2017 AGO National Pedagogy Conference Set for University of Kansas

The 2017 AGO National Pedagogy Conference will take place at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS from October 18-21, 2017. The focus will be on organ and improvisation study in the French conservatory system. Featured artists are Michel Bouvard, Vincent DuBois, Aurelie Decourt, Olivier Latry, and Shin-Young Lee. Additional American artists include Lynne Davis, James Higdon, and Norma Livlingson. Full details and registration information are now available at the Pedagogy Conference website.   … [Read more...]

Premiere performance of Construct: for organ

Ann Labounsky premiered Christopher Adler’s Construct: for Organ, March 26th at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Construct: for Organ was the commissioned piece in the second Annual Pogorzelski-Yankee Annual Competition. The concert can be viewed on YouTube at the link below. … [Read more...]

AGO Receives Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has been awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support educational programs and career development for organists, choral conductors, and composers in 2017, including new music commissioned for the AGO National Convention in Kansas City, MO July 2–6, 2018. While the AGO has received regular support from the NEA since 2005, the $25,000 “Art Works” award is the largest grant the arts endowment has ever given to the Guild. “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 … [Read more...]

Shop the AGO Holiday Store

The AGO Holiday Store Quick Order Form is up and running! Along with past favorites such as AGO greeting cards, The American Organist magazine slipcase, and The Young Persons Guide to the Pipe Organ this year we are offering the Philadelphia Hymnbook. Prices include the 10% AGO member discount. Place an order now. … [Read more...]

AGO Prepares 30 Instructional Videos for New Organists

The AGO has begun developing a series of 30 videos intended to teach basic skills and techniques to beginning organists including pianists who are making a transition to organ-playing. The videos will be available on the AGO 's YouTube channel. More information will be forthcoming shortly. In the meantime, here are the working titles of the videos: 1. A pianist’s first steps in making the transition to the organ. The concept of 8´ pitch. 2. The architecture and layout of the American pipe organ. Two-manual organs. Turning the organ on. The coupling of manuals. 3. Larger American organs of three or more manuals. Coupling manuals to pedal. Divisions under dynamic expression. 4. The organ score. Manual and pedal compasses. Varieties of … [Read more...]

AGO Past President John Walker to be Honored at Concert

Organists Marie-Louise Langlais, Eileen Guenther, Henry Lowe and Michael Britt will present a concert honoring organist John C. Walker, immediate past president of the American Guild of Organists, on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 3 p.m. at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church in the Bolton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. They will be playing the church’s 1931 Skinner organ, Opus 839 (IV/45). Three choral works composed in Walker’s honor will also be performed. The program includes works by Jean Langlais, Jehan Alain, Maurice Duruflé, Bruce Simonds, Robert Hebble, and Joe Utterback. Brown Memorial’s Chancel Choir will perform pieces by Daniel Gawthrop, Alfred Fedak and JoyAnne Amani Richardson. John Walker and JoyAnne Richardson, who … [Read more...]

2015 Pittsburgh Regional Convention Videos Now on YouTube

In the summer of 2015 the AGO Mid-Atlantic Regional Convention in Pittsburgh hosted performances by organists Nathan Laube, Elise Smoot, Marvin Mills, Brian Harlow, Christopher Jennings, and vocalist Marlissa Hudson. The performances, nine in all, were video-recorded and are now available in a playlist on the AGO's YouTube Channel. Totaling more than two hours of performance, these high-quality videos feature the organs of Calvary Episcopal Church, Duquesne University, Shadyside Presbyterian Church, and St. Paul Roman Catholic Cathedral. Narrated by WQED's Jim Cunningham, the videos showcase several impressive examples of church architecture in Pittsburgh. Members of the AGO's Pittsburgh chapter provided logistical and financial … [Read more...]

Church Music Institute Creates eLibrary of over 10,000 Sacred Choral Titles

In 2015, conversations began about the possibility of the CMI eLibrary becoming a membership benefit to members of AGO. Funding was sought and obtained for a pilot project; considerations among the appropriate levels of approval needed within AGO were initiated and completed. In early 2016, a pilot project for CMI and the AGO to offer access to the eLibrary was begun through the national office to chapters in Kansas City, Indianapolis, and Atlanta. Enrollment processes were honed, and access was provided; at this writing, dozens of AGO members and their colleagues are experimenting with the eLibrary as we look forward with hope to offering all AGO members this benefit in 2017. Please read  the full article in the July 2016 issue of … [Read more...]

Atlanta, Georgia hosts one of 8 Pipe Organ Encounter events in 2016

Atlanta, Georgia was the site of a POE directed by Nicole Marane, director of the AGO National Committee on Pipe Organ Encounters. The students were photographed  from the chancel of Peachtree United Methodist Church in Atlanta. A full report of this and other Pipe Organ Encounter events will appear in the December, 2016 issue of The American Organist. (PHOTO CREDIT: Bush Enos) … [Read more...]

Congratulations to the 2016 NYACOP and NCOI Winners

Five finalists played at the 2016 NYACOP final round Saturday, June 18, 2016 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas. The winning players were Katelyn Emerson – First Place, Kirk Rich – Second Place, and Weicheng Zhao – Third Place and Audience Prize. Three finalists were chosen at the 2015 NCOI semifinals held July 1, 2015 at the Charlotte SE Regional Convention. The three organists below traveled to Houston, Texas for the NCOI final round that was held June 21, 2016 at Christ Church Cathedral (Houston). Thomas Dahl, was awarded 1st Place and the Audience Prize, Matt Gender was awarded 2nd Place, and Kalle Toivio was awarded 3rd Place. … [Read more...]