Guest Comments 2010
The trumpets have arrived in time for spring. Newly placed in the chapel, they are singing beautifully! This is our first spring visit to Portageville and lovely to see all the new flowers popping up everywhere. The heavy rains last week have given the Letchworth falls a spectacular show: the mist greets you from the parking lot. Tonight is dinner at the Glen Iris Inn and home in the early A.M. Thank you!
Barbara and Michael Herzog, Columbus
Thank you for a wonderful few days of music, singing and food. A beautiful place for relaxation.
Christine Bloom, Cape Cod, MA
How can you write words to describe the magic of this place? Having access to an organ without interruption and the peace of the cottage is cheaper than therapy and twice as effective! The beauty of the park - in all kinds of weather - also serves to revive both body and soul. Friends joined me for the weekend, and we were able to really enjoy all the cottage offers. All the information and suggestions in the notebook proved very helpful, and between concentrated practice sessions we explored the area.
Thanks go to Tim, Helen, and all the chapel board for having the vision and will to create this gift to musicians!
Thom Robertson, Alexandria, Virginia
Whether you come for a day or a week, the peace and tranquility affords you such a rest from the rigors of your regular routine that you know that you will, someday, return. What a joy to have undisturbed, uninterrupted practice time on the organ. The atmosphere of the cottage is cozy, comfortable and welcoming. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to experience this wonderful place.
Suzanne and Jim Horton, Baton Rouge, LA
My husband and I traveled here not knowing what to expect. We were simply hoping to find peace and quiet in which to concentrate on our music. Upon arrival, we were completely won over by the charm of this lovely cottage. How very relaxing and cozy it is! We could not wait to begin and immediately went down to the chapel. The instruments are superb! We laughed at ourselves as we each vied for more time on our respective instruments. The rich tones of the piano as well as the live acoustics combined to make my practice time a real joy. My husband also thoroughly enjoyed the pipe organ - what a treat! And I appreciated the comfy corner set up for reading so that I could listen to him practice. We were surprised again and again by all the thoughtful details that were put in place here. Thank you for putting this vision into reality!
Robert Edwards and Jennifer Kauffmann, Martinsburg, WV
The chapel provided me with practice and inspiration while the park was a very different place of experiencing the grandeur of nature. We are grateful for the opportunity and hope to have it on another occasion. - Richard Bumburg, Boston, MA and Matthew Perry, Spencer, MA
Thank you for providing this quiet repose for creativity and inspiration. It has been a wonderful week - much "wood" shedding" has been accomplished. Now I am well ahead musically and can concentrate on non-musical aspects of my ministry for a while - very important. May the handiwork you have created here prosper among many for years to come. - Michael Grabe, Dallas, TX
Another great week of rehearsing, relaxing, reading and resting! Come to South Carolina and play the Gabriel Kneg organ at FPC Cheraw!
Barbara Dickson, Cheraw, SC
Thank you for such a wonderful productive week. It was such a pleasure (and luxury) to have so much time and opportunity to prepare for the fall and winter. As a new organist, this gave me a rare gift to advance towards my goal of being a good organist. I will be back!
Lori Murray, Bloomington, MN
Thanks so much for providing this wonderful opportunity to rest and to recharge the batteries. Once again, our whole family enjoyed the piano and organ practice and the serenity of the chapel. To be surrounded by such beauty is refreshing, and this year, watching the birds in the garden as they fed their young was fascinating! We are already looking forward to next year!
Pinkerton family, Pittsburgh, PA
I came to Portageville with six girlfriends for our annual travel adventure. Since I celebrated my 50th birthday this summer, I was granted the privilege of choosing our destination. Having read about the chapel in American Organist Magazine, I suspected that it would be the perfect spot: a quiet and private setting in which to play just for the joy of it; to re-connect with the instrument I have largely ignored for the past year; and to remember why it is that I play. My friends knew very little about pipe organs and most had never heard me play (as I am relatively new to the instrument). Nearby towns have more than satisfied my girlfriends' shopping needs, and the natural beauty of the park was greatly appreciated. We loved the patio garden and the neighbor's cat! All in all, a refreshing and renewing week.
