CAZAGO
PHOENIX RISING:
BIOGRAPHIES

 Click on underlined names to view photos where available.


Douglas J. Benton has been directing handbell choirs since 1973. He is a published composer/arranger of handbell, choral, organ, brass and orchestral music, and has been published by six music publishers. Mr. Benton is a frequent contributor to Overtones, the official journal of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR), writing articles on various ringing techniques with Bass Bells and Multiple Bells, conducting, rhythm/counting and the first major research on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome/Repetitive Strain Injury and Handbell Ringing. He is an internationally respected Clinician and is in great demand nationally as a Festival Massed Conductor. Mr. Benton was appointed Bellmaster at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, in 1989 where he founded the NAU Harter Memorial Handbell Choir and directed the NAU Summer Music Camp Handbell Choirs until 2000. He has served the AGEHR as Arizona State Chair, and Area XI Chair. In addition, he served on the National Board of Directors of AGEHR as Area XI Chair and Chair of the Director Education Department. Currently, Mr. Benton is full-time Director of Music Ministries at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church, Gold Canyon, Arizona, and is the Southwestern Area Representative for Malmark Handbells.

Jan Bishop BiglerWhen I was seven, my little neighbor friend came to me all excited because we were going to take accordion lessons. That sounded a little weird to me, even at that age, and soon found out it was recorder lessons. I rode my bike to the lessons in Riverside, California. Pretty soon the same neighbors got tired of me always being at their house playing their piano. So mom and dad got me a piano and I started piano lessons at about age eight. I was playing the piano in the orchestra in Junior High in Claremont, California. One day the conductor asked if anyone would like to learn to play the cello because he was short on cellists. I raised my hand and that got me started in my cello career. The biggest problem with playing the cello at that time was that girls still weren't allowed to wear pants to school and our skirts were short. I often played cello side-saddle!
   I continued to study both piano and cello through high school in New Jersey. We lived very close to New York City so the musical opportunities were unlimited. I played with many long-term and short-term groups and organizations, including special performances with the New Jersey Symphony. I hauled my cello to Brigham Young University and was admitted into the Philharmonic Orchestra; I continued private cello lessons. But not being satisfied with knowing how to play three instruments, I started organ lessons. I only had enough time left to take about three semesters before graduation. But it was enough to become competent to play for church for the next twenty or so years while we raised three daughters.
   We moved to Las Vegas after the kids were all grown up and after attending an AGO sponsored recital, I turned to my husband and said "I'm going to take organ lessons again." I studied with Paul Hesselink for about six-and-a-half years and am currently working with Kenneth Udy in Salt Lake City. And now we have a 12-rank pipe organ in our home. My dream is to sit at the organ bench 24/7 and not be responsible for anything else.

Kay Cook is internationally recognized as a leader in the development of virtuoso handbell choirs. Her innovative approach has brought the art of ringing English handbells to new levels of excellence. Ms. Cook has studied music at Eastern Illinois University, Arizona State University, and with Dr. William Payn at Bucknell University. She has served as guest conductor and clinician at handbell seminars and symposiums in Europe, United Kingdom, Canada and throughout the United States. Handbell Exploration, led by Ms. Cook, draws directors, composers, publishers and handbell ringers from Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States to Scottsdale, Arizona each summer where the most creative techniques for handbells are taught. While handbells are traditionally found in the church environment, Ms. Cook has brought this medium into the performing arena with musical selections ranging from classical to pops and jazz. Choirs under her direction have toured internationally and throughout the United States. They record regularly for handbell publishers. This year is the ninth consecutive year that her choirs have performed with The Phoenix Symphony. Ms. Cook's community groups include the virtuoso youth choir Bronzeworks, the Desert Bells, and the Scottsdale English Handbell Ensemble.

Martha M. Grout , MD, MD(H) has more than thirty years experience in medicine and leads a team of seasoned, talented associates. She holds both regular Medical and Homeopathic Medical licenses in the State of Arizona, and serves on the Arizona Board of Homeopathic and Integrated Medicine Examiners. Office staff includes three registered nurses, one with a Master's degree in Nutrition, one with extensive experience in nutritional counseling.
   The Center for Advanced Medicine utilizes modalities of standard allopathic medicine, homeopathic medicine, complementary and alternative medicine, sensory integration, brain-based biofeedback, auditory processing retraining, nutritional therapy, acupuncture, allergy testing and therapy, IV nutritional therapy, heavy metal detoxification, hypnosis and guided imagery … in other words, whatever works is best for the patient, regardless of diagnosis.
   Patients include both children and adults. Many children come with developmental delays (autism, PDD, ADD, ADHD) and/or environmental allergies. Many adults have not been able to find answers elsewhere and are committed to getting well, not just suppressing symptoms or enhancing memory with prescription drugs. We work in partnership to teach and be present with all our patients on their journey toward health.
   (As you may gather from the name, Martha is Donald Jay Grout's daughter, and grew up in the house where the History of Western Music was written).

