Bangor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Last updated: May 28, 2019 at 16:20 pm

Dean’s Letter     Chapter Programs      Job Listings        Membership      Newsletters     Substitutes      Board Members/Contact Us


Welcome to the Bangor, Maine, Chapter of The American Guild of Organists! Our members come from quite literally the upper two-thirds of Maine!  Due to our widespread geographic area as well as unpredictable road conditions for much of the year, we realistically plan for four events each year.  This includes a lively pot-luck supper get-together on a Sunday afternoon at a member’s home in September; an event in November; an event in February with snow date built in; and a Members’ Recital in May or June, followed by supper and our Annual Meeting.  We do a lot of car-pooling to cover the distances!  We also have planned the November and February events for daytime on a weekday.  This is intentional:  for most of us weekends are a bit hectic; in November and February there is far less daylight to travel in.  We are a diverse group:  some of us have been church musicians our whole lives and have been in our present jobs for years; others are very fine pianists learning how to play the organ and how to lead the folks in pews in song! Others are choral directors.  Still others just love to hear organ music. Please come to one of our events and introduce yourself.  You will be heartily welcomed!

Chapter Programs, News, and Local Events

National & Regional News and Events

The Northeast Regional Convention will be held from July 1 – 4, 2019 in Buffalo, New York. For information visit

NEW YORK CITY—The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is proud to announce four PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTERS
(POEs) and one POE (Advanced) for participants aged 13–18, and a POE (Technical) for participants
aged 16-23 in 2019. Application deadlines to attend vary from site to site. Complete information
for each weeklong program can be found online at The summer schedule follows:

POE (for ages 13–18)

July 15–20 Cape Cod, Mass.

July 14–19 Seattle, Wash. July 28–Aug. 3 St. Louis, Mo. Aug. 1–7
Helsinki, Finland

POE Advanced (for ages 13–18)

June 23–28 Houston, Tex.

POE Technical (for ages 16–23)

July 21–27, 2019 River Forest and Oak Park, Ill.

The PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTER (POE) is an introduction to the pipe organ through instruction in organ
playing, repertoire, history, design, and construction. These regional summer music camps for
teenage participants provide private and group instruction in service playing and solo repertoire,
opportunities to learn about the musical heritage of various religious denominations, and a chance
for young musicians to meet others with similar interests. Piano or organ proficiency ranging from
intermediate to advanced is required. Scholarship assistance is available.

The POE Advanced provides intermediate to advanced classes in areas such as organ literature,
history, pipe organ construction and design, music theory, improvisation, conducting, and service
playing for participants who have achieved a high level of success in organ study. Scholarship
assistance is available.

The POE Technical is a program designed for participants who are interested in learning the art and
craft of organ building. The event is hosted in the workshop of an organ builder working in
cooperation with a local AGO chapter. Scholarship assistance is available.

Generous funding from the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America (APOBA), the American Institute
of Organbuilders (AIO), the Jordan Organ Endowment, and the National Endowment for the Arts will
support these summer educational programs from coast to coast and abroad. Scholarship assistance is
provided by the AGO New Organist Fund.

“The AGO and APOBA have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship since 1975,” declared AGO
Executive Director James Thomashower. “Likewise, the AIO has been active in supporting the Guild’s
educational programs, beginning with their partnership in Pulling Out All the Stops, a video
produced jointly in 1996 by the AGO, AIO, APOBA, the Organ Historical Society, and the American
Theater Organ Society and aired on PBS. In addition, we are delighted to receive support from the
Jordan Organ Endowment at Columbus State University as well as a grant from the National Endowment
for the Arts supporting our educational activities this year.”

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.


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:

Larry Philbrick, 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.

For more information and membership materials, visit:

You are also encouraged to contact any of our board members:

Dean                              Kevin Birch  (
Sub Dean                      Jane Schroeder ( (
Treasurer                      Joan Kroehler  (
Secretary                      Kay Eames (
Member-at-Large       Barb Smith (
Member-at-Large       Matthew Mainster (
Member-at-Large       Lorna Russell (
Member-at-Large       Rev. Carlton Russell (
Newsletter Editor       Larry Philbrick (


Job Listings

Music Minister (added 05/09/2019)

At the announcement of the retirement of our Music Minister, St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Camden, Maine has opened a search for a new director of Music. We love sacred music of all sorts and are seeking a musician who will continue to take us down the path of excellence, as well as to broaden our abilities and strengthen our worship through music.

