Sept. 12, 2008
NEW YORK CITY—The American Guild of Organists (AGO) announces the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Troeger as AGO Chaplain for a term of two years, 2008–2010. The chaplain is an honorary national officer appointed to serve the diverse pastoral needs of the AGO National Council and the international membership of the Guild. Dr. Troeger will also contribute an editorial column to The American Organist Magazine. The appointment was made by AGO President Eileen Guenther and ratified by the AGO National Council on September 3, 2008. In speaking of his appointment, Dr. Guenther remarked:
I have long appreciated the hymn texts Tom Troeger has written—texts that are perceptive, sensitive, artful, and that help us see and feel something new with every subject he addresses. Tom is an avid supporter of music in worship and as a writer, liturgist, and preacher will bring an important perspective to our work as musicians.
In response, Dr. Troeger spoke of his long association with church musicians and how the role of music in worship has been influential in his life:
I am profoundly honored to become the chaplain to the AGO. All my life, I have attended churches where fine organists have helped to lead the congregation into prayer and a livelier sense of the Spirit through their musical artistry and the wonder of all the varied sounds coming from pipes of metal and wood. Also, I remember the organist of my home church when I was growing up in Cooperstown, N.Y. Not only did I relish his playing of preludes, hymns, anthems, service music, and postludes, but I also am thankful for how he encouraged my serious study of the flute, and often invited me to play in services in which he accompanied me at the organ as I played the music of Bach, Handel, Glück, Gounod, and others. And later in my professional life, it was organists who worked so creatively with me in planning sermons and services built around major works for organ and choir. All of this would have been impossible without them. Looking back over all of that music, I can see now that organists have been a major influence in my spiritual formation: the beauty of their playing has given me an ever-deepening and expanding vision of the beauty of God. Thus, I am praying that my being chaplain of the AGO may be a way of my repaying and thanking the great company of organists, as well as a way of encouraging them in their inspiring ministry and art.
THOMAS H. TROEGER is the J. Edward and Ruth Cox Lantz Professor of Christian Communication at the Yale Divinity School and Institute of Sacred Music. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1970 and in the Episcopal Church in 1999, he is dually aligned with both traditions. He is also a flutist and a poet whose work appears in the hymnals of most denominations as well as in choral anthems.
Dr. Troeger has authored more than fifteen books in the fields of preaching, poetry, hymnody, and worship, and is a frequent contributor to journals dedicated to these topics. His most recent books include So That All Might Know: Preaching That Engages the Whole Congregation; Preaching and Worship; Preaching While the Church Is Under Reconstruction; and Above the Moon Earth Rises: Hymn Texts, Anthems, and Poems for a New Creation.
For three years, Dr. Troeger hosted the Season of Worship broadcast for Cokesbury. He has led conferences and lectureships in worship and preaching throughout North America, as well as in Denmark, Holland, Australia, Japan, and Africa. He is a former president of the Academy of Homiletics and currently serves on the board of Societas Homiletica—the international guild of scholars in homiletics.
His education includes a B.A. from Yale University; a B.D. from Colgate Rochester Divinity School; an S.T.D. from Dickinson College; and a D.D. from Virginia Theological Seminary.
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.