Bangor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Last updated: November 23, 2015 at 9:54 am


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 in1928, 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

From the Dean’s Keyboard

I hope to see all of our members as we gather for our Annual Chapter Social and Potluck Dinner on Sunday, September 13 at 5:30 pm at the home of Brian MacFarland, 496 N. Searsport Rd., Prospect. Members, prospective members and spouses are welcome. Organists are terrific cooks! Bring a dish to share as we renew ties, talk about Chapter plans for the year and share summertime stories.

As well, mark your calendars now and plan to attend a Morning with Composer Charles Callahan on Saturday, October 24 from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm (noon) Woodford’s Congregational Church, 202 Woodford St., Portland. This is our jointly sponsored program with the Portland Chapter so we hope to have good representation from our chapter at this very exciting meeting. It will be well worth the drive to Portland. Carpool with your friends and remember to bring your Callahan scores and pencils!

One of our Chapter strengths is the diverse backgrounds, traditions and places where we live as AGO members. The regional issue can also be a concern, given the driving distance to meetings, etc. I wonder if in this start-up time, we can renew a commitment to one another to make an effort to be present at our meetings and to be attentive to one another. Perhaps we could hold events, a recital or even a meeting at your institution. With so many church’s and instruments, is there one that we have not enjoyed together? Or, perhaps it’s been many years and it may be time for a revisit. Your Executive Committee will be meeting in a few weeks to finalize programs for the Winter and Spring. This is your chapter and we are committed to representing, you, the membership as well as we can. We have a short list of programs to work through and approve. Perhaps you would like to serve as an event host. Let me know of your interest in hosting so that we can insure that all of our membership in its wonderful diversity is being served.

May you continue to be blessed in your making music as you are a blessing to others.

Douglas Beck, Dean

Autumn 2015 Chapter Programs

Masterclass with Charles Callahan on Saturday, October 24 from 9:30 AM until noon at Woodford’s Congregational Church, 202 Woodford St., Portland [map]. This is our jointly sponsored program with the Portland Chapter. This event will be well worth the drive to Portland. Carpool with your friends and remember to bring your Callahan scores and pencils!

Winter 2015-2016 Chapter Programs

Watch this space for our winter programs.

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


Click on the image for a larger image.

Saturday, December 5, 7:30 pm

You are cordially invited to join The Chamber Choir at St. John’s Catholic Church for an evening of Choral, Instrumental and Organ Music featuring Italian Masterworks of the 17th and 18th Centuries on Saturday, December 5 at 7:30pm at St. John’s Catholic Church, 207 York St., Bangor [map]. Free admission, donations appreciated.

Sunday, December 6, 4:00 pm

A traditional candlelit service of Advent Lessons and Carols will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 225 French Street, Bangor [map] on Sunday, December 6 at 4:00 pm. All donations received at the service will benefit the Penquis Community Action Program for Heating and Fuel Assistance. Child care is provided and a festive Advent Tea follows the service.

The St. John’s Choir will present music by Lassus, Palestrina, Goldschmidt and Franck plus more modern carols by Archer, Sirrett, Aspaas, Manz, Gardner and Carter. The selections represent holiday music from the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France, England, Canada, and the U.S.

Friday, December 11, 7:00 pm

Bangor Area Children’s Choir will present their 2015 Winter Concert –Make the Season Bright– on Friday, December 11 at 7:00 pm at St. John’s Episcopal Chu
rch, 225 French Street, Bangor [map]. The Treble Choir and Youth Chorale will present a program of great classics, appealing arrangements of familiar favorites, and new treasures. An arrangement of the famous
Advent hymn, Veni Emmanuel, by the great 20th century Hungarian composer, Zoltan Kodaly, will begin the program, followed by the infectiously rhythmic Riu, Riu Chiu, composed in 16th century Spain. There will be classics by Bach and Mozart as well as an arrangement of Pentatonix’s White Winter Hymnal – complete with body percussion. Seasonal selections include The Christmas Song, Christmas is Coming, and a stunning pairing of the 16th century German carol – Lo, How a Rose – with Amanda McBroom’s The Rose, made famous by Bette Midler. Bangor Area Children’s Choir is conducted by Artistic Director, Robert Ludwig, and involves singers from fourteen different communities in the region.

Friday, April  22, 2016, 7:00 pm

Dr. Margaret Harper

Dr. Margaret Harper will perform an organ recital on the 1863 E & GG Hook (op. 328) pipe organ on Friday, April 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm (please note date might change) at the Elm Street Congregational Church, 31 Elm Street, Bucksport [map]. Dr. Harper has performed in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Croatian newspaper Glas Slavonije writes, “The freezing cold of a January evening dominated the cathedral in Djakovo, but it could not diminish the richness and warmth of sound brought out of the cathedral organ by Margaret Harper.”

Dr. Harper was a stipendiate at the 2012 Arp Schnitger International Organ Competition.  In the same year, she was the inaugural recipient of the James B. Cochran Prize, which is awarded annually for the best organ degree recital at the Eastman School of Music. In 2014, she was a semifinalist in the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance.  Margaret has presented academic papers at national conferences of the American Bach Society and the American Guild of Organists.