We are seeking a creative and talented Music Minister who would like to be part of our community of people who ‘worship in beauty, question in faith, and serve in love’. We are looking for someone who loves music, plays the organ well, and who is experienced in and excited by the possibilities of leading a volunteer church choir (which we hope to grow) and might encourage a youth choir. We seek a person who will help us to nurture our strong congregational singing, and help build new worship experiences, like a newly envisioned Wednesday evening Eucharist, and continue old musical offerings like the Noon Music in Lent series, and services at Quarry Hill (an assisted living residence) every few weeks. We are a spirited community that worships in an inviting, broad church style each Sunday morning. We have a well-stocked, well organized music library.

The candidate must either have experience with Episcopal liturgy and Anglican music, or the clear capacity and willingness to grow into this great tradition. Other musical sources and styles might interest the parish, as well.

Wedding and funeral responsibilities will be compensated in addition to the competitive salary. During vacation breaks, the Music Minister will arrange for substitute organists. The Music Minister is also responsible for scheduling maintenance on the 3 pianos, the Schantz organ, as well as scheduling maintenance on, and programming, 11 tower bells (Verdin).

Our sanctuary holds approximately 150 and enjoys wonderful acoustics, beautiful furnishings, and a Lady Chapel making it a good place for choral and congregational singing, organ performance, and the occasional concert. St Thomas’ has a Schantz pipe organ which has 44 ranks, 3 manuals (swell, great, choir) plus full pedal. It was installed in 1992 and is completely paid for. We have a Chickering grand piano in the sanctuary, a Steinway grand in the parish hall, and a Steinway studio in the rehearsal room.

The position is half-time and salaried, 20 hours per week. The salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience and education. We offer two weeks of paid vacation annually.

If this introduction to our community whets your interest, and this Music Minister position interests you or a musician you know, please be in touch with the Rev. Lisa Smith Fry at

Organist (added 1/26/2019)

St. James Episcopal Church, Old Town:
We’re looking for someone to play the organ one hour on Sundays in Old Town. There are usually 4 hymns and 3 instrumental pieces (prelude, communion, postlude). We would pay around $100 per Sunday plus mileage. The priest in charge will choose the hymns, and the organist will choose the other pieces and will let the priest know in advance what pieces they choose. If there is interest in this position, please reply either via email or cell phone 207-991-4949.

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

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

Substitute List – May 10, 2019

Sunday Services

Rev. Richard Hyman – Piano or organ    992-3106

Clayton Smith   974-9628

Michele Voss   356-7230

Clayton Rogers – Also weddings and funerals


Kay Lindstrom – Anywhere within 50 miles of Bangor.  (NEW CONTACT INFO)   207 450 2031

Donna Runnels – Within 50 miles of Unity,  Maine.  Organ only.  Also funerals   948-2171

Barbara Fenlason – Sunday services within 30 miles of Bucksport


Funerals and Weddings

 Joan Kroehler – Organ and/or vocal   947-7804

Robin Barron  205-1479

Matthew Mainster – Organ, piano, and accompanying. Primarily mid-coast through Bangor, but open to all Maine locations. 227-9359

Clayton Rogers – Also weddings and funerals


Note: If there are any changes or additions to this list, please contact Larry Philbrick at


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 (2019 – 2020)

Dean                              Kevin Birch  (
Sub Dean                      Jane Schroeder ( (
Treasurer                      Joan Kroehler  (
Secretary                      Kay Eames (
Member-at-Large       Barb Smith (
Member-at-Large       Matthew Mainster (
Member-at-Large       Lorna Russell (
Member-at-Large       Rev. Carlton Russell (
Newsletter Editor       Larry Philbrick (

Website                        Larry Philbrick (


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