Brooklyn Boro

Faith In Brooklyn for July 23

July 23, 2015 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Our Lady of Refuge Church Brooklyn Eagle Photo by Francesca N. Tate

Brooklyn Churches Host 21 Young Musicians for Pipe Organ Encounter

Renowned Guest Artist Joyce Jones Will Play Our Lady of Refuge Church’s Recently-Restored Kilgen Organ

Twenty-one young organists (and future organists) will be coming to Brooklyn to spend a week studying and playing the pipe organ.

These young musicians, ages 13 to 18, will be arriving in the Borough of Churches from as far away as from Hawaii, California and Louisiana, as well as from the Eastern Seaboard — Delaware, Mary-land, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine and New York — on July 26 for Pipe Organ Encounter (POE), a week of intensive lessons and classes with a distinguished faculty.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

POE offers mutual benefits. It’s like music camp, giving aspiring young organists the opportunity to take part in an intensive week of performing, learning and mentoring. POE also offers the public the chance, in a concert setting, to hear and learn about this “King of Instruments” normally heard only by those attending religious services.

The Brooklyn POE will sponsor a guest artist concert by renowned organist Dr. Joyce Jones of Texas on Tuesday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Refuge Church.

This Roman Catholic parish and its Kilgen Organ, Opus 5163, gained international fame in recent years for its restoration and the fundraising campaign that attracted donors worldwide. A.R. Schopp’s Sons and Quimby Pipe Organs did the restoration work. Olivier Latry played the dedication recital in October 2013 and the parish has offered a recital series since then. The church (2020 Foster Ave.) sits at the corner of Ocean and Foster avenues in Ditmas Park/Midwood.

Dr. Jones has hosted and taught at more POE events than any other organist and has had a long, successful international career since making her debut many years ago at the Riverside Church in New York City. This concert will be her only New York appearance in 2015.

Known for her phenomenal pedal technique (she can be heard online in a video clip playing the solo line of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”), Dr. Jones has devoted her professional life to making friends for the organ, through community concerts, countless organ dedications, children’s concerts and orchestral appearances in 48 states and 12 foreign countries.

She has recorded seven CDs and has had 20 books of organ music and arrangements published. Her numerous engagements include such venues as the Riverside Church, the Mormon Tabernacle, Notre Dame Cathedral, Chartres Cathedral and the Meyerson Symphony Center.

Her professional life is also one of firsts: she was the first woman to perform on the organ at the Crystal Cathedral, the first organist to play for the Grand Teton Music Festival and the only female organist chosen to play with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra at the inauguration of the Ruffatti organ in Davies Symphony Hall.

Since retiring in August 2012 after 43 years as organist in residence at Baylor University, Dr. Jones has played concerts in California, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Rhode Island, New Mexico and Texas. She has also continued composing, with three new publications in the past year.

Her concert at Our Lady of Refuge is a benefit event for the Brooklyn POE. Advance tickets are available online at

Joining Dr. Jones as this year’s distinguished Brooklyn POE faculty members are: Alcee Chriss III, Gregory Eaton, Katelyn Emerson, David Hurd, Christopher Houlihan, Michael Kaminski, Renee Louprette, Marvin Mills, Paul Olson and Natasha Ulyanovsky. They will teach lessons and lead workshop classes.

The public is welcome at the five major events of the Brooklyn POE from July 26 to 31. Eaton, Houlihan and Olson will present the aforementioned Brooklyn POE Faculty Recital on Sunday, July 26, at 8:15 p.m. at Grace Church.

Organists Chriss, Emerson and Ulyanovsky will present another Brooklyn POE Faculty Recital at the recently restored Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, 856 Pacific St., between Vanderbilt and Underhill avenues in Prospect Heights. Their recital begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 27. Ulyanovsky was also a guest artist at an organ recital held this past spring at Plymouth Church.

The next POE Faculty Recital takes place at St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church, 325 Park Ave., near 51st Street in Manhattan, on Thursday, July 30, at 4 p.m. The artists are Hurd, Louprette and Mills.

The student participants of the 2015 Brooklyn POE then have the chance to present their recital on Friday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m. The host church is Flatbush-Tompkins Congregat-ional Church, 424 East 19th St. For more information, visit Brooklyn POE online at

POE is an educational program of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) with generous funding from the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America and the American Institute of Organbuilders. Since 1988, approximately 2,500 teenage musicians have been introduced to the “King of Instruments” through POE programs hosted by dozens of AGO chapters across the country. These four-to-five-day events immerse the students in the organ world, enabling them to experience the full range of the instrument in a variety of venues.

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Turkish Foreign Policy Expert to Speak on Impact of June Elections

Last month’s Turkish elections could have significant impact on the Middle East and America, says an expert in foreign relations for this region.

Dr. Mark Meirowitz will present a talk titled “After the June Turkish Elections: What to Expect for Turkey, Israel and America” next Tuesday at Congregation Mount Sinai.

Dr. Meirowitz is assistant professor of humanities at SUNY Maritime College. He serves on the advisory board of the American Turkish Council and is considered an expert, writing and lecturing on Turkish foreign policy, Turkish-Israeli relations, Turkish-U.S. relations and the Turkish Jewish community.

Some political background: In early June, President Erdogan’s Justice & Development Party, for the first time since 2002, lost its control of the Turkish Parliament. A governing coalition must now succeed in forming; otherwise, new elections will have to be called. Moreover, a secret meeting took place on June 22 between Turkish and Israeli diplomats, leading to speculation that diplomatic relations, broken after the Mavi Marmara incident, might be restored.

Dr. Meirowitz will provide an update on this situation and will discuss prospects for the future. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28. Suggested donation is $10 per person. Refreshments will be served.

RSVP is necessary; please call or email the synagogue office at 718-875-9124, or [email protected].

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Explore ‘Wisdom Jesus’ at St. Ann & Holy Trinity Church

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church and pastoral associate Matthew Leaycraft will present a three-session exploration of “The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind,” by noted author Cynthia Bourgeault.

Bourgeault is an Episcopal priest and well-known retreat leader. Her influential book “The Wisdom Jesus” offers a fresh exploration of the life and teaching of Jesus. Rather than an approach based on a belief system, or specific behaviors, Bourgeault invites the reader to consider Jesus and Christian practice as an eternal force for the transformation of consciousness at the deepest level of one’s interior being.

This material deserves a considered engagement, so it will be helpful to have read the material in advance.

Leaycraft will lead this discussion on Sundays, Aug. 9, 16 and 30, following the 11:15 a.m. worship and coffee hour. St. Ann’s is at the corner of Clinton and Montague streets in Brooklyn Heights.

The parish is also experimenting with a new time for its weekly Bible study and will be gathering on Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. in the church for a 45-minute exploration of a selected passage of scripture. All who can are welcome and encouraged to attend.




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