Wilmington Chapter

Last updated: December 5, 2014 at 11:02 am

Message from the Dean 

Greetings from the Wilmington (North Carolina) Chapter! Founded in 1989, the Wilmington Chapter currently has a growing membership. While the majority of its members live in the greater Wilmington area, the chapter spans a large geographic area that includes southeastern North Carolina and portions of eastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina. The Chapter meets monthly September through June. Each meeting includes a program which often is a concert performed by chapter members for the community, a lecture on a topic of interest or a guest artist recital. Many meetings feature a catered meal. The Wilmington chapter prides itself on presenting many concerts and events for the greater community. Many years, chapter members present a Hymn Festival for the Church Year, and a members’ organ recital. Chapter members also form the AGO Chamber Choir which performs a concert of the works of a major composer many years with chamber orchestra. The 2010 choral concert featured works of Benjamin Britten. Historic Wilmington, North Carolina, is located on the Southeastern coast of North Carolina and is home to many fine pipe organs. Builders represented include Austin, Bozeman, Casavant, Estey, Goulding & Wood, Noack, Pilcher, Schantz, E. M. Skinner, Taylor and Boody, and Visser-Rowland. For more information on the Wilmington Chapter, please contact David Lee Heinzman, Dean, at davidleeorgan@yahoo.com or Justin Smith, webmaster, at cjs@alumni.wfu.edu.


Local Events
  • Friday, December 5, 2014, Kenan Auditorium (UNCW), 7:30 PM: The UNCW Wind Symphony and Chamber Winds, along with UNCW music faculty as soloists, present their final concert of the semester. John LaCognata and Jerry Markoch conduct.
  • Saturday, December 6, 2014, Kenan Auditorium, 3:00 PM: The UNCW Honor Band Festival concludes with a finale concert featuring North Carolina’s finest high school band students.*
  • Saturday, December 6, 2014, St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church, 7:30 PM: Music on Market presents the famous Raleigh Ringers in a holiday concert featuring their dynamic handbell technique. This concert is sold out.*
  • Sunday, December 7, 2014, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 5:00 PM: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church hosts evensong in the Taize tradition.*
  • Sunday, December 7, 2014, Kenan Chapel at Landfall, 5:00 PM: The Kenan Chapel concert series presents the UNCW Chamber Choir, conducted by Joe Hickman. Tickets are available at the northeast branch of the New Hanover County Library.*
  • Monday, December 8, 2014, Kenan Auditorium, 7:30 PM: The OLLI New Horizons Band of Wilmington presents their winter concert under the direction of John LaCognata.*
  • Tuesday, December 9, 2014, First Presbyterian Church, 12:10 PM: Music at First presents the second concert in the annual Organ Recitals for the Season of Advent series. Mark Gansor will perform.  Lunch follows the concert and is available, by reservation only, for $8.  Call 762-6688 by Monday, December 8 to make a reservation.*
  • Tuesday, December 9, 2014, Trinity United Methodist Church, 7:30 PM: The New Hanover High School Choral Department presents their annual winter concert, featuring the Mixed Chorus and Hanover Singers. They are directed by Whitney Lanier and accompanied by Justin Smith.*
  • Wednesday, December 10, 2014, Kenan Auditorium, 7:30 PM: The North Carolina Symphony, conducted by David Glover, presents a concert entitled “Holiday Pops,” featuring carols and seasonal and classical favorites.
  • Friday, December 12, 2014, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 7:00 PM: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church presents the Wilmington Boys Choir in a performance of Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, St. Saën’s Christmas Oratorio, Holst’s Christmas Day, Biebl’s Ave Maria, and Austin’s The Twelve Days of Christmas. Ronnie Wise conducts, Richard Rhoads accompanies at the organ, and soloists include Nancy King, Sara Westermark, Whitney Lanier, Bob Workman, and John Callison.  Orchestral players include members of the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra and harpist Christina Brier.
  • Friday-Sunday, December 12-14, 2014, First Baptist Church, 7:30 PM each evening: The music ministry of First Baptist Church presents the 21st annual Christmas at First Baptist, featuring their large chancel choir, members of the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, and organ. This Wilmington tradition is performed three nights, Friday through Sunday, and each performance is always full.  Come early for a seat to hear this musical presentation featuring traditional music of the Christmas season.*
  • Saturday, December 13, 2014, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 7:00 PM: St. Paul’s Episcopal presents a Coastal Carolina Christmas cabaret performance featuring Grenoldo Frazier and Bob Scalia and his Wilmington Jazz Messengers.
  • Sunday, December 14, 2014, Little Chapel on the Boardwalk Presbyterian Church (USA): Little Chapel on the Boardwalk Music Ministry presents Joel Raney’s cantata “Love Came Down at Christmas” as part of the morning worship service.*
  • Sunday, December 14, 2014, Minnie Evans Arts Center (Ashley High School), 4:00 PM: The Wilmington Choral Society, conducted by Paula Brinkman and accompanied by Byron Marshall, presents a concert entitled “A John Rutter Christmas.”
  • Sunday, December 14, 2014, First Presbyterian Church, 5:00 PM: Music at First presents the Hoggard High School choral department in concert, performing their annual Christmas concert. The concert will be conducted by Benjamin Horrell and accompanied by John Tabler.*
  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014, First Presbyterian Church, 12:10 PM: Music at First presents the third concert in the annual Organ Recitals for the Season of Advent series. Stephen Field will perform.  Lunch follows the concert and is available, by reservation only, for $8.  Call 762-6688 by Monday, December 15 to make a reservation.*
  • Saturday, December 20, 2014, Wrightsville United Methodist Church, 7:30 PM: Wrightsville United Methodist Church presents the Market Street Brass in a concert of holiday music.*
  • Sunday, December 21, 2014, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 5:00 PM: The Wilmington Boys Choir presents a Service of Lessons and Carols.*
  • Monday, December 21, 2014, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 7:30 PM: The Tallis Chamber Orchestra presents their annual Baroque Christmas Concert.*
  • Tuesday, December 23, 2014, First Presbyterian Church, 12:10 PM: Music at First presents the final concert in the annual Organ Recitals for the Season of Advent series. Bill Remele will perform.  Lunch follows the concert and is available, by reservation only, for $8.  Call 762-6688 by Monday, December 22 to make a reservation.*

