Bangor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Last updated: April 25, 2016 at 18:22 pm

Dean’s Letter     Chapter Programs      Local Events      Job Listings       Membership      Newsletters     Substitutes    2016 National Convention


The Bangor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists! Our chapter celebrates the Guild mission, “to enrich lives through organ and choral music.” True since the chapter’s founding in 1928, we celebrate and uphold the spirit of the organs that existed even then along with those gracing our public and worship lives ever since.

Musical landscapes shape our lives as much as physical ones. Our chapter members reflect this in a chapter that geographically encompasses everything from the Western mountains to the river valleys, rugged coastline, and tallest, coastal point in the Eastern United States. Our chapter borders Canada on three sides. This diverse landscape and unique beauty reflects in our chapter members. With varied backgrounds, we are a happy, collegial group and we love what we do in this place we called home. The strength of our chapter is reflected in the committed participation of each one of our guests and members.

If you are visiting our region, we encourage you to attend our many musical and cultural offerings when you are here. If you are moving to our area, we welcome you into the richness of music making in this place. Join us. Become active with us as we continue to enjoy creating beautiful sounds in this beautiful place we are so fortunate to call home.

For further information, please contact a member of our Executive Committee (see e-mail addresses below).

Douglas Beck, Dean

Dean’s Letter

“As I have heard from many in our membership these past weeks and months, one theme stands clear. This seems to be one of those times when life’s details and transitions have us all working very hard in our professional and personal lives. While the circumstances are not alway under our control, we can make decisions around how we respond and how we continue to work for the greater good. As we enter into the seasons of Christmas and Epiphany we experience their underlying messages of hope, light and love in the midst of darkness. It now seems that our work as musicians takes on a particularly urgent tone. The lives that we touch through your work know this to be true in the music that you make and inspire in others.

My hope for each of you is that in the midst of your various work and ministries, that you too can find a sense of the peace and calm that we play and sing about. Take care of yourselves. Rest, reflect and take time for renewal.

Our January workshop offers such an opportunity as well as the sense of unity and purpose that comes from being together as colleagues and friends. I hope that you will take this opportunity to feed your personal and professional wellbeing as we gather in community, renewing relationships and forming new ones.

I am grateful to member Jane Schroeder for pulling together a Saturday morning refresher that is sensitive to all of the needs that I mentioned above. Also, thank you Carlton Russell for co-presenting. Please join us at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 33 Chestnut Street in Camden [map]. POSTPONED until February 20th due to weather.

Please note that this has been postponed until February 20 due to weather.

Here is an outline of the morning:

 9:30 – Gather: coffee/donuts
9:45 – Session 1: Carlton Russel’s Top 10 (or so) Worship Anthem Picks for Choir
10:45 – break…more coffee/donuts
11:00 – Session 2: Jane Schroeder’s Top Worship Voluntaries
Noon pm – Open console time/lunch-explore Camden on your own
Also at noon: brief Executive Committee Meeting

Looking ahead, stay alert for more details as they become available on upcoming programs:

  • Video Discussion hosted by Kevin Birch coming in early Spring.
  • Member Recital and Annual Dinner/Meeting coming in late Spring organized by Kay Eames.

In the words of hymn writer F. Pratt Green: May God give us faith to sing always, Alleluia!”

Douglas Beck, Chapter Dean

Chapter Programs

The Portland, ME chapter of the AGO is sponsoring a Jubilee this coming Saturday, March 5. At Ann Hartlzer’s request, I’ve attached the brochure for the event. Please share with organists in the Bangor area – both in the AGO and outside of it – to the best of your chapter’s ability. Many thanks!

Please note that although the brochure states the Jubilee starts at 8 AM, there is an hour reserved for registration, refreshments. So, there is some flexibility for people travelling longer distances. For people who have never seen the Kotzschmar organ, there is also the opportunity for a tour in the afternoon.

The main purpose of the Jubilee is to encourage organists and others (such as pianists) to see what the AGO is all about and to encourage them to become members. Anyone who comes to the Jubilee, who is not already an AGO member, receives a 6 month free membership. To register, please print and complete the brochure.

Also, stay tuned for news on our coming programs.

Advent blessings,

Dean, Bangor Chapter

2015 – 2016 Annual Scholarship Winners

The scholarship committee is pleased to announce the names of four recipients of the organ scholarship. They are:   Anne Small,  Jacob Gould,  Johan Halvorsen and Mallory Haney. The first three were recipients last year and all played in the Members Recital at St. Savior’s Church in Bar Harbor.  The donations were designated for the Scholarship Fund, and $407.50 was collected. Each recipient will receive $300, and Kevin Birch will give the lessons.

