Greetings from the North Central AGOYO: Iberian Organ Music

This month we delve into the under-appreciated world of Iberian organ music from the late Renaissance and Baroque. The organs with their large arsenals of horizontal reeds provide a pleasing sight not only to our eyes, but to our ears as well. Composers also utilize the unique split keyboard design of Iberian organs to compose pieces that are not playable on other instruments of the same time. -Phillip Radtke Understudied and underappreciated, Iberian organ music and organs had the biggest impact during the 17th century while the Iberian Peninsula experienced a period of strong political power. Iberian organs were influenced by builders of France, the Netherlands and most of Europe. While the music was conservative it is distinctively … [Read more...]

West: Stress Relief

Greetings from the West Region AGOYO! Our topic this month is Stress Relief, especially appropriate for those of us that hold church positions in this busy season! As the world speeds up around us during the holiday season, it is easy to get caught up in the stress and pressures of work and family life. Sometimes it's hard to feel like there is time for everything! I have found that it is often helpful to take a step back from the things that are stressing me out, whether that means taking a long practice break or even taking a day off. Taking a day off and engaging in healthy self-care habits will help you to return to work the next day feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next challenge. If you find yourself feeling burnt out as … [Read more...]

Two new Pogorzelski-Yankee Scholarships will be awarded for the 2018-19 academic year

The online application period for 1) an entering college freshman and 2) entering 1st year graduate scholarship begins January 1st and ends February 15, 2018. More information on the Pogorzelski-Yankee scholarship - The application period has begun! Students must plan to be an entering college freshman or an entering first year graduate student in the 2018-19 academic year. Students must have a desire to commit a significant portion of the two years following graduation to teaching, performing, or other serious endeavor with respect to the organ. Students must attend, or plan to attend, a nationally or regionally accredited post-secondary institution (college, university, or conservatory) by the time awards are made. … [Read more...]

North Central: Dutch Organ Culture During the Reformation

Greetings from the North Central region of AGOYO! In light of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting of the 95 theses, effectively beginning the Reformation, I would like to address reformer John Calvin’s important role in shaping Dutch organ culture through religious doctrine. John Calvin (1509-1564), French theologian and reformer based in Geneva, Switzerland Most well-known for his doctrine of predestination and the sovereignty of God in the role of salvation Influenced the development of the Reformed and Presbyterian traditions Three Important Scripture Verses and Calvin’s Interpretation I Corinthians 14:16: surrounding the context of speaking in tongues during worshipand the need for an interpreter. According to … [Read more...]

Southwest: The Four C’s- How to deal with congregation, coworkers, committees, and clergy

Greetings from the Southwest AGOYO! Our topic is The Four C's- dealing with Coworkers, A Committee, A Congregation, and Clergy. In our field especially, interpersonal skills are extremely important. However, there may be times where we face a coworker or someone in a neighboring department that we may not work as well with. Dealing with conflict in a workplace setting can be quite difficult and knowing how to resolve issues and reach out to others, if needed, is vital. Read More... -Solena Rizzato … [Read more...]

Mid-Atlantic: Pedal Technique

Greetings from the Mid Atlantic AGOYO! Continuing in our series on transitioning from piano to organ, here is an article written by one of our board members, Peter Bayer, about pedal technique. The Pedal of the Organ is another keyboard like a manual, but instead of having two hands wherewith to play it, one has two feet. The two feet generally work best if they are treated as a unit, as if they were one hand with two fingers. The primary motion of the feet should be a pivoting motion from the heels, while the legs above the heels remain relaxed, only coming into motion in order to facilitate large movements. Therefore, good posture is of utmost importance for good pedal technique. The back must be straight, and one must sit … [Read more...]

Great Lakes: Career Benefits of Degrees and AGO Certifications

Whether you would like to pursue a degree in performance or church music, there are several reasons why an organ degree will benefit your career as an organist: Formal organ study. Taking consistent lessons, enrolling in music classes, and studying alongside other peer musicians is a phenomenal growing experience. (Studying music in college is awesome!) Experience. A degree will provide you with valuable performing and teaching experience. This is your opportunity to hone your skills and learn from your mistakes! Take advantage of this time to be a student! Efficient practice. As organists, we have to learn music rather quickly. Whether learning an anthem for Sunday morning or getting ready for a recital, organists need experience in … [Read more...]

Support the AGO on #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday, November 28, is a national day of philanthropy. To celebrate the occasion, we ask that you consider making a gift to the AGO Annual Fund. Our ambitious goal is to raise $24,000 in 24 hours. We are both making a commitment to contribute to the Guild on Giving Tuesday, and we encourage you to do so as well. The Guild is poised for great things in 2018. Contribute Now At our National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., July 2-6, we will roll out a completely new, three-year strategic plan that is designed to provide greater support to our chapters and members than ever before. But first, we will start the year by helping to fund January Jubilees in Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio. In the spring we will … [Read more...]

Southeast: Five Ways to Combat a Little Bit of Christmas Rage

This one is best read from the ​source … [Read more...]

December 2017 TAO Cover Feature

The New Organ at Pilgrim Lutheran Church Carmel, Indiana Buzard Pipe Organ Builders by John-Paul Buzard View an enlarged cover View a Stop List Pilgrim Lutheran Church’s former building was located on land that the State of Indiana purchased to create a new entrance ramp for I-465; their parking lot was purchased by another institution. The congregation was therefore able to relocate and erect a new building without the need for fund-raising, although the process occupied more than ten years. Early in their planning process, Pilgrim’s organ committee selected Buzard Pipe Organ Builders for their hoped-for new organ in what was then their hoped-for new building. Imagine my delight and surprise when many years following our … [Read more...]