Patrick Hawkins has been praised in the United States, Europe, and Asia for his technical facility and musical sensitivity. Since winning a prize at the 1991 Mid-Atlantic Regional Convention of the American Guild of Organists, he has appeared at the Washington National Cathedral; St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco; St. Thomas Church in New York; L'Eglise St. Etienne du Mont in Paris; the Cambridge Summer Recitals in Cambridge, England, and in Saarbrucken, Germany. Dr. Hawkins holds degrees in organ performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music at the Johns Hopkins University, East Carolina University, and Arizona State University. His teachers have included Robert Carwithen, Janette Fishell, Peggy Haas-Howell, Arthur Rhea, Donald Sutherland, Carole Terry, and Kimberly Marshall. Dr. Hawkins has recorded organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach for the Arkay Records label on the Greg Harrold organ in Brentwood, California. His articles on the organ music of David Liddle (UK) and Jeanne Joulain (France) have been published in The American Organist magazine. His articles dealing with issues related to music education have appeared in the Choral Journal, The Diapason, Music Educators Journal, and in Research and Issues in Music Education. In 2006 he was a clinician at the Western Divisional Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Salt Lake City, was a featured guest performer at the 2006 Religious Arts Festival at East Carolina University, and was a faculty member of the POE+ held in Phoenix. Dr. Hawkins is the Director of Choral Studies at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, is the Organist/Choirmaster at Mt. Hermon Lutheran Church in West Columbia, and is a founding member of the Concert Organist Collective management agency.

Paul Hesselink earned the Bachelor of Arts in Organ at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Following graduation he studied musicology under a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He completed the Master of Arts in Organ Pedagogy at Ohio State University and earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Organ Performance at the University of Colorado in Boulder. His teachers have included: Roger Rietberg, Wilbur Held, Arthur Poister, Everett J. Hilty and Don Vollstedt. He studied harpsichord in Paris with Davitt Moroney.
   For twenty-six years, Dr. Hesselink was on the music faculty of Longwood University in Virginia. He taught courses in church music, music theory, music history and appreciation, organ and harpsichord, and was the department chair his last four years. He was the recipient of two National Endowment Summer Fellowships for postgraduate study in music theory (at Yale University), and in the life and works of Arnold Schoenberg (at University of Southern California). Subsequently, his feature article: Correspondence from the Schoenberg Legacy: 'Variations on a Recitative for Organ, Op. 40' was published in the Schoenberg Journal (November, 1983, pp. 140–196) and again in The American Organist, Journal of the American Guild of Organists (October, 1991, pp. 58–68 and December, 1991, pp. 83–88) on the fiftieth anniversary of the composition of the Op. 40, Schoenberg's only composition for the organ.
   Taking early retirement from teaching and administration at Longwood, Dr. Hesselink moved to Las Vegas to affiliate with Nevada School of the Arts. He served as its Dean for twelve years. In April 1996, Dr. Hesselink was the harpsichordist for the world premiere performance of the Nevett Bartow Concerto for Harpsichord and Chamber Orchestra with the Nevada Chamber Orchestra in Las Vegas. The following June he recorded the work with members of the Slovak Radio Orchestra in Bratislava, Slovakia; the recording was released on a CD on the MCC label, The Works of Nevett Bartow.
   Dr. Hesselink has been an adjunct music faculty member at UNLV since 1993. He played a major role in the securing of the Maureen Jackson Smith Memorial Organ at UNLV in Doc Rando Hall, completed in 2004 by the Rudolf von Beckerath Orgelbau of Hamburg, Germany.
   Dr. Hesselink is a member of the College Music Society, the American Musicological Society and the American Guild of Organists. He currently serves as Region IX's Convener of the Grand Canyon District of the AGO and is active in the Southern Nevada Chapter.

