirth of the Stambaugh Skinner Organ

A Musical Masterpiece: Rebirth of the Stambaugh Skinner Organ

This article is from WYTV, Channel 33 out of Youngstown/Akron Area. The article contains an audio of the organ as well as a slide show.

Tuesday, December 7


HOLIDAY GREETINGS FROM THE DEAN! ! May the birth of Christ fill each of you with much peace and joy. A Blessed Christmas and prosperous New Year to all.

What to watch for in the future with regard to “The Dean’s List”:

JANUARY: Lent, Easter Choral, Organ and Instrumental music.

MARCH: Music for Summer: Voicings for small groups and ensembles, music for organ and instruments, easy organ music.

MAY: General Choral and Organ Repertorie.

Your Dean.
Henry Kihlken

Monday, December 6

New Release about Handel's Messiah from Eerdmans

I would like to bring your attention to a new book we have published about Handel’s Messiah. Handel’s Messiah: Comfort For God’s People by Calvin R. Stapert (978-0-8028-6587-8/ $14.99 pb).

If you want to enjoy and appreciate Handel’s beloved Messiah more deeply, this informed yet accessible guide is the book to read.

This book offers a deeper, richer understanding of a beloved musical masterpiece. Stapert provides fascinating historical background, tracing not only Messiah’s unlikely inception but also its amazing reception throughout history. The bulk of the book offers scene-by-scene musical and theological commentary on the whole work, focusing on the way Handel’s music beautifully interprets and illuminates the biblical text.

Click on the cover image for more information. Handel’s Messiah is available for purchase at

Feel free to contact me for more information.

Franklin L. Goldberg
Inside Sales
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
2140 Oak Industrial Dr NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Tel: 800-253-7521 x511
Fax: 616.776.7621

ORGANLIVE MAKES IT EASY TO EXPERIENCE THE MUSIC FOR THE ORGAN is an Internet audio station dedicated to the music of the classical organ. Broadcasting since 2003, Organlive has become the most-heard organ station on the Internet. The broadcast is completely free to anyone with a broadband Internet connection and is now easier than ever to tune in. Listeners simpy need one click at to hear the broadcast through Windows Media Player, WinAmp, iTunes, Quicktime, RealPlayer, or any streaming MP3 player. Additionally the stream may be heard on most mobile devices such as the iPhone or Android based phones. The station is also listed in the classical radio stations on iTunes.

A new website makes it easier to search the the ever-growing library of organ music, which currently holds over 10,000 tracks from more than 850 albums of music recorded by organists all over the world. Listeners can log in to rate tracks and albums as well as leave comments on the same. Organlive plays albums recorded on pipe, digital, and combination organs played by the world’s best concert organists, as well as tracks recorded and submitted by less renowned organists. Included are pairings of organ and orchestra, solo instruments, choir, or vocal solos. The listener is presented with the work title, composer, album title, a link to purchase the album or MP3 online, the organ, it’s builder, size, and location, and a link to the specification of the organ being heard, and often a link to public domain copy of the sheet music of the work.

Listeners may browse the entire library searching by work, composer, organist, album, or organ and request tracks to be played. On Sundays the station features hymns, choral anthems, and music of the church. Monday's playlist consists of music from the 19th and 20th centuries. Wednesdays are all-baroque music, and Fridays feature the best music from our library, as rated by the listeners.

The station has been continually funded by the listeners, and an annual budget covering all operating expenses is raised every spring. Organlive is always accepting submissions for new music from organists, composers, and publishers. To listen to Organlive, or for more information on submitting your music, visit

CONTACT: Brent Johnson, 314-496-1278

Tuesday, November 23


Our first meeting of the season, an Anthem Reading Session, took place October 10th at the Huron Prebyterian Church with seven members in attendance.

Our next meeting will be Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 2:00 for an organ music reading session at Holy Angels Church (1605 W. Jefferson St, Sandusky) on their newly restored organ. We have the church from 2:00-4:00 at which time another group comes in to get ready for their Mass and program.