 *free, donations are accepted



From the Dean

David Lee Heinzman, Dean, Wilmington AGO

Season’s Greetings!

No matter what you are celebrating at this time of the year, I want to wish you all a joy-full holiday season.  Set aside some time to enjoy your family and your friends. Enjoy the traditions that make this season special.  And, most of all spread some joy by giving a little extra to those in need.  Joy to the world!

Speaking of joy, a new church organ is always a great joy.  My picture for this month is of the new organ in St. Therese Parish, Wrightsville Beach.  After 13 years of service, the church’s Clavinova was retired and a new Allen organ was installed last week.  An organ dedication concert is being planned for 2015.  Congratulations St. Therese.

Our chapter meeting for December is the handbell workshop on December 6 with the Raleigh Ringers at St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church.  Our chapter will host the ringers with a luncheon and to date, there are over 80 workshop participants from our area.  Sharon Miller has distributed important information about the workshop to those who have registered.  Pictures and a report will follow in next month’s newsletter.  How wonderful that our chapter can sponsor such an event!  The workshop will be followed by a concert for the community featuring the Raleigh Ringers in SACPC’s Brown Hall.  There are no remaining tickets for this event.

This month Wilmington is full of musical events.  Our newsletter editor, Justin Smith has been very busy getting this information into this publication.  I urge you to check out his efforts and take a break from performing music – treat yourself to a concert!   Be sure to mark your calendars for the first meeting of 2015, which is a Twelfth-Night social hosted by Lisa and Bob Nichol on Sunday January 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm.

David Lee Heinzman

News from Laura Ellis

From your Regional Councillor . . .

I write this as fall is in the air. Crisp nights, clear skies, and just a bit less humidity indicate that we in the southeast are nearing Advent and the holiday season. I hope that the fall season has brought exciting events to your chapter, energy to your churches, and focused rehearsal among your choir members and students!

