Nov. 5, 2007
NEW YORK CITY—The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is pleased to announce the results of its 2007 professional certification examinations. Seventeen candidates passed the upper-level academic examinations: there were two successful candidates in the Fellowship (FAGO) examination, the Guild’s highest-level examination. They were David Enlow and Malcolm Halliday. Twelve candidates received the Associateship (AAGO) certificate, and three received the Choir Master (ChM) certificate. Thirty-seven candidates received the Colleague (CAGO) certificate, and 59 candidates were awarded the Service Playing (SPC) certificate—two of these candidates also received dual certification with the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.
The AGO presents up to four cash prizes each year to candidates who demonstrate outstanding performance on the certification examinations. The Fellowship ($500), Associateship ($400), and Choir Master ($400) prizes are presented to those who earn the highest scores in these examinations. The S. Lewis Elmer Award ($400) is presented to the individual who earns the highest overall score on any of the upper-level exams. In order to qualify for any of the examination awards, a candidate must take the complete examination at one time and achieve an overall score of at least 85%. The names and biographies of the new Fellows and prizewinners follow.
FELLOWSHIP PRIZE and S. LEWIS ELMER AWARD
David Enlow, FAGO, New York City
Christopher Jacobson, AAGO, Washington, D.C.
DAVID ENLOW, FAGO, is organist and choirmaster of the Church of the Resurrection in New York City, where he directs a professional choir that offers more than 50 settings of the Ordinary of the Mass each season, often with orchestra. Mr. Enlow was recently appointed to the organ faculty of the Juilliard School to teach service playing to organ majors. He is also organist for the Welsh Church of New York, and founder-director of Cappella New York, a semiprofessional choral society. Previously, Mr. Enlow was sub-organist of St. Clement’s Church in Philadelphia, and an assistant at the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ. Mr. Enlow received bachelor of music and master of music degrees from the Juilliard School, having studied with Paul Jacobs and John Weaver at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and Juilliard, and with John Tuttle. Mr. Enlow is an Associate of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. In competition, Mr. Enlow has received several first prizes, including those from the Arthur Poister Competition (2004), the Peter B. Knock Award (2002, 2003), and the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival USA (2003).
MALCOLM HALLIDAY, FAGO, is minister of music at the First Congregational Church (UCC) in Shrewsbury, Mass., where he leads one of the largest mainline Protestant church music programs in New England. A past dean of the Worcester AGO Chapter, he currently serves on the board of the Massachusetts ACDA and has served as a member of the board of the United Church of Christ Musicians Association. As a pianist, Mr. Halliday has performed in the United States and Europe, both as soloist and in collaboration with singers, instrumentalists, and orchestra. He performs frequently on historic pianos from museums and private collections, including concerts at such locations as Jordan and Faneuil halls in Boston, Mechanics Hall in Worcester, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. A champion of American music, Mr. Halliday can be heard on two CDS of the music of Leo Sowerby, released through Albany Records: Impressions, featuring rare solo piano music, and a song collection, My Love Unspoken, recorded with bass-baritone Robert Osborne. As resident pianist for the American Schubert Institute, Malcolm Halliday regularly performs the repertoire of Schubert with other prominent soloists and chamber musicians. He holds degrees in piano performance from Oberlin Conservatory (BA) and Boston University (MMus). His organ teachers include Melvin Dickinson, Peggy Kelly Reinburg, and Barclay Wood. He resides in Worcester, Mass., where he is also on the music faculty at Clark University.
CHRISTOPHER JACOBSON, AAGO, serves as organ scholar at Washington National Cathedral, where he assists in accompanying cathedral services and choirs and directs the chorister training and visiting choir programs. Before moving to Washington, Mr. Jacobson served as organist and choirmaster at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Rochester, N.Y. Mr. Jacobson recently earned the master of music degree in organ performance and the sacred music diploma from the Eastman School of Music. At Eastman, he studied organ with David Higgs, improvisation and continuo with William Porter, and church music with Peter DuBois. Previously, Mr. Jacobson received his bachelor of music degree with distinction in organ performance from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., where he studied organ with John Ferguson and piano with Kathryn Ananda-Owens. While studying at St. Olaf he also served as organ scholar at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis. He has also studied organ with Catherine Rodland and Yvaine Duisit. Mr. Jacobson won first prize in several organ competitions: the 2005 John R. Rodland Scholarship Competition, the 2003 AGO/Quimby Region VI Competition for Young Organists, the 2003 Schubert Club Competition in Minneapolis, and the 2001 Paul Manz Bach and Hymn Organ Competition. Recently, he earned second prize in the 2005 Miami International Organ Competition, and was a semifinalist in the 2006 AGO National Young Artists Competition. Mr. Jacobson’s recital performances have been heard on NPR’s Pipedreams, and on three continents, including programs at the 2003 AGO Region VI Convention and the 2004 AGO National Convention in Los Angeles, as well as at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Dublin, Ireland) and St. Michael’s Church (Melbourne, Australia).
The AGO PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION PROGRAM dates from 1896, when the American Guild of Organists 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 Committee on Professional Certification: Service Playing Certificate (SPC), Colleague (CAGO), Choir Master (ChM), Associateship (AAGO), and Fellowship (FAGO). While the lower-level Guild examinations (CAGO and SPC) test competence in a number of skills that an organist uses regularly, such as hymn playing, accompanying, and sight-reading, the more advanced examinations also test the candidate’s literacy and musicianship at a higher level. For example, tests in writing counterpoint, accompanying from a figured bass, and essay questions in music history are included in the upper-level exams.
"Today, with diminished opportunities for the study of organ and sacred music in colleges, the Guild examinations are needed more than ever: to assist in raising the competency of church musicians, to set a standard of excellence, and to grant recognition for the personal achievements of members who pass the Guild examinations at every level," notes Joyce Shupe Kull, FAGO, CHM, director of the AGO Committee on Professional Certification.
Approximately 13% of the AGO membership is certificated. Of those, 45% hold the Service Playing Certificate; 28% hold the Colleague; 6% hold the Choir Master; 17% hold the Associateship, and 6% hold the Fellowship.
The schedule for the 2008 professional certification examinations will be: Service Playing Certificate test: October 1, 2007, through April 30, 2008; Colleague: November 17, 2007, May 9, 2008, and November 14, 2008; Choir Master: May 28, 2008; Associateship: May 29–30, 2008; and Fellowship: May 29–30, 2008. A detailed list of examination requirements is available from AGO National Headquarters and online at www.agohq.org. Please call 212-870-2311, ext. 4303 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
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.