Lincoln Chapter History

On Saturday, April 13, 1929 the following persons assembled for luncheon at the Chamber of Commerce at Lincoln, Nebraska:

Vernon Bennett, Dean of the Organist’s Guild at Omaha; Miss Alice M. Sexton, 2nd Presbyterian; Mrs. H. Leon Porter, Trinity M. E.; O.H. Lunderman, Trinity Lutheran; Miss Naomi Alfred, First-Plymouth; Miss Cornelia Gant, 1st Baptist; Miss Mary Kimball, 2nd Baptist; Sterling Marshall, Holy Trinity; Ralph Stone, East Lincoln Christian; Harlan Smedley, Christian 1st; Mrs. May Belle Haymon Jackson, Christian Lincoln; Mrs. Chas. W. Fleming, Grace M.C.; Mrs. Edith B. Ross, 1st Presbyterian; Miss Margaret MacGregor, Vine Cong.; Mrs. A.G. Chapman. Persons could join the chapter on recommendation of two members of the Guild, the payment of the initiation fee of $2.00 and the yearly dues of $3.00.

The officers for the Lincoln Branch Chapter were then chosen: Mrs. Edith Ross, Regent; Mrs. Chas. W. Fleming, Secretary; Mrs. O.H. Lunderman, Treasurer; Miss Cornelia Gant, Publicity.


Meetings were held on Saturdays with luncheons, a business meeting, and a program of music or a speaker. Roll call was taken and a chart of attendance and absences was kept in the Secretary’s book.

Subsequent meetings were held at the Commercial Club, the basement of the University School of Music, the Lincoln Hotel, Mr. Rosborough’s home, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Fleming, the University Club, and the Temple cafeteria.

At the February 8, 1930 meeting, Dr. Wrideman spoke on the subject "Physics in Music." He "pursued Vibrations from the mechanical to musical, from musical to color vibrations, from color to sight vibrations and from sight to heat vibrations. He stated that the personal element in music is caused by sympathetic vibrations." [Editor’s note: Does any of this make sense?]

For a Capitol Beach picnic in 1930 lunches were bought at Miller and Paine for 50 cents each.

The total cost of the 1931 Chapter Christmas party was $1.05.

February 1932 Sigfrid Karg-Elert appeared at First-Plymouth Congregational Church and the Guild held a reception in his honor. [From Wikipedia: His performance skills were less admired than his composing skills and his single tour of the United States in the early 1930s was not well-received. He succumbed to a long illness in 1933.]


Secretary’s books missing from 1932 through 1939



In 1940 Rev. Gosnell of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church was asked to serve as Chapter Chaplain. He advised the organists to use "good church music, nothing flashy or secular."

The Guild voted to have the Guild meeting the first Monday evening of each month.

Meetings were held at the Beaumont Dining Room, the University School of Music, Westminster Presbyterian Church,Mr. Donald Kettring’s apartment, the Y.W.C.A., the Chamber of Commerce, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar A. Cole, Walt’s Music Store, the home of Miss Henrietta Sanderson,Schmoller and Mueller Piano Store, and the South Chapel of the Lincoln Army Air Field.

In May 1940 the Guild traveled to Concordia College in Seward to hear Professor Hasse play the new three-manual Reuter organ in the chapel.

In December 1940 the Guild voted to send a box of candy to the First-Plymouth Choir as thanks for the choir’s work at the Guild’s Musical Festival.

"A motion was made and seconded to send a letter to the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Retail Chairman asking him to change the night the business district remained open because it affected the choirs’ attendance so much."

In November 1941 the Guild, along with the Lincoln Ministerial Association and the Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce, sponsored Lincoln’s first massive "hymn festival" with choirs of 24 churches totaling 450 singers from primary to adult age. Estimates of audience attendance ranged from 1600 to 2000 at St. Paul Methodist Church. The Guild voted to pay the Festival choir director, Oscar Bennett of Wesleyan University, $15.00 and to buy the Festival organist, Paul LeBar, a nice gift for something less than $5.00.

In March 1942, the Guild decided not to go to Beatrice because the group "thought it best to save on tires, gas & etc." Mrs. Vera Luke invited the Guild to Seward "after our strenuous times are over."

