Bangor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Last updated: June 29, 2015 at 9:32 am

Welcome to the website of the Bangor (Maine) Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. We have been serving organists, choir directors and sacred music lovers in eastern and northern Maine since 1928.

The mission of the Guild — revised in 2012 — is to enrich lives through organ and choral music. If you are not already a member of the AGO please consider attending one of our sessions and checking us out. Our first two events of the 2013-2014 calendar year are listed below.

For further information, please contact a chapter member (see e-mail addresses below).

With best wishes,

Julia Morris-Myers

Local Events

Wednesday, July 22 at 7 pm: Home Town Proud

Violinists Sophie and Josie Davis return home to play with pianist Wayne Ching, featuring the music of Shostakovich, Bach, Michael Mclean, and more, at the Broad Bay Church Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ, 941 Main St., Waldoboro [map].

Josie Davis: A native of Waldoboro, violinist Josie Davis recently graduated from Oberlin College & Conservatory’s Double Degree Program where she was a student of David Bowlin. She has participated in various music festivals including the Bowdoin International Music Festival, New York University’s String Quartet Seminar, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and has appeared on NPR’s From the Top. She has played in master classes for Georgy Pauk, Mirium Fried, Barnabus Keleman, and Chris Thile, and has been coached by members of the Brentano, Vermeer, St. Lawrence, Jasper, Pacifica, Juilliard, Jupiter and Muir quartets. At Oberlin, she appeared as the concertmaster of the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, as a member of the Contemporary Music Ensemble, and performed in Carnegie Hall with the Oberlin Symphony Orchestra. Josie is committed to using music as a way to connect with people of different cultures and backgrounds. She has taught music to underprivileged children in Panama and India. This fall, Josie will begin a two-year fellowship program at Community MusicWorks in Rhode Island where she will perform in a string quartet and teach violin. In addition to music, Josie enjoys sailing, hiking, cooking, pottery, and exploring the coast of Maine.

 Sophie Davis, from Waldoboro is entering her fourth year at Oberlin College and Conservatory where she is pursuing degrees in violin performance and environmental studies. She currently studies with David Bowlin. Sophie has participated in the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and in 2010, she appeared with her sister on NPR’s From the Top. In 2012, she spent several months studying tango violin in Buenos Aires, Argentina and in 2014, she spent a month teaching music with the Child’s Play India Foundation in Goa, India – an incredible and humbling experience. She recently returned from a semester abroad with SEA Semester where she conducted oceanography research in the South Pacific aboard a schooner. Sophie enjoys teaching, traveling, and sailing and hopes to pursue future studies in music education, chamber music, and maritime studies.

Wayne Ching completed his master’s and undergraduate degrees in Piano Performance at the University of Texas at Austin, studying with Gregory Allen and Anton Nel. In the fall, Wayne will begin studying with Lydia Artymiw as a doctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota. As an active student in chamber music, Wayne has studied extensively with members of the Miró Quartet and Juilliard String Quartet. Wayne’s summer festival appearances include Kneisel Hall, Brevard, Sunflower, Clear Creek, and Cactus Pear music festivals.

No Charge for the Concert.  Donations gratefully accepted. For more information:  832-6898,

Thursday Evenings, July 23 through August 27, 7:30 pm

The 23rd annual St. John’s Organ Society Summer Organ Concert Series begins on Thursday, July 23rd at 7:30. These free public concerts are an outreach to the Greater Bangor Community and feature outstanding musicians from New England and beyond. For more information, please visit the Society’s website. Scheduled to appear are:

July 23
George Bozeman (Deerfield, New Hampshire)

July 30
Chris Pelonzi with Nicole Pelonzi, flute  (Portland, Maine)

August 6
Abraham Ross (Holden, Maine), Winner of the 2015 Boston AGO Competition for Young Organists.

August 13
Sarah Johnson (Garland, Maine), 2nd Place Winner in Easter NY Chapter (Albany Area) AGO Competition for Young Organists

August 20
Susan Ferré (Gorham, New Hampshire)

August 27
Kevin Birch (Bangor, Maine)

Tuesday, July 28 at 7:00 pm

Annual Organ Concert with Dr. Kevin Birch, featuring works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Horatio Parker and Dudley Buck, at the Broad Bay Church Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ, 941 Main St., Waldoboro [map].