Work has begun on the directory “AGO Members Today,” which will be the first AGO Directory to feature both photos and contact information of our national membership. If you wish to be included call the toll free number 1-800-347-7562 on the yellow card each of you should have received.

Reading the account of the AGO National Convention in Washington, D.C. caused me to think of program possibilities for the future. A Taize Service, and a Bach Vespers (pg. 62) are certainly possibilities for advertised and promoted public events. If our Chapter is to survive, such public events are essential.

Reading “The Last Page” is a reminder that strife between pulpit and Choir/Organ Loft is an ancient, if regrettable art, long pre-dating guitar services and the introduction of pop and contemporary styles into our Worship Services.

As serious work begins on our loaded Autumn/Winter Music Schedule, I wish each of you great success in fulfilling your seasonal and Holiday projects.

A new feature to assist our membership in music preparation and planning, called “The Dean’s List” is being introduced with this installment. This list will consist primarily of suggested organ and choral music which has come to your Dean’s attention, to be included in our Chapter Newsletter every other issue. While this list might prove late for Advent – Christmas – Epiphany Season this time it might be helpful for some last minute planning.

As prices are subject to change without notice, these have not been included, but may be obtained on the internet, directly from the publisher, or from your favorite music dealer.

Your Dean,
Henry Kihlken


Bach: “Ausgewahlte Werke Fur Kleinorgel” complied and edited by Hermann Keller (Edition Peters No. 4510). This is the same editor who compiled “80 Chorale Preludes by German masters of the 17th and 18th Centuries,” and is just as useful, perhaps more so, since most if not all of the selectionas are playable on manuals only.

Bach: “J. S. Bach: An Album for Manuals Only” edited by Lionel Lethbridge (Oxford Organ Music, Oxford University Press). A good companion to the previous volume mentioned as it contains only two duplications.

Willan/ Ed Gerike: “Organ Works of Healey Willan,” (Concordia No. 97 – 6676U1). This volume contains, under one cover, all the Hymn and Chorale Preludes by Willan ever published by Concordia Publishing house. All previous editions have been discontinued. These works were commissioned by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod but are useful in all types of services.

Richard Proulx: “Preludes on Four Hymns” (Augsburg/ Fortress No. 11-10051). Contains all of the Hymn Preludes by Proulx pubished by Augsburg/ Fortress. Variations on the Purcell Tune WESTMINSTER ABBEY, was composed expressly for this volume. It makes a brilliant Festival Prelude and is ideal for Pre-Nuptial Prelude Music.

Paul Manz: “Three Hymn Settings for Organ” (Morning Star Music, No. MSM-10-522). Hymns in this volume are “When Long Before Time/The Singer and the Song,” “Beautiful Savior,” and “Who Trusts in God, a Sure Abode.” This volume should be in every organists library.

Most Highly Favored Lady, Basque Carol (Gabriel’s message)” arr. By Garry A. Cornell, Celebrations Unlimited No. CU 237. A little late for this Season, but hold the thought for next year. Delightful. SATB

Keep Your Lamps” Spiritual arr/ Andre Thomas. Includes optinal parts for Conga Drums. Orff instruments could certainly be substituted in any varied combination. SATB. Hinshaw Music No. HMC577. Great for early Advent.

Lord of All Hopefulness” Hymn-anthem based on SLANE, arr. By Healey Willan, C.F. Peters No. 6985, C. F. Peters Corp. SATB with organ. A lovely setting, unison passages alternation with SATB, melody alternates between parts on the last verse, men leading the way.

Father, We Praise Thee” Hymn Anthem on the French Church Melody “Christe Sanctorum” arr. By Healey Willan, easy SATB on verse 1, Soprano unison on verse 2, full unison on verse 3 with an SATB “Amen.” C. F. Peters Corp., No 6125. Gorgeous. A favorite of the St. John Choir.

Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones” A Hymn Anthem on LASST UNS EFREUEN arr. by Healey Willan, moderate SATB, alternating full with unison passages, full organ accompaniment, C. F. Peters Corp., No. 6238.

