While there are over 300 AGO chapters nationwide, there are still many communities in which the Guild is not represented, or where the nearest chapter is too distant for convenient attendance at meetings. In many cases, the best solution may be to start a new chapter.
A start-up kit, call “Procedures for Starting a New AGO Chapter,” is available from the Manager of Membership.
A prospective chapter must fulfill the following requirements:
Have at least 12 interested organists, choir directors, or other individuals sign a petition requesting charter of the chapter.
Have the petition approved by the appropriate District Convener and Regional Councillor and forward to National Headquarters for approval by the National Council.
Send a separate, complete list of members’ names and addresses to National Headquarters, indicating which are new members and which are transferring from other chapters.
Send a list of the prospective chapter’s officers, with complete contact information, to National Headquarters. The officers required by the National Bylaws are Dean, Secretary, and Treasurer. Optional officers include Sub-Dean, Registrar, Librarian/Historian, and Chaplain. A chapter executive committee must also be formed, according to the requirements set forth in the National Bylaws.
Upon request, National Headquarters will send a start-up packet to new chapter organizers that includes suggestions for reaching prospective members, instructions on filing a request for a charter, and free mailing labels of AGO current and lapsed members and subscribers to The American Organist in their area. With a reasonable amount of organized effort (and the assistance of national and regional officers), starting a new chapter can be a rewarding and successful endeavor.