Changes have been afoot within the AGO. Let me bring you up-to-date on a few things:

  1. Online renewal (ONCARD) is up and running for most chapters within our region. As to be expected, there were a few bumps and hiccups, but in general, I think things are progressing. Forward, ho! One thing to keep in mind: if you have members in your chapter that are not tech-savvy or don’t want to use the online system . . . never fear! One can still send a check into the national office. Please take the time to ensure that all of your members have renewed. It is important for your chapter and for the national organization!
  2. The AGO has a number of initiatives in which your chapter can become involved. To name a few: POE (+/Advanced/Technical); January Jubilee; hosting a chapter RCYO/Quimby competition; hosting a regional convention; becoming an exam center. Gee, the list is endless! I encourage your chapter to get involved!
  3. We all need to support Charlotte as they host our regional convention this summer! What a great program they have in store for us. Check it out and register now: http://www.agocharlotte2015.org
  4. Money, money, money. Yes, I receive the phone calls, e-mails, and letters just like you. I do answer the ‘call’ to support my American Guild of Organists. Remember to support the guild through individual and chapter contributions to the annual fund (a high percentage of chapter an individual member involvement makes a better case for the grant writers in the national office!). Other options: perhaps make a contribution to one of the special funds???? Maybe a couple of you are in the financial position to become Lifetime Members? If not, consider the AGO in your will with a commitment to the Clarence Dickinson Society.

Okay, if it sounds like I am an AGO cheerleader, I am! We all like to speak of the challenges in our profession, but, let’s work together to support the organization that endeavors to move things forward! Support the guild, support your local chapter, support the instrument you love!

As always, feel free to contact me at LREllis@ufl.edu. Like the Southeast Region on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/AGO-Southeast-Region/312313912115500?ref=hl) or check out our Southeast Region Blog (http://agoregionivblog.blogspot.com).  The American Guild of Organists mission: enriching lives through organ and choral music. What are you doing to assist?

High School Organ Festival and Competition

The Winston-Salem (NC) Chapter of the AGO is happy to announce the 4th annual HS Organ Festival & Competition that they co-sponsor with the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The competition is open to any high school senior or younger who has not previously won the competition’s First Prize. In addition to cash prizes and potential scholarships, all prize winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Hymn Prize) will receive a copy of one of the eight volumes of Bach works published by Wayne Leupold Editions, compliments of the publisher.

A CD Recording and application is due (received) by December 19, 2014.

For full information about the competition, festival events, and instruments, please visit: http://www.timothyolsenorganist.com/hs-competition.html.

News from the National Office


Largest Bequest in the History of the AGO
Funds Six Pogorzelski and Yankee Organ Scholarships in 2014

Call for Scholarship Applications for the 2015–2016 Academic Year

NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has awarded four scholarships for undergraduate organ study and two scholarships for graduate organ study to six college organ students enrolled in the 2014–2015 academic year. The six scholars were selected from an application pool of more than 50 students and received the awards based upon their demonstrated ability in organ playing and financial need.

Funded through a generous bequest from the estate of Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee, each undergraduate scholarship carries a cash award of $7,500 and is renewable for up to four years of collegiate study. Each graduate scholarship carries a cash award of $15,000 and is renewable for a total of two years of study. The 2014–2015 Scholarship Award recipients are:

Graduate Students
Chelsea Barton, McGill University
Jacob Taylor, Indiana University

Undergraduate Students
Clara Gerdes, Curtis Institute of Music
Garrett Law, Cleveland Institute of Music
Prince Nyatanga, Eastman School of Music
Mary Pan, University of Hartford

The American Guild of Organists is the only organization of its kind with a scholarship program supporting music students in their academic careers at any institution of higher learning of their choice. Applications for the 2014–2015 scholarship awards were received and reviewed by the AGO National Committee on Continuing Professional Education.

“This scholarship program exists thanks to the generosity and vision of two gentlemen who bequeathed their estate to the AGO, along with specific instructions as to how the funds are to be distributed,” stated Frederick Hohman, director of the scholarship committee. “Their wish was for the AGO to recognize and support young organists with financial need who have demonstrated accomplishment in organ playing.”

Speaking on behalf of Messrs. Pogorzelski and Yankee, Dale J. Marsico noted, “According to my uncles, the heart is reached easier through the use of organ music than any other musical form. Their music collection, music room, pipe organ, and Ron’s playing ability were testimony to their love of the instrument. Their gift is a testament to their hopes that future generations might come to enjoy—to love and appreciate organ music as they did. They felt that their bequest to American Guild of Organists offered the best opportunity for that possibility.”

