Newsletter of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

MAY 2019


Dean: Dr. Elisa Bickers |
Sub-Dean: Boyd Ahrens 
Bombarde Editor: Keith Sandrock |



My friends,

The passing of Holy Week, culminating with a crazy and festive Easter Sunday, usually feels to me like "the beginning of the end" of the busy season. Summer is not quite here, but it is fast approaching, with its music ensemble hiatuses and fewer Sunday morning services. Myself, I have several fun travels and performances this summer, but for the most part, it can be a time to slow down just a bit, and hopefully find some refreshment.

Of course, NONE of us felt that way at this time last year, did we? NO! We had a National Convention coming, after all, and we were nervi-cited* about everything that was going into our project. (*nervi-cited = nervous + excited) I can't actually believe that it was less than a year ago that we hosted our successful venture - it feels like it was a lifetime ago, at least. I continue to hear such praise for our convention. Our long-lasting hard work was seriously worth it.

Since we don't have a Convention looming over the horizon, it is my deepest hope for each of you that you have some rest time written into your calendar, in ink. I'm not great at resting. I find myself wishing deeply for a breather, only to find that when I finally come across one, I feel restless and yearn for a project. I'm getting better, though, successfully ignoring piles of laundry on my day off in favor of experimenting in the kitchen, binge-watching British comedies, or simply napping. There's hope for me yet.

Let's begin a summer of resting and playing together at our potluck, coming up on May 20 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Lenexa. We will join together with some of the music ministry of that church to celebrate a season of great music. We will also install the newest officers that you have elected. A good time will certainly be had by all!

I want you to know how grateful I am to have served as Dean of this wonderful chapter of the AGO. I learn so much from you, and have enjoyed our time together at programs, meetings, and other events. KANSAS CITY IS BLESSED BY YOU, and so am I. Thanks for letting me lead you for a while.


GKCAGO 2019-20 Election Results

Dean:             Boyd Ahrens
Sub-dean:       Mike Maiden
Secretary:        MacKenzie Reed
Treasurer:       Marjorie O’Konski
Registrar:        Dan Madura
Auditor:          Ray Smith

Members at Large: Long Range Planning Class of 2022
John Braum
Rosi  Kaufman

Thanks to all of our chapter members that comprise our chapter board. These talented and engaged members work hard to guide our chapter to inspire and nurture a love and understanding of the organ.

Programs for 2019-2020

All of the anticipated programs for our next season have been planned out and we look forward to many enjoyable evenings together.  Your program team has tried to spread the venues throughout the metro area, and we are going places we have not been to in a long time, if ever.  There will also be some familiar venues.  All will have exciting artists and events!  To check out the 2019-2020 program year, we have provided you a printable schedule!  Click on the following link below to access next year’s program. 

As you look through the planned programs we ask you keep in mind that this ambitious program series depends on us to fund it.  Our dues pay for a portion, and we ask that you consider making a donation to the Concert Series and Programs.  When you renew your membership through ONCARD, please look at the second "balloon" on the opening screen that says "Make a contribution."  Scroll to the bottom of that screen and you will see where you can donate to our chapter, and also to our programs.  Your extra support is acknowledged in all of the printed programs throughout the season, as a reminder of our grateful thanks to you!

Boyd Ahrens, Program Chair



SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2019
Bachathon XL
2pm - 6pm
Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral
415 W 13th Street
Kansas City, MO 

MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019
Chapter Potluck
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
9150 Pflumm Rd
Lenexa, KS 


Wesley Hymn Festival at Francis Street 
First United Methodist Church

Francis Street First United Methodist Church, 12th & Francis Street will host a “Celebration of Hymns by John & Charles Wesley” on Sunday, May 5th at 3 p.m., featuring husband/wife duo organists, Daniel and Samantha Koch Hancock and the St. Joseph Chamber Choir under the direction of Jennifer Stammers. 

Co-sponsored by the St. Joseph Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, the event is one in a series of church-wide and public events commemorating the 175th anniversary of the church’s founding.  It is the oldest protestant congregation in continuous existence in the City.

