AGO Pipe Organ Encounters With the King of Instruments Provide Opportunities for Education and Fellowship

Nine Summer Educational Programs for Teenagers and Adults Announced by the AGO with Generous Funding Provided by the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America and the American Institute of Organbuilders

The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is proud to announce five Pipe Organ Encounters (POEs) and one POE (Advanced) for students aged 13–18; one POE (Technical) for students aged 16–23; and two POE+ programs for adult students in 2014. Generous funding from the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America (APOBA) and the American Institute of Organbuilders (AIO) will support the summer programs, which will be held from coast to coast. Complete contact information for each Pipe Organ Encounter can be found in THE AMERICAN ORGANIST Magazine and on the AGO website. The summer schedule follows:

POE for ages 13–18

June 8–13 Fort Collins, Colo.
June 9–14 Indianapolis, Ind.
June 29–July 4 Wilmington, Del.
July 7–11 Manhattan, Kans.
July 13–18 Easton, Mass.

POE (Advanced) for ages 13–18

June 29–July 4 Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The AGO and APOBA have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship since 1975,” declared AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “Likewise, the AIO has been active in supporting the Guild’s educational programs, beginning with their partnership in Pulling Out All the Stops, a video produced jointly by the AGO, AIO, APOBA, the Organ Historical Society, and the American Theater Organ Society in 1996. Collectively, APOBA and the AIO have contributed more than $446,000 in support of the AGO’s educational programs during our long association. For their ongoing, committed generosity in supporting the Guild’s mission—to enrich lives through organ and choral music—we are extremely grateful.”

The PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTER (POE) is an introduction to the pipe organ through instruction in organ playing, repertoire, history, design, and construction. These regional summer organ music institutes for teenage students provide private and group instruction in service playing and solo repertoire, opportunities to learn about the musical heritage of various religious denominations, and a chance for young musicians to meet others with similar interests. Basic keyboard proficiency is required, although previous organ study is not necessary. The POE (Advanced) provides intermediate to advanced classes in areas such as organ literature, history, pipe organ construction and design, music theory, improvisation, conducting, and service playing for students who have achieved a high level of success in organ study. The POE (Technical) is a program designed for students who are interested in learning the art and craft of organ building. Scholarship assistance is available. The POE+ is a summer program filled with practical information and instruction for adult keyboard musicians interested in improving their service playing skills. Participants will be introduced to basic organ skills through private instruction and classes. The weeklong experience will lead to greater confidence and competence at the organ.

POE site locations are selected by the AGO Committee on the New Organist and approved by the AGO National Council after application by AGO host chapters. The deadline for applications to host 2015 POE and POE+ programs is March 15, 2014. Applications are available from AGO National Headquarters. Partial program funding is provided to AGO host chapters.

The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. Founded in 1896 as both an educational and service organization, it sets and maintains high musical standards and promotes the understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music. The purpose of the AGO is to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members. The Guild currently serves approximately 20,000 members in more than 300 local chapters throughout the United States and abroad. The American Organist Magazine, the official journal of the AGO and the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, reaches an audience of more than 24,000 each month.