Two new Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Memorial Scholarships will be awarded for the 2015–2016 academic year—one for an incoming freshman ($7,500), the other for a first-year graduate organ student ($15,000). Eligibility requirements and application details are available online at www.agohq.org/education. The online application period will run from January 1 through February 15, 2015

Planning Ahead?

September is a time for making plans and looking at calendars. How far do you plan ahead?  Have you bought your 2015 calendar yet?  Our chapter plans some events as much as one year in advance. We have regional conventions in odd-numbered years and national conventions in even-numbered years.  The National Convention Committee requests that national convention bids be submitted eight years in advance.  In other words, they are now accepting convention bids for 2022!  So, grab your calendar and  make plans to attend these events!

  • Southeast Regional Convention, July 1-4, 2015 – Charlotte, North Carolina.  Register now and watch for more information on their website: http://agocharlotte2015.org/
  • National Convention, June 19-23, 2016 – Houston.  Watch for more information on their website:  http://www.ago-houston.org/2016.html
  • National Convention, July 2-6, 2018 – Kansas City.  Watch for more information on their website: http://www.kcago.com/

2014-2015 Programs

Saturday, December 6, 2014, St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM:  This AGO program features a workshop for handbell ringers and directors with the Raleigh Ringers.  Several different classes will be offered, with advance registration.  AGO members should invite their handbell groups to participate in this exciting event.

Sunday, January 11, 2015, Home of Robert and Lisa Nichol, 6:00 PM: Twelfth Night Social.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015, Location and Time TBA: Hymn workshop led by Mark Gansor and David Heinzman.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, Location and Time TBA: Lenten spiritual retreat led by Loretta Brady.

Friday, April 17, 2015, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 7:00 PM: The Wilmington Chapter of the AGO and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church presents international concert organist Marilyn Keiser in recital.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015, St. Andrews-on-the-Sound Episcopal Church, 7:00 PM: Organ concert presented by Carolyn Craig, Southeast Regional winner of the National Young Artists Competition of the AGO.



Membership in the Wilmington AGO is open to all who possess a love of organ and choral music. For more information on becoming a member, please contact Greg Gore, Treasurer, at chawk92@aol.com.  You may also join online by visiting https://www.agohq.org/oncard-login/.




St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Wilmington is in need of a temporary organist. The church is located at the corner of N. 6th and Grace streets.  The Sunday service is held at 11:00 a.m.  For more info, contact Ada King at 910-763-8872 or Bernardine Fulton at 910-264-8818.


Small congregation which has two weekly services, one on Wednesday at 7:30 pm and on Sunday at 10:00 am, is looking for an organist/pianist.   The musician would play organ for Sunday service, but may play piano or organ for the Wednesday service.   There is no choir, but the organist accompanies a soloist on a hymn on Sunday.  The church has an electronic Hammond organ that, while older, has a great sound.   The church is located close to downtown Wilmington.   If interested in substituting with a possibility of a permanent position and for additional information call Darrell Irwin at 910-520-3958 or the First Church of Christ, Scientist at 910-762-5202.

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



For more information about certification, please visit http://www.agohq.org/education/indexpcertify.html or contact the Dean at davidleeorgan@yahoo.com.


Contact Us

Dean: David Lee Heinzman- davidleeorgan@yahoo.com

Subdean and Program Coordinator: John Sullivan – jds3rd@aol.com

Secretary, Newsletter Editor and Webmaster: Justin Smith – cjs@alumni.wfu.edu

Treasurer: Greg Gore – chawk92@aol.com

Member at Large: Lani Beuerman – lbeuerman@ec.rr.com

Member at Large: Judy Siebold – judy908@bellsouth.net

Member at Large: Mark Gansor – mark@markgansor.com



AGO Southeast Region Blog: http://agoregionivblog.blogspot.com/

AGO National Headquarters: http://www.agohq.org

Music at First: http://www.firstonthird.org/Music/MusicatFirst/tabid/73/Default.aspx

Music at St. Paul’s: http://www.saintpaulsepiscopalchurch.com/Events.htm

Music Events at UNCW: https://events.uncw.edu/MasterCalendar/MasterCalendar.aspx

Wilmington Concert Association: http://www.wilmingtonconcert.com/

Wilmington Symphony Orchestra: http://wilmingtonsymphony.org/ AGO National website