John Wesley started the Methodist movement in the mid-18th century to bring spiritual renewal to the Anglican Church in England.  Its lay-driven organization helped it spread among the American colonies, where it became a separate denomination after the Revolutionary War. 

John Wesley’s brother, Charles, was a poet/hymn writer.  He shared his own spiritual journey through an experiential hymn style to help communicate and elevate the faith.  He is given credit for composing more than 6,500 hymns, some of which remain a familiar part of traditional Christian worship and holidays, such as “Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing.”

John Wesley, the organizer, compiled hymns, integrating German hymnody by providing English translations.  He published the first of 56 hymnals in 1737, “A Collection of Psalms & Hymns,” which was also the first hymnal printed in America.       

Mrs. Jane Anne Kemper is given credit for organizing the first Methodist Class in St. Joseph in 1843.  Initially, the group met in a room above David Heaton’s cabinet shop.  It became a society or recognized congregation in 1844, the same year the denomination divided over slavery. 

Most Methodist congregations in Missouri united with the southern branch.  In 1849, several members left the local church to re-form a congregation of the “north” church, which became First United Methodist Church.  In 1864, the “south” adopted the “Francis Street” name.  The denomination re-unified in 1939 and the two local congregations merged in 1996. 

For additional information, please contact David Lewis,, or 816-901-4603.


Music from the Heart: 
A Special Mother’s Day Pipe Organ Concert

Free Event
Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

There are more than 5,000 pipes on the Kauffman Center’s showpiece organ. And there are closer to 5 million songs about the heart.

This Mother’s Day, organist Jan Kraybill performs “Music from the Heart” on the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875, in Helzberg Hall. Join us for a special program of stellar tunes illustrating the shades of love. Compositions from Bach to The Beatles will touch on love of family, country, romance and peace.

Jan Kraybill, organ conservator for the Kauffman Center, has performed around the world as a concert organist. She is the organist-in-residence at the headquarters of Community of Christ in Independence, Mo.
This free concert is a Mother’s Day gift to the community in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Saint Luke's Muriel I. Kauffman Women’s Heart Center. Prior to the performance, Saint Luke’s will recognize Julia Irene Kauffman for her contributions to the heart center’s success.

Tickets for this event are FREE but reservations are required. There is a four-ticket limit per person. All patrons entering the theater, regardless of age, will need a ticket for the event.

Trumpet and Organ Due: 
Chuck Seipp & Randell Sheets to Perform

Join musicians, Chuck Seipp, on trumpet, and Randall Sheets, on organ and piano, in concert for an evening of virtuoso, entertaining and inspirational music. They will be perform at Country Club Christian Church in Kansas City, MO at 6101 Ward Parkway on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:30 PM. Both musicians from Washington, D.C. are accomplished, seasoned performers; combined, their artistry resonates with the majesty and opulence of this classical music genre.

Randall Sheets is the Ceremonial Organist for Arlington National Cemetery, as well as an active concert organist, pianist and choral conductor.

Chuck Seipp is trumpet professor at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA, Retired from The United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D.C. Chuck is a graduate of Kansas University and delighted to be back home to perform. The Seipp/Sheets Duo program will feature several works written and arranged for them with unique performance enhancements through video presentations to many of the selections. The concert will include Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”, Gershwin’s iconic
“Rhapsody in Blue”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the powerful Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”, and the popular “Widor Toccata” for solo organ. Particularly fun for the audience will be “Carnival of Venice” with Seipp performing on six different trumpets. Highlight for Chuck will be performing with his trumpet professor from KU, Roger Stoner (Retired), and Chuck’s brother, Neal Seipp, CMU trumpet professor (Retired). The program will conclude with a multi-media tribute to Veteran’s and the Military.

No tickets required and no charge for admission.

In Remembrance…

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Nan's husband, Richard (Rick) Hulett on Thursday, April 25th.  Nan has been a member of our KCAGO since 1966.  She was chapter Dean in 2006-2007.  A Celebration of Life will be held at the Lenexa United Methodist Church, Saturday May 4, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.  Refreshments and conversation will follow the service in Fellowship Hall.

