Vice President/Councillor for Competitions & New Music

M. Jonathan Ryan, MM, FAGO, ChM
St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
8011 Douglas Ave.
Dallas, TX  75225


The Councillor for Competitions & New Music coordinates the work of the Guild in the areas of competitions. Committees under this Councillor’s aegis include New Music, National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP), Regional Competition for Young Organists (RCYO), and National Competition in Organ Improvisation (NCOI).

Competitions Committee

This committee is responsible for oversight and revision of the rules and organization for the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP), National Competition in Organ Improvisation (NCOI), and AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists (RCYO). In the case of NYACOP, the committee is responsible for the selection of repertoire and judges for all rounds of the competition, approval of competition venues, and on-site administration of the semifinal and final rounds. It also selects the official competitors from the pool of applicants. In the case of NCOI, the committee chooses themes and recommends a composer for the given theme, selects judges for all rounds of the competition, and oversees the performance rounds of the competition. In the case of RCYO, the committee establishes repertoire requirements, makes certain that competition coordinators at all levels are knowledgeable about their responsibilities, and promotes Chapter and competitor participation; committee members are available to assist those involved at all levels of the competition and to help interpret the rules in cooperation with competition administrators. The committee also advises each biennial National Convention on the scheduling and coordination of competitions and on performances to be given by the RCYO winners (Rising Stars). Because each national competition concludes at a National Convention, the terms of committee members overseeing NCYACOP and NCOI begin in even numbered years, while those guiding the RCYO serve terms that begin in odd-numbered years, like most other national committees.

Director:  M. Jonathan Ryan, MM, FAGO, ChM

RCYO Subcommittee

Vivienne McKay, BA, SPC,  Director
Sarah Martin, BA, MM
Ann Posey, BMus, MM, CAGO

NYACOP Subcommittee

Grady E. Coyle, DMA, Director, AAGO, ChM
Kathrine Handford
Kimberly Marshall, PhD

NCOI Subcommittee

Cindy Lindeen-Martin, DMA, Director
Jason Roberts, DMA
Mary Newton, DMA, CAGO

Committee on New Music

This Committee oversees all of the Guild’s activity in promoting new music:

• Establishing rules and guidelines for the biennial AGO/Marilyn Mason Award in Organ Composition and the AGO/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition; nominating judges and overseeing the judging of these competitions; publicizing the competitions and winners; and coordinating the performances of winning pieces with the National Convention New Music and Performances committees.
• Establishing rules and guidelines for the Pogorzelski-Yankee Organ Composition Competition, and overseeing the administration and promotion of that competition.
• Establishing guidelines for commissions, and serving as a resource to the New Music Committees of National Conventions.
• Nominating the recipient of the biennial AGO Distinguished Composer Award for approval by the National Council, and coordinating with National Convention New Music and Performances committees to feature this composer.
• Encouraging the performance and commissioning of new music at Regional Conventions. • Enabling subsequent performances of new music.
• Providing a current resource list of new music.
• Generating topics pertaining to new music for publication in The American Organist.

No member of this committee may submit an entry to any AGO composition competition while serving.

Members of the Committee on New Music

Louise Mundinger, MM, Director Email
David J. Hurd, Jr., MusD, LHD, DSM  Email
Carol Feather Martin, MM Email
Alexander Meszler, MM  Email
M. Jonathan Ryan, MM, FAGO, ChM, ex officio (Vice President/Councillor for Competitions and New Music)  Email

Harold Calhoun,  Manager of Competitions and Educational Resources Email

Strategic Planning Committee

Director:  Eileen Hunt, AAGO, DMA Email
Michael Bedford, AAGO, ChM, DMA Email
Matthew Burt, SPC, MA, MDiv, MSM Email
Dr. David K. Lamb, CAGO, DMus Email
M. Jonathan Ryan, MM, FAGO, ChM, ex officio Email
Vicki J. Schaeffer, DM Email
Mary V. Stutz, BS Email
Michael Velting, DMA Email