Brent Hylton – Since the grand age of eight, Brent Hylton's future was destined for a career in music. Hylton studied at the Eastman School of Music and completed his Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance with teachers David Craighead and Russell Saunders. Two years later, Brent completed his Master of Music in Organ Performance at Syracuse University, studying with Will Headlee. While at Syracuse, he was appointed Organist and Choirmaster of Hendricks Chapel on the campus, and under his direction the Hendricks Chapel Choir toured annually throughout the United States and Europe. Since his time at Syracuse University, Hylton has taught at Western Maryland College, Towson State University and the University of Western Ontario. Teaching and performing have always been shared passions for Brent. In the early 1980's he left the academic world, and he has since served as music director of churches in Baltimore, MD, Kalamazoo, MI, London, Ontario, and now Scottsdale, Arizona. As Director of Music and Organist of Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, Brent, along with his wife Marilyn, oversees a growing music program that includes multi-graded choirs and a thriving concert series.

Elizabeth Lenti is Associate Organist-Choirmaster of All Saints' Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California—a 3,500-member parish with a large, active music program. A native of Rochester, New York, she completed her bachelor of music degree at the Eastman School of Music, studying with David Higgs and went on to earn her master of music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she was a student of Todd Wilson. In 2004 she was a prize winner in the Arthur Poister Competition for Organ Playing. Ms. Lenti is active as a recitalist, having performed on numerous concert series throughout the United States. She serves on the executive board for the Los Angeles chapter of the American Guild of Organists as the chair for membership.

Bonnie Loney is organist at First United Methodist Church in Mesa. She teaches general music and choirs at Black Mountain Elementary School in the Cave Creek School District, and coordinates the district's annual elementary choral festival. Dr. Loney holds graduate degrees in organ performance from Arizona State University, studying organ with Robert Clark and Kimberly Marshall and harpsichord with John Metz. She is active in the American Guild of Organists as a teacher for Pipe Organ Encounters and is co-chair of the 2009 AGO/Quimby Competition for Young Organists.

Michele McCartney received her bachelor of arts degree from Whittier College and her master of arts degree from California State University, Los Angeles. She completed further doctoral studies at Arizona State University. Her organ professors included Robert Prichard, David Lennox Smith, Orpha Ochse, Ladd Thomas, Robert Clark, and Kimberly Marshall. Michele attended the Summer Organ Academy in Haarlem, Holland and the Organ Institute at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. After moving to Arizona in 1974, she was Accompanist for the Phoenix Boys Choir, a position which she held until 2000. Her final job as organist was at Valley Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she served from 1978 until 2001. For the AGO, Michele has served the Central Arizona Chapter as Dean, Secretary, Member-at-Large, and Co-Chair of the 1995 Region IX Convention, and she has served the National AGO as Arizona State Chairman and member of the Region IX Nominating Committee.

Linda S. Margetts, FAGO – Dr. Margetts holds bachelor and master's degrees in organ performance from Brigham Young University where she studied with Dr. Parley Belnap. She received a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Utah. Her past service in the AGO includes Dean and State Chairman positions. She is currently Region IX's Education Coordinator. A member of a staff of five organists at the Mormon Tabernacle, Salt Lake City (1991 to present), her responsibilities include noon recitals, accompanying, and working with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, as a teacher in their choir school and accompanist on the weekly broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. As an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Utah (1999 to present), she teaches organ performance majors and is Coordinator of the Group Organ program. She is active as a recitalist, served on the organ selection committee for the Lively Fulcher organ in Gardner Hall, University of Utah. She and her husband, Bert, are parents of six children.