The Lincoln chapter, in May 1942 held a contest for student organists who were required to play the Bach Prelude and Fugue in either B flat or d, one slow movement from a Mendelssohn sonata, one piece of the contestant’s choice, and one hymn selected by judges Paul LeBar, Donald Kettring and Cornelia Cole. Prizes were three volumes of the Widor-Schweitzer edition of Bach. A.C. Lovelace and Grace Finch were in charge of the contest. First prize was presented to Ernest Ulmer and second prize to Miss Lela Lyne, both students of Myron Roberts.

During the 1942 Christmas party at Margaret MacGregor’s home, "Lincoln’s first blackout added a little excitement to the party," according to Secretary Cornelia Cole.

January 1943 the Treasury balance was $34.54 and the Guild voted to buy a $18.75 war bond. "Following brief discussion as to what should be done with the bond the secretary was instructed to write to headquarters to see if it could be kept there." Harold Friedell, national treasurer, replied that the war bond could be kept in a vault at headquarters and that’s what the Guild did.

A violin quartet, Margaret Stacy, Helen Fitch, Jean Thomas and Geraldyne Kelley, all of Lincoln, under the direction of Mrs Geralyn Bennett, entertained at a Guild meeting. The Guild voted to spend $2.00 to buy them "favors and gifts."

The program for Myron Roberts’ October 1943 faculty organ recital was:

Trumpet Tune and Air Purscell

Scene from the Elysian Fields--Orpheus Gluck

Fugue in E flat--St. Anne Bach

Toccata LeFroid de Mereaux

Legend Karg-Elert

Sketch in D flat Schumann

Twilight at Fiesole--Harmonies of Florence Seth Bingham

Variations de Concert Joseph Bonnet


A letter was received from AGO National Headquarters appealing for funds for the purchase of ambulances for overseas. Mrs. Vera Rost was appointed to collect the funds.

A concert by Hugh Porter for which tickets were priced at 55 cents netted $27.25 to be sent to the Ambulance Fund.

The 1944 Christmas party was held at the home of Nadine and Miles Dresskell where the host and hostess played on the petite harpsichord and the viola d’amore and their daughter Diane sang and danced for the guests.

In 1945 the Chapter voted to move their meeting nights from Monday to Friday; then later in the year members voted to move the meeting night back to Mondays. In that year, also, the Chapter made plans to get more local choir leaders to join the Chapter. "In that way we may more readily attain our goal of elevating church music."

Warden (President) of the National AGO Mr. S. Lewis Elmer visited in July 1945. He headed the AGO from 1943-1958.

Marcel Dupre’s concert fee in November 1946 was $300 and the Guild asked the ladies of First-Plymouth to be responsible for one third of that amount. Tickets sold for $1.20 each, including tax. His program was:

Fugue in E flat Bach

Sonata No. 6 in G major Bach

Chorale in a minor Franck

Star of Hope Richard Keys Biggs

Mist Harvey Gaul

First Movement, Gothic Symphony Widor

Study in E major Jeanne Demessieux

Suite Dupre

Improvisations on Submitted Themes from the Audience

The Guild netted $386.06 from the concert. Mr. Dupre’s wife and daughter accompanied him to Lincoln and a luncheon was held in the Dupres’ honor at the Cornhusker Hotel.

April 1947 Myron Roberts dedicated the new three-manual organ at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church at 12th and K Streets.

Myron Roberts reported that Virgil Fox could be brought to Lincoln on April 21, 1948 for $200 and E. Power Biggs could be had for $350.

A motion was passed that the Lincoln chapter would communicate with the AGO headquarters telling them of our approval of the Diggle plan. [Editor’s note: What in the heck was the Diggle plan? Anyone remember???]

Miss Clarice Purdy, secretary at St. Paul Methodist Church, was paid $3.50 each month for her service of stenciling and mailing out the monthly newsletter, the $3.50 to include the cost of the stencil and postage.

The Chapter voted to pay $1250 to sponsor the Westminster Choir of Princeton, New Jersey, conducted by John Finley Williamson, in a March 1948 concert at St. Paul Methodist Church.

May 1948 "Moved and seconded that Dean LeBar appoint someone to investigate the possiblility and advisability of having an organ in the new City [Pershing] Auditorium."

"One of the Abels" was appointed as Lincoln chapter delegate to the 1948 AGO Convention in St. Louis. The chapter voted to pay the $1.00 registration fee for the chapter delegate. As it turned out, Mrs. Florence Abel attended the Convention.