Kathy Elich, Blacksburg, VA
What a wonderfully equipped, charming, relaxing place. The organ is beautiful. The acoustics in the chapel are fabulous. The flute and piano and flute and organ pieces we did sounded heavenly. I think our singing sounded great too! We enjoyed hiking in Letchworth, visiting local towns and restaurant, and the frozen custard at Keith's is a must! We all had a relaxing week. Hope to come back some day. - Averall Tinker, Lebanon, NH, Sal, St. Ignace, MI, and Mary, Elyria, OH
This was our second stay at Portageville Chapel. and another wonderful week it was indeed! This year we discovered the Citgo gas station's delicious ice cream and also the good food at Letchworth Pines. and even a few games of bowling! The main focus was to do a vocal and piano recording which was very successful in the chapel's wonderful acoustics. As usual, the organ was in perfect condition and we got some much needed practice time and pleasure time on both instruments. The cottage, Letchworth State Park and surrounding villages provided sightseeing, recreation and much needed rest and relaxation amongst friends. We are looking forward to returning next year.
Gary Raish, Tannersville, PA
Too often those who dare to dream allow practicality, or small mindedness, or cautious, well- meaning people to prohibit or discourage a grand creative idea. I am grateful that those who dared to dream The Portageville Chapel did not waver from that dream - which is now a marvelous reality! The retreat from our everyday demands is a mandate for those of us who continually give through our gifts of music. Portageville encourages us to rest in the beauty of nature, and to refresh our souls at the organ or piano keyboards; or to simply absorb the spiritual ambience of the chapel itself. Thank you for following through with that initial dream, and for opening the opportunity to share it with us. I am profoundly grateful.
Cindy Adcock, Columbus, OH
A perspective from "the other bench": Thank you for providing a piano with such spirit and soul. The chapel presents itself as being centered around the organ as perhaps it should. The grand old 1915 Knabe allowed and encouraged me to find spirit and soul within myself and my playing that I have been searching for. Thank you for providing a magnificent organ AND a piano that invites one to become a part of it.
Bob Riday, Tannersville, PA
In addition to all of the other marvelous attributes of this experience, and despite my being a grandfather myself, coming here to the cottage seems like making a trip to "grammi's" house in the summer.
Al Adcock, Columbus, OH
Second time around! Last year we came by car and could bring some of our food and a case of music. This year we flew to Buffalo, rented a car, drove to Cooperstown where we participated in an Elderhostel at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival. We saw four operas in three days: Tosca (Puccini), Tolomeo (Handel) The Tender Land (Copeland) and The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart). The speakers were outstanding and really enlightened us regarding opera. We then visited Watkins Glen on our way to Portageville. We walked 1 ½ miles in the Gorge and climbed 800+ steps. We saw 19 waterfalls. We enjoyed so much the cottage, the chapel (organ and piano) and the park. We are grateful for Tim's vision and all who have supported him in providing this wonderful organist's retreat. We like the quotation on one of the cottage's walls: "Make time for the quiet moments as God whispers and the world is loud."
Doug and Lois Potter, Albertville, MN
Another lovely week and about ten new preludes/postludes to play! The quiet and solitude of the first four days were as pleasant and restorative as were the next three graced by the company of Tim and Helen. Thank you for another productive week and the chance to show myself what I can accomplish when circumstances are ideal!
Andrew Gordon, Boston, MA
This was a wonderful week of refreshment! Thank you for this opportunity! Having a chance to recharge spiritually and relax and practice all at the same time was a winning formula! I particularly enjoyed the "silence" of the chapel and the uninterrupted practice time. I discovered I can learn a piece in 1/3 of the time it would take normally. It was also musically exciting to experience the Baroque counterpoint in the chapel - what an amazing sound! Thank you for keeping the instruments in condition and thinking of practically everything we needed in the cottage! We appreciate your kindness! The week, in addition to practicing, was even better as we shared moments with friends and took advantage of Letchworth State Park and all the beauty it beholds. We look forward to returning again.
Robert and Mirenda Morehead, Pittsburgh, PA