Margaret is the Director of Music and Liturgy at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, NH. She is on the faculty and the board of the Young Organist Collaborative and is the director of the chamber music series Concerts on the Hill.  Under her direction, St. John’s will open a choir school in the Fall of 2015. This after-school music program will provide intensive choral training and private lessons free of charge to youth in Portsmouth, NH. Margaret is also active in the American Guild of Organists and serves as District Convener for NH, ME, and VT.

Margaret holds a DMA and a Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Margaret’s primary teachers have included William Porter, David Higgs, Michel Bouvard, Edoardo Bellotti, and Edward Zimmerman. For more information about Dr. Harper, you may visit her website.

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.


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

Placement/Job Openings

Position: Organist (added to the website on 11/20/2015)

Elm Street Congregational Church organ position

We have a fine Hook organ and the organist would be playing only for the Sunday service (10 to 11AM). We also have pianos in both the sanctuary and in our meeting hall (Brown Hall). The position pays $160 per week and would be adjusted for increased musical activities, such as adult & children’s choirs. We would like to start the interview and demonstration process as early as possible, next week, before Thanksgiving.

For further information, contact:

Gerry Hamburger,  Music Coordinator
Elm Street Congregational Church
31 Elm Street, PO Box 878
Bucksport, Maine 04416

Position: Part-Time Minister of Music (added to the website on 10/15/2015)

The First Congregational Church of Camden, ME is seeking a part-time Minister of Music (~24 hours per week). Experience desired: Church music program experience/knowledge preferred.  Experience with organ, piano, voice and hand bells desired.  Ability to adapt communication style as needed to work with choirs, staff members, congregation and community.  Excellent organizational skills required. Proven ability to work with and direct the activities of volunteers.  Email Greg Worden for the full position description: and visit our website for more about FCC Camden:

Position: Organist and/or Choir Director (added to the website on 5/9/2015, last updated on 5/12/2015)

Old South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Hallowell

  • Positions available September 1, 2015
  • Salary based on ability and experience
  • Submit a letter of interest, resume and contact information for 3 references electronically to or via USPS to Music Search Committee, PO Box 508, Hallowell, ME 04347.
  • Job description available on website
  • Hook and Hastings tracker pipe organ with 13 ranks

Telephone 207.622.1220,

Position:  Organist/pianist at First United Methodist Church of Brewer

The First United Methodist Church of Brewer, located at 40 South Main Street, Brewer, Maine 04412, is seeking for organist/pianist.  The weekly service is at 11:00 on Sundays. There is no choir.  The Faucher pipe organ has some electronic enhancements. The start date is February 1, 2015.  Salary is negotiable.

Please call 207.989.7310 or send your resume to 40 S Main St, Brewer  ME 04412. Alternately, you may call Ronald Moll at 207.989.0117 or email Ronald at e-mail:

Position:  Organist/Choir Director (added to the website on June 15, 2015)

Two churches in the Greater Bangor area are prayerfully searching for a part-time organist/choir director for their music ministry programs:

The Federated Church of Stillwater (Methodist, Congregational and Non-Denominational members)


The Old Town United Methodist Church.

Both churches are under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Dan Wilson and are looking to receive letters of interest from organists who might be interested in serving one or both of these churches.  Job descriptions for each church are attached. Salaries are  available upon request.

 If you, or anyone you know, might be interested or have questions, please call Rev. Dan Wilson at 827-3559 or email

Position: Organist/Choir Director (added to the website on June 26, 2015)

Willing to create mutually agreeable schedule and compensation package. (winters off, summers off, 3 Sundays a month,..). Present compensation: $125/week.

Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ is a small, progressive, open and affirming congregation in Waldoboro, a small town in Midcoast Maine. For the past four years we have been blessed to be served by an outstanding professional organist/church musician and choir director, Carroll Smith. Now that she has announced her retirement, we are seeking a leader for our music ministry. We do not require a full-time commitment; in fact, we welcome opportunities on “Sundays off” to
invite local musicians and encourage students in their musical development.

Founded in 1983, we’ve already experienced a variety of music. A jazz pianist/composer surprised the congregation week after week with popular music and original compositions. In 2002, the small congregation of about 40 members purchased the historic Baptist building complete with an 1875 Hook and Hastings Organ which had fallen into disuse. With the help of David Wallace, organ restorer and Kevin Birch organist, funds were raised and the organ has been restored. Broad Bay has hosted annual organ concerts since 2006 and the community views the organ as a local treasure and resource. For the past four years we have enjoyed the music ministry of organist and choir director, Carroll
Smith. We use the New Century Hymnal and regularly learn new hymns. We agree that we want music that is live, good, and passionate. We want a choir and we want to hear the organ.

1875 Hook and Hastings organ, restored by David Wallace. FMI: or Rev Nancy Duncan at 207 691-1036. Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ, Waldoboro, ME.

 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 (Updated September 16, 2015)

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

Tracy Bigney   947-7710

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

Douglas Beck   659-7370

Larry Halpern 937-328-5282  not available until Fall

Richard Hyman, 207-992 3106,, Piano and organ. Funerals and weddings – available week days and Saturdays

Donna Runnels 948-2171, cell 416-9968 organ only, funerals only, within 50 miles of Unity, Maine

Dora Rexrode    990-5476

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