2020 AGO Election


National Council Proposes Adding an AGOYO Member with Voting Rights


The governance of the AGO is vested in its National Council, a small cohort of volunteer Guild members elected by their peers.  All Councillors serve two-year terms. Each councillor may serve up to five consecutive terms but can hold the same position for no more than three consecutive terms.

The Council currently consists of eight voting members including four officers (President, Vice President/Councillor for Competitions and New Music, Secretary/Councillor for Communications, and Treasurer/Councillor for Finance and Development) plus three councillors with portfolio (Education, Membership, and Conventions), and the chair of the Board of Regional Councillors (ex officio). With the exception of the chair of the BRC, all of the aforementioned councillors are elected by a vote of the general membership. The executive director of the AGO and an AGOYO member also serve on the National Council ex officio with voice but no vote.

In February of this year, having agreed that an AGO Young Organist should have a regular voting position on Council, the AGO National Council passed two motions approving changes in the Bylaws that would provide for a Councillor for Young Organists as a new voting position on the NC. Since our AGO Bylaws state that any change in the number of people on the National Council must be approved by the Guild membership, proposed amendments to the Bylaws that have been approved by Council are now being brought forward. That language, in the form of an edit of one word in Article IV Section II and the addition of a brief new section in the same article, is on the ballot this year for your approval.  With the hope and expectation that the membership will approve a new Councillor for Young Organists position, the National Nominating Committee was asked to nominate two candidates for that position, and it has done so.

The candidates who have been nominated to the National Council represent a diverse and experienced group. Sixteen candidates (eight men and eight women) are running for the eight National Council positions that will be elected by the membership. (The Chair of the Board of Regional Councillors is chosen by a vote of the BRC.) These 16 candidates hail from 13 different states, with two from Massachusetts, New York, and Oklahoma. Eleven candidates have earned Guild certification: two SPC, two CAGO, two AAGO, and two FAGO. One candidate has earned AAGO, ChM and two candidates are FAGO, ChM.  Three of the eight incumbent members of the National Council are eligible to serve for the 2020-2022 term, and all have been renominated.

For their outstanding service to the National Council over the last six years, we extend our thanks to Secretary/Councillor for Communications Mary Stutz; Treasurer/Councillor for Finance and Development Barbara Adler; Councillor for Education Don Cook; Councillor for Conventions Michael Velting; and Councillor for Membership David Lamb.

The 2020 Election also serves as the means by which Regional Councillors are elected. The voting members of each Region elect their Regional Councillor. Leadership of the Guild’s seven regions is the responsibility of these seven members of the Board of Regional Councillors.

The 14 candidates nominated for the seven regional councillor positions include seven men and seven women. They represent 12 states as the two nominees for the Great Lakes Region are from Michigan and the two nominees for the West Region are from Arizona. Five of the candidates have earned Guild certification—one CAGO, three AAGO, and one FAGO.

Among the current members of the Board of Regional Councillors, all four eligible incumbents have been renominated to serve another term. We extend our sincere thanks to the three regional councillors completing six years of service. Each has served the Guild with distinction for three two-year terms: Vicki Schaeffer of the Southwest Region who is also completing her term as Chair of the BRC; Karl Bruhn of the Great Lakes Region, and Matthew Burt of the West Region.

The men and women you elect in April will establish and uphold the governance policies of the Guild. They will also make important decisions about the AGO’s future, establishing long-term goals, quantifiable objectives, strategies, tactics, and implementation plans to ensure the long-term vitality of our organization.

Please read the biographical sketches and statements of the candidates published in the April issue of TAO issue beginning on page 9 or at this election website: https://secure.intelliscaninc.net/ago/2020  . All successful candidates will be installed at the Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday, July 9, 2020,

In keeping with our custom, the quickest and easiest way to vote will be by electronic ballot. If we have your email address on file, you will receive an email that will give you access to a special website established by Intelliscan, Inc., our election management firm, at which you will be able to cast your ballot. You may also vote using the ballot bound into this issue of TAO.

The six volunteer members of the National Nominating Committee and 35 volunteer members of the seven Regional Nominating Committees have invested countless hours interviewing and selecting candidates who are eminently qualified to serve the Guild in leadership capacities for the next two years. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all of the Nominating Committee members for their conscientious and productive efforts and to all of the nominees for answering the call to serve as leaders of the AGO.

The biennial election of National Council members and Regional Councillors takes place in April of even-numbered years, so the time to choose the future leaders of the Guild is now.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to participate in the AGO’s election process. Every vote counts. Please vote.


  1. Bill Morong says:

    As a member, I read the e-mail about voting and printed out material about candidates. Returned after studying the material for several hours with the intention of voting, but can no longer find the e-mail. Saw the big banner on the AGO website urging me to vote, but have no idea how to get to the ballot to do so. Please help.

  2. John p sindani says:

    I want to be member,will you please help me the procedures to be followed !

    • Bill Valentine says:


      Please review the membership process as outlined on this page: https://www.agohq.org/membership/membership-overview/. At the bottom of the page are links you can click on to start the process. You can also call the AGO office at 212-870-2310 for assitance. Due to the corona virus situation we may not be able to answer the phone but if you leave a voicemail we will get back to you.

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