Bangor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Last updated: July 8, 2018 at 19:10 pm

Dean’s Letter     Chapter Programs      Local Events and News      Job Listings        Membership      Newsletters     Substitutes  


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

St. John’s Organ Society is pleased to announce the 26th Summer Recital Series on Maine’s largest 19th-Century mechanical-action pipe organ, E. & G. G. Hook’s magnificent Opus 288, at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Bangor.

The 2018 Summer Concert Series features outstanding organ music performed by artists from Europe and the United States.

John Fesperman, Curator Emeritus of Musical Instruments at the Smithsonian Institution, referred to the St. John’s Organ as  “..a musical monument of great importance…”

These hour-long recitals occur on Thursday evenings at 7:30.   St. John’s Catholic Church is located at 207 York Street in Bangor.  Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.  For more information please access the website:

July 19

Wolfgang Reisinger (Vienna, Austria)

Music of Georg Muffat, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schmidt, and his own improvisations

July 26

Francien Janse-Balzer (Weener, Germany)

Music of Dutch composers, Klaas Bolt and Jacques van Oortmerssen, and duets with Kevin Birch

August 2

Abraham Ross (Oberlin, Ohio)

Music of Amy Beach, Rolande Falcinelli, and Joan Tower

August 9

Susan Ferré (Gorham, New Hampshire)

Music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Ludwig Krebs, Josef Rheinberger, Charles Tournemire and Fanny Mendelssohn

August 16

Sarah Johnson (Boston, Massachusetts)

Music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Nicolaus Bruhns and Pamela Decker

August 23

William Porter (Rochester, New York)

An evening of improvisations on a spectacular organ

August 30

Opus 288 & Friends

Anna Maria Baeza – clarinet (Brooklyn, NY)

 Kevin Birch – organ (Bangor, ME)

Anatole Wieck – violin (Bangor, ME)

Joachim Woitun – violoncello (Brooklyn, NY)

Featuring the Suite for Organ, Violin, and Cello by Josef Rheinberger, Opus 149

National & Regional News and Events

AGO Pipe Organ Encounters

The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is proud to announce five PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTERS (POEs) for students aged 13–18, and one POE+ for adults in 2018. Complete contact information for each weeklong Pipe Organ Encounter can be found in The American Organist Magazine and online at The summer schedule follows:

 POE (for ages 13–18)

 June 17–22 Phoenix, Ariz.

 June 24–29 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

 July 8–13    Philadelphia, Penn.

 July 16–21  Los Angeles, Calif.

 July 22–27  Deland, Fla.

 POE+ (for adults)

June 17–22 Rockford, 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 students 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+ is a summer program filled with practical information and instruction for adult keyboard musicians interested in improving their service-playing skills. Participants will be introduced to basic organ skills through private instruction and classes. The weeklong experience will lead to greater confidence and competence at the organ.

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. “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 have received support from the Jordan Organ Endowment at Columbus State University for our POE program, as well as a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts supporting our educational activities this year.”

In addition to the POE and POE+ programs, but not offered in 2018, is a POE (Advanced) that 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 students who have achieved a high level of success in organ study. Also, there is a POE (Technical) designed for students 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.

POE site locations are selected by the AGO Committee on Pipe Organ Encounters and approved by the AGO National Council. Applications for 2019 are available from AGO National Headquarters and online at Contact:, 212-870-2311, ext. 4308

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 any of our board members:

Dean                               Jane Schroeder  (
Sub Dean                       Kevin Birch  (
Treasurer                      Joan Kroehler  (
Secretary                       Tricia Clark  (
Member-at-Large       Kay Eames (
Member-at-Large       Catherine Bruno  (
Dr. Kevin F. Birch, Chair, Scholarship Committee   (

Job Listings

Church Musician (added 6/29/2018)

The Trinitarian Congregational Parish of Castine (United Church of Christ), located in the beautiful coastal village of Castine, Maine, is seeking the services of a part-time Church Musician.  Duties include:

– Providing service music during Sunday worship services using the church’s Rodgers 805B Classic organ and/or our Steinway Concert Grand piano;

– Rehearsing and leading our small adult choir;

– Working with the minister to coordinate hymns and other music; and

– Collaborating with others to bring special musical offerings to church services.

The Church Musician works on an annual contract (paid monthly) and includes paid time off and opportunities to provide music at special services and community events.  The church maintains a music budget for music and musician expenses.

If you are interested in helping us grow and worship in heart and voice, please send a resume and introductory letter to  We will respond with more information about this interesting position.

Organist/Pianist/Choir Director (added 6/15/2018)

Deer Isle Sunset Congregational Church in Deer Isle, Maine, is seeking an organist/pianist/choir director for part-time position leading our music ministry. Responsibilities include selecting music in cooperation with the pastor, playing organ/piano for weekly worship service and other special services, leading weekly choir practice, and offering support and encouragement to volunteer musicians and singers. Organ proficiency preferred (church owns an 1881 Barckhoff tracker organ), piano an acceptable alternative. Paid vacation. To apply, please send your resume with professional references to or mail to Deer Isle Sunset Congregational Church, P.O. Box 292, Deer Isle, ME 04627, Attn:  Mary Howe.

Organist-Parish Musician (Added to website March 26, 2018)

Trinity Episcopal Church, Castine.  One service at 9:00 am weekly.  Responsibilities include selecting and preparing the Prelude, Postlude, the Service Music on a rotating basis, 4 hymns and rehearsing the psalm leader.  Extra services include Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday plus one or two others as needed.  There are opportunities for additional compensation for weddings and funerals.  The compensation for Parish Musician salary is negotiable.  Instruments include a superb installation of a late model 3-Manual Allen Renaissance Digital Organ, a Digital Piano and a Steinway studio upright piano.  The position is available September 1, 2018.  Please contact the Senior Warden at (207) 326-4180 or

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 – Updated April 28, 2018

Sunday Services

Musician Comments Telephone Email
Clayton Smith 974-9628
Michele Voss 356-7230
Clayton Rogers Also weddings & funerals 989-7628
Kay Lindstrom Within 50 miles of Bangor 947-3469
Donna Runnels Within 50 miles of Unity. Organ only. Also funerals. 948-2171
Richard Kinney Piano only 542-3524

Funerals and Weddings Only

Musician Comments Telephone Email
Joan Kroehler Organ and/or vocal 947-7804
Robin Barron Anywhere in Maine 205-1479
Rev. Richard Hyman Piano or organ 992-3106
Matthew Mainster Organ, piano, & accompanying. Primarily in Mid-Coast and Bangor, but open to all Maine locations. 227-9359
Barbara Fenlason Organ or piano. Call before noon. 469-3573


NOTE: If there are any changes or additions to these lists. Please contact Alice Mummé at or 866-2655.



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 (2017 – 2018)

Dean                               Jane Schroeder  (

Sub Dean                       Kevin Birch  (

Treasurer                      Joan Kroehler  (

Secretary                       Tricia Clark  (

Member-at-Large       Kay Eames (

Member-at-Large       Catherine Bruno  (

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