The Portageville Chapel Board of Directors
Timothy Smith, Executive Director, earned degrees in organ performance from Wheaton College, Northwestern University and The Boston Conservatory. His concert career has included a dozen appearances at annual conventions of the Organ Historical Society, several which have been rebroadcast nationally on Pipedreams, and two appearances with The Boston Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa. He has released three compact discs on the Raven label, including a program of French music entitled Pipes and Angels, recorded in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
As a church musician, Tim has led both volunteer and professional choirs and has conducted numerous works for choral and orchestra. A skilled organ builder, Tim is also the owner of Chesapeake Organ Service, serving churches in Maryland, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
Mr. Smith spent his early years in Wyoming County, New York, beginning formal organ study with Charles Finney, professor at Houghton College and continuing with Squire Haskin, organist of the Buffalo Philharmonic. Letchworth State Park was a favorite “go-to” in those days, and Tim continued to return to the area. He first noticed the Portageville church building in 1996, and sensed that Portageville would be an ideal artists’ getaway.
Helen Smith, President, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, attended Denison University ( Granville, Ohio), and graduated from Cornell University New York Hospital School of Nursing. She worked 30 years as an R.N. in various capacities in locales from Massachusetts to California. An avid music lover, she sang with Robert Shaw in the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus for 2 seasons. She married Rev. Carlyle A. Smith in 1969, and, in addition to thirty years of parish ministry together, they owned and operated a motel on Cape Cod for 3 seasons.
John Novak, Treasurer, is the School Business Official at Letchworth Central School and also serves as Organist and Director of Music at University Presbyterian Church, Buffalo.
John holds degrees from Binghamton University (M. Mus. in Organ Performance), the University at Buffalo (M, Ed. in Educational Leadership) and Houghton College
(B. Mus. in Music Education). He is very involved in music organizations in Western NY, serving as president of the Genesee Valley School Music Association, Dean of the Buffalo Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), and Western New York District Convener of the AGO.
An accomplished music educator, John served as the middle and high school choral director and general music teacher at Letchworth for over 10 years before moving into school administration.
Barbara Hunt, Secretary, a native of Detroit, studied organ at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio, and served as an organist/choir director for over 20 years. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in Education and taught in the Columbus, Ohio Public Schools for 31 years.
Barbara is an active member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Dublin, Ohio where she serves on Church Council and sings in the choir.
Dr. Judy Congdon is Adjunct Professor of Organ at Houghton College (just about 15 miles south of Portageville). She holds degrees in organ from Eastman School of Music, the University of Colorado, Wheaton College, and the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt, Germany, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.
An active performer and church musician, Judy served as presenter, recitalist, and service organist at the January 2006 Calvin Symposium on Worship, and she is featured on a 2005 CD release entitled With Heart and Hands and Voices: Hymns and Chorales for Organ.
Edla Ann Bloom recently retired from The Leo Sowerby Foundation where she served as Treasurer. Her distinguished career included: Former and only female Chairman of the Board of Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (a $3 billion corporation); Senior Vice President of Retail Banking in a large New England Bank; Director of Electric Service of a municipal electric company in Central Massachusetts; and former Executive Director of the most comprehensive AIDS Service Organization in New England.
Her civic accomplishments include Directorships with Montachusett Girl Scout Council, Worcester Community Housing Resources, America Red Cross of Central Massachusetts, Holden ( Mass.) Chamber of Commerce. She was honored by Governor William F. Weld when July 9, 1997, was declared Edla Ann Bloom Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Randolph R. Bloom was a public middle school language arts teacher in Holden, Massachusetts for 35 years. He holds a BA in English and an MA in Education.
As a musician, he served as the minister of music at Pakachoag Church in Auburn, MA. and is currently the minister of music at Trinity Episcopal Church in Milford, MA.
Randy's interests include travel, architecture, antiques, and gardening. Together, Randy and Edla Bloom own an 1850’s home in the Crown Hill historic district of Worcester, where they actively support historic preservation and community action.