All listed Anthems are in the repertoire of St. John Lutheran Choir, Port Clinton.


The Port Clinton Community Choir under the direction of Craig Dietterich and accompanied by Henry Kihlken will present large sections of Handel’s “Messiah” at St. John Lutheran Church, 207 Adams St., Port Clinton, at 3:00 PM Sunday, December 19, 2010.

Monday, September 27


Our program on "Anthem Reading" which was scheduled for Sunday, November 14 HAS BEEN CHANGED TO SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10, 3:00 P.M.

We will still meet at the Huron Presbyterian Church, 225 Williams St. in Huron. Bring one to three of your favorite choir anthems to share with everyone. Please bring 10-15 copies of each anthem so everyone can use a copy during the reading session.

Wednesday, September 22


Greetings to all of you on this Labor Day Weekend. Our next program is Sunday, November 14, 2010, 3:00 p.m. when we will have an anthem Reading Session at the Huron Presbyterian Church. Bring one to three of your favorite choir anthems to share with everyone. Please bring 10-15 copies of each anthem so everyone can use a copy during the reading session.

I, for one, will not be sad to see this extremely torrid and exhausting summer draw to a close.

It is, however, time to plan Fall / Winter / Spring once more, as I note that our first choir rehearsal at St. Johns’ Lutheran Church occurred on September 9th.

There are some interesting points made in the September issue of TAO. I call your attention, in particular, first to the Correspondence page and the Second, I call attention to “The Last Page,” on page 96.

In over 50 years on the organ bench, my experience, even at their most discouraging, never mirrored those of Dale T. Stanton: conversely the exalted idealism expressed on “the Last Page: has never been fulfilled in my own experience.

The actual reality of the Church Music Condition rests now, as I believe it always has done, somewhere between these two polarities.

Also of great interest is the article on page 40 regarding the new Leupold Bach edition, which begs the question, “How many Bach editions are actually needed?”

The article on page 52, the new feature “Part Time Church Musician” certainly took me back in time at least 52 years.

I wish all of you a successful and rewarding new season.

Your Dean,
Henry B. Kihlken

Sunday, August 15


As many of you will remember, our AGO email account was hacked into this past winter. That is why everyone is receiving this newsletter through regular mail this month. I have set up a new email account at . If you could please email me with your email address so I can create a new address book with everyone’s email in it. Then I can email the newsletters and other notifications to you which will save our Chapter money in postage. Please do this ASAP. Thank you.


Greetings from your new Dean. A Tentative schedule has been set for the new season, with exact dates, times, and details to be finalized by the Planning Committee.

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The following schedule has been proposed, subject to change: November 14, 2010: Anthem Reading Session, Huron Presbyterian Church.

Late January or Early February: Organ Repertoire Sharing, Holy Angels RCC. The Tracker renovations should be completed at that time.

Late March or early April: Hymn Festival, St. Mary’s Church. “Hymns Based on the Psalms” will be the theme of the Festival. A Committee will select the Hymns and determine the format at it’s meeting set for the end of August. This committee consists of Randy Ruthsatz, Ron Borchardt, and Tim Claubaugh.
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Our Chapter has received excellent publicity in the July issue of TAO; on page 56 the J. S. Bach Recital, which was presented at three area churches on March 21, 2010, is reported in detail.

In closing, also in reference to J. S. Bach, this Dean encourages each Chapter Member to read the Chaplain’s column on page 16 of this issue. This needs little comment from me as it is a masterpiece.

It is the time of year when dues must be sent in to National Headquarters. Those of you who have not already done so, please mail your dues to Charles Scroggy at his home: 218 W. Bogart Rd., Sandusky, OH 44870.

I am please once again (how many times has it been?) to serve this Chapter as Dean.

