NEW INDEPENDENT MEMBERSHIP CATEGORY
OF THE AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS
GROWS IN POPULARITY
More than 60 individuals have joined the Guild as independent members since the category was created in 2002.
NEW YORK CITY The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has introduced a successful new category of membershipINDEPENDENT MEMBERthat allows individuals to become voting members of the AGO and to receive all national membership benefits without joining a local chapter. For the 2003 membership year, dues are $75 for a regular independent membership, and $25 for students.
Independent members receive full membership benefits, including eligibility for all health and insurance plans offered through the AGO, national election voting privileges, a subscription to THE AMERICAN ORGANIST Magazine, and discounts on AGO convention registration fees and education resources from the AGO Bookstore. The independent membership category was recommended by our committee and approved by the National Council in an effort to make AGO membership available to people in geographic areas where either a local chapter does not exist or is so distant that chapter participation is not practical, noted Judith L. Riden, past director of the AGO Committee on Membership Development and Chapter Support. Although independent members will have no chapter affiliation, they will be served by their district convener, regional coordinators for education and professional development, and their regional councillor. It is the AGOs hope that individuals joining the Guild for the first time as independent members will soon discover the many additional benefits and programs available through chapter affiliation, and will choose to join an AGO chapter of their choice at the time of membership renewal, if not earlier, stated AGO Executive Director James Thomashower.
Individuals wishing to join the AGO as independent members can pay their dues using a major credit card online at <www.agohq.org> or by calling (212) 870-2310. Independent membership dues, payable by check to the American Guild of Organists, should be sent to AGO National Headquarters, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1260, New York, N.Y. 10115.
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, the AGO seeks to set and maintain high musical standards and to promote 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 more than 20,000 members in 343 local chapters throughout the United States and abroad. The American Organist Magazine, the official journal of the AGO, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, reaches an audience of more than 24,000 each month. The official Web site of the AGO is <www.agohq.org>.
This information is submitted by F. Anthony Thurman, Director of Development and Communications at the National Headquarters of the American Guild of Organists and The American Organist Magazine. For further information, please contact Dr. Thurman by TEL (212) 870-2310, FAX (212) 870-2163 or E-MAIL <firstname.lastname@example.org>.