Remembering! November 5, 2021

The Office of the Chapain
Presents Organ Concert Series 

Virtual Recital Featuring Sondra Goldsmith Proctor, Musician-in-Residence
November 5, 2021
Recorded in Gunnison Memorial Chapel
James Wildman, recording engineer

Prière, Opus 37, No. 3     Joseph-Marie-Alphonse-Nicolas Jongen (1873-1953) 

My Dancing Day     Ralph B. Hastings (b. 1947) 

Prelude on Two American Folk Hymns     Ralph B. Hastings

Toccata on ‘Kingsfold’     Ralph B. Hastings

Cantilène     Henri Constant Gabriel Pierné (1863-1937)

Semper Fidelis     John Philip Sousa (1854-1932)
     Transcribed and edited by Maurizio Machella

Remembering! is played in memory of all those the United States of America lost in World Wars I and II, the many military actions after 1945, and those lost striving for equality in our nation.

Marie-Alphonse-Joseph Jongen was a Belgian organist, composer and music educator. He is considered one of the most renowned composers in modern Belgium for his style and technique. ‘Prière’ is one of four movements of Jongen’s Opus 37 with a tempo marking of ‘calme’.

Retired from the music faculty of Malone Central School, Ralph B. Hastings taught vocal and general music at the Middle School for thirty-four years and was organist and choir director for forty-seven years at Malone’s First Baptist Church. He also had a private studio for twenty-five years where he taught piano, organ, and voice. For ten years, he conducted the Malone Municipal Band, a summer program for the community and surrounding areas. 

He received degrees from Onondaga Community College, Syracuse (A.A.S.), and the Crane School of Music (B.S., M.S., M.M.) in Music Education and Music History and Literature. Majoring in voice, he also studied organ with James Autenrith, and composition with Arthur Frackenpohl and Elliott DelBorgo.

A member of ASCAP, Hastings has published choral and organ compositions with Alfred Publishing, Abingdon Press, and Wayne Leupold Editions. Additionally, his organ work (‘Prelude on Two American Folk Hymns’) was performed and recorded by San Francisco organist, James Warren, at England’s Salisbury Cathedral.

Ralph is a member of the St. Lawrence River Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, serving ten years as Dean; SUNY Potsdam Chapter of Phi Mu Lambda, American Academy of Distinguished Graduate Students, Crane Alumni Association, Board of Trustees, serving nine years as President. Previously, he has been named to ‘Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges’, ‘Who’s Who in America’, ‘Who’s Who in American Education’, and ‘Leading Professionals of the World, 2010’.

Completing sixty-one years as a church organist, Ralph is presently organist at St. Andrew’s Church, Norwood; St. Patrick’s Church, Colton; and at St. Mary’s Church, Potsdam.

‘My Dancing Day’ is based on ‘Simple Gifts’, a Shaker melody, and ‘Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day’ is an English carol that is thought to be associated with a mystery play of the late Medieval period. The tunes are first heard as solos then appear together in the closing. Joy permeates the composition.

‘Prelude on Two American Folk Hymns’ combines themes from ‘Beach Spring’ and ‘Amazing Grace’. After a short introduction, the theme of ‘Beach Spring’ enters. ‘Beach Spring’ comes from The Sacred Harp hymnal of 1844.  The first line is ‘God, whose giving knows no ending..’. ‘Amazing Grace’ is a familiar folk melody today as it is used in both sacred services and secular observances. You will hear the melodies in both the treble voice, the tenor voice of the organ, and in a canon with the treble voice and pedals.

‘Toccata on ‘’Kingsfold,”’ explores the rhythmic possibilities of an English Country Song first seen in print in 1893. The toccata form is free and expansive with large dynamic changes. The hymn set to Kingsfold was arranged and harmonized by the British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1906. During the Christmas season we hear ‘O Sing a Song of Bethlehem’ using Vaughan Williams’ setting.

Henri Constant Gabriel Pierné was a French composer, conductor, pianist and organist. He has been called the most complete French musician of the late Romantic and early twentieth century era. In his music he combines the seriousness of purpose acquired by his study with César Franck and a more popular flavor reminiscent of Jules Massenet. Pierné succeeded Franck at St. Clotilde cathedral in Paris for eight years, then began to concentrate on composing and conducting. ‘Cantilène’ is from Trois Pièces pour orgue, opus 29. The beautiful melody of this movement is accompanied by flowing chords.

‘Semper Fidelis’ by John Philip Sousa, transcribed and edited by Maurizio Machella is a rousing conclusion to this period of ‘Remembering!’ Machella is an Italian publisher, researcher and organist.

Let us always Remember those who have given so much.

Thank you for viewing this concert. In December, a concert will be posted with Ad Hoc Singers and Sondra Goldsmith Proctor celebrating Music of Christmas. We look forward to joining together in person very soon.