Henry Kihlken


This will be my last letter to you as Dean of the Sandusky Chapter, AGO. Henry Kihlken has agreed to take my place, and I ask you to join me in expressing thanks for his willingness to serve. He has served as Dean previously, so he brings experience to the office. Randall Ruthsatz will take Henry’s place as Sub-Dean, while Louise Rogers continues as Secretary and Charles Scroggy as Treasurer. They deserve our support, so be ready to assist with Guild activities as you are asked.

Six Guild members met with me several weeks ago to plan some programs and activities for the 2010-2011 season. We hope to go to the First Presbyterian Church in Huron this fall for an anthem reading session. Bring your favorite anthems to share and listen to new anthems your choir would enjoy.

Early in 2011 we hope to have a comparable program of organ music. We expect this to be at Holy Angels Catholic Church in late January or early February.

We are asking a guest director to lead the community of church members in a hymn festival (not a massed choir festival). Narration and hymns will be based on the Psalms. Date and place will be announced later, and we have approached a guest director. Further information will come from Henry Kihlken.

Thank you for the support you have given me as Dean. Some good things lie before us as an AGO Chapter. Be an enthusiastic part of it!

Laura M. Stellhorn
Retiring Dean

Tuesday, July 6


Charles Scroggy, our treasurer, reminds us that 2010-2011 AGO dues are past due. Several members have already sent him their dues. Several members still have outstanding dues. Regular membership is $70.00. Of that amount, $55.00 is sent to the national office, and $15.00 remains in our Chapter treasury. Special Memberships for those over 65 are $52.50. We keep $37.50 in our treasury, and pass $15.00 on to the national office. Charles’ address is: 218 W. Bogart Rd., Sandusky, OH 44870. Please mail your dues promptly, payable to “Sandusky Chapter AGO” so Charles can take care of this important task.

If you have any program or chapter ideas for this coming year, contact me by July 26 so that we can incorporate them, If possible, into this coming season. We welcome any and all ideas that you may have.

In sorting out papers from a bulging filing cabinet, I found a page from the June 1999 AMERICAN ORGANIST titled, “A Survivor’s Manual for the Church Organist” by James Pethel. He admits some of his suggestions are silly and some serious, but you will recognize all of them contain an element of truth. Here is a sampling from the article:

It’s a good idea to hit the cancel piston before you get on or off
the bench.

Don’t walk on wet surfaces in your organ shoes on the way to the

Be careful getting onto a freshly waxed bench too quickly.

Learn to talk and play at the same time during the postlude.

When playing a hymn and you forget what stanza you are on,
watch the pastor’s eyes and hands. He will look away from the
hymn and start to close his hymnal on the last phrase.

If you accidentally make a sound during a silence, don’t react
at all. Look up at the chambers as if somebody in there did it.

And if you still have your copy of the 1999 AMERICAN ORGANIST, you can enjoy the rest of the suggestions.

Have a harmonious summer!

Laura Stellhorn,

Wednesday, May 12


Another AGO season is winding down, and this may be my last newsletter until fall. Here are a few items to share with you now:

Sunday, May 16, 7:30 p.m. St. Mary’s Choir will present their annual
spring concert under the direction of Tim Claubaugh. Various
instruments will add color to the vocal program. Admission is free.

Sunday, May 23, 3:00 p.m. The Community Choir will present their
spring program at St. John Lutheran Church in Port Clinton. Henry
Kihlken is organ accompanist.

As planned, I attended the meeting of Ohio AGO Chapter deans at the Bunn-Minnick Pipe Organ Co. in Columbus on April 24. Regional Councillor Paul Barte from Ohio University, Athens, OH was present and presided over the meeting.

He urged us to contact potential members personally and offer
them a warm, encouraging welcome.

Organists say their # 1 reason for joining AGO is to receive monthly

Chapter deans reported many of the concerns we have regarding
meeting days and times that meet everyone’s schedule, and the
lack of member attendance at meetings.

The AGO has a national website, and there is no charge for using it.

Next year’s Regional Convention will be in Lexington, KY.

A minimum of $3 per member for the Annual Fund would cover
liability insurance costs.

