Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter



Message from the Dean 

Thank you for your interest in the Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter of the American Guild of Organists!  We are a diverse group of people, including church musicians, concert artists, students, teachers, organ enthusiasts, and music lovers.  We value performance, promote education, and enjoy social activities, as well as host AGO Professional Certification exams, provide scholarships for young organists, and host regional competitions for rising stars of the organ.

We hope that you might join us at one of our many chapter events, especially our Mini-Convention, held each year on MLK Day in January.  Whether you live in New Jersey or the metro New York City area or anywhere else throughout the world, we welcome you to follow us as we promote the organ, encourage the organists in our area, and bring attention to the many wonderful instruments in our area.  If you wish to join our chapter, please feel free to contact me or our membership chair.


  * * CHAPTER PROGRAMS 2019-2020 * *

AGO Metro NJ Mini Convention
Monday, January 20, 2020 at 9 a.m. – 3 p.m
Join us for our annual mini convention with presenter
Mark Lawson, President of Morningstar Music and EC Schirmer Publications.
Mark will provide different choral reading sections for both advanced and more accessible music; music for organ and instruments; solo organ repertoire, as well as copyright and live streaming issues in 2020!
$25 at door which includes a catered lunch.
Our Lady of Sorrows Church
217 Prospect Street, South Orange, NJ 07079
Preston Dibble, 

NYCAGO President’s Day Conference 
Monday, February 17, 2020
We will partner with NNJAGO in motor coach transportation to and from this popular NYC event.
$15 for bus transportation.
(Registration to NYCAGO event is separate and arranged directly with that chapter
RSVP for bus trip:
Kristin Dabaghian, Dean 


Submit concert listings to Patricia Woolley, newsletter editor –

Friday, December 6, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.
Navidad Latina 2019

The Cathedral Spanish Choir, under the direction of Olfary Guitérrez, joins forces with singers and instrumentalists from other Latin American communities of the Archdiocese of Newark to present a program of Christmas music.
Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart
89 Ridge Street, Newark, NJ 07104
Free-will offering

Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.
Harmonium Choral Society will perform Words Matter, two world premieres: “In the Beginning was the Word,” a new commission from Sarah Rimkus, and “The Children of All Others,” by composer-in-residence Mark Miller. The concert also includes works from Hassler to Vaughan Williams.
Morristown United Methodist Church
50 South Park Place, Morristown, NJ 07960
Please visit
General admission tickets at the door are $30 for adults ($25 for students and seniors). Tickets purchased on or before 11:59 p.m. the Friday of each concert weekend are $25 ($20 for students and seniors). 

Sunday, December 8, 2019 – 4:00 p.m.
Diocese of Paterson Christmas Concert,
Works by Lauridsen, Pinkham and others.  Preston Dibble, Conductor; Kristin Dabaghian, Organist and Gramercy Brass Quintet.
St. John the Baptist Cathedral
381 Grand Street, Paterson, NJ  07505

Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 4:00pm
Our Lady of the Lake Church Christmas Concert
The Music Ministry of Our Lady of the Lake R.C. Church will present their annual parish Christmas concert under the direction of Music Director, Henry Gehman. The concert will feature the parish cantors, choirs, and guest instrumentalists performing music of the season.
Our Lady of the Lake R.C. Church
32 Lakeside Ave. Verona, NJ 07044
(Parking available behind the church on Montrose Ave.)
Free Will Offering  

Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
Diocese of Paterson Christmas Concert,
Works by Lauridsen, Pinkham and others.  Preston Dibble, Conductor; Kristin Dabaghian, Organist and Gramercy Brass Quintet.
St. John the Baptist Cathedral
381 Grand Street, Paterson, NJ  07505 – 973-345-4070

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 8:00  p.m. and Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.
(Doors open at 7:00 p.m..)
The Forty-Ninth Annual Candlelight Carol Sing

The ambiance of candlelight and season décor, along with the Cathedral Choir, organ, brass, percussion, and thousands of participants combine to create an event that must be experienced.
Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart
89 Ridge Street, Newark, NJ 07104 – 973-484-240
Free-will offering

Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
Carol Sing  Works by Lauridsen, Pinkham, Webster, Whitacre and others.  Preston Dibble, Conductor; Kristin Dabaghian, Organist and Gramercy Brass Quintet.
Our Lady of Sorrows Church
217 Prospect Street, South Orange, NJ 07079 – 973-763-5454

Sunday, December 15, 2019, 3:00 p.m.
Glen Ridge Community Concerts presents Welcome Christmas!, the annual Christmas Concert & Carol Sing.  Glen Ridge Choral Society, Gramercy Brass, Handbells, Percussion, Piano & Organ, conducted by Thomas Mustachio.  Sacred and secular music of the season with favorite carols for all to sing in a glorious candlelit space.
Glen Ridge Congregational Church
195 Ridgewood Ave., Glen Ridge, NJ 07028. – 973-743-5596 x26.
Free-will offering.

