March 15, 2007
NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) will sponsor a RECITAL and GALA BENEFIT RECEPTION honoring organist JOHN OBETZ on Sunday, April 15, 2007.
The Recital will feature the two world-renowned organs at the Community of Christ World Headquarters in Independence, Mo.—the IV/113 rank Aeolian-Skinner in the Auditorium, well known from the 26 years it was heard in Obetz’s weekly radio broadcasts, and the IV/102 rank Casavant, just across the street in the church’s Temple. The recital will begin at 3 p.m. in the Auditorium and conclude in the Temple. The Gala Benefit Reception will follow at the Marriott Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. All proceeds will go to the AGO Endowment Fund in John Obetz’s honor.
Performers will be John Obetz, Frederick Swann, Janet Kraybill, T. Jared Stellmacher, and the choir of Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. American Public Media’s Pipedreams host Michael Barone will serve as master of ceremonies. Recital admission is free. A free-will offering is requested.
Tickets for the gala reception are $100 per person and must be purchased in advance from AGO National Headquarters by telephone (212-870-2311, ext. 4308); e-mail <email@example.com> or online at <www.agohq.org>. The gala is sponsored by the AGO National Council and its Development Committee, Bruce P. Bengtson, aago, director. Major funding for the gala is provided by Pemcor Inc. of Lancaster, Pa. Additional support is provided by Casavant Frčres, Quimby Pipe Organs Inc., Revell Inc., Bruce P. Bengtson, aago, and J.O. Love.
JOHN OBETZ, a resident of Leawood, Kans., has been one of America’s most widely heard organists. From 1967 to 1998, he was the principal organist for the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now the Community of Christ) in Independence, Mo., where thousands of listeners heard his weekly half-hour recital, "The Auditorium Organ," via satellite broadcast. Dr. Obetz has concertized throughout the United States, England, and Europe.
Dr. Obetz received both the bachelor of music and master of music degrees from Northwestern University, and earned a doctorate in sacred music at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he studied with Vernon de Tar. Further study included work with Marie-Claire Alain and participation in the International Academy for Organists in Haarlem, The Netherlands. He served as adjunct associate professor of music at the University of Missouri at Kansas City until his retirement in 2005. An active member of the AGO, Dr. Obetz served on the AGO National Council for 19 years, chairing several committees. He is a past Dean and Regional Chairman.
The AGO’s lively concern for education and outreach prompted the formation of the AGO ENDOWMENT FUND in 1994. The purpose of this fund is to expand programs for leadership development among AGO members; educate new organists; and cultivate new audiences for organ and choral music. Tax-deductible contributions to the Endowment Fund are invested in perpetuity to produce continuing income support for essential Guild educational programs and projects.
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.