Kimberly Marshall – a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, maintains an active career as a concert organist, performing regularly in Europe, the US and Asia. She currently holds the Patricia and Leonard Goldman Endowed Professorship in Organ at Arizona State University and serves as Director of the ASU School of Music. She previously held teaching positions at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and Stanford University, California. Winner of the St. Alban's Competition in 1985, she has been invited to play in prestigious venues and has recorded for Radio-France, the BBC, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
   Kimberly's primary teachers include John Mueller at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Louis Robilliard, Xavier Darasse, and Fenner Douglass. In 1986, Kimberly Marshall received the D.Phil. in Music from the University of Oxford. Her thesis, Iconographical Evidence for the Late-Medieval Organ, was published by Garland in 1989. More recently, she has developed this work in several articles and lecture/presentations and the CD recording Gothic Pipes. In recognition of her work, Kimberly Marshall was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to continue her research and teaching during 1991 at the Sydney Conservatorium in Australia. Her edition of articles on female traditions of musicmaking, Rediscovering the Muses, was published by Northeastern University Press in 1993, and she contributed entries for the Grove Dictionary of Music 2000 and for the Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages.
   Dr. Marshall's compact disc recordings feature music of the Italian and Spanish Renaissance, French Classical and Romantic periods, and works by J.S. Bach. She has also released a recording of works for organ by female composers, Divine Euterpe. From 1996–2000, she was affiliated with the Organ Research Center in Göteborg, Sweden, where she taught and performed; under the aegis of GOArt, she organized the conference The Organ in Recorded Sound, the first-ever devoted to sound recordings of the organ. Her recording of Chen Yi's organ concerto with the Singapore Symphony was released in 2003 on the BIS label, and her anthologies of late-medieval and Renaissance organ music were published by Wayne Leupold Editions in 2000 and 2004.
   Kimberly Marshall spent the spring of 2005 on sabbatical in Pistoia, Italy, where she researched early Italian organ music and performed on many historical organs. During the summer of 2006, she presented concerts and workshops on early music in Sweden and Israel, and she was a featured artist for the 2007 Early English Organ Project in Oxford and the Festival for Historical Organs in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Donald E. Morse has served for the past twenty-seven years as Minister of Music and Worship at Central United Methodist Church in Phoenix, Arizona, where he coordinates all musical ensembles, worship experiences, the artist series, and business management. Mr. Morse has held regional and/or national offices in the Music Educators National Conference, the American Choral Directors Association, and the American Guild of Organists. As a choral conductor, he has been guest clinician for numerous regional and all-state festivals, national religious gatherings, MENC Choral Festivals and ACDA Workshops and Conventions. Educated at Boston University School for the Arts, School of Theology, and Westminster Choir College, he holds degrees in choral conducting, theology, and administration. He is a Past President of Phoenix Bach Chorale, a professional ensemble of twenty-four singers under the direction of Maestro Charles Bruffy, and has served as the Executive Director of The Alliance for Arts and Understanding, an international not-for-profit organization which promotes international understanding and education through choral music. He is consultant to not-for-profit organizations in board governance and development, and human resources.

Frances Nobert Frances Nobert is Professor Emerita of Music at Whittier College, AGO Region IX Councillor and Vice-President of the Mader Corporation.
   Dr. Nobert earned the degrees bachelor of music from Salem College, master of music from Syracuse University, and doctor of musical arts from the University of Southern California. As a recipient of a Fulbright Grant, she studied organ, harpsichord and piano in Germany. Her organ teachers have included John Mueller, Helmut Walcha and Arthur Poister. For many seasons she sang with the Los Angeles Master Chorale under the direction of Roger Wagner and served as the accompanist for a nationwide tour of the Roger Wagner Chorale.
   She has performed for conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society, as well as for national and international festivals and conferences related to the position of women in the music profession. She has appeared as recitalist in many American cities and in China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Korea and Spain.
   Dr. Nobert has served on the faculties of Valley Community College in Van Nuys, Pomona College in Claremont, and California Polytechnic Institute in Pomona. She has also been the organist at Arcadia Presbyterian Church, All Saints' Episcopal Church in Pasadena, United Church of Christ, Congregational, in Claremont, St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Whittier, First United Methodist Church in Pasadena, First United Methodist Church in Santa Monica and St. John's Episcopal Cathedral in Los Angeles.
   Dr. Nobert may be heard on Organ Historical Society's recordings of the Organs of Maine and on the Raven-label release, Music, She Wrote: Organ Compositions by Women. Her website, www.FrancesNobert.com, features lists of organ repertoire by women.

Gregory Norton is Minister of Music at Westwood United Methodist Church in Los Angeles where he leads a comprehensive program of choirs. He is also Music Director of The Claremont Chorale, a community chorus based in Claremont, California. He is active as a conductor, organist, singer and liturgist, and has served congregations in Colorado and California, including fifteen years as Minister of Music at Pasadena Presbyterian Church. He has served the American Guild of Organists in a number of local capacities and was National Chaplain from 2004–2008. In the latter capacity, his column in the journal The American Organist was distributed to the Guild's over 20,000 members internationally. Choirs under his direction have been heard nationally on public radio, at national and regional conventions of the AGO and other professional music organizations and on tour in Germany, Austria, and Mexico. He is frequently invited to speak and teach on musical topics and is a published composer.
   A native of Redlands, California, Greg holds degrees in conducting from Chapman College and the University of Southern California and the Colleague Certificate from the American Guild of Organists. He attended the Iliff School of Theology in Denver and is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.