Kevin Birch holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Iowa with previous studies at New England Conservatory in Boston and the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. Since 1992 he has served as Director of Music at St. John’s Catholic Church in Bangor, Maine where, in addition to choir training and service playing, he directs the St. John’s Organ Society – – an organization dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of E. & G. G. Hook’s Opus #288 (1860). He is a member of the music faculty at the University of Maine’s School of the Performing Arts in Orono and serves on the Liturgical Commission for the Diocese of Portland.

Dr. Birch performs frequently on the many fine historic organs in Midcoast and Downeast Maine and has made several recent concert tours in Europe. Recent highlights include concerts at International Organ Festivals in Germany (Berlin and Potsdam) and programs for several national conventions of the Organ Historical Society.

No Charge for the Concert.  Donations gratefully accepted. For more information:  832-6898,

Saturday, August 8, 7:00 pm

“Mostly for Fun” annual trombone concert. Join the many trombonists for this fun concert at the Elm Street Congregational Church in Bucksport [map]. Freewill donations support the upkeep of the church’s E  & G.G. Hook organ (op. 328).

Friday, September 25, 7:00 pm – Somerset Consort performs

The Somerset Consort will perform a selection of Baroque pieces at the Elm Street Congregational Church in Bucksport [map]. Freewill donations support the upkeep of the church’s E  & G.G. Hook organ (op. 328).

National and Regional Events

June 28 – July 1, 2015  Register Now!  or Click Here for More Information

“Join us for an energetic and inspiring Northeast Regional Convention for the American Guild of Organists! Combining the instruments at Yale University and those at churches in the downtown area. Combining the instruments at Yale University and those at churches in the downtown area, New Haven offers a wealth of organs of different styles, housed in interesting and beautiful locations.

Within walking distance of the elegant Omni Hotel, convention participants can experience world-class organs, a distinguished music library, and a famous instrument collection, along with the beautiful Yale campus and New Haven’s renowned restaurant scene. The dedicated members of the New Haven chapter, led by both upcoming and experienced leaders in our field, will foster a supportive and welcoming atmosphere for a convention of excellent opportunities for learning, fellowship, and artistic experiences. We welcome church musicians and organists of all types, levels, and interests, and promise programming of great variety!

We hope to see you in New Haven next summer! Bring a friend!”

Lars Gjerde, DMA
Convention Coordinator



Congratulations to Abraham Ross, a previous Bangor AGO scholarship recipient, for winning the Boston AGO Competition for Young Organists! To view the press release, please click here. Abraham will next compete at the regional level at the New Haven AGO Regional Convention this summer. He will also perform a concert as part of the 2015 St. John’s Organ Society Summer Organ Concert Series, on Thursday, August 6, at 7:30 pm.

Other Chapter Features

Lending Library

Our chapter has a lending library. It is located in the Parish House of St. John’s Episcopal Church (234 French Street, Bangor), contains a large collection of organ music, organ-related books, etc., and is open to chapter members and the general public. The church office (and hence the lending library) is open from 9 am to 1 pm Monday-Friday, or at other times by appointment: call (207) 947-0156.


The chapter offers scholarship aid to one or more qualified organ students annually; for more information and application procedure, contact the Scholarship Committee chair, Dr. Kevin Birch (207) 942-6941.


Our Newsletter is produced and delivered in electronic format (e-mail) as needed.
To post an event or job opening, to consult an up-to-date substitute list, or to be added to the mailing list, please contact:

Alice Mummé, Newsletter Editor

We’re Here for You

Do you have professional concerns? Are you looking for educational resources? Do you want to involve the chapter in an event or special service? Do you wish to learn more about organ playing and literature? The chapter, like the Guild as a whole, is here to help you. To reach us, see “Contact” section below.


All individuals interested in the organ and choral music fields are invited to join the American Guild of Organists. Membership is open to everyone, regardless of denominational affiliation, musical training, or ability. Posted on Website 8, January, 2015

For more information and membership materials, visit:

You are also encouraged to contact:

Brian MacFarland, Chapter Treasurer/Registrar

Placement/Job Openings


Position: Organist and/or Choir Director (added to the website on 5/9/2015, last updated on 5/12/2015)

Old South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Hallowell

  • Positions available September 1, 2015
  • Salary based on ability and experience
  • Submit a letter of interest, resume and contact information for 3 references electronically to or via USPS to Music Search Committee, PO Box 508, Hallowell, ME 04347.
  • Job description available on website
  • Hook and Hastings tracker pipe organ with 13 ranks

Telephone 207.622.1220,



Position:  Summer Substitute Organist

St. John’s Episcopal Church, French Street, Bangor, is in need of a summer-long substitute organist from June 15-September 1. If the selected person wishes, a small summer volunteer choir will be present and can prepare a simple anthem. 33 rank Berkshire pipe organ in superb acoustics. For more information, email Robert Ludwig –


Position:  Organist/pianist at First United Methodist Church of Brewer

The First United Methodist Church of Brewer, located at 40 South Main Street, Brewer, Maine 04412, is seeking for organist/pianist.  The weekly service is at 11:00 on Sundays. There is no choir.  The Faucher pipe organ has some electronic enhancements. The start date is February 1, 2015.  Salary is negotiable.

