The Utah Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is excited to announce that we will once again be holding our Super Saturday for Organists!
***Keep checking back, as more information, a finalized schedule, class descriptions, and links to handouts will be added to this page on a regular basis.
Super Saturday is our chapter’s gift to the growing community of church organists in Utah Valley and beyond. This free training day, held April 29, 2023 at the new BYU Music Building, is open for the public to learn more about the organ and to be inspired to improve their organ-playing skills. If you are a pianist wishing to try the organ, someone called to play for church services, or an advanced organist with the desire to meet with others who share your love for music, this workshop is for you!
Super Saturday, held from 8:00-3:00, begins with a keynote address by local organist, choral director and composer Jim Kasen, followed by several break-out sessions, and concludes with a hymn sing. Classes are offered on varied topics geared towards youth, beginning, intermediate and advanced organists. We invite all to come and enjoy! Admission is free.
Also known as “Prelude and Fugue” and “Toccata and Fugue,” and originally composed in E Major, this is the work of a young Bach, clearly inspired by Buxtehude, whom he famously walked 200 miles to hear. The prelude opens with a flourish, followed by a variety of textures and some brief harmonic exploration. Two fugues follow, separated by a cadenza-like interlude. The first fugue, in 4/4 time, is the longer of the two. The final fugue, in 3/4 time, becomes decreasingly strict as it brings the whole piece to a fittingly brilliant conclusion.
The Kirnberger collection, named for Bach’s pupil who served as copyist for the set, encompasses a miscellany of organ works from BWV 690-713. “Gottes Sohn ist kommen” (The Son of God Has Come) is a short, light fughetta intended to preface the choral singing of a German advent carol.
Rebecca Brand – Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 706, Chorale preludes No. 1 and 2 from the Kirnberger Collection
These two short works from the Kirnberger collection are variations on a theme, each of them written to introduce the singing of the chorale: “Dearest Jesus, we are here, To listen to you and to your word.”
While scholars dispute whether it was Bach himself or one of his pupils who wrote the Eight Little Preludes and Fugues, or even whether they were first intended for organ, they have enjoyed enduring popularity among students of the master. Staples of the teaching literature, they are also used frequently as postludes for church services because of their brevity and joyful spirit.
The Orgelbuchlein is a set of 45 chorale preludes for organ written between 1708 and 1715, when Bach served as organist in Weimar. The collection, spanning the liturgical year, freely explores beloved Lutheran chorales, giving them motivic accompaniments and providing music not only for the church service, but also for the developing and the concertizing organist. “Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich” is a German carol dating from the fourteenth century: O hail this brightest day of days, All good Christian people! For Christ hath come upon our ways, Ring it from the steeple!
Becky Azera – Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, BWV 638 from the Orgelbuchlein
“Es ist das Heil uns kommen her,” translated “Salvation now has come for all,” was originally published in the 1524 Lutheran hymnal. Bach used this chorale in several of his cantatas and worked it into this chorale prelude from the Orgelbuchlein.
Johann Gottfried Walther, cousin to Johann Sebastian Bach, was respected in his day as an organist, theorist, composer, and most significantly, as compiler of the Musicalisches Lexicon, the first dictionary of music and musicians in the German language.
In contrast to the more familiar, two-movement prelude and fugue, the Prelude and Fugue in A minor (BWV 551) is an early work, following the model of Buxtehude, in which distinct contrasting styles, such as the fugue and the fantasia, are interspersed.
Neil Harmon – Three Schubler Chorales, BWV 646, 648, and 649
The six Schubler Chorales were compiled by Bach himself in 1747 from earlier cantatas. As very few of his works were published in his lifetime, his selection of this set for engraving indicates his opinion of its musical significance. Each is based on a Lutheran hymn and each is scored for organ with two manuals and pedals. Although the beloved “Wachet auf” is the best known of the set, each of these three chorales bear the unmistakable stamp of the master.
This toccata, from the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, was written without a key signature, thus implying the Dorian mode. An energetic concert piece, it begins with a sixteenth-note figure that continues uninterrupted to the end, showcasing through manual changes the great breadth of the instrument.
Welcome to the Utah Valley and Salt Lake Pipe Organ Encounter 2016! Pipe Organ Encounters are the most successful outreach program sponsored by the AGO.
Click here for the brochure, and here for more information..
The Utah Valley AGO chapter is pleased to announce a Youth Scholarship audition for organists and pianists who are 18 years old and younger.
Organists will audition for free organ lessons (if not currently studying with a teacher) or a master class performance (if currently studying with a teacher). Participants receiving the top score from each level will play in a winners recital sponsored by the Utah Valley AGO. A scholarship worth $450 will be awarded to the top winner to attend a Pipe Organ Encounter (POE) to be held in Salt Lake City in July 2016. POE is an AGO nationally sponsored 4-5 day event, which introduces participants to the pipe organ.
Pianists who are 18 years old and younger may apply to play one original piece (no transcriptions or reductions) of their choice from the works of non-American composers. Pianists will audition for introductory organ lessons with a qualified AGO instructor.
More detailed information is available in the following documents:
Scholarship Auditions – Rules and Policies
Scholarship Application Form
Scholarship Repertoire List
The application deadline, including a $25 entry fee, is January 15, 2016. The auditions will be held at the Orem Sharon Stake Center on Saturday, February 20, 2016. If you have any questions, please contact Lori Serr, Utah Valley AGO Education Chair, at 801-489-8222 or .
On Friday, October 17, 2014, the UVAGO chapter held an inspiring member recital to honor our friend and colleague, Dr. Douglas E. Bush, who passed away on October 4, 2013. The recital was held at the Oak Hills Stake Center, 925 E. North Temple Drive, in Provo. Doug had a significant and lasting influence in the lives of many of the chapter members, many of whom honored him and celebrated his life and music by playing some of his hymn arrangements and Bach pieces that Doug loved so much.
Pedals, Pipes, & Pizza is a partial-day event designed to give children and youth a brief introduction to the pipe organ and its music. The Utah Valley chapter hosts this event each year.
Our chapter is committed to helping all organists—beginners to advanced—by offering workshops, lectures, recitals, and other activities to help improve their organ skills. Anyone who is interested in the organ, even if not an organist, is invited to come learn with us.