W. James Owen currently serves as Music Director-Organist at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Dayton, directing adult vocal, children's vocal and handbell choirs. He has served in similar capacities in Presbyterian, Episcopal, UCC and Disciples of Christ Churches.
   As AGO National Councillor for Professional Development, he oversees the Committee on Career Development & Support and the Committee on Seminary and Denominational Relations. He has had a working knowledge of local, regional and national AGO operations, including the Code of Ethics and Grievance Procedures for many years, having served as the Dayton Chapter Sub-dean, Dean, Ohio District Convener, Chair of the Region V Nominating Committee, Region V Coordinator for Professional Development and Director of the National Committee on Career Development & Support.
   Mr. Owen is a lawyer practicing in the areas of probate and estate planning. He serves as a substitute judge and in quasi-judicial capacities as a civil service hearing officer and as a labor arbitrator for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
   Mr. Owen's undergraduate degree is from Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania and his law degree is from Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio.

Mark Quarmby graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music majoring in organ under Norman Johnston. He has given many recitals throughout Australia and New Zealand and has also toured Europe, North America and Asia giving recitals and accompanying choirs.
   For over twenty years he has been associated with the music of St. Andrew's Anglican Cathedral in Sydney, playing for all their choral services, national live broadcasts and State occasions such as visits from Queen Elizabeth II, funerals of State governors and national memorial services. He also organizes the weekly organ recital series. He has accompanied the Cathedral choir on several CDs and played for services with them in many of Britain's most famous cathedrals and churches such as St. Paul's, London, Salisbury, Oxford, Winchester, Lichfield, Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.
   His recital tours to Europe have taken him to Germany, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Italy where he has often included Australian organ music on his programs and lectured on the history of the organ in Australia. He was a tutor and recitalist for the POE held in Singapore in 2005 and has attended several AGO conventions.
   He served as the President of the Organ Music Society of Sydney for six years, is currently a National Director of the Organ Historical Trust of Australia (as well as being the webmaster for these two organizations) and has been a member of the RSCM State committee.
   Mark Quarmby teaches piano, organ and musicianship in St Andrew's Cathedral School, St Patrick's College, the University of New South Wales and privately. He is also a music examiner and adjudicator and has been repetiteur for several university choirs.
   During his spare time he has been researching and building a web site on the organs of Sydney which he has extended to cover organs throughout Australia.

Mark Ramsey studied choral music, organ, composition, and music theory while at Arizona State University, earning the doctor of musical arts degree. He has participated as an organist, recitalist, and co-conductor at the Salzburg Church Music Festival in Salzburg, Austria and the Italian Polychoral Arts Festival in Venice, Italy. He has performed with The Phoenix Symphony and has been an instructor of music at Northern Arizona University. He was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and was a 2004 Co-Recipient of the National Religious Music Week Alliance Award of Distinction. Dr. Ramsey is currently the Director of Music Ministries at First Presbyterian Church, Mesa and is the immediate past Dean of the Central Arizona Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Dorothy Young Riess, MD – "Dr. Dorothy" grew up surrounded by music, starting piano lessons with her mother at four, and winning her first competition at seven. Her father, a concert violinist, coached her in dynamics and interpretation. She continued advanced piano study with Dean Clarence Berg at Oklahoma City University, performing the Gershwin Piano Concerto with the symphony at age fourteen. At sixteen she switched to the organ and studied with Dubert Dennis, Organist at First Christian Church. After a few months of lessons, she performed a weekly radio show of Pop Tunes on the Hammond at radio station KTOW, Oklahoma City. She entered the University of Oklahoma at seventeen and became a protégé of the legendary Mildred Andrews whose discipline and coaching skills enabled Dorothy to win many competitions including the National AGO Young Artists in 1952. She then studied with Marcel Dupré and Rolande Falcinelli at Fontainebleau, France. After several years of travel and concerts she became organist-choirmaster of the American Church, Rome, Italy. A visiting Yale Professor heard her play and offered a scholarship to Yale Graduate Music School. She performed her Master's Recital at Woolsey Hall and received the Jepson Award for outstanding work. Her father's death a few months later changed her life forever. She abandoned the organ, attended Pre-Med classes at Columbia University Night School, New York, and worked on Wall Street during the day. She was admitted to The University of Oklahoma School of Medicine at age thirty-three, and received her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1969. After four years of post-grad Residency training at Huntington Hospital, Pasadena, and Los Angeles County General Hospital, she practiced Internal Medicine for thirty years in Pasadena. She retired from medical practice in 2000, relocated to Las Vegas, and resumed organ playing in 2003. She performed on Pipe Dreams Live from Las Vegas at the Region IX Mid-Winter Conclave Jan '06, and gave her 75th Birthday recital at the University of Nevada Las Vegas a few months later. She has personal experience with the problems of Performing in the Golden Years, and will share insights with workshop participants.