Please call 207.989.7310 or send your resume to 40 S Main St, Brewer  ME 04412. Alternately, you may call Ronald Moll at 207.989.0117 or email Ronald at e-mail:


Position:  Organist/Choir Director (added to the website on June 15, 2015)

Two churches in the Greater Bangor area are prayerfully searching for a part-time organist/choir director for their music ministry programs:

The Federated Church of Stillwater (Methodist, Congregational and Non-Denominational members)


The Old Town United Methodist Church.

Both churches are under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Dan Wilson and are looking to receive letters of interest from organists who might be interested in serving one or both of these churches.  Job descriptions for each church are attached. Salaries are  available upon request.

 If you, or anyone you know, might be interested or have questions, please call Rev. Dan Wilson at 827-3559 or email


Position: Organist/Choir Director (added to the website on June 26, 2015)

Willing to create mutually agreeable schedule and compensation package. (winters off, summers off, 3 Sundays a month,..). Present compensation: $125/week.

Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ is a small, progressive, open and affirming congregation in Waldoboro, a small town in Midcoast Maine. For the past four years we have been blessed to be served by an outstanding professional organist/church musician and choir director, Carroll Smith. Now that she has announced her retirement, we are seeking a leader for our music ministry. We do not require a full-time commitment; in fact, we welcome opportunities on “Sundays off” to
invite local musicians and encourage students in their musical development.

Founded in 1983, we’ve already experienced a variety of music. A jazz pianist/composer surprised the congregation week after week with popular music and original compositions. In 2002, the small congregation of about 40 members purchased the historic Baptist building complete with an 1875 Hook and Hastings Organ which had fallen into disuse. With the help of David Wallace, organ restorer and Kevin Birch organist, funds were raised and the organ has been restored. Broad Bay has hosted annual organ concerts since 2006 and the community views the organ as a local treasure and resource. For the past four years we have enjoyed the music ministry of organist and choir director, Carroll
Smith. We use the New Century Hymnal and regularly learn new hymns. We agree that we want music that is live, good, and passionate. We want a choir and we want to hear the organ.

1875 Hook and Hastings organ, restored by David Wallace. FMI: or Rev Nancy Duncan at 207 691-1036. Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ, Waldoboro, ME.


 Posting Jobs in The American Organist  (The AGO’s official magazine.)

Employers are invited to post notices of available positions in The American Organist, free of charge, in the next available issue. Send e-mail listings to, using the format below. The deadline is the 15th of the second preceding month (July issue closes May 15th). The position announcement will run in one issue and include the following information:

Name of church, business, or institution; full postal address; website address; position title (Ex: “Full-time organist/choir director”); contact (name, phone number, fax, e-mail address).

Employers and job seekers are invited to post and search listings of available positions on the Guild’s National Website.

Substitutes (Updated March, 23, 2015)


The American Guild of Organists was chartered in 1896 by the Board of Regents, University of the State of New York, to administer a comprehensive series of examinations for professional certification. Through the Professional Certification Committee the Guild offers the following certificates:

Service Playing Certificate (SPC)
Colleague (CAGO)
Choir Master (ChM)
Associateship (AAGO)
Fellowship (FAGO)

For more information on certification, visit:

Contact Us

Julia Morris-Myers, Dean

Kevin F. Birch, Sub-Dean

Brian A. MacFarland, Treasurer and Registrar

Catherine [Kay] Byther Eames, Secretary

Alice Mummé, Newsletter Editor and Senior Advisor

Catherine J. (Cathy) Bruno, Member-at-Large, Exec. Comm.

Douglas Beck, Member-at-Large, Exec. Comm.

Dr. Kevin F. Birch, Chair, Scholarship Committee

Larry Philbrick, Website Maintenance



The St. John’s Organ Society (Bangor)

Portland (Maine) Chapter, AGO

Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ (Portland)

The Organ Historical Society

The Royal School of Church Music

AGO National website