OHS Invitation

I met Roland Herzl in Frankfort, Kentucky, where I am updating the documentation of the organs for the Organ Historical Society's Pipe Organ Database. He has been on the bench for more than 49 years at South Frankfort Presbyterian Church and is seen here playing the 1968 Reuter II/12. He graduated from SMU where he studied with Robert Anderson. Incidentally, the OHS Annual Convention will be in Dallas July 14-18, 2019, and one day will be devoted to exploring the organs on the SMU campus. Hope to see you there. 

Tim Link, Chapter Member

Community Calendar

Friday, May 17, 2019, 12:10pm – Westport Presbyterian Church, 201 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO 64111 – Westport Center for the Arts Brown Bag Concert: Moment Musical Piano Club featuring Dorothy Brandwein, Joyce Berg, Marcia Fernandez, Julia Scherer, Claudette Schiratti and Helena Vasconcellos.

Job Placement Listings

Placement Coordinator: John Schaefer

Placement listings are available only to paid GKCAGO members.  Become a paid AGO member by clicking on the Join Our Ranks link at the bottom of any page on the website.


Substitutes listed are members of the local organ guild. The people who hold AGO certificates have passed requirements of the National American Guild of Organists for various levels of service playing and choral conducting. However, the GKCAGO is not an endorsement agency for service provided by the persons listed here. To learn proficiency of substitutes, feel free to ask them for references. Feedback regarding the hiring of GKCAGO substitutes is welcome and encouraged. Please send feedback to John Schaefer

These substitutes have passed various levels of AGO certification requirements:

Mary Bronaugh Davis, MA, CAGO org
(816) 436-1419 
(c) (816) 456-0343 

Nancy Custead, CAGO, B.S. Music Ed org, piano
(816) 590-9414 

Barbara Eichenberger, BM, CAGO org, piano
(816) 803-2516 

Stephen Kucera, CAGO, BM 
org, piano(913) 568-3873 

Linda Mann, BME, SPC organ, piano
(Weddings/Funerals only)
(816) 353-4826 
(c) (816) 289-9760 

Marjorie O’Konski, MM, MME, SPC org, piano
(785) 766-2545 

John Pitchford, MM, SPC, org
(913) 663-3768 

John Schaefer, AAGO, ChM org, dir, lit
(816) 520-2084 

Claudette Schiratti, MM, AAGO, 
org, dir, lit(c) (913) 530-0960 

Jerrold Tidwell, BM, MM, CAGO org, piano, dir, lit
(c) (301) 714-8030 

SPC = service playing certificate | CAGO = Colleague certification | AAGO = Associate certification | FAGO = Fellow certification org = organist | lit = liturgical worship | dir = choral director | piano = pianist

The following have various degrees in organ or church music at the college or postgraduate level:

Joyce Berg, MM org
(816) 741-7388 

John Deahl, MM org, dir, lit, bass soloist
(785) 250-4141 

Stephanie Henry, DMA Choral Music, org, piano, dir.
(816) 678-6372 

Sharon Hettinger, DMA org, lit, dir, handbell
(785) 842-2053 

Ronald Krebs, BM, MM, org, lit
(785) 843-2622 

Sarah Lyons, DMA org, piano, lit, dir
(309) 333-8745 

MacKenzie Reed, MFA, BM org, piano, lit 

Ann Marie Rigler, DMA org, lit
(816) 808-8663 

Nancy Stankiewicz, BA org, lit
(913) 642-8642

The following also offer their services:

Boyd Ahrens org, lit
(816) 453-8406 

Betty Bauer org, lit
(913) 814-9021 

Doris Daniels org, lit 
(816) 431-3244 

Phillip Grubbs org
(816) 721-2325 

Edward Poston — KU student org 

Marilyn VanderLinden org, lit
(816) 665-4441 

Margaret Werth org
(785) 478-0256

org = organist | lit = liturgical worship | dir = choral director | piano = pianist

The absolute deadline for submissions to the Bombarde editor is the 20th of each month. Please email your information to