"Miss Dreamer announced that the Lincoln chapter has a $100 war bond at the New York Headquarters."

$247 was netted from the Robert Shaw Concert Chorale ticket sales. Approximately $370 was the total amount netted.

Marcel Dupre organ concert January 17, 1949 at First-Plymouth Church, sponsored by the Lincoln chapter:

Fantasy and Fugue in g minor Bach

Concerto no. 8 in A major Handel

Stations of the Cross Dupre

Sonata no. 5 in D major Mendelssohn

Prelude on Gregorian theme Delarmarter

Piece Symphonique Franck

Variations on Noel Dupre

Improvisations on submitted themes from the audience

On the afternoon of the concert, the Lincoln chapter hosted a luncheon for Mr. and Mrs. Dupre at the University Club.

$83.07 was netted from the concert. Mr. Dupre’s fee was $400.

Virgil Fox organ concert May 18, 1949 at First-Plymouth Church, sponsored by the Lincoln chapter:

Concert in F Handel

Aria from Suite in D Bach

Have Mercy on Me, O Lord God Bach

Prelude and Fugue in e minor(The Wedge) Bach

Communion Tournemine

Grande Piece Symphonique Franck

Roulade Seth Bingham

Toccata,Thou Art the Rock Henri Mulet

Tickets were $1.20, tax included, on sale at music stores.


At the November 1949 chapter meeting, it was voted to write a letter to the Mayor regarding the interests of the Lincon organists in a pipe organ for the new city auditorium since the University doesn’t have one. The letter was written and the architects replied to the chapter that "the final drawings of the auditorium project include organ chambers and space for the installation of a concert organ."

It was voted to charge $1.80 for adults and $1.20 for students for the E. Power Biggs concert in March 1950 at First-Plymouth Church. Members of the Lincoln Symphony strings section assisted on several numbers in the concert.

During these years, the annual chapter picnic was usually held on Mr. Van Slonecker’s back terrace. Also, during these years, many chapter business meetings ended with organ recitals by chapter members.

Paul LeBar, Josephine Waddell and Florence Abel reported on the 1950 National AGO Convention held from June 19-23 in Boston.

In October 1950 S. Lewis Elmer, National President of the AGO,spoke of the past, present and future of the AGO at a banquet at Cotner Terrace. He reported that there were between 10,000 and 12,000 members and said that the main reason for the existence of the Guild was for the giving of examinations. Our Region is Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming.

The chapter began the New Year of 1951 by meeting for dinner at the Continental Cafe. [Editor’s note: where was the Continental Cafe?] A committee was formed to select a chapter chaplain as that office had not been filled for a long time.

In February 1951 members had "the privilege and pleasure of inspecting and listening to the newly installed 4-manual Reuter organ" at St. Paul Methodist Church. Myron Roberts gave a demonstration of the organ’s tonal resources.

Eminent New York City organist Robert Baker played a concert, sponsored by the Lincon chapter, at St. Paul Methodist Church in February 1951:

Concerto in D Major Handel

Two Ritornelles Rameau

arr. Karg-Elert

Prelude and Fuge in D Major Bach

Fantasia in f minor Mozart

Chorale in b minor Franck

Litanies Alain

The Modal Trumpet Frederick Karam

Carillon Myron J. Roberts

Toccata, Thou Art the Rock Henri Mulet

In April 1951 Claire Coci played a concert, sponsored by the Lincoln chapter, at St. Paul Methodist Church:

Passacaglia and Fugue in c minor Bach

Come Savior of the Gentiles Bach

Andante in F Mozart

Berceuse and Fileuse Dupre

Variations on a Noel Dupre

Allegro Risoluto from Second Symphony Vierne

Fugue in c sharp minor Honegger

Pageant Sowerby

5 encores:

Cuckoo Rondo Daquin

A Lovely Rose Blooms Forth Brahms

Toccata from Fifth Symphony Widor

Ave Maria Shubert

Toccata-Finale from First Symphony Vierne

The chapter voted to pay $5 toward the expenses of the Lincoln chapter entrant in the student competition at the Regional AGO Convention in Denver, Miss Gwen McCormack.

In January 1952 it was voted to pay $2.00 per month to "Jo Waddell and her force" for mailing the chapter newsletter.

