AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS
ANNOUNCES RESULTS FROM 2002 PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION EXAMINATION PROGRAM
NEW YORK CITY The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS (AGO) is pleased to announce the results of its 2002 professional certification examinations. Forty-one candidates were awarded the Service Playing Certificate; six of these also received dual certification with the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Thirty-two candidates received the Colleague (CAGO) certificate. Fifteen candidates passed the upper level, or academic examinations: six received the Choir Master (ChM) certificate, six received the Associateship (AAGO) certificate, and three candidates successfully completed the Fellowship (FAGO) examination, the Guilds highest-level examination. The newly certificated AGO Fellows are:
ROBERT G. HALL, fago
Valcour (N.Y.) Chapter
JOHN C. SCHMIDT, fago
Alamo (Tex.) Chapter
STEPHEN D. SELF, fago
Twin Cities (Minn.) Chapter
The S. LEWIS ELMER PRIZE for the highest overall score on any of the upper level exams was awarded to JOHN C. SCHMIDT. Dr. Schmidt also received the prize for the highest Fellowship score. In order to qualify for any of the examination awards, a candidate must achieve an overall score of at least 85%.
ROBERT G. HALL, fago, is chair of the Department of Music at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont., Canada, and also serves as a director of music at St. Andrews United Church in that city. He holds a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from Wilfrid Laurier University, a master of music in voice performance from the University of Regina, and a doctor of musical arts in choral music from the University of Illinois. He also earned the Associate and Choir Master diplomas from the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Dr. Hall is the founding director of the Huntington Summer Festival of Church Music in Sudbury, which since 1995 has offered an annual week of workshops, concerts, and church services. This summer, he was the conductor of the Cathedral Singers of Ontario, which spent a week as the choir-in-residence at Wells Cathedral as well as presenting concerts in Chichester Cathedral and St. Pauls Cathedral. As a pianist, Hall has recently collaborated with organist Ian Sadler for several concerts of works for piano and organ, and they are in the final stages of producing a CD of music for piano and organ. Hall is active as a composer and arranger, and he and organist William OMeara will present Halls piano/organ transcription of Saint-Saënss Carnival of the Animals in a Roy Thomson Hall concert in Toronto next April.
JOHN C. SCHMIDT, fago, a resident of San Marcos, Tex., and winner of the S. Lewis Elmer Award, holds degrees in organ from Southwestern University and Union Theological Seminary; his organ study was with R. Cochrane Penick and Vernon de Tar. He gained his Associate certificate in 1964, and received the AAGO half-prize that year for achieving the highest score on the written portion of the exam. Schmidt also earned a Ph.D. in musicology from New York University. As a musicologist, he specializes in American music, particularly the music of John Knowles Paine. He is publishing scholarly editions of Paines works, and is co-author of the Paine article in the most recent edition of Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Schmidt is a professor of music at Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, where he teaches theory, music history, and organ. He is also organist for Covenant Presbyterian Church in Austin and a dual member of the Alamo and Austin AGO chapters.
STEPHEN D. SELF, fago, is professor of music at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minn., where he teaches organ, piano, and music history. He holds the doctor of musical arts degree in organ performance from West Virginia University and the Ph.D. degree from Ohio State University. Self is also organist-choir director at Grace University Lutheran Church, where he oversees a graded choral program, an annual music series, and an annual Lenten and Advent organ series. Dr. Self presents annual recitals at Bethel College and at Grace University Lutheran Church and has performed in Sweden and Germany. He is also a piano recitalist and performs frequently as a collaborative pianist with instrumentalists from the Twin Cities area. Self is a published musicologist, having edited Renaissance vocal works for A-R Editions and published several articles for the Readers Guide to Music Literature. He presents papers frequently at national and chapter meetings of the American Musicological Society. His recent research has focused on the compositional techniques used in Bachs Clavierübung, Part III.
The AGO PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION PROGRAM dates from 1896, when the Guild received its charter from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York to administer a comprehensive series of examinations for professional certification. The following certificates are offered under the auspices of the AGO Professional Certification Committee: Service Playing Certificate (SPC), Colleague (CAGO), Choir Master (ChM), Associateship (AAGO), and Fellowship (FAGO).
An AGO certificate benefits the member, contributing to professional advancement and to an increase in confidence in performance, and it strengthens the Guild in its mission to maintain standards in organ playing, choral conducting, and worship music, notes Philip Gehring, FAGO, director of the AGO Committee on Professional Certification. A Guild with a large number of certified members sends a message to the public that we are serious about quality in the practice of our profession. Approximately 12% of the AGO membership is certificated. Of those, 44% hold the Service Playing Certificate; 25% hold the Colleague; 7% hold the Choir Master; 18% hold the Associateship, and 6% hold the Fellowship.
The schedule for the 2003 professional certification examinations will be: Service Playing Test, October 1, 2002April 30, 2003; Colleague, January 24June 4, 2003; Choir Master, June 4, 2003; Associateship, June 56, 2003; Fellowship, June 56, 2003. A detailed list of examination requirements and an extensive annotated bibliography for exam study are available from AGO National Headquarters.
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 <email@example.com>.