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Oct. 29: Westminster Abbey Organist Emeritus to Give Recital in Lancaster


 The Lancaster Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will host internationally renowned organist James O’Donnell in a recital on Sunday, October 29 at 4:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Lancaster. Following a 23-year tenure as Organist and Choirmaster at Westminster Abbey, London, O’Donnell recently succeeded Thomas Murray as Professor of Organ at Yale University, where he teaches graduate level organ majors and other students in sacred music. 


During his tenure at Westminster Abbey, Mr. O’Donnell was responsible for all musical aspects of the Abbey’s work. He planned and directed the music for Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral, as well as many other national events. As an organist, Mr. O’Donnell has played recitals throughout the world, garnering praise from audiences for his consummate musicianship. O’Donnell’s recital in Lancaster will include a masterful and ambitious selection of organ repertoire, including iconic works by Franck and Duruflé as well as outstanding works by Parry and Howells. Music by Vierne, Saint-Saëns, and Alain will round out the program. 


As an added bonus, O’Donnell will present a lecture, “Music at the Abbey,” on Saturday, October 28, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the church sanctuary. The public is invited to hear him discuss the various aspects of directing and maintaining the music program at Westminster Abbey. 


James O’Donnell’s recital in Lancaster is made possible by the Moyer Concert Fund, established by Dr. Karl Moyer, longtime professor at Millersville University, in memory of his wife Carolyn. A freewill offering will be taken to assist the Lancaster A.G.O. chapter in meeting the expenses of this and other world-class recitals. First Presbyterian Church is located at 140 East Orange Street in downtown Lancaster.



Sept. 10: CD Release Party


The Lancaster Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) is hosting a CD Release Party for Dr. Robert Horton at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 31 S. Duke St., Lancaster in the Parish House on Sunday, September 10 at 5:30pm. Last July, Dr. Horton won the First Prize for the 2022 National Competition in Organ Improvisation during the AGO National Convention in Seattle, WA. Rob is Organist and Choirmaster at Lancaster’s Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, and, as part of his award, has recorded a CD under the Pro Organo label, newly released this month. The CD is titled On Impulse and is comprised of improvisations in diverse styles and Horton’s adaptations of music by Bach and Mendelssohn, all recorded on a newly-installed pipe organ in Arlington, VA. Please come for refreshments and greet Dr. Horton before the event, which will include a livestreamed presentation of excerpts from the CD, with explanation of the competition and remarks from those involved with the production. Rob will have CDs for sale, and will sign copies. This is a momentous occasion in the life of our Chapter. How often do we have a National Competition winner in our ranks?! Please come and help us celebrate Rob for this prestigious award!




  Sept. 24: Annual Picnic, Installation, Hymnsing


The Lancaster Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) is looking forward to their first event of the 2023-2024 season! The Chapter members will be providing the hands and feet in playing the organ for a hymn sing hosted by Westgate Baptist Church. The free event is Sunday, September 24, at 7:00 PM, at the church located at 2235 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, PA. Part of the singing will be hymns selected by the organists—including some nifty introductions, reharmonizations, and arrangements on the hymn tunes—as well as favorites selected by the live audience. Local organists include John Zielinski, Jonathan Jones, Margaret Rothacker, Karl Moyer, Bill Rhoades, Greg Gehman, Margaret Marsch, and Joshua Benkendorf. The organ, rebuilt in the 1980s, was originally built by the famed organbuilder Ernest Skinner in 1929. A freewill offering will be taken to support the ongoing maintenance/restoration of this historic organ. This continues to be one of the most popular and engaging events of the concert season, and we would love to see you there!




Upcoming Chapter Events

Concerts Given by Chapter Members and Friends
Our chapter members and friends offer many recitals, concerts, and special services. For more information, see the events page.
Annaul Picnic and Hymnsing
Westgate Baptist Church, 2235 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster. Picnic at 5:30 PM, Installation of new board members at 6, Hymnsing at 7.
James O'Donnel - Moyer Concert
Sunday, October 29, 4 PM. First Presbyterian Church, 140 E. Orange St., Lancaster PA.

Support Us By Check

Makes checks payable to "Lancaster AGO"

Mail to: Westminster Presbyterian Church

c/o Frank Dodd

2151 Oregon Pike

Lancaster, PA 17601

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