April 22, 2008
NEW YORK CITY—The American Guild of Organists (AGO) will hold its 49th biennial National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn., June 22–26, 2008. More than 2,000 are expected to attend with more than 1,500 already registered. While convention registration is open to all, AGO members receive a discounted registration rate. Convention headquarters will be the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel. Complete details, including convention and hotel registration, are available online at www.ago2008.org.
The 2008 AGO NATIONAL CONVENTION is the first to be held in the Twin Cities since 1980. Celebrating the "King of Instruments," the convention will include a plethora of inspiring performances of organ and choral music by internationally recognized artists and ensembles; more than 65 workshops on a variety of professional and interesting topics, including a Messiaen pedagogy track and 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.
The INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE ORGAN (IYO), a year-long celebration of the organ, will be inaugurated at the AGO National Convention in the Twin Cities. The year will include various events in this country and abroad designed to entertain, inform, and engage new audiences for organ music, while giving seasoned listeners a fresh perspective on the organ’s expansive repertoire. The convention will feature the premier performances of works by Stephen Paulus of St. Paul, Minn., and Bernard Wayne Sanders of Muehlheim, Germany, composed specifically for the IYO.
The AGO’s prestigious national competitions in organ performance and improvisation will be conducted during the convention; each winner will be featured in recital. The winners of the AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists will be presented in nine "Rising Stars" recitals. The winning compositions of the AGO/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition and the AGO Award in Organ Composition will receive their premier performances. American Public Media’s Pipedreams Live will crown the convention and be recorded for future broadcast.
The world renowned Saint Paul Cathedral Choir, London, under the direction of Andrew Carwood, will be in residence for three days of the convention. The choir will give a full concert at the Saint Paul Cathedral in St. Paul, and will sing Choral Matins and Evensong at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis. The choir’s participation in the convention is made possible by a generous grant from the St. Paul Foundation, Katherine B. Andersen Fund.
The commissioning and premier performances of 11 masterworks representing an hour of new music has garnered the support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Commissioned composers include Judith Bingham, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Aaron Kernis, Libby Larsen, and Steven Stucky. In addition, six short pieces for organ and orchestral instruments were commissioned for the Little (Minnesota) Organ Book, to be published by Augsburg Fortress Press. This collection will contain the commissioned works of Carol Barnett, Cary John Franklin, Linda Tutas Haugen, Monte Mason, David Evan Thomas, and Janika Vandervelde.
For further information, please contact AGO National Convention Coordinator Bill Stump, e-mail email@example.com.
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.