  • Anne Small, from Bangor, teaches PK-3 music at Fruit St., 14th St. & Vine St. schools in Bangor.
    Has been studying organ for approx 7 yrs.
    Primary instrument is flute.
  • Jacob Gould, from Holden,
    Grade 11 at Hampden Academy,
    4 years, Piano and Xylophone!
  • Johan Halvorsen, from Guilford is 14
    He is Home Schooled, 9th grade
    Organ study for 3.5 years
    Also plays viola
  • Mallory H. V. Haney, from Harrington
    Narraguagus High School, Grade:12
    Years of organ study: 2 years
    Other instrument: Piano for 13 years
    Mallory recently moved from the country of Chile to Harrington, Maine.

Local Events

Friday, April 29, 8:30 am – Senior Lecture and Recital

Cathy Bruno especially invites all of our AGO folks to her milestone Senior Lecture and Recital entitled “Organ Compositions for the Liturgical Year.” Special Guests: Dan Conte, bass-baritone, and Anthony Viselli, violin. It will be held at St. John’s Catholic Church, 207 York Street, Bangor [map]. A reception will follow in the church hall. Please make time in your schedule to attend this important event.

Tuesday, May 3, 7:30 pm – Organ Concert

St. John’s Organ Society is pleased to announce that Spanish organist, Loreto Aramendi, will play a concert on the historic organ at St. John’s Catholic Church (207 York Street, Bangor [map]) on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.   Aramendi is the principal organist of the Cavaillé-Coll organ (1863) of the Basilique of Santa María del Coro and professor of organ at the F. Escudero Conservatoire, both in San Sebastian.  She enjoys an international reputation as a concert artist, and has performed in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Argentina, the United States and France.  Her program includes music of Wagner, Liszt, J.S. Bach, Fauré, Tournemire, and Saint-Saëns.

The May 3rd program continues the tradition of an annual concert by an internationally recognized recitalist on the historic E. & G. G. Hook organ, Opus 288, at St. John’s Catholic Church.   Hook’s Opus 288, the largest 19th-Century pipe organ in northern New England, has been described by Alan Laufman (past president of the Organ Historical Society) as “…a national treasure.”

St. John’s Catholic Church is located at 207 York Street in Bangor [map].  Admission is free, but donations are appreciated and will benefit outreach and education projects of St. John’s Organ Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of the historic E. & G. G. Hook Organ built in 1860.  For more information, visit

National Convention

The Houston Chapter invites you to attend the 2016 AGO National Convention, June 19–23. After several years of planning, we are pleased to offer an array of renowned performers and workshop presenters, and provide a showcase for new, rising talent and exciting new compositions. If you have not already done so, be sure you take advantage of the early registration rates and reserve your spot today—discounted rates will expire on March 14. Registration is easy: Register now!

Other Chapter Features

Lending Library

Our chapter has a lending library. It is located in the Parish House of St. John’s Episcopal Church (234 French Street, Bangor), contains a large collection of organ music, organ-related books, etc., and is open to chapter members and the general public. The church office (and hence the lending library) is open from 9 am to 1 pm Monday-Friday, or at other times by appointment: call (207) 947-0156.


The chapter offers scholarship aid to one or more qualified organ students annually; for more information and application procedure, contact the Scholarship Committee chair, Dr. Kevin Birch (207) 942-6941. Auditions for the 2015 – 2016 AGO Scholarships will be held on Saturday, August 15 from 10am to noon at St. John’s R.C., 207 York St, Bangor.  If you know of someone who might like to apply, please notify a Scholarship Committee members: Kevin Birch,; Kay Eames,; or Alice Mummé,


Our Newsletter is produced and delivered in electronic format (e-mail) as needed.
To post an event or job opening, to consult an up-to-date substitute list, or to be added to the mailing list, please contact:

Alice Mummé, Newsletter Editor

We’re Here for You

Do you have professional concerns? Are you looking for educational resources? Do you want to involve the chapter in an event or special service? Do you wish to learn more about organ playing and literature? The chapter, like the Guild as a whole, is here to help you. To reach us, see “Contact” section below.

Organ Looking For a New Home (posted 4/21/2016)

St. James’ Episcopal Church, Old Town, replaced our old Esty organ with a Johannus digital organ several years ago, and we had hoped to find another church that wanted our old organ. I have consulted a church organist or two and also a couple of organ companies, and it seems no one is interested.  We wondered whether any college or high school music departments would have use for the organ? It is playable, but was never a “fine” instrument.  A recent item in the Penobscot Times from 100 years ago stated that St. James’ was getting a new organ, and we know the church purchased it secondhand.

