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Guest Comments 2017 


Thanks for a wonderful stay in a thoughtfully appointed home.

MD-Brooklyn, NY


Thank you – a great and productive week! Park is gorgeous!

BP-Locust Valley, NY

My 3rd visit to Portageville and it did not disappoint. Refreshed, new organ pieces learned, as well as revisiting former works, and a rough sketch of next choir season. I took time to explore some parts of the area I had not seen before. Profound gratitude to the Portageville Chapel Board for making this wonderful retreat available – life in the church is exhausting. Already, I am looking forward to next year!

JR - Shaker Hts, OH

My second visit was as wonderful as my first! Unseasonably cool weather, a great organ, ice cream at Citgo, and a balloon ride at Letchworth. I cannot wait to return!

BK - Dallas, TX

This was my 5th visit to the Portageville Chapel. Thanks so much for making this experience possible. It is one of the highlights of my year! Interesting things this year: be careful of deer crossing the roads – I’ve seen several on 19A and the road to Castile entrance.

I drove to Angelica on Sunday afternoon. Had ice cream at a new restaurant, The Cantina, and bought a few gifts. Drove there on Short Tract Road and saw three Amish buggies. Returned on 19 and drove through the small towns back up to Portageville. The radio station 91.5 was playing Bach’s Magnificat and I arrived back at Portageville to a chorus of trumpets and the American flag banners lining the road.

On one of the weekend nights someone in town set off a spectacular fireworks display. The view from East Koy Road was great!

I used the Brita water container in the fridge a lot (new?). Nice touch!

Suggestion – can the cottage phone be located next to a chair? (we’ve changed the phone to one with two remote handsets).Thank you so much and I hope to return next year!!!

P.S. I found a small bust of Bach in a store in Angelica – he’s on the big table in the chapel – a little gift!

JJ- Lincolnwood, IL

I heard about the Portageville Chapel from Dallas organist and friend, Benjamin Kolodziej. He was here for a second time two weeks ago and highly recommended it. This was a very worthwhile place for a “working” vacation, since I came from 100-degree heat and one month with no rain in San Antonio, TX. The three-day drive across seven states (TX, AR, TN, KY, OH, PA, NY) was actually nice, because I bought a new car three weeks ago. My son came with me and thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

The chapel has a beautiful acoustic and very nice instruments – well maintained and in tune! I brought lots of organ and piano music and reacquainted myself with many beautiful pieces of organ and piano music I “used to play”. Hopefully I will use them in worship and concerts this coming year.

Thanks for the information book. We enjoyed visiting the Silver Lake Drive-in Theater, the Glen Iris Inn, Hidden Forest Adventures, and Warsaw Fest. The scenery and surrounding area are gorgeous. The cottage is charming and cozy. We enjoyed the Bose radio and the DVD collection.

Thanks for your hospitality, Tim and Helen Smith and the entire board. I’d love to come back.

SS – San Antonio, TX

Our 8th year here at Portageville Chapel has been a blessing – thank you to everyone who makes it happen! This year I decided to learn one larger work and it feels great to add Vierne’s “Final” from Symphony No. 1 to my repertoire! I also really enjoyed the library at the chapel – I will take some new warm-up ideas home for my choir.

This year singing hymns in the chapel with my family was a true highlight of the week in addition to working on Baroque recorder sonatas with my dad back at the cottage on the piano. My son also sang grace one night before our dinner with my accompanying him on piano! My daughter crawling around while practicing also added excitement to the week – this also made sure that I really learned what I was practicing! Further refreshment for us was found at “Hole in the Wall” (baby back ribs!); the Perry Library (really an interesting place) and the Finders Keepers Thrift Shop in Mt. Morris. We leave refreshed and can’t wait to return.

P.S. This year the hiking around the lower falls at Letchworth was breathtaking!

RM – Fairfax, VA and JM – Pittsburgh, PA

My second time back to Portageville (first in 2011) was as memorable, if not more so than the first, as there were three of us and the company and comradery increased. As before, an inspirational as well as comfortable week of practice and fun evenings at dinner.

SS– Birmingham, AL

After reading about Portageville Chapel in the AGO magazine many years ago, it’s so exciting to be able to come here! The practice time and space were great! Next time I visit, I’m going to see if I can find out something about the long-ago relative from Nunda!

PL – Chicago, IL

My first such retreat. I enjoyed getting to know the area a bit. The home and proximity to the chapel reminded me of my childhood having served as the local parish organist (1932 Casavant 2 manual) since age of 11. I hope to return annually. Thank you, Tim, Helen, et al for making this unique experience come to life. Bless you all!


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