May 1952 the Lincoln chapter sponsored a Jean Langlais organ concert at First-Plymouth Church. Blind since birth, the organist was assisted by his wife, Jeanette:

Prelude in E flat Bach

Benedictus Couperin

Dialogue de Grigny

Allegro Vivace from First Symphony Vierne

Domine Jesu Jeanne Demessioux

Suite Francaise Langlais

In Quiet Joy Langlais

Mommage a Frescobaldi Langlais

Postlude No. 2 Langlais

Improvisation on a Submitted Theme

Doane College was the site of the April 1954 chapter meeting where organ teacher Charles Tritt, a member of the Lincon chapter, presented his students in a recital. The Doane Singers and Doane Madrigal sang.

Twenty-six Lincoln choirs sang in a Choir Festival presented by the Lincoln chapter at First-Plymouth Church in February 1955 with Charles Tritt directing and Grace Finch playing the organ.

In 1955 chapter dues were $5.00. Chaplain was Rev. Thomas Huxtable of Eastridge Presbyterian Church.

In April 1956 the Fifth Annual Choir Festival featured Hugh Rangeler as Director and Alice Mumme as Organist with Children’s Choirs of eleven Lincoln churches participating.

In 1956 Associate Professor of Music Paul LeBar of Nebraska Wesleyan University was one of only two Nebraskans to be awarded a Fellowship in the AGO, "said to be the equivalent of a Ph.D." He was also organist at Second Presbyterian Church and South Street Temple in 1956.

In November 1956 the chapter went to Walt’s Music Store auditorium at 1140 O Street for music by a string quartet. Dale Underwood introduced the new Model A Baldwin and played a few numbers.

February 1957 Secretary’s minutes: Ruth Dreamer presented the money the Guild members personally gave to Myron Roberts for the fire loss of his music. Myron returned his "Thanks" for same.

March 1957 Secretary’s minutes: Vote by ballot for Mr. Harold Brooke for member. Was not accepted.

May 1957 -- Mr. Roger Wischmeier, student of Myron Roberts, was the winner of the Student Competition at the Regional Convention in Colorado Springs.

Catherine Crozier performed at Westminster Presbyterian Church of November 5, 1957, sponsored by the Lincoln chapter:

Ciaconna in e minor Buxtehude

Sonata No. 1 Bach

2 Chorale Preludes Bach

Fugue in E flat Major (St. Anne) Bach

Chorale in b minor Franck

Deuxieme Fantaisie Jehan Alain

Homage to Perotin Myron Roberts

Prelude Bruce Simonds

Toccata Sowerby

Dean Paul Reynolds announced at the October 1957 meeting that ‘Year Books" for the year’s programs would be given to all members, organists and choir directors.

In 1957 the chapter chaplain was Rev. Gideon. Myron Roberts spoke of the trouble he always had getting the newspaper to put in notices properly.

January 6, 1958 A motion was made by Myron Roberts and seconded by Jo waddell to be host to the Regional Convention on April 13, 14, and 15,1959. Checking account balance was $112.00. Chairmen[sic] were appointed:

Advertising organs, etc Jo Waddell

Advertising, printing and local Jack Cole

Programs Myron Roberts

Publicity Kathryn Dean

Finance Rena Olson

Secretary Constance Booth

Reservations and Arrangements Maryalice Macy

The convention was headquartered at the Cornhusker Hotel. Pre-registration fee of $10 included all sessions, one lunch at Tillman’s Plaza, and a master class. Registration at the door would be $12. The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce would do registration at the door. Each exhibitor was charged $4.00.

Redeemer Lutheran Church’s new Reuter organ was examined during the April 1958 chapter meeting.

Myron Roberts composed "Prelude and Trumpeting" for the National AGO Convention in Houston in 1958 where it was played by Robert Baker.

April 13, 14, and 15, 1959 Regional Convention in Lincoln:

Sightseeing Tour of Churches -- Trinity Lutheran 12th and H; Lutheran Chapel, 15th and I; Vine Congregational, 1800 Twin Ridge Rd.; First Presbyterian, 17th and F.

William Teague gave a master class at First Methodist and W.A. Brummer gave a talk, also at First Methodist. Other presenters were Regional Chairman Everett Hilty, Joseph Blanton, Franklin Mitchel, and Mr. White.

At the May 1959 meeting, the Treasurer reported a balance of $1365.75. Paid registrations for the Convention were 38 members, 26 students, and 19 other registrants.

