Wilmington Chapter

Last updated: January 8, 2015 at 18:33 pm

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
  • Sunday, January 11, 2015, Church of the Servant (Episcopal), 7:30 PM: Chamber Music Wilmington opens its season with Russian-American pianist Ivan Moshchuk, who plays an all Chopin program. A Gilmore Young Artist award winner, Ivan has created a following around the world since his 2012 European debut.  He has recently recorded his first CD in Germany and has played throughout the world.
  • Sunday, January 18, 2015, Kenan Chapel at Landfall, 5:00 PM: Kenan Chapel at Landfall presents pianist Barry Salwen in concert. Free tickets are available for pickup one week prior to the concert at the northeast branch of the New Hanover County Library.*
  • Saturday, January 24, 2015, St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church, 7:30 PM: Music on Market presents a concert entitled “Bach Meets Armstrong.” Trumpeter Ed Bach returns to the series in a two part concert featuring a diverse mix of solo trumpet pieces with pianist Sharon Miller and then jazz numbers with a full Louis Armstrong-type ensemble.*
  • Sunday, January 25, 2015, Beckwith Recital Hall (UNCW), 4:00 PM: The UNCW Department of Music presents the annual flute festival final concert featuring flautists of all ages, led by UNCW professor Mary Jo White.*
  • Sunday, January 25, 2015, First Presbyterian Church, 5:00 PM: Music at First presents Beverly Andrews, violin, Mike Waddell, clarinet, and Domonique Launey, piano, in a concert of trios by Shostakovich, Strauss, and Arutiunian.*
  • Sunday, January 25, 2015, Kenan Auditorium (UNCW), 7:30 PM: The North Carolina Symphony presents a concert entitled “New World Symphony.” The symphony will be led by conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto and will play Falla’s The Three Cornered Hat and Dvorak’s masterpiece.
  • Friday, January 30, 2015, Kenan Auditorium, 1:00 PM; 7:00 PM: The City Ballet of Wilmington presents a full length ballet entitled The Snow Queen., based on a fairy tale about true friendship put to the ultimate test and the power of love to overcome all evil.

 *free, donations are accepted



From the Dean

David Lee Heinzman, Dean, Wilmington AGO

Happy 2015!!!

Dear Chapter Friends –

I trust this note finds you all in good spirits and recovered from the many services, concerts, and other obligations of the holiday season.  Even though we have closed out 2014, there is a lot to look forward to in 2015.  But first, I want to report to you about December’s outstanding event with the Raleigh Ringers.

Last month’s workshop with the Raleigh Ringers was a huge success with over 80 attendees including a group of ringers from the Brunswick County Schools.  An outstanding job of organizing and hosting the workshop and evening concert belongs to Sharon Miller.  A special work of  thanks to First Presbyterian, St. Mark’s Catholic, Little Chapel on the Boardwalk, and St. James Episcopal Churches for loaning the extra sets of  handbells needed for the afternoon workshops.  For those of you who could not attend, there are pictures within this newsletter.  The workshops were truly invaluable, even for the most experienced ringers.

As noted in the earlier email, this month’s event is a “first annual” 12th Night Party hosted by Lisa and Robert Nichol on Sunday, January 11, beginning at 6 PM.  EVERYONE IS INVITED TO THIS EVENT!  Please come prepared to relax and make merry.  Elaine Porter will provide the King Cake and Bob and Lisa will offer Eggplant Parmigiana (from Taste of Italy), tea and coffee. Please bring whatever else you would like to drink as well as an appetizer, side dish, or dessert to pass. Also, bring a wrapped White Elephant gift to swap.

Hope to see many of you there for this first “annual” event – many thanks to Lisa and Bob for putting this together!

David Lee Heinzman

News from the National Office


The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has been awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support educational programming in 2015 and new music commissioned for the AGO National Convention in Houston, Tex., June 19–23, 2016. The $20,000 NEA “Art Works” grant will support Pipe Organ Encounters for youth and adults,  performances and workshops at all seven AGO Regional Conventions, the Guild’s professional certification program for organists and choral conductors, and new music commissions. While the Guild has benefitted from NEA support for the past five consecutive AGO National Conventions, the 2015 grant represents the first support the Guild has received for its educational programs and regional conventions.

“This grant covers the full breadth of the AGO’s educational activities for current and prospective members as well as our programs of outreach to the public,” stated AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “The NEA’s funding sends an uplifting message to the entire organ community: our instrument and its music are vitally important to the American people. The award validates the AGO’s ongoing efforts to ensure that music for the organ is created by talented composers, performed by skilled musicians, and appreciated by the widest audience possible. It is an honor for the Guild to be recognized by the NEA, the most prestigious independent federal agency in the United States responsible for funding and promoting artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation.”

NEA Chairman Jane Chu added, “I am pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Art Works including the award to the American Guild of Organists. The arts foster value, connection, creativity, and innovation for the American people. This grant demonstrates those attributes and affirms that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”

Art Works grants support the creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,474 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 919 were recommended for grants for a total of $26.6 million. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at Arts.gov.

New Dues Structure for AGO

At a meeting of the National Council approximately one year ago, it was agreed that the AGO should initiate a rolling dues year for members once ONCARD was fully operational. With the successful implementation of ONCARD for 240 chapters for the 2013-2014 membership year, the time to commence a rolling dues year has now arrived. Accordingly, the AGO has made a move to initiate “Rolling Dues” for all new members.  This means that a member who joins the AGO at any time will have a full one-year (12 month) membership beginning with their join date.  All current members whose memberships run from July 1-June 30 will retain July 1 as the start date of their membership year even if they renew a little early or a little late.

