Upcoming Performances

May 13, 5:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, First Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, N.C.

June 10
Guest recitalist, Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rochester, Minn.

September 23, 4:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, Schantz organ 40th anniversary, Culpeper Baptist Church, Culpeper, Va.

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The Summer from "______"?

On May 18, I served on a judging panel for a collection of winning compositions to be included in a souvenir book for the American Guild of Organists Region IV convention next summer in Greensboro. Colleague Florence Jowers and publisher Wayne Leupold and I had to narrow the field from 60-something pieces to 10-something. Congratulations to those winners, but I’m still exhausted.

May 26 was the Semifinal Round of the AGO National Young Artists Competition, held in Winnetka, Ill. This event was a complete triumph, and the young folks who played there give us old timers hope for the future. For details when they are ready to be posted, visit and click on the NYACOP tab.

May 30, I “subbed” for David Arcus at the Duke Chapel. This was a “Hey, Joby can play” sort of thing. I was planning to accompany the guest choir, whose conductor is an old classmate of mine. David Arcus was planning to be away that day anyway, and so I became the designated driver in his absence for the entire service. A special place, that Chapel. A great day of service playing and vigorous congregational singing. Thanks, David.

All spring and part of the summer, I consulted First Presbyterian Church in Boone on choosing a new organ builder. The church has worked very hard to educate themselves on pipe organs and worship spaces, and they are building a nice building, into which a nice new organ will now go. Congratulations to Gawthrop Organworks for the contract, and congratulations to the church for hard work that will surely pay off.

June 13-18 was the AGO Region IV Pipe Organ Encounter (POE), held in Columbia, SC. I served on the faculty and taught two extremely energetic and bright teenagers. And of course, the fellowship among colleagues during those events is not to be missed.

June 21-23, I represented the ASU Hayes School of Music at a fundraising seminar for would-be “All-Steinway schools,” hosted by and held at Steinway & Sons headquarters in Queens, NY. The factory is a phenomenon, every bit as fascinating as an organ shop!

Well, there is church, and there is “Church.” Although I enjoy my church, I experienced my annual “Church” this year on June 20, June 27, and July 18. Every summer, I play for a few Sunday services in Anderson Auditorium at the Montreat Conference Center. Sunday worship is held there during the summers for anyone who wants to attend – which includes literally hundreds of Presbyterian retirees, their families, seasonal residents, and summer conferees. The Sunday crowds are huge, and they know their way around a hymnal! And after church, there is a huge buffet spread before us up at the Inn. Without fail, one leaves Montreat refreshed in body and spirit. I’m now ready to take on the Fall semester.

July 5-8, I attended and “worked” the American Guild of Organists convention in Washington, DC. As usual, the Guild served up the typical great recitals, workshops, and exhibits, the hotel served up the usual libations and comfortable air conditioning, many friends served up their cherished friendships, and the city of Washington served up its usual enchantment. And I rotated off my service on the National Young Artists Competition committee. A relief, yes, but some other projects now have my attention!

I just finished a set of letters to local organists and funeral homes, outlining a new procedure for getting paid properly and timely for funerals. There has been some confusion in the past in this area, which we hope is now cleared up. I certainly cannot and will not take credit for the ideas – those came from Bob Jones, president of George H. Lewis & Sons funeral directors in Houston. Years ago, he decided that funeral organists needed to be paid regularly and handsomely, and so he started bringing a check to each funeral and charging that fee back to the family. God bless him and his colleagues, every one!

July 26 through August 7, I’ll be scouting out organs in Texas for some recording projects. There are lots of beautiful new pipes down there! I’ll also be subbing at my old stomping ground of First Presbyterian in Houston. Playing a beautiful Harrison Aeolian-Skinner is always a nice way for me to enjoy a vacation. Thanks, Rhonda Furr, for continuing to invite me down each year.

July 30-August 1, I’ll be serving on a steering committee for a new competition to be established on a house organ in Houston. Stay tuned.

August 15-21, my summer will end with a bang. My sister has asked for a guided tour of New York City. I am all too happy to oblige!

August 24, there’s this little thing called Classes that will begin.