In November 1959 the chapter traveled to the Beatrice Presbyterian Church to hear the new Reuter organ.

In November 1960 the chapter traveled to the chapel at Concordia College in Seward to hear Mr. Paul Rosel play the newly installed Kuhn tracker organ, built in Switzerland.

February 1961 the chapter met at Union College where Paul Rebnolds played the new Wicks organ; he played works by DuMage, Clerambault, Arne, Bach, Sessions, Walcha and Marcello.

During these years the Guild usually met for dinner at the YWCA. But in June 1961 the Guild voted not to meet at the Y; no reason is given in the Minutes. Future dinner meetings were held at Helen Penner-Fine Foods located at 1309 N Street. Then in November 1961 the chapter voted to have just the business meeting and program and dispense with the supper.

June 1961 Grace Finch, who was moving to California, was thanked for her fine work as Historian and keeping the chapter scrapbooks; Mrs. Rosanna Wheaton was appointed as the new Historian.

March 5, 1962 the Guild chapter met at the newly-built Piedmont Park Seventh Day Adventist Church and Jo Waddell and Jack Cole demonstrated the new Allen organ.

March 1962 The Guild chapter sponsored an organ concert by Donald Mcdonald, Professor of Organ at Union Seminary School of Sacred Music in New York City. Featured work was the Suite for Organ by Durufle; the toccata movement is considered by many organists to be the most difficult piece ever composed for the organ.

Flor Peeters gave two identical organ concerts at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Concordia College on November 4,1962.

In 1964 Dean Wheaton read a letter from the Los Angeles chapter requesting that the national AGO (1) form a plan to election a Council representative of all Regions (2) terminate any restrictions on the location of Council meetings and (3) establish a central location for national AGO headquarters. The Lincoln chapter sent a letter to the Los Angeles chapter commending their recommendations.

A 35th Anniversary Dinner for the Lincoln chapter was held December 7, 1964 at First-Plymouth Church at $1.50 a plate. Two charter members, Cornelia Gant Cole and Margaret McGregor, were present. Vera Rost gave history highlights of the past 35 years. Guest speaker was Frank Cunkle, editor of The Diapason and former Dean of the Lincoln chapter.

The Chiff Chat chapter newsletter is first mentioned in the Minutes of the April 1965 meeting.

In April 1965 Michael Veak and Myron Roberts demonstrated the new 3-manual Casavant organ at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ.

Andrea Mohnsen was the winner of the Lincoln chapter Student Competition and competed at the Regional Convention in Denver.

October 26, 1965 Gerre Hancock played an organ concert at Holy Trinity Church, sponsored by the Lincoln chapter:

Prelude and Fugue in a minor Bach

Three Chorale Preludes Bach

Chorale in a minor Franck

Ciacona in e minor Buxtehude

Three Pieces for Mechanical Clock Haydn

The Nativity of Our Lord Messiaen

26 "patrons" contributed a minimum of $10 each to be listed in the Hancock recital program and received 2 complimentary tickets. This was the first concert where the local chapter needed patronage to help pay the cost of the concert.

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Morrow hosted the chapter in their home to hear their pipe organ in February 1966. Members viewed the pipe room and blower room and played the organ.

November 1966 The Chapter heard the recently installed Aeolian Skinner pipe organ in the Nebraska Wesleyan Fine Arts Building.

December 1966 The Chapter jointly sponsored, with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra Association, a performance of the "Missa Brevis" by Zoltan Kodaly sung by the Lincoln Symphony Chorale in the Nebraska Wesleyan Fine Arts Building. Organist was C. Richard Morris from First-Plymouth Church. The chapter made a profit of $42.50.

January 1967 Mr. McCall, chairman of the organ committee at First Presbyterian Church, explained how and why the Aeolian Skinner Pipe Organ Company was selected for the new organ.

A wire of congratulations was sent to the newly-formed North Platte AGO chapter.

The chapter discussed the National Council proposal to combine the existing Quarterly with a new journal to be the official AGO magazine and disassociating the Guild from The Diapason. Subsequently the National Council received 69 letters from chapters in favor of the proposal, 35 letters opposed, and 36 letters asking for more information. As a result of these letters, the National Council passed a resolution to establish a monthly magazine to be owned and published by the Guild as its only official journal, the first issue to be dated October 1967. [Editor’s note: I assume this is The American Organist magazine.]

