AGO National Conference on Organ Pedagogy to be Presented in Cooperation With Eastman School of Music

The American Guild of Organists (AGO) and the Eastman School of Music are partnering to produce the 16th biennial AGO National Conference on Organ Pedagogy, November 10–13, 2011, in Rochester, N.Y. The conference, designed in cooperation between the AGO Committee on Continuing Professional Education and the 10th annual Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI) Festival, will present the topic of organ improvisation through a variety of compositional techniques and styles. Complete information, including online registration, is available at www.esm.rochester.edu/eroi. Early registration discounts are available through August 15.

“The goal of the AGO’s pedagogy conferences is to address various topics and issues pertaining to organ instruction in North America,” declared David Heller, director of the AGO Committee on Continuing Professional Education. “The City of Rochester and the Eastman School of Music, with its multiplicity of instruments and performing venues, will provide a superb setting in which to address the topic of improvisation from many different angles, providing information and resources that will be useful to all instructors of the organ at all levels of instruction.”

The four-day conference will present master classes featuring students at a variety of levels, panel discussions addressing the teaching of improvisation, and sessions that will provide attendees with resource material in the pedagogy of improvisation. The keynote address, Why Is Improvisation So Difficult?, will be given by Eastman faculty member William Porter.

A distinguished faculty of internationally renowned organists and teachers working in the discipline of organ improvisation will include Jeffrey Brillhart (Yale University), Tony Caramia (Eastman), Sophie-Veronique Cauchefer-Choplin (Royal College of Music, London), Hans Davidsson (Eastman), Michael Dodds (University of North Carolina School of the Arts), Gerre Hancock (Butler School of Music, University of Texas), David Higgs (Eastman), Denise Lanning (Denver Chapter, AGO), Rudolf Lutz (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis), William Marvin (Eastman), Bruce Neswick (Indiana University), David Peckham (Horseheads United Methodist Church, Horseheads, N.Y.), McNeil Robinson (Manhattan School of Music), Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (author of Bach and the Art of Improvisation), John R. Shannon (Sweet Briar College), and Daniel Zager (Eastman).

For further information, please contact please contact EROI Festival Coordinator Annie Laver at 585-274-1564 or e-mail anne.laver@rochester.edu.