January 6, 2005
NEW YORK CITY—The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is pleased to announce the creation of a new scholarship for AGO Pipe Organ Encounters—the MARTIN M. WICK SCHOLARSHIP—established by the Wicks Organ Company through the generosity of Arthur J. Meier Jr. This permanently restricted fund will support scholarship awards to deserving AGO Pipe Organ Encounters participants beginning in 2005. The Martin Wick scholarship is the eleventh and newest permanently endowed scholarship sheltered by the AGO New Organist Fund. Additional tax-deductible contributions in memory of Martin Wick are welcome.
"The AGO is very grateful for the generosity and support of the many individuals whose vision for the future of our profession is manifested by the creation of scholarships for young, aspiring musicians," notes Frederick Swann, president of the AGO. "These individuals have made an investment in the youth of America, whose enhanced knowledge of the organ and appreciation of its role in worship will contribute to a bright future for our profession."
MARTIN M. WICK (1912–2002) was president of the Wicks Organ Company in Highland, Ill. for more than 60 years. The son of Wicks Organ Company founder John Wick, Mr. Wick grew up building pipe organs, working alongside his father and his older brother, John Henry Wick, developing new innovations in organ design and the Direct-Electric® action. He learned the art of pipe voicing from Henry Vincent Willis, Jake Schaefer, and from his brother, John Henry. After graduation from St. Louis University (Mo.) at the age of 22, he was called to run the family business after the early death of his older brother. He is credited with leading the company through some of its toughest times. During World War II, Mr. Wick kept the shop open by retooling to manufacture clock and airplane parts, and building new organs out of existing materials. After the war, Wicks was the first American company to return to organbuilding after Martin Wick successfully petitioned the government.
PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTERS introduce young people to the pipe organ through instruction in organ playing, repertoire, history, design, and construction. These regional summer organ music institutes for teen-aged students provide private and group instruction in service playing and solo repertoire, opportunities to learn about the musical heritage of various religious denominations, as well as a chance for young musicians to meet others with similar interests. Basic keyboard proficiency is required, although previous organ study is not necessary. Scholarship assistance is available.
The AGO NEW ORGANIST FUND was established in 1993 to support Guild programs dedicated to developing a new generation of organists. Today, the New Organist Fund shelters both permanently endowed named scholarships, and gifts restricted for the support and development of new organists. Permanently endowed scholarships have been created in memory of Seth Bingham, Clarence Dickinson, Philip Hahn, Charles N. Henderson, Alfred E. Lunsford, Ned Siebert, and Martin M. Wick, and in honor of Philip E. Baker and Morgan and Mary Simmons. Additional funds have been designated in honor of Ruth Milliken, and in memory of Virgil Fox. These scholarships will be activated once the minimum balance threshold of $10,000 is achieved. #
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 mission of the AGO is to enrich lives through organ and choral music. The Guild currently serves approximately 19,000 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 20,000 readers each month.
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.