Feb. 10, 2006
NEW YORK CITY—The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS (AGO) will hold its 48th biennial NATIONAL CONVENTION in Chicago, Ill., July 2–6, 2006. More than 2,000 are expected to attend; 1,300 have already pre-registered. While convention registration is open to all, AGO members receive a discounted registration rate. Convention headquarters will be the Downtown Chicago Marriott Hotel on Michigan Avenue and the "Magnificent Mile." Complete details, including online registration, are available online at www.agohq.org/2006.
The convention program includes a plethora of inspiring performances of organ, choral, and handbell music by leading artists in the field; 78 workshops on a variety of professional and interesting topics, including twelve choral reading sessions; and 100 exhibits by organbuilders, music publishers, and other vendors providing products of interest and services to the organ and choral music profession. Premier performances of new music by Frank Ferko, Adolphus Hailstork, Naji Hakim, Aaron Miller, Emily Maxson Porter, Richard Proulx, Shulamit Ran, Augusta Reed Thomas, Richard Webster, Sharon J. Willis, and Carl Wiltse/Donald Allured have won the support of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Chicago was last host of the AGO National Convention in 1925. The 2006 convention steering committee promises that the week-long celebration of the "King of Instruments" will be:
DAZZLING! An opening night concert spectacular on the Casavant organ in Symphony Center’s Orchestra Hall features organists Thierry Escaich, Philippe Bélanger, Maxine Thevenot, David Schrader, and the ChicAGO Orchestra performing newly commissioned works for organ and orchestra conducted by Julian Wachner.
DIVERSE! Hear Thomas Murray playing the 1922 E.M. Skinner at St. Luke’s Episcopal; Chelsea Chen playing the new Fisk at St. Chrysostom’s; James O’Donnell playing the Dobson/Schlicker at Valparaiso University; Chicago Community Chorus and Mickey Thomas Terry at Moody Church; plus Janette Fishell, Alan and Jeannine Morrison, Carol Williams; and international artists Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin (France), Alexander Fiseisky (Russia), Wolfgang Seifen and Stefan Engels (Germany).
DYNAMIC! A symphony of performing ensembles includes Chicago a cappella, the Bach Week Festival Orchestra and Cathedral Singers, Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus, Saint Clement Choir, House of Hope Presbyterian Church Choir, and the Trinity Church Wall Street Choir.
DRAMATIC! Savor organ recitals and performances of choral music in many of the grandest cathedrals and churches in the greater metropolitan Chicago area, including Holy Name Cathedral, St. James Cathedral, Fourth Presbyterian Church, and Valparaiso University Chapel.
DIVINE! A heavenly host of worship opportunities in Chicago’s houses of worship, plus daily Compline and Vespers; a Festival of Hymns, a workshop on "Singing the Psalms," and an inspirational forum on "Where Is Worship Going?"
DEFINITIVE! Hear the award-winning finalists in the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance and the National Competition in Organ Improvisation, AGO/Quimby Rising Stars, as well as the world premier performances of compelling works by the winners of the AGO/ECS Award in Choral Composition and the Holtkamp–AGO Award in Organ Composition.
DARING! An unprecedented array of workshop choices from Gregorian chant to Gospel music; Hispanic resources to Dutch organ music; playing the pedals to performing arts medicine; the music of Buxtehude to that of Reger; Leo Sowerby: a Chicago legend, to the life of Virgil Fox.
DELIGHTFUL! Exquisite dining, unparalleled shopping, fabulous fireworks, and all of the sights and sounds of cosmopolitan Chicago.
For further information, please contact ChicAGO National Convention Coordinator Ron Vanderwest at 630-369-2994, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.