Saturday, December 21, 2019 – 6 p.m. 
Christmas Lessons and Carols – In the great English tradition, the Choirs of St. Peter’s sing this stunning celebration of Christ’s birth. This festive service includes favorite carols with brass and percussion.
St. Peter’s Church 
121 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960

Sunday, December 22, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.
Handel’s Messiah

George Frederick Handel’s beloved oratorio. New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Roderick Cox, conductor, Montclair State University Singers, Heather Buchannan, director.
Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart
89 Ridge Street
Newark, NJ 07104
Tickets $10.00 – $70.00.  For more information, visit or call 1-800-ALLEGRO (255-3476)

February 23, 2020 at 4 p.m.
50th Anniversary Beckerath Organ Recital Series – John Charles Schucker
Organist and pianist John Charles Schucker has performed as both a soloist and collaborative musician throughout the United States and as far abroad as Japan.  In the New York metropolitan area he has been heard at  Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.  His performances and recordings have also been heard nationally and internationally on television and radio broadcasts.  He holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Juilliard School after winning first place prizes from the Reading Music Foundation and the American Guild of Organists’ Young Artist competitions.  He has served as organist at St. Stephen’s since 2003.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
119 Main Street, Millburn, NJ 07041 – 973-376-0668
$10 suggested cash donationgray-bar-1px


The Membership Chairperson is Scott Jones. You may contact him via e-mail at



The Placement Chairperson is Chris Hatcher. To submit a position listing, please contact him via e-mail at

Derry Presbyterian Church, Hershey, PA [Listed 11/13/19]

We seek a full-time Director of Music Ministries (DMM) who will provide vision and leadership for a music ministry in harmony with our mission statement, “to proclaim God’s word, share God’s love and practice God’s  justice and our vision “to be an inquiring, inviting and inclusive Christ centered community. 

The DMM plans, produces, and provides music ministry programs that create community, educate listeners, and glorify God. Music is a vital part of our ministry together, so we seek a Director who leads from a place of spirituality rather than performance and who promotes a music ministry that is inclusive of various people, talents, and styles of worship music. We are passionate about mission and desire a missional music ministry that not only leads in worship but also reaches out and ministers to our community.

The Director of Music Ministries (DMM) will be a ministry leader in the church who will report directly to the Pastor (Head of Staff) and work in collaboration with our dedicated staff and congregational volunteer leaders. The DMM will have a passion for sharing their love of God and of music with children, youth, and adults.

Core Responsibilities:

Fosters and creates communication and com­munity within the music ministry of Derry and promotes a philosophy of music in the service of worship.

Provides music and musical leadership at Sunday services and special worship services in partnership with the Sanctuary Choir Director.

Directs and rehearses the handbell choirs, the youth worship ensemble, and other choirs and ensembles as needed.

Collaborates, oversees and supports volunteer directors with resources, encouragement, and communications to ensure all ensembles and choirs have leadership.

Is active in the music and arts community in the Hershey/Harrisburg area and builds rela­tionships with local musicians.

Provides music for member funerals and memorial services and works with pastors and families in the selection of appropriate music for weddings, funerals, and memorial services.

Is responsible for the administration and expenditure of the music ministry budget.

Leads efforts to recruit new choir and ensemble members.

Searches out and is receptive to the intro­duction of diverse musical genres, styles, and programming for worship and concerts.

Qualifications & Characteristics:

Evidence of formal organ and choral training along with demonstrated skills.

A deep love of the musical and spiritual formation of children and youth.

Leadership skills for initiating, developing, and maintaining a high-quality music ministry program.

Demonstrated excellent teaching and communication skills.

Efficient and effective administrator with strong attention to details.

Inclusive of all in the music ministry, regard­less of race, gender, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, and any other characteristic.

Willing to plan and develop new styles of worship; open to new ideas.

Ability to use music notation software such as Finale or Sibelius to arrange music and parts.

Interested? Send a one-page cover letter that speaks to your experience and passion for music ministry, a résumé, and contact informa­tion for three professional references who can attest to your skills and abilities as a choir director and/or organist to Kathy McGrath at Applicants are encouraged to submit links to streaming audio or video of their current choir and/or organ playing.  For more information go to

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



As a chapter, we are committed to the certification process, which can be found in the July Issue of our national ‘house organ’ The American Organist. Additional information can be found at the following link:  Certification Chart


Contact Us

Executive Board
Dean: Kristin Dabaghian –
Sub-Dean: Preston Dibble –
Secretary: Eric Fahner –
Treasurer: Scott Jones –
Financial Advisor: Michael Newman –
Membership/Directory: Scott Jones –
Placement: Chris Hatcher –
Newsletter Editor: Patricia Woolley –
Publicity/Photographer: Beverly McGregor –
TAO Events Reporter: Beverly McGregor –
New Organist Committee:
Markey Scholarship:
Exam Coordinator:
Class of 2016-2020
Kathie Hegarty –
Linda Loria –
Kevin Davis –
Class of 2018-2022
Tiffany Chung –
Carol Johnson –
Richard Mack –



AGO National website
Northern New Jersey AGO chapter
The New York City Chapter AGO