St. John Lutheran Church (Union Corners) at Scheid Rd. and Rt. 250 is still looking for a permanent organist / choir director since Bill Scheid retired earlier this year. The congregation has a loyal choir of 12-15 members who rehearse Wednesday evenings. Sunday worship is at 10:30 a.m. If you now of someone who might fill this position, have them call Sandra Thompson at 419-433-4530.

Be thinking of program ideas for next season. What can we plan to be a help to you and / or an event for the community? I am open to any and all ideas.

Have a good summer. Continue your high standards of music during the summer months even though your schedule allows you to relax a bit.

Tuesday, April 13


I hope you, like I, are living in the afterglow of Bach’s birthday celebration on Sunday, March 21. Almost 200 people stayed with us in all three churches. I especially want to thank Jim Gardner, Henry Kihlken, Charles Scroggy, Randy Ruthsatz, and Tim Claubaugh for preparing and presenting their Bach music to an appreciative audience. Everywhere I have gone, people have told me how very much they enjoyed the afternoon. We may be a small AGO Chapter, but we have provided the community something of musical value and proved to ourselves there is reason to continue our existence.

The Lorain Co. Chapter has announced its annual student recital at Finney Chapel, Oberlin College, on Sunday, April 25, starting at 4:00 p.m. Several of our members have attended and enjoyed each progam. If you wish to stay for dinner at the Oberlin Inn, phone your reservation by Monday, April 19 to Marty Bruner at 440-322-9749. Dinner cost is $19, but the student recitals are free.

Nancy Russell, Ohio District Convener, has scheduled a meeting of Ohio Chapter Deans at the Bunn-Minnick Pipe Organ Co. in Columbus on Saturday, April 24. I expect to attend since I will already be in Columbus that weekend for alumni reunions at Capital University. If there is something significant to report, you will learn of it in our conversations or my next newsletter,

I pray continuing blessings to you as you lead God’s people in worship.

-Laura Stellhorn, Dean


Be sure to check out our "Upcoming Events" to see what exciting events are coming our way in the Sandusky area.


Due to a hacker hacking into our email account, I have had to change our email account to: . I have not been able to delete the old account because the hacker changed the password on that account. If you receive any emails from the “YAHOO” account, delete them without opening them. Do NOT delete emails that come from the “GMAIL” account. You might want to “spam” the “YAHOO” account. If you decide to go the spaming route, please be sure that you spam “yahoo” and NOT “gmail.”

I apologize for this inconvenience. This is the second time within a year that our email account was hacked into. I hope changing providers will take care of this problem.

If you receive these newsletters by U. S. Postal Service, and you have email, you could save our chapter money by contacting Tim to have your newsletter sent by email for free instead of through the U. S. Postal Service. Please consider this option.

-Tim Claubaugh, Editor

Tuesday, March 9


The Sandusky Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is celebrating the 325th birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach on Sunday, March 21, 2010 with a "Church Walk" type concert at 3 local churches. People may either walk or drive from church to church. First Congregational is one block from Emmanuel, and Sts. Peter and Paul is across the street from First Congregational. All five organists will perform organ works of J. S. Bach

The event begins at 3:00 at Emmanuel United Church of Christ, 334 Columbus Ave. Organists Jim Gardner and Henry Kihlken will perform.

At about 3:20 everyone will move to First Congregational UCC, 431 Columbus Ave., where organists Charles Scroggy and Randy Ruthsatz will perform.

At about 3:50, everyone will move to Sts. Peter and Paul, 510 Columbus Ave., where organist Tim Claubaugh will perform. A reception will follow afterwards in the gathering room at Sts. Peter & Paul.

This event is free and open to the public.


Sunday, March 21 is rapidly approaching as we carry out our plans to celebrate J. S. Bach’s 325th birthday. Details were in my last newsletter. Jim Gardner and Henry Kihlken, Charles Scroggy and Randy Ruthsatz, and Tim Claubaugh will be organists at Emmanuel UCC, First Congregational UCC, and Sts. Peter and Paul Churches in that order. Please publicize this afternoon concert which starts at 3:00 in your church leaflets at least one week in advance. The Sandusky Register has been notified of our plans, and I hope they give us good coverage. Please let me know if you and your congregation are participating. Perhaps if the list is long enough, the Register will be more willing to consider it a major story.

