Still Time for Contribution & Inclusion on Plaque Recognizing Donors to the Maurine Jackson Smith Pipe Organ Endowment Fund

Despite reaching its funding goal for the endowment of the Maurine Jackson Smith Memorial organ, the UNLV Foundation will continue to accept contributions until July 1.

This extension will allow additional contributors to be included on a plaque recognizing all those who donate to the fund. The plaque will be installed at the entrance of the Dr. Rando-Grillot Recital Hall, near the placard recognizing the Smith Family’s original gift of the organ.

The purpose of the endowment is to provide the university the funds required to properly maintain, tune and repair this beautiful instrument throughout time. The success of the campaign can be attributed to the partnership and efforts of the SNC:AGO, the UNLV Foundation, the College of Fine Arts, and the generosity of Edward Smith and contributors like you.

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Kevin ConeyUNLV
ORGAN + CHOIR FESTIVAL: A Night of Song, Celebration & Thanks

RECITAL REVIEW BY PAUL S. HESSELINK

The Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Guild of Organists closed out the 2018-2019 Organ Recital Series with an Organ and Choral Festival on Friday, June 7 at 7:30 P.M. in the Doctor Rando-Grillot Recital Hall in the Beam Music Center on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. About 185 people were there to enjoy the program of organ and choral literature featuring two local choirs and four local AGO chapter members as organists.

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Kevin Coney
Chapter Honors Bruce Behnke

At the opening of the June 7 Organ + Choir Festival, the chapter recognized executive board member Bruce Behnke for his commitment and service to the SNC:AGO as webmaster and as editor of the chapter’s newsletter, the Desert Wind.

While serving on the board of the chapter, Bruce agreed to a “temporary” position writing, designing and editing the Desert Wind... that temporary position lasted twelve years.

Bruce is a retired music teacher. He has taught vocal and instrumental music in elementary, middle and high schools in Michigan, Colorado and Nevada. His last position was at the Las Vegas Academy where he taught music theory, modern music technology and beginning piano. He has also been a church choir director in each of these three states. While in Michigan he was associated with the Delta College Flute Choir. He has nine arrangements for flute and choir published by ALRY Publications. He will continue to serve on the SNC:AGO executive board.

The Desert Wind publishes five times a year and is distributed to chapter members, friends of the chapter, the national organization and various chapters around the region.

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Kevin Coney
Recital Series Named for Long-time Programming Chair Dr. Paul S. Hesselink

On June 7, during the Organ + Choir Festival, the chapter announced the naming of its annual concert series after long-term program director and concert organizer, Dr. Paul S. Hesselink.

The SNC:AGO has produced free fine arts concerts featuring the pipe organ for more than 50 years. During his fourteen-year tenure, Hesselink organized and produced 69 concerts: 13 by foreign artists, 35 by visiting American artists, and 21 recitals by chapter members. Under Hesselink’s guidance, the series has grown in reputation and significance, attracting world renowned concert artists, as well as up-and-coming performers to Las Vegas.

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Kevin Coney
Chapter Announces Lineup for its 2019-2020 Season

The Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Guild of Organists proudly announces its stellar lineup of recitalists for its 2019-2020 concert season.

For more than 50 years this chapter has presented free concerts, making the Paul S. Hesselink Recital Series one of... if not the oldest... fine arts concert series in Las Vegas. The chapter hosts some of the world’s finest concert artists, as well as up-and-coming, rising star performers.

All performances are free to the public (no tickets required) and take place at the Dr. Rando-Grillot Recital Hall in the Lee & Thomas Beam Music Center on the UNLV campus. For more concert information (like maps, parking and more) visit our website: https://sncago.org/ getting-there

Guest artist recitals begin at 7:30 pm and last approximately 90 minutes. The Members Christmas recital will begin at 3:00 pm.

Each of the artists below has a profile page on the SNC:AGO website which includes more in-depth profiles, additional pictures, as well as performance videos. Click the link following their descriptions to navigate to these pages.

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Kevin Coney
Chapter Pays it Forward with Loan of Digital Organ

A number of years ago, SNC:AGO member Doris Francis donated a digital instrument to Epiphany Episcopal Church in southeast Las Vegas. Earlier this year, the church installed a Rodgers 940 3-manual organ in their sanctuary and with the suggestion and urging of assistant director of music and SNC:AGO secretary, Kathi Colman, the church donated the previous instrument to the chapter.

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Kevin Coney
Five 2019 Recipients Prep for Seattle P.O.E.

The SNC:AGO is proud to announce its 2019 recipients of the Raymond J. Barnes Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship, named for the chapter’s long-time dean, helps to support young musicians interested in studying the organ by underwriting their attendance at an AGO Pipe Organ Experience (POE), a week long summer camp for the organ.

This year’s recipients will attend the Seattle Chapter POE from July 14-19 which will include daily organ lessons (one teacher for every two participants) as well as practice time. Other activities will include recitals, workshops, and master classes. Topics covered include registration, repertoire, hymn playing, choral accompanying, and improvisation. The faculty for the Seattle POE is made up of distinguished concert organists, university professors, and church musicians.

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Kevin Coney
Robert Tall Demonstrates the Rodgers

On Saturday, January 12, 2019, Robert Tall gave a demonstration of the new Rodgers Organ plus pipes at The Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer. About 15 people showed up for the presentation and heard Bob explain about the instrument and demonstrate its potential.

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Kevin Coney
David Haas at Saint Anthony of Padua

On Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23, St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church presented its first ever concert featuring a national artist. David Haas who presented a concert to nearly 500 people and conducted a Saturday retreat as part of his “I Will Bring You Home Tour.” Attendees came from across the Las Vegas and nation to hear David perform.

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Kevin Coney
Bet Knesset BaMidbar Visit

The following event was originally scheduled for Friday evening, January 25th but because of scheduling conflicts and a few broken ribs, has had to be postponed until Friday evening, April 26th.

This past October I had the good fortune to have our chapter’s Dean, Steven Wright substitute for me at First Christian Church. As we discussed music in our sanctuary I learned that Steven was a linguist—a subject near and dear to my heart. As the topic moved to my work with Hebrew transliterations and Jewish liturgies at my temples, Steven thought that our AGO chapter might find an interest in this subject.

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Kevin Coney
Organ Dedication and BYU Organ Workshop

A newly installed organ at the Las Vegas Meadows LDS Stake Center, RN Ballantyne’s Opus 30 (II 28), provided the setting for a Dedicatory Service on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. Meadows Stake President, David Brady welcomed approximately 250 attendees to the dedicatory service featuring various organists and the 50-voice Choral Artists of Southern Nevada, under the direction of Marsha Borovicka, accompanied on the organ by Chad Myler, AGO member.

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Kevin Coney
Bruce Stevens Presents Varied and Polished Performance

On Friday, November 13, guest organist Bruce Stevens presented a varied program of works by Niels Gade, Max Reger, Hugo Distler, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Johann Gottfried Walther, Johann Ludwig Krebs and Johann Sebastian Bach. His program was developed around the theme “The Leipzig Connection.”

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Kevin Coney
Campaign to Endow the Maintenance of the Maurine Jackson Smith Organ

A campaign to raise funds for the maintenance of the Maurine Jackson Smith Organ in Doc Rando Hall will commence in January and continue through March, 2019. The organ was designed and fabricated by the Ru-dolf von Beckerath Orgelbau of Hamburg, Germany and was completed on October 1, 2004. This world-class instrument, given to UNLV and for the benefit of the community by the Edward D. Smith family, is a Nevada treasure.

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Kevin Coney