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...]

Cedar Valley, Iowa hosts the first Pipe Organ Encounter of 2016

Cedar Valley, Iowa was the site of the first POE of 2016. Led by director Karen Black at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, the students, faculty and volunteers took a break from lessons, classes and activities to pose for an outdoor photo (below). A full report of this and other Pipe Organ Encounter events will appear in the December, 2016 issue of The American Organist. … [Read more...]

Eight Prizes Presented to Six Organists at National Convention in Houston, TX

The American Guild of Organists  is pleased to announce the results of its National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP) and the National Competition in Organ Improvisation (NCOI). Prizewinners were recognized at the 53rd biennial AGO National Convention in Houston, Tex. The following prizes were awarded: National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance First Prize—Katelyn Emerson The Jordan Organ Endowment Prize: $10,000, awarded in conjunction with a solo recital on the Jordan Family Organ in Columbus, GA; The Lilian Murtagh Memorial Prize: $3,000 cash award and career development assistance provided by Karen McFarlane Artists; a CD recording by Pro Organo; a performance at the 2018 AGO National … [Read more...]

AGO Recognizes Three Award Winning Composers

The American Guild of Organists honored three award- winning composers at its Annual Meeting on June 22, during the 2016 AGO National Convention in Houston, TX. AGO Vice President Christian Lane presided over the award presentations to David Ashley White of Houston, Ivan Božičević of Croatia, and Michael Gilbertson of Hamden, CT The 2016 Distinguished Composer Award was presented to David Ashley White. The prestigious award, created in 1986, is presented biennially to recognize outstanding composers of organ and choral music in the United States. White’s anthem, With a Shining Like the Sun, for mixed chorus, brass, timpani, organ, and congregation, was given its premier performance during the convention. Previous award recipients … [Read more...]

AGO’S Highest and Most Prestigious Awards Bestowed at National Convention

The American Guild of Organists bestowed its two highest awards of national distinction in conjunction with the 53rd biennial AGO National Convention in Houston, TX. Award presentations were made during the Guild’s Annual Meeting. AGO President John Walker made the presentation to Frederick Haas, and at Walker’s request, Jeffrey Hoover made the presentation to Robert Bennett because of Hoover’s long association with the award recipient. The AGO President’s Award was presented to Frederick R. Haas of Philadelphia, PA. The prestigious award, created in 1988, is presented biennially to recognize outstanding contributions to the art of the organ in the United States. The 2016 President’s Award was given to Haas “in gratitude for his inspired … [Read more...]