Have you thought about the tour of the Schantz Organ Co. on Saturday, March 20? We have an invitation from the Lorain Co. Chapter to join them on the tour, starting at 10:30 a.m. The group expects to eat together at the Dravenstott Restaurant in Orrville. Reservations are needed by phoning Bob Ebert at 440-353-3362 or emailing him at by Monday, March 15. Can we car pool? Orrville is approximately 1 ½ hours driving time from Sandusky. You may also want a shopping trip to Smuckers Factory Store before leaving Orrville.

On the inside of the back cover of the March “AMERICAN ORGANIST” is a photo of the Schantz organ Richard Dundore played for 10 years at Second UCC in Tiffin. Richard is currently organist at First Presbyterian Church in Sandusky.

As Dean of the Sandusky Chapter I receive mailings which may be of interest to some of our members. I have received a “Handbook for Organ Teachers” and a catalog of his music from Wayne Leupold Editions. Mr. Leupold is also available to conduct 3 ½ hour workshops on teaching beginning keyboard to children and adults. Contact me if this information holds interest for you.

I’ll look for you at Emmanuel UCC at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, March 21st.

-Laura Stellhorn, Dean

Tuesday, March 2

Monday, February 1

Thursday, January 21


There are many items of interest and news to pass along to you this month.

1) Are you making plans to use Bach organ and choir music at worship services on Bach’s 325th birthday March 21, 2010? We hope the Sandusky Register will give us good coverage, so let me know if you plan to participate.

2) That afternoon we continue Bach’s birthday celebration by inviting the public to join us for short Bach recitals in three Sandusky churches. Starting at 3:00 p.m. we meet at Emmanuel UCC where Jim Gardner and Henry Kihlken will be recitalists. Moving to First Congregational UCC at 3:30 we will listen to Bach music played by Charles Scroggy and Randy Ruthsatz. The third church will be Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church where John Frank and Tim Claubaugh will provide the final Bach numbers. A reception will follow there. The three churches are in close proximity to one another so walking and parking should pose no problems. Let your enthusiasm for Bach’s 325th birthday be contagious!

3) Backing up in time, the Toledo Chapter announces “Bach and the Dance” at St. Michael’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, Ottawa Hills, on Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. The publicity states that Trudy Faber, a Wittenberg University professor, will help us “examine Baroque dances, along with rhythms and accents J. S. Bach used in his composing.” The Toledo Chapter invites us to join them for “an afternoon of delightful music and historical retrospective on a fascinating topic.” Can we carpool to Toledo for this promising program? I have the address for the church.

4) The program for the Saturday, March 20, 2010 meeting of the Lorain Co. Chapter is a tour of the Schantz Organ Co. at Orrville, Ohio near Wooster. Here is a great opportunity to meet other AGO members and spend a profitable few hours learning more about the basics of our profession.

5) Palm Sunday evening at 7:00, March 28, 2010 St. John Lutheran Church, Bellevue, is showing the 1927 Cecil B. DeMille silent movie “King of Kings.” Of course, there is live organ music to accompany the film, and this will be provided by Charles Wilson, resident organist at the Ohio Theater. A freewill offering will be received. I await further information from Paul Lieber.

What a wealth of wonderful events lies ahead, and we will want to attend many or all of them. If you have questions that I can answer, don’t hesitate to phone.

I close with a quote I recently read: “The Bible is filled with examples of God’s people surviving through praise of God and singing. When Biblical truth and doctrine are set to music, they become emotional, memorable, teachable, and transformational. God – pleasing music in our sanctuaries – entering into our ears, minds and hearts – equips us to be armed and dangerous!”

Laura M. Stellhorn, Dean


If your church has a music website, let us know. We would like to list those in a future Newsletter and put a link up on our chapter website.

Tuesday, January 5