The April 1967 meeting was held in the "new music building" at the University of Nebraska. Members voted to pay $25 to join the new Lincoln Arts Council.

For many years in these decades the AGO sponsored a National Guild Recognition Sunday and the Lincoln chapter minutes usually acknowledged the date.

Several references are made in the minutes to gatherings of student members of the AGO; these gatherings were called "Conventionettes."

Melvin Schiwart, Concordia Teacher’s College student, won the Lincoln Chapter Student Competition on May 7, 1967. The chapter voted to pay a maximum of $100, including registration, toward his Regional Convention expenses.

During his second term as Dean of the Lincoln Chapter in 1966-67 Myron Roberts also served as State Chairman of the AGO.

September 28, 1967 Regional Chairman Dr. Everett J. Hilty from the University of Boulder, Colorado met with the Lincoln chapter at a banquet at King’s Crest in Lincoln. The invocation was given by Chapter Chaplain the Rev. Victor Balla.

November 19, 1967 E. Power Biggs played an organ concert at Westminister Presbyterian Church.

January 8, 1968 "The board presented to the membership at large a proposal to change the chapter’s name to ‘The Lincoln Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and Choir Directors.’ The motion was moved, seconded and passed."

February 1968 the chapter presented "A Wedding Preview" at Holy Trinity Church, 6000 A Street, with gowns from Miller & Paine, flowers from Tyrrell’s and tuxedos from Holway Rent-a-Tux. Three types of weddings were presented: informal, semiformal, and formal. The bridal gowns’ descriptions used words like cages, tents, skimmers, high-up look, yokes, and collarets. The most popular colors for bridesmaids gowns were listed as shocking pink and lime in stripes and plaids. The printed program boldly said that "it is obvious that the bridesmaid’s dress is no longer doomed to one appearance at the wedding." [Editor’s note: Yeah, right.] It was estimated that 700-800 persons attended.

June 1968 the chapter traveled to First-Plymouth to view the two Schlicker pipe organs being installed and to hear a carillon concert by Carl Zimmerman.

Nancy Miller from the University of Nebraska student chapter won the Student Competition and the Lincoln chapter voted to pay up to $75 toward her expenses at the Fort Collins Regional Competition.

Dues in 1969 were $10 regular, $5 associate, and $13 for reinstatement of membership.

For many years the Lincoln chapter purchased 2 Lincoln Community Concert tickets for an inmate and attendant from the State Mental Hospital in Lincoln.

In October 1969 Gene Bedient played the new 2-manual Casavant organ at Grace Lutheran Church.

January 1970 Cantor Nathan Levinson presented a program on music in the Jewish tradition at a Lincoln chapter meeting at Tifereth Israel Synagogue.

In 1970 the Annual Wedding Preview was attended by 500 persons. Gowns were courtesy of Hovland Swanson and the event was held at First-Presbyterian Church.

At the October 1970 meeting at the Westbrook Music Building, a member of the music faculty, Dr. Raymond Haggh, demonstrated a Moog Synthesizer.

May 1971 Mike Beattie announced the dedication of Kimball Hall and the new Reuter organ installed there.

June 8, 9, and 10, 1971 Lincoln hosted the Mid-America Regional Convention of the AGO. Bruce Bengtson, director of music at Westminster Presbyterian Church, was convention chairman. The Region was Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas. Presenters were AGO President Searle Wright, John Obetz, Carl Staplin, Don Vollstedt, carillonneur Raymond Johnson, the Mel Olson Singers from Omaha, Gene Bedient, Enid and Henry Woodward, James Moeser, Wilma Jensen and K. Dean Walker, and Clyde Holloway. Convention headquarters was the Radisson-Cornhusker Hotel.

March 1972 long-time chapter member and past Dean Maryalice Macy was honored upon her 50th anniversary with Aldersgate Methodist Church.

May 1972 the chapter met at the "lovely home" of Keith and Ann Leatherman and listened to a "delightful demonstration-recital by Ann Leatherman" on the harpsichord.

January 1973 Marjory Clements demonstrated the organ recently installed in her home. Student Cynthia Knosp also played the organ.

Kathi Harvey, a University of Nebraska sophomore music major, won the 1973 chapter Student Competition and competed in the Regional Competition at Colorado Springs.

