Guest Comments 2011
Once again, the cottage and chapel welcomed us and we were again able to relax, practice, and recharge for another season. After a very long and stress-filled Eastertide, it was nice to be away from the stress. The chapel organ continues to be an instrument capable of playing almost anything, and the comfort of the cottage was perfect for evening relaxation on the patio.
Blessings on Tim and all the board for continuing to keep this dream alive!
Thom Robertson, Alexandria, VA
How fortunate we are to be able to retreat to a place like this. My second visit and just as awesome as the first. The chapel - the cottage - the park and falls - the gorgeous countryside; I am leaving here refreshed and inspired. Many thanks to all who work to make this possible.
Suzanne Horton, Baton Rouge, LA
Thanks so much for providing this incredible place to respite and retreat! The beauty of the chapel is inspiring in itself - and the ability to practice, plan, read and relax uninterrupted is a real gift. Blessing on all who have made this possible, and continued success as you offer this retreat for so many of us.
Peter DuBois, Rochester, NY
What a week! Peaceful and refreshing. I've never played so much in so little time - and it was all good. I enjoyed every minute in the chapel, the cottage, the park. My heart is glad and sad at the same time as I prepare to leave this morning. Thanks to everyone who has made this week possible for me. I can hardly wait to come back.
Cynthia Baxter, Westminster, MD
It has been a delight to return a second time! This year, I targeted finishing pieces I had wanted to finish for years and I can say I met my goals! I did arrive concerned thinking I may have forgotten many items, however everything I forgot you had. Thank you for being so thoughtful! One of the highlights this year was performing an ogan demonstration on Noah's Ark for the families. The children were taking it in, but it seemed that the adults were benefiting more. This year I also took some time to relax in the chapel and read and compose a bit. My wife and I also shared in a hymn sing. All in all, I can say it has again been a refreshing week for both families and we can't wait to come back! Thank you for making this possible!
Robert & Miranda Morehead; Christy, Eric, Abigail, Rachel Birch, Pittsburg, PA
Thank you for providing such a restful and relaxing retreat! The cottage has everthing I could have ever needed ... even air conditioning (it was a hot week. It got to 100 degrees one day!). I love all the antiques and old photographs on the walls. The chapel is wonderful, such nice acoustics. Both instruments were actually in tune, which was amazing considering the heat. I loved the rocking chair and books in the corner to relax and take a break. Letchworth State Park was beautiful. Everything came together to create a wonderful place. Thank you!
Kevin McGill, Bowling Green, OH
The idea for this marvelous place was just the beginning - you have made certain that those fortunate to spend a week of retreat here have every little comfort. It is certainly wonderful to practice on such an enjoyable instrument, but Carlyle's Corner is also delightful with interesting reading material. I thoroughly enjoyed this week and all the opportunities for growth, both at the organ and in visiting the surrounding countryside.
Stephen G. Schaeffer, Birmingham, AL
I loved every moment of being here, and am grateful to all who have made this place possible.
Jim Garvey, Knoxville, TN
Thank you to all who made possible such a wonderful few days of organ practice and relaxation. It was a treat being able to learn new repertoire in such a peaceful and affirming environment. I particularly appreciated such attention to detail, for example, the metronome and pencils on the console, as well as Carlyle Corner. I also enjoyed the company of an affectionate grey cat, who sat with me on the porch at around 7 pm most evenings!
Jamie Hitel, Greenwich, CT
This is our third year in Portageville. As always, it was a wonderful week of music, rest, relaxation and sightseeing spent with our dear friends, Cindy and Al from Columbus, OH. Portageville always provides just "what the doctor ordered" - peace, quiet, meditation, music - which I so much needed this year. We are now ready to return to the "real world" and start a new season of church music. Thank you again for providing this most unique retreat for church musicians in the little village of Portageville.
Gary Raish, Tannersville, PA
Tied to the above paragraph, Cindy and I had a wonderful third year. She spent much time to rehearse difficult music for piano and euphonium. I was inspired to once again sketch out a new composition. We continue to venture further into the adjacent towns and countryside and, of course, spend time at our favorite spots in Letchworth State Park. This place continues to be a blessing in our lives. Thanks to the Creator for this beautiful land and for the board of The Portageville Chapel for their initiative in selecting this place for us to enjoy.
Al and Cindy Adcock, Columbus, OH
This was our third consecutive annual week at the Chapel. It continues to be a source of peace, retreat and inspiration. This first year was filled with feeling of "new kid on the block", getting used to and familiar with this place. Last summer, our second year, was spent preparing to record a piano/vocal album of standards and torch songs at the chapel. The wonderful Knabe grand paired with the terrific chapel acoustics made for an intense but rewarding week of recording.
This year, I spent some time at the chapel but was drawn to Letchworth for spiritual renewal from a different bench: my bicycle seat! To our friends (known and unknown) who visit the P'ville chapel:Enjoy the chapel, the organ (don't forget the piano!) and make sure you get out and look around! Western New York is BEAUTIFUL! And Letchworth is a GEM!
Bob Riday, Stroud Township, PA
My sister from Cleveland, OH and I, from Ocean City, NJ, come here because we thought we were better musicians 45 years ago than we are today. This week has helped us catch up a little, though I think Carnegie Hall will still have to wait a bit!
As everyone has said, the house is charming and the surrounds, particularly Letchworth State Park, are astoundingly beautiful. The chapel acoustics are great. If we could have had just one wish, it would have been for a piano in the house, so that the one not playing at the chapel could practice here (the pump organ is pretty, but less than effective on Bethoven Sonatas!) * Note: In 2012, we replaced the pump organ with a fine rehearsal piano so that guests can practice at the house or at the chapel.
We could have used a good map of the area but did find a charming town about an hour away. Pittsford has a lovely park where you can walk by the Erie Canal and shop at a collection of stores, some quite unique. We ate at Aladdin"s and had a fresh, delicious meal on the outside patio overlooking the canal.
Jeanne Blochwelder, Ocean City, NY, Lucille Parsier, Westlake, OH
Thank you for your vision and dedication that has brought this wonderful place into being. So many thoughtful choices have been made that I never doubted I would find whatever it was I needed at the moment - from sharp pencils to flower vases, candles and bandaides! I have long enjoyed taking quiet retreats every year to retreat houses and monasteries. This place with its proximity to Letchworth and lovely chapel to practice in with lovely instruments has gone to the top of the list!
Sue Ellen Echard, Lansdale, PA
Reflecting on the week at the chapel - beautiful pipe organ, unbelievable acoustics, neat windows with old glass, trees and flowers all around, grand piano!! Who couldn't forget the noise of the city and practice, practice. The cottage was so restful and quiet. The park, countryside, small towns show God's handiwork. There is no getting bored here! What a wonderful idea for organists. Thanks for all your hard work. Hope we can return.
Sharon and David Leyerle, Houston, Texas
A mountaintop experience. The pipe organ is thrilling! Beautiful cottage, nice place to reflect and read. Awesome experience. Thank you so much for the opportunity to come!
Shirley Ruth French, Erie, PA