Music teachers are invited to learn resources about introducing children to the organ, including Organ First! Nora Hess, a member of our chapter and an adjunct faculty member in organ at BYU developed this innovative curriculum to teach elementary-aged children how to play the organ as their first instrument without any prior music training. Nora introduces OrganFirst! in this video filmed for the 2020 AGO National Convention. For more information about the OrganFirst! curriculum, see Nora’s website.


–Buxtehude – Fuga in C Major, Bux WV 174, performed by Katherine Rosenvall

–J.S. Bach – Wachet auf BWV 645 performed by Heidi Rodeback

–J.S. Bach – Herzlich tut mich Verlangen, BWV 727, performed by John Hoopes on Hauptwerk using Azzio sample set

–J.S. Bach – Wo solo ich fliehen hin, BWV 646, performed by Miranda Wilcox

–J.S. Bach – ADAGIO, BWV 974, arranged and performed on piano and organ by Mike Carson 

–J.S. Bach – “Vater unser I’m Hemmelreich,” BWV 737, performed Margo Wilcox

–Buxtehude – “Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ,” BuxWV 196, performed by Lori Serr

–J.S. Bach – Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599, performed by Janet Blackmer

–J.S. Bach – In dir ist Freude, BWV 615, performed by Rex Ripplinger

–J.S. Bach – Schafe können sicher weiden (Sheep may safely graze) from Cantata 208, performed by Rob Stillmar

–J.S. Bach – Trio Sonatas, performed by James Welch, on September 6, 2020

At the February 26, 2021, Zoom workshop, Heidi Rodeback, Jack Stoneman, and Mike Carson discussed methods for embellishing hymns. Specifically: how to embellish a sacrament hymn, how to find and use a last-verse harmonization, and how to solo out the melody.

HANDOUTS for Embellishing Hymns 

POWERPOINT for Embellishing Hymns

LINK to Zoom meeting,  Passcode: 9HxH7gR%

On November 9, 2023, the five accomplished Tabernacle and Temple Square organists: Richard Elliott, Andrew Unsworth, Brian Mathias, Linda Margetts, and Joseph Peeples were featured in the final broadcast of Piping Up! At the end of the program, host Luke Howard, stated the following:

“When we began broadcasting Piping Up! in June 2020, the world looked quite different. This show was created originally to offer some hope and help meet the need for spiritual beauty in very trying times. I think we did well. For the last three-and-a-half years, viewers have tuned in to Piping Up! for superb performances of great organ music, and all those performances will still be available for on-demand viewing on the Choir’s YouTube channel. But the original objectives of Piping Up! have been met, and it’s time to move forward with other endeavors. So, on behalf of the organists, the crew, and everyone associated with Piping Up!, we thank you for sharing this journey with us. It’s been our pleasure and honor. . . . But for now, in musical terminology, we’ve reached the end of the movement, the double-bar line. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you next time.”

The final broadcast, along with the other 232 programs, can be streamed on demand on YouTube here:

Levente Medveczky served as Cathedral Organ Scholar from December 2015 until August 2017 and was a dear friend of many of us at the Cathedral. He passed away on 24 February 2019, just over a week after he turned 28.

A Memorial Service for Levente will be held in the Cathedral of the Madeleine on Tuesday 9 April 2019 at 7:30 PM. Some of his teachers, friends and colleagues will share memories and pay tribute to Levente through performances of organ music.

The public is cordially invited to attend.


More information

The 2019 eBook edition of a “Resource List for Organists: Arrangements & Accompaniments of Hymns in the LDS Hymnal” is available.
Compiled by DeeAnn D. Stone.  

On March 17, 1999, the website Resources for LDS Organists was launched by DeeAnn Stone.  The site’s purpose was to be a place where organists could find help in planning their music for church services, using a list posted there of available hymn arrangements and accompaniments that DeeAnn began to compile in 1993.  The site now has many more resources and helps added to it.

To observe the website’s 20th anniversary, DeeAnn made extensive revisions, additions, corrections, and updates to the eBook that she offers at the website called a “Resource List for Organists: Arrangements and Accompaniments for Hymns in the LDS Hymnal.”  What started out as a 20-page booklet in 1993 has now become a whopping 459-page eBook, with hundreds of new titles of hymn arrangements and accompaniments.  Each title is linked to the publisher or distributor of the books the titles are found in, plus there are internal links to help navigate the eBook.