In 1973 the chapter discussed the considerable variance in fees paid by funeral directors to organists, "with most fees being entirely too low." A committee was appointed to draw up fee guidelines and communicate with funeral directors on behalf of the chapter.

Christ Lutheran Church, 45th and A Streets, was the site of the February 1974 meeting where the new 2-manual organ built and installed by Gene Bedient was demonstrated.

Twelve children’s choirs from Lincoln churches and one children’s choir from Hastings participated in a Children’s Choir Festival sponsored by the Lincoln chapter in March 1974 at First-Plymouth Church. Mabel Boyter of Atlanta, Georgia, was the clinician. Organ accompanist was Russell Blackmer, Jr. from First Presbyterian Church.

In January 1968 the chapter had voted to rename itself the Lincoln Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and Choir Directors. In December 1974 Dean Adelaide Spurgin received a letter from AGO headquarters in New York City: "It has come to the attention of the Executive Committee that several chapters of the Guild have altered the official name of the Guild at the local level, contrary to Article I, Section 1a of the Constitution. The Committee deplores this practice and requests that all chapters conform to the Constitutional provision that the name shall be American Guild of Organists. Trusting the Lincoln Nebraska Chapter will cease using the name American Guild of Organists and Choirmasters."

March 1975 notes were received from Cornelia Cole and Margaret McGregor thanking the chapter for giving them lifetime associate memberships.

1975 chapter Student Competition winner was Joseph Schenk with David Polley as runner-up. The chapter voted to pay $70 for Joseph’s expenses at the Minneapolis Regional Convention.

During the 1970’s the Lincoln chapter held chapter officer installation services in church sanctuaries as part of a worship service including hymns, prayers, and organ music.

The Lincoln chapter met on two consecutive Monday evenings in January and February, 1976 at First-Plymouth Church to play Bach’s Orgelbuchlein in its entirety. The chapter was aided by students from Concordia College, Union College and UN-L with a total of 32 organists playing. Mary Murrell Faulkner gave a brief historical background of the collection and pointed out characteristics of each chorale prelude before it was played.


Secretary’s books missing from 1976 through 1990. Some of the following material is from the chapter Scrapbooks.


June 1979 A 2-manual, 1040 pipe Schlicker organ was dedicated at the Mr. and Mrs. Richard M. Lorenzen residence. Charles Ore played Bach, Couperin, Luebeck, Peeters, Purcell, and Widor as well as his own composition, "Two Variations on Angels We Have Heard on High."

In 1979 the Lincoln chapter celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a banquet in First-Plymouth Church’s Pilgrim Hall. Special guest was Roberta Bitgood, National AGO President.


In 1985 the Lincoln chapter hosted the Region VI Convention June 17-20 with a registration fee of $89. Early registration was $79. The registration desk was in the Clayton House at 10th and O Streets. Convention Co-Chairs were Linda Volland and Michael Veak.Presenters were David Spicer, Clarion Chamber Chorale of Omaha, Wilma Jensen, George Ritchie, Quentin Faulkner, Msgr. Schmitt, Frederick Swann, Lincoln Lutheran Choir, Nancy Lancaster, John Casey, Corwin Moore, Carroll Hanson, the Abendmusik Chorus, David Harris, Ruth Diedrichsen, Margot Woolard, Elizabeth Stodola, James Higdon, Gene Bedient,and carillonneur Milford Myhre. A dessert was offered at the Governor’s Mansion, no doubt because Lt. Governor Donald McGinley was a member of the Lincoln chapter.

October 1989 Michael Veak, District Convener, spoke at the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Lincoln chapter held at Westminster Presbyterian Church.


April 1991 The money market account balance was $6235.10. Due to increased printing costs, the annual subscription rate for Chiff Chat was raised to $3.50.

June 1991 the Lincoln chapter voted to give a plaque and a lifetime membership to Mary Alice Snider (Petie). Myron Roberts agreed to compose an anthem, at no fee, in honor of Mary Alice Snider.

The plaque and a bouquet of flowers was given to Ms Snider in January 1992. A recognition of her contributions to the community and the AGO chapter was held at Westminster Presbyterian Church where the anthem composed in her honor by Myron Roberts was sung.

July 1992 Louis Patterson offered space at First Presbyterian Church for the chapter archives. From the minutes: "It is hoped that eventually all materials will be in one location."

Sixteen churches signed up 295 singers for the Children’s Choir Festival in April 1993 at First-Plymouth Church with Helen Kemp as clinician. The chapter lost $46 on the event.