Leslie Wolf Robb fell in love with the organ at age seven after hearing a Hammond B-3 in the organ bar at a San Diego restaurant. Her parents were not immediately convinced of the need for a home organ (Dad pushed for a piano—you could rent those!) and didn't capitulate to their only child's demands until just before her eighth Christmas, when they purchased a lovely Hammond L-100 spinet. After one lesson they spent the holidays enjoying Silent Night and Long, Long Ago. The spinet (and her mother’s Duncan Phyfe dining room set) gave way to a console organ (still a Hammond) in junior high and classical organ studies began in high school, when the pop organ teacher sent Leslie on to study with local church organist Frank Kueter. Teaching and playing for church began shortly thereafter and she's not tired of them yet. She received her bachelor of arts in music from San Diego State University where she studied organ with John Kuzma and Kenneth Fall, and has done extensive graduate work in keyboard pedagogy there as well, studying piano with Mitzi Kolar. She earned her CAGO in 1978 and was awarded a D.H. Baldwin Fellowship in 1986. Leslie has served as Organist and Director of Music of St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School in San Diego since 1985 and teaches piano and organ to both children and adults. Her students are frequent award winners in competitions and perform regularly in the San Diego area. She has served on the board of San Diego AGO in many capacities, was Dean from 2001–2003, and co-chaired the 1999 Regional Convention. Currently she chairs the San Diego AGO Education Committee and serves as editor for the chapter newsletter. Leslie served as director of National AGO's Committee on Regional Conventions from 2002–2005 and now serves on the Committee on Regional Competitions for Young Organists. She has presented workshops on teaching young organists at the local, regional, and national levels. Her materials for organ instruction are published by Wayne Leupold Editions. She has been fortunate to make a good living in her music career and has not had to resort to bank robbery (as did the young man who inspired her interest in organ as he played the Hammond B-3 in the organ bar all those years ago!).

Christopher Samuela native of Virginia, attended James Madison University, the Royal School of Church Music, and Westminster Choir College, from which he received the Bachelor of Church Music and the Master of Music in Choral Conducting degrees. During his graduate studies at Westminster, he was the associate conductor of the Westminster Oratorio Choir, and served on the faculty of Rider College (now Rider University) in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. In 1998, he received the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from Arizona State University. From 1978 to 1982, Dr. Samuel participated in the Spoleto Festivals in Charleston, South Carolina, and Spoleto, Italy, serving as chorus member, rehearsal accompanist, solo organist, and composer/conductor. He returned to the Charleston Festival in 1985 and 1986 as conductor of the Savannah Counterpoint Madrigal Singers, a community group that he organized in 1982. Under his direction, this group also performed at the Georgia State Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in 1986. From 1982 to 1987, Dr. Samuel served as organist and director of music at Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church in Savannah, Georgia. In 1986, he was invited to be the associate conductor of the United Methodist Festival Choir and led in performances of that group in New Zealand, Australia, and Hawaii. Dr. Samuel assumed leadership of the Valley Chamber Chorale in 1988. This ensemble was invited to perform at the Arizona Music Educators National Conference in 1991 and again in 1995, and at the Western Regional Convention of the American Guild of Organists in 1995. In April of 1996, they sang for the Central Arizona Chapter's national AGO Centennial Celebration of the World's Largest Organ Recital, with guest artist Joan Lippincott. Dr. Samuel's biographical-based dissertation, Warren Martin: Westminster Choir College's Professor of Music, received the 1998-99 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Council for Research in Music Education. It was also a finalist document in the American Choral Directors Association's distinguished Julius Herford Prize. Active as a choral clinician, Dr. Samuel has conducted workshops in Arizona, California, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. As a church organist and recitalist, he has performed variously throughout the United States, England, and Italy. His music tapes for the Maximal Learning System, Listen and Learn (1993) and Quick Break (1994) are published by Learning Consultants, Phoenix, Arizona; his choral and organ compositions are available through JSAX Publications. Dr. Samuel also serves as the Director of Music Ministries at Orangewood Presbyterian Church.