The PDF eBook can be purchased at Resources for LDS Organists for $25.  There are three other purchasing options, too, if organists don’t want to buy the entire eBook.  (A hard copy isn’t available, however, because of the length of the eBook, making it too expensive to print off and mail, which would cost at least $50-$70 per copy.)

While at Resources for LDS Organists, be sure to check out the links to very informative videos created by the National AGO to aid new organists in learning how to play the organ, as well as other helpful and interesting videos from other sources.  There’s also other information at the website that would help organ students and new ward organists (and there are even helps for Primary Music Directors).  Enjoy!

Levente Medveczky (1991-2019) passed from this life on Sunday, February 24, 2019, just eight days after his 28th birthday, from an aggressive form of colon cancer. He will be remembered as a gentle giant, a masterful organist, and a friend to all, who gave the greatest, most loving and healing bear hugs! He will be greatly missed by his many friends and family and especially by his fiancée, Hannah.

Levente had a bright and promising future in the organ world. At the time of his death, he was a master’s candidate on a Jerome L. Greene Scholarship at Juilliard, studying with Paul Jacobs. Originally from Budapest, Hungary, he received his early training in the studio of Zsuzsa Elekes at the Béla Bartók Conservatory. In 2017 he received a bachelor’s degree in organ studies at Brigham Young University, under the supervision of Dr. Don Cook. With a love for sacred music, Levente served as an organ scholar at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City and then as interim director of music at the Church of Incarnation in New York City until the time of his illness.

“Come, Come, Ye Saints”
Composed to play in Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ recitals
“Annie Laurie”
Composed to play in Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ recitals

“Be Still, My Soul”
Arranged for a young student to play as a solo in church who could not reach the organ pedals

Two Children’s Hymns (“Keep the Commandments” and “Love One Another”)
Arranged for a beginning student to play as solo in church

A Collection of Hymns Simplified for the Organ (for student use)

  • Praise to the Man
  • The Star-Spangled Banner
  • Called to Serve (verse)
  • Come, Rejoice (4-part hymn style)
  • Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words (verse)
  • Angels We Have Heard on High (trio style)
  • Silent Night (trio style)
  • Joy to the World (trio style)
  • Away in a Manger (pedal on 3rd staff)
  • Christ the Lord Is Risen Today (modulation from C to D)
  • Love at Home
These items were compiled and donated by Bona Belnap, Parley’s wife, and Claudia Johnson, a former student of Parley’s.


The American Guild of Organists (AGO) Committee on Continuing Professional Education (CCPE) commissioned concert organist Frederick Hohman to author and present a series of 30 video music lessons, with the goal of helping pianists of intermediate achievement to make a successful transition to the pipe organ when leading music in worship. The series is entitled LESSONS FOR THE NEW ORGANIST. The series of 30 videos is scripted by Hohman, with oversight and input from Dr. Don Cook, the current Councillor for Education at AGO, and by Dr. Sharon Hettinger, the current Director of AGO’s CCPE. The series offers a graded series of lessons, where Hohman is seen in a variety of contrasting venues throughout Michigan and Indiana, with spaces ranging from small to large, and with organs of several types of design. The entire 30-lesson series, which was completed in April 2017, may be seen on the AGO’s YouTube Channel.

There are several organ-related activities for all ages coming up this year.  Click on the links to see if there is something you or someone you know might be interested in attending.


Pipe Organ Encounters, for Youth 13-18

1. South Dakota, June 11-16. Early registration until April 1.
Brochure      Website

2. San Diego, CA, July 16-22. Early registration until March 31.
Brochure      Website

3. Hartford, CT, July 16-21. Early registration until April 15.
Brochure      Website

4. Winchester, VA, July 23-27. Early registration until May 1.
Brochure      Website

Pipe Organ Encounters Advanced, for Grades 9-12

1. Birmingham, AL, June 25-30. Early registration until March 1.
Brochure      Website

2. Seattle, WA, July 23-28. Early registration until April 1.
Brochure     Website

Pipe Organ Encounter +, for Adults

San Antonio, TX, June 25-30. Registration until June 1.
Brochure      Website

Pipe Organ Encounter Technical (Organ Building), for Ages 16-23

Atlanta, GA, July 9-14. Early Registration until April 15.
Brochure      Website

Bach’s Organ World Tour, with Quentin and Mary Murrell Faulkner, Germany, July 17-28. Website

Pipedreams Historic Organs of France Tour, with Michael Barone,
May 23-June 4. Website