Nine Lincoln chapter and student organists performed in a benefit concert for the Lincoln Interfaith Council in May 1993: Margot Woolard, Terry Kirchau, Cammy Miller, Claire Bushong, Crystal Rossow, Murray Foreman, Sara Schott, Stephen Krahn, and James Hejduk.

Chapter dues were raised to $57 in 1993 to reflect a raise in national dues.

Pipescreams, a Halloween organ concert, was held November 1, 1993 at Holy Trinity with organists Pam Penner, Kimberly Patterson, John Friesen, Roger Obbink, and Louis Patterson. Halloween hymns were "On October Thirty-One" and "All Praise to Thee, O Ghastly Night."

Pipescreams was repeated, by popular demand, in 1994 at Westminster Presbyterian Church with organists Roger Obbink, Kimberly Patterson, Crystal Rossow and Claire Bushong, Quentin Faulkner, George Ritchie, and John Friesen, and pianist Patty Niemann accompanying soprano Angie Berkebile.


In 1997 dues were raised to $64 for regular members.

In 1996 the Lincoln chapter received 10% of the residue of the estate of long-time member Marjorie Matson Smith. Dollar amount was $20,000.

March 1997 It was announced that the AGO had a website.

May 1997 It was announced that the Lincoln Chorister’s Guild chapter was "officially defunct" and the balance of their bank account, $199, was given to the Lincoln AGO chapter.

1997 Young Organists Competition winner in Lincoln was Ryan Casten.

April 1998 Jack Levick demonstrated the new 4-manual Schoenstein organ in the chancel of First-Plymouth Church.

Sing and Rejoice! was the theme of the Children’s/Youth Choir Festival at First Christian Church in May 1999 with Patti Fusselman as clinician. Accompanist was Mark W. Miller with five Lincoln churches and St. John Lutheran Church in Beatrice participating.

1999 A four-manual, 110 rank Schoenstein chancel organ was dedicated at First-Plymouth Church.

August 2000 The Lincoln chapter was informed that it had been included in the Lillian Slaughter will.

The amount from the Slaughter will was $16,180 which was added to the chapter’s money market account.

April 2001 The chapter charted a bus to Vermillion, South Dakota for a guided tour of the Shrine to Music Museum.

January 2002 A 3-manual, 3063 pipe Bedient chancel organ at Saint Paul United Methodist Church was inaugurated by organist John Friesen and members of the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dr. William A. Wyman.

February 2003 The new Reuter Organ Company 3-manual organ at First Presbyterian Church was featured on the cover of "The American Organist." David Higgs played the dedicatory concert on the organ which maintained some of the pipework and mechanical parts of the original Aeolian-Skinner organ from the 1960’s.

March 2003 A J.S.Bach/Dr. Albert Schweitzer multi-media program was held at College View Seventh-Day Adventist Church with chapter members playing Bach music.

May 2003 Lincoln chapter members donated funds to underwrite "Pipe Dreams" on KZUM-FM, a Lincoln radio station, after Nebraska Public Radio dropped the program.

October 2003 Lincoln chapter members traveled by chartered bus to Omaha for a dinner sponsored by the Omaha AGO chapter and to hear Alice Parker at St. James Catholic Church.

January 2004 Lincoln chapter hosted a pastor/chapter dinner at First Presbyterian Church. Regional Councillor Dean Billmeyer is the guest speaker.

October 2004 Diane Bish played a concert at First Presbyterian Church, sponsored by the Lincoln chapter, the Nebraska Music Teachers Association, the Lincoln Organ Showcase, and the Omaha AGO chapter.

February 2005 A J.S. Bach/Dr. Albert Schweitzer multi-media program was held at First-Plymouth Church with chapter and student members playing Bach music. Special guest was Dr. Elinore Barber, retired music professor at Hastings College, a Bach Scholar who had lived in the Schweitzer home and studied organ with Dr. Schweitzer. Three local actors also took part in the production. Ticket prices were $15 in advance, $17 at the door, $10 for students, elementary to college-age, and senior citizens.

August 2005 The 3 manual Bedient organ at Saint Paul United Methodist Church was featured on the cover of The American Organist.


Compiled by Sinda Dux

Lincoln AGO Chapter Sub-Dean

and Historian

October 2005

© Lincoln Chapter AGO