top of page

Guest Comments 2019 Season

What a gift! Time for quiet, time for practice, time to fall in love with the piano again, time to learn anew. Words cannot describe how meaningful, how musical, how spiritual, how healing this time has been. The “Grand Canyon of the East” was truly breathtaking and worth the afternoon hike. Rochester for a Sunday visit to Christ Church, old friends, and the Italian organ at the Art Museum – heaven! If you happen to visit Rochester, hopefully Roux on Park Avenue is open. Some great repertoire now under my belt, thanks to this week: Durufle Requiem, Mendelssohn Sonata 1 and Searle Wright Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue. Not to mention that gorgeous piano! Thanks and Gratitude,

S. B. – Chicago, IL


My deepest gratitude to all of you who make this bit of heaven possible.

Words cannot express the thankfulness I feel to you all for making this week available for me. The beauty and magnificence of the marvelous area, the wonderful organ and piano, the heavenly chapel and the sweet cottage are all beyond belief. This week has been magical for me and I have made the best of every precious moment to practice, meditate, pray, relax, enjoy, create and experience the beauty and joy of this wonderful gift. What a joyous experience and I can’t say, “thank you” enough! I look forward to many more years here.

Blessings, peace, and love to you all!

J. P. University Christian Church, Ft. Worth, TX

Portageville 7.0! Very grateful for the opportunity to return once again. Thank you, Portageville Chapel!

I’m very proud of one of my students who just earned Eagle Scout. At his court of honor, in one of the speeches, someone said, “If you’re not failing, you’re not learning.” I grew a lot this week as a player, and I also used video to help me self-assess my playing I’m taking home ideas and sections that really need attention – the song goes on!

I enjoyed the park, encountered a dozen people on horseback on the Parade Ground road. Met very friendly folks at the Glen Iris and Middle Falls area and explored more of the Lower Falls trails. Plenty of sunshine despite the rain this week. Deo soli Gloria.

J. J. – Lincolnwood, IL

My thanks and gratitude to all those that make The Portageville Chapel organist retreat a reality. This week has been both very restful and productive, two qualities that can be quite difficult to achieve in a single vacation. The Shantz organ was a delight to practice on, and the acoustic of the chapel are superb. Letchworth is truly a treasure and being able to enjoy the beauty of the park between practice sessions make those sessions even more meaningful and beautiful. The proximity to Rochester also made it possible for me to attend Sunday services at both Sacred Heart Cathedral and Christ Church and take in their beautiful liturgy and landmark instruments. The cottage is a very comfortable space and is a far more welcome space than a hotel would have been. Again, thanks to all who make this possible and I hope to have the opportunity to return in a future summer. Grace and Peace,

K. G.– Victoria, TX

What a wonderful week, spent in company of family and mostly at the bench… for hours! This was all I was hoping for: A lovely, beautiful area for some refreshing time away, a welcoming, comfortable home for resting and disconnecting (or reconnecting), the exquisite chapel with its magical windows and perfect acoustics, and especially the delightful organ, warm, bright, honest and so rewarding to play.

Thank you for all the work that the Portageville Chapel team put into this project – the thoughtfulness of the details and the joy that went into the making of this retreat permeate the experience.

This was entirely what I was hoping for, and desperately needed. Thank you!

P.S. Thank you for NOT putting a clock in the chapel.

O.J. – Bear, Delaware

July 3 – 9

This is my fourth time in Portageville, and I enjoy it even more each year. I learned a Guilmant sonata, two new Bach preludes and fugues, and composed two pieces. The organ is so beautiful and gentle – I could play it all day. What a perfect instrument for the space. I enjoyed the ancient issues of the Diapason – from the library during my break. We had fun exploring around the countryside, particularly the Fourth of July at Genesee Country Village! There are always new sites to see. The cottage is sweet and very hospitable, as always. Can’t wait until next year.

B. K. – Dallas, TX

My 5th time here, albeit with a three-year hiatus (family, funerals, and weddings prevented me in 2017 and 2018). It is wonderful to be back! The piano in the Chapel sounds better than ever. Lots of work on service music – which a burn through during a school year (7-days a week, two services minimum). Bless you to everyone during your time here!

J. N. – Seton Hall University, S. Orange, NJ

This has been our sixth visit! Another great week of practicing, planning (three programs), selecting music for worship and sight-reading five volumes of music! A lot accomplished for the challenges ahead. Our daughter, son-in-law and twin grandchildren stayed with us this year. This is a second visit for them. Thank you for all the support in making our stay enjoyable. We took our grandsons to Niagara Falls!

B. D. – Cheraw, S. C.

My love for this place grows stronger with each visit. This annual pilgrimage continues to be the highlight of my year. It is a introvert’s dream come true! Until next time,










Learning Leisure


J. J. – Asheville, NC

We have once again thoroughly enjoyed our week here at Portageville Chapel! This year was one of rejuvenation, rediscovery, and reflection. We were rejuvenated by the beautiful nature and quiet and had time to rest and play games, even some arcade games at Charcoal Corral. I rediscovered the joy of hymn improvisation, learning some new ideas from Jan Bender and Michele Johns. I found a new composer yet again – Thomas Arne. I also took a good amount of time reflecting on the last music year at church and preparing for the next – Carlyle corner helped with that! On top of this, I learned all the notes for Bach’s D. Dorian Fugue and the Peeters Suite Modale. With two trips to the Hole in the Wall, a quick step to the waterfalls and an all-day yard sale in Nunda, the week was yet again one not to forget! In fact, both of my children have been here every year of their lives and music is a major part of each day for them. Thanks to all who make this possible! This being our 10th year, we look forward to returning!

Morehead family – Pittsburgh, PA and Fairfax, VA

Tour 2008-59.jpg
bottom of page