John Scott was born in 1956 in Yorkshire, England. He studied organ with Jonathan Bielby, Ralph Downes, and Dame Gillian Weir and made his debut in the 1977 Promenade Concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, playing Reubke's Sonata on the 94th Psalm. In 1974 he became Organ Scholar of St. John's College, Cambridge. On leaving Cambridge, he was appointed Assistant Organist at London's two Anglican Cathedrals—St. Paul's Cathedral and Southwark. In 1985 he became Sub-Organist of St. Paul's, and in 1990 was appointed Organist and Director of Music. His work there involved training and directing the choir and overseeing the Cathedral's busy music program. In recent years he was responsible for the music at a number of high-profile events, including the National Service of Thanksgiving for the Millennium, the services to mark the 100th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen Mother, and the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen. His career as a recitalist has taken him to five continents. In the summer of 2004, after a 26-year association with St. Paul's Cathedral, he took the post of Organist and Director of Music at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, where he directs the renowned choir of men and boys.

Sandra Soderlund is primarily an organist although she also performs on harpsichord and both modern and early piano. Dr. Soderlund holds degrees from Stanford University, the University of Southern California, and Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas. She is the editor of scholarly editions of keyboard works, including the Two-Part Inventions and Four Duets of J.S. Bach and the Livre d'Orgue of L.-N. Clérambault, as well as the author of articles on performance practices. Her book Organ Technique: An Historical Approach has been a standard text. The expansion of that book, entitled How Did They Play? How Did They Teach? A History of Keyboard Technique was recently released by Hinshaw Music. Soderlund is on the editorial board of the Early Keyboard Journal and teaches harpsichord and organ at Mills College in Oakland, California. She has performed throughout the US, in Holland, Germany, France, and Korea, and has recorded for Arkay and Albany Records.

Frederick Swann is the immediate past President (2002–2008) of the American Guild of Organists, and serves as Organist Emeritus of the Crystal Cathedral, and Organ Artist-in-Residence at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, California. One commentator noted that Mr. Swann has probably presided over more ranks of pipes and stopknobs than any other organist in history. This is probably true given the size and prominence of the instruments with which his career has been most notably associated…The Riverside Church in New York City (1957–1982), The Crystal Cathedral (1982–1998) and First Congregational Church of Los Angeles (1998–2001). During his tenure at the Crystal Cathedral Mr. Swann was widely regarded as the most visible organist in the world, as millions in every major city in more than 165 countries worldwide saw and heard him on the weekly televised services from the Cathedral. Mr. Swann holds degrees from Northwestern University and the School of Sacred Music at Union theological Seminary, each granted with distinction. In addition to his prominent church positions, he was for ten years Chair of the Organ Department at the Manhattan School of Music and served on the faculties of the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary as well as Teacher's College of Columbia University, New York City. In addition to solo recital presentations in major churches, cathedrals and concert halls in North America and abroad, Mr. Swann performs frequently with symphony orchestras and choral organizations.

James E. Thomashower is the executive director of the American Guild of Organists, a position he has held since January 1998. Overseeing a budget of $2 million and ten staff, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Guild's national headquarters in New York including cultivation and acquisition of major gifts and grants, the content of the Guild's web site, and providing support for the National Council, its committees, and task forces.
   Mr. Thomashower entered the field of association management in 1983 when he joined the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy as its manager of research and communications. He served as NASBA's executive director from 1988–1994, and then as Executive Vice President of the National Society of Accountants from 1995–1997 before joining the AGO at its chief executive in 1998. Mr. Thomashower has also served as president of the Federation of Associations of Regulatory Boards, chairman of the New York Sierra Club Photography Committee, and on the boards of directors of the National Music Council and the Cold Spring/Garrison Area Chamber of Commerce among other organizations. He currently serves as president of the Philipstown Reform Synagogue.
   Mr. Thomashower earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Columbia University in 1973, and was awarded the Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives in 2000. A resident of Garrison, NY, Mr. Thomashower and his wife, Penny Brickman, have a fourteen-year-old daughter, Sarah.