The Committee on Membership Development and Chapter Support believes firmly that our chapters are the primary pillar in AGO membership and that personal contact with chapter members is the best and most productive way to increase membership.  We encourage each chapter to obtain copies of the revised Prospective Member’s Card and Membership Information brochure from AGO headquarters so that they can be offered personally to prospective members throughout the year.  However, we also believe that the presence of our chapters and national organization online requires some changes in the way we conduct business.  The convenience of enrolling for an easily understood one-year membership and TAO subscription are important elements of our presence and appearance to prospective members not familiar with our chapter system.  The global and constant presence of the AGO online demands that we are prepared to accommodate easily and conveniently someone who seeks us out at any time.

Additionally, it is important to remember that the system of partial year’s dues is eliminated with this change.  For those who join in the spring, this very unwieldy system often resulted in new members paying for more months of membership than the number remaining in the fixed membership year making the AGO immediately seem unfair. Shortly after making this partial payment, these new members would be billed again for a full membership year which was confusing and disturbing.

For the local chapter this does imply some changes in the way operations are conducted.  However, the vast majority of members will continue to renew in the summer/early fall as this will be the time of year that their membership will come due.  It is only as the membership expands over the next several years that this will become less and less the case, allowing all of our chapters to make a slow and easy transition in their accounting and budgeting practices.

Here are a few suggestions and ideas to help chapter leaders who are working to understand the implications of this change and are searching for ways to adapt to it:

  1. Continue to conduct a membership drive at the time your chapter always has.  As mentioned above, your members are used to renewing their membership at this time and their memberships will expire annually at this time.  Provide computer support to help members renew online through ONCARD at your first chapter meeting of the fall and your last meeting of the spring.
  2. A renewed membership is good for one additional 12-month period beyond the expiration of the current membership.  If you renew in May, but your membership anniversary date is July 1, you will receive 12 additional months of membership beginning July 1.
  3. Have a local chapter membership year.  This can coincide with the chapter’s program year and fiscal year. There is nothing requiring a chapter to avoid a membership year at the local level.  However, any such local chapter year would not necessarily be supported by documentation or materials from the national level.  The chapter must also realize that any person who joins at a time other than the program or fiscal year that is specified by the local chapter would still be entitled to a full year’s membership.
  4. Set a deadline.  If your chapter continues to print a chapter yearbook/directory, continue to set an annual deadline for inclusion in the directory.  The rosters would include everyone who is a member on the date when the roster goes to press. At some point your chapter may have one or more members whose memberships will expire at a different time.  The chapter’s board may need at that time to address how these memberships are listed, bearing in mind that each member should be listed in the directory an equal number of times for a calendar year membership.
  5. Conduct more than one membership drive!  A chapter can always conduct an additional membership drive, stressing that new members who join always receive a full year’s membership and a full year of TAO.  Perhaps a New Year’s membership program or drive can be offered in January.
  6. Budget carefully.  When most chapters are preparing their annual budget for their program year, their membership should be as set as it has been in years past.  Most members will continue to renew at the same time annually and the chapter should be able to have numbers that are as reliable as in previous years.  Over the next decade or so this will slowly change as new members coming into the chapter may or may not renew in the late summer.  However, even small chapters should be able to predict with reasonable accuracy their membership in the coming years and then budget accordingly.
  7. Use the ONCARD information.  Your ONCARD administrator will be able to identify each member’s renewal date.  Your chapter can put together a plan to contact these members personally as their membership nears its renewal date.  A minimal number of personal contacts will need to be made each month, particularly for the next several years.
  8. Publicly and enthusiastically report the names of new members and renewed members.  As new members join and current memberships are renewed, mention them in chapter e-mail blasts or newsletters.  This will help you keep the renewal and membership process in front of all of your members as well as being welcoming to members as they join/renew.
  9. Some chapters have questioned whether members joining at various times of year would be eligible to vote in chapter or national elections. All members who are current when the election is held would be eligible to vote in the election.
  10. As with TAO subscribers and Independent Members, the one-year membership will save the AGO National Headquarters literally thousands of dollars as the organization will not have to print hundreds of extra issues of TAO for those new members who may enroll in the months before a membership year begins but are granted several “grace” months of TAO before their annual subscription technically begins. One of the least well known or understood official Guild policies states that for members who join on July 1, the TAO subscription year formally runs from December through November.  In fact, many members may receive from 16-18 months of TAO for their one-year membership. The implementation of rolling dues will enable us to change our policy and eliminate this very costly and confusing system for everyone.
  11. At National Headquarters, maintaining a fixed dues year means 15,000 membership records must be updated in a span of just two or three months. This means we must add and train temporary workers each summer at a substantial cost to the Guild. Rolling membership will gradually even out the workload and reduce expenses for the Guild so that more funds can be allocated to programs and services.
  12. Lastly, in this Internet age, maintaining a rolling membership dues year is professional and business-like. It is a better way to serve our members and show respect for their time. With ONCARD members can join on any day of any month and be assured that they will immediately begin receiving member benefits including full access to Guild programs like chapter benefits and the AGO Job Board without delay.

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

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