Please let me know if you can suggest anyone who might have an interest in the organ.  It has a beautiful old oak case, ivories, and pipes, and it seems a shame to have it be hauled away as trash.  Thanks so much for your thoughts on this.



Please contact either:

Mary Cathcart
Senior Policy Associate
Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center
University of Maine
5784 York Bldg. 4
Orono ME 04469



Laura Artesani, D.M.A.
Associate Professor, Division of Music
School of Performing Arts
University of Maine
work phone: 207-581-1745


All individuals interested in the organ and choral music fields are invited to join the American Guild of Organists. Membership is open to everyone, regardless of denominational affiliation, musical training, or ability. Posted on Website 8, January, 2015

For more information and membership materials, visit:

You are also encouraged to contact:

Brian MacFarland, Chapter Treasurer/Registrar

Job Listings


Position: Organist/Accompanist (added to the website on 1/18/2016)

The First Congregational Church, UCC, of Waterville, is seeking an organist to play for our worship services and to accompany the church choir on organ or piano.  We are an Open and Affirming church of 200 or so souls seeking the place where God’s dream for our community, the needs of our community, and what we have to offer our community, meet.  The organ is a Berkshire, completely renovated in 2008 by Bill Czelusniak of Messrs. Czelusniak et Dugal, Northampton, MA.  You can find specifics and photos of the organ here:

Competitive pay offered.  Hours, vacation negotiable.  Start date in May.  Send resume and references to:  Organist Search, First Congregational UCC, 7 Eustis Parkway, Waterville, ME  04901.  Resumes must be received in our office by Monday, February 15, 2016, to be considered.

Position: Church Organist/Pianist (added to the website on 1/7/2016)

 Searsmont United Methodist Church, 9:00-10:00a.m. Sunday service. No choir.

Student applicants welcome. Salary negotiable. Please call Rev. Ed Bove at (207)785-4140.


Posting Jobs in The American Organist  (The AGO’s official magazine.)

Employers are invited to post notices of available positions in The American Organist, free of charge, in the next available issue. Send e-mail listings to, using the format below. The deadline is the 15th of the second preceding month (July issue closes May 15th). The position announcement will run in one issue and include the following information:

Name of church, business, or institution; full postal address; website address; position title (Ex: “Full-time organist/choir director”); contact (name, phone number, fax, e-mail address).

Employers and job seekers are invited to post and search listings of available positions on the Guild’s National Website.

Substitutes as of April 22, 2016

  • Steve Lynn   207-745-3325
  • Clayton Rogers      Sunday service, weddings, funerals)   207-989-7628
  • Joan Kroehler   947-7804  Weddings and funerals only, organ or vocal
  • Barbara Fenlason 469-3573 (before noon)   funerals, weddings only.   organ or piano
  • Kay Lindstrom  207 947-3469  kayli1001@gmail,com  (Bangor-Brewer churches only)
  • Robin Barron  Weddings, funerals, special services anywhere in the state, any time except Sunday
  • Bill Voorhies       []  244-9226
  • Rev. Richard R. Hyman   207-992 3106,    Piano and organ. Funerals and weddings – available week days and Saturdays
  • Donna Runnels 948-2171, cell 416-9968 organ only,Sunday services, funerals, within 50 miles        of Unity, Maine
  • Dora Rexrode    990-5476
  • Matthew Mainster   410-227-9359   Organ, piano, accompanying  *All but Sunday morning services. Mid-coast thru Bangor area primarily, but open to all Maine locations.

If there are additions or corrections to this list, please contact Alice Mummé at 866-2655 or


The American Guild of Organists was chartered in 1896 by the Board of Regents, University of the State of New York, to administer a comprehensive series of examinations for professional certification. Through the Professional Certification Committee the Guild offers the following certificates:

Service Playing Certificate (SPC)
Colleague (CAGO)
Choir Master (ChM)
Associateship (AAGO)
Fellowship (FAGO)

For more information on certification, visit:

Contact Us/Board of Directors (2015-2016)

Douglas Beck, Dean

Kevin F. Birch, Sub-Dean

Brian A. MacFarland, Treasurer and Registrar

Alice Mummé, Newsletter Editor and Senior Advisor

Catherine J. (Cathy) Bruno, Secretary

Joan Kroehler, Member-at-Large

Julia Morris-Myers, Member-at-Large

Catherine [Kay] Byther Eames, Member-at-Large

Dr. Kevin F. Birch, Chair, Scholarship Committee

Larry Philbrick, Website Maintenance (non-board position)


The St. John’s Organ Society (Bangor)

Portland (Maine) Chapter, AGO

Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ (Portland)

The Organ Historical Society

The Royal School of Church Music

AGO National website

National Convention