Gillian Weir – Britain's Dame Gillian Weir is one of the world's foremost musical artists. Her unique career as an internationally acclaimed concert organist, performing worldwide at the great festivals and with leading orchestras and conductors, has established her as a distinguished musician. She is known for her virtuosity, integrity and outstanding musicianship, which combined with a notable personal charisma, have placed her in the forefront of her profession and won her the admiration of audiences and critics alike. Her fame as a performer, which has stimulated numerous young players to follow her, is backed by her scholarly reputation; she is in constant demand as an adjudicator for the leading international competitions and as lecturer, broadcaster, teacher and writer, while her television appearances have reached large new audiences. Her repertoire is exceptional for its breadth and variety, stretching from the Renaissance to contemporary works; she has performed the complete organ works of Bach and others, as well as of Olivier Messiaen, and her pre-eminent position as Messiaen interpreter has been further underlined by her CD release of his complete organ works to great acclaim as well as by her contribution to Faber's The Messiaen Companion and other publications. Her series of six weekly recitals in Westminster Cathedral of Messiaen's organ works in 1998, the 90th anniversary of his birth, brought huge audiences and for her performances she was awarded The Evening Standard Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, the first organist to have been so honored. She has received a host of awards and honors worldwide, the most notable of which was presented in 1996 when she was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire, the first organist to receive this accolade. She had previously been awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in the Queen's Birthday Honors in 1989. Gillian Weir's six-part television series for the BBC in 1989 drew weekly audiences of two million in Britain, exceptional for an arts program, and has been repeated in many countries throughout the world.

Sue Vaughn Westendorf – a native of the Albany, New York area, Ms. Westendorf holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Organ Performance (with high distinction) from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Russell Saunders and a Master of Music from the University of Notre Dame where she was organist for the Chapel Choir and played regularly at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. She has studied organ at the Church Music Institute of the University of Erlangen, Germany, and the University of Illinois.
   Currently, she is Associate Director of Music at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Phoenix, where she is organist, bell choir director, and works with the Boy and Girl Choristers at the School. She is in demand as an accompanist and has performed with numerous groups in the Phoenix area and is currently the accompanist for Canto Vivo and Central High School.
   Sue and her husband, Craig, have two grown children and enjoy hiking and backpacking in the Southwest in their spare time.

Lew Williams – a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Lew Williams began playing the organ at age ten and started formal piano studies five years later. At Texas Christian University, he was a pupil of Emmet G. Smith. During this time he won several competitions in organ playing, gave numerous recitals, and graduated with the bachelor of music degree and performer's certificate. Williams went to the Conservatory of Music, Geneva, Switzerland for a year of post-graduate work, where he studied organ and improvisation with Pierre Segond. While there, he gave an organ recital at the Cathedral of St. Pierre in Geneva, which was recorded by Swiss National Radio. Upon his return to the United States, Lew Williams attended Southern Methodist University and earned the master of music degree with Dr. Robert T. Anderson. He also won the American Guild of Organist's regional competition and performed at their national convention the following year. In 1979 he began playing for the Organ Stop Pizza restaurants in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona. Currently he performs on the world's largest publicly-installed theatre organ, the IV/78 Wurlitzer pipe organ at Mesa's Organ Stop Pizza. In 1988, he was named Organist of the Year by the American Theatre Organ Society. Concert work has taken him around the USA many times. He has played seven concert tours of England, and in 1998 and 2003 he appeared in Australia's national theatre organ convention at Adelaide. In December 2000, he performed the first solo theatre organ concert in France by an American at the Atrium de Chaville in Paris, France, returning for a second engagement there in November of 2002.

Scott YoungsDirector of Music at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Phoenix, received his bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas, and his master's degree from the University of Hartford, with additional studies in France with Jean Langlais, and Theodore Paraschivescu, and in Switzerland with Guy Bovet. He has appeared as both pianist and organist throughout Europe, South America, and the United States. The choirs of All Saints' have appeared under his direction in England, Russia, Wales, Ireland, and Italy. They currently have six compact disks available ranging from Christmas selections, to Irish Ballads, to Gregorian Chant, and one DVD of their Italian tour. Scott also directs the Women's Chant Choir, as well as the Chorister Program at All Saints' Episcopal Day School (Boys Choir, Girls Choir). Scott is the founder and director of American Bach, a seven year series of the Bach cantatas which culminated this year with the St. Matthew Passion on Good Friday. American Bach now becomes the Phoenix Bach Festival and will take on a new mission in the community.