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, January 3, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.  
Metropolitan Saxophone Quartet featuring music from Mozart to Glenn Miller to Pharrell Williams, along with holiday offerings.  The concert is appropriate for all ages, and is preceded by a potluck supper at 5:30. Dr. Anne Matlack is Artistic Director of Grace Community Music, which is dedicated to enriching the cultural life of the Madison area by presenting high quality concerts throughout the year and related events intended to build a stronger sense of community.
Grace Community Music at Grace Church
4 Madison Ave.
Madison, NJ 07940 – 973-377-0106 x17
Free-will offering.

Monday, January 6, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
Epiphany Mass with Blessing of the Chalk, Procession, and Burning of the Greens –  Music by Mendelssohn
St. John on the Mountain
379 Mt. Harmony Road
Bernardsville, NJ 07924 – –  908-766-2282
Free admission

Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 4 p.m.
The Unity Choir’s seventh annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah
The Unity Choir is comprised of singers from northern New Jersey and also Pennsylvania.  The concert, directed by Henry Repp who will also accompany on the church’s three-manual pipe organ, will include all of Part 1 (the Christmas portion) plus selected solos and choruses from Parts 2 and 3.  Returning soloists will include soprano Cassandra Lambros, alto Kathryn Elliott, tenor Tom Carle, and bass David Young.  Anyone interested in singing in the concert should contact Director Henry Repp at 973-347-0945 or email  The first rehearsals will be on Saturday, January 4 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, January 5 at 2 p.m.  There is ample parking and the church is handicapped accessible
First United Methodist Church
111 Ryerson Avenue
Newton, NJ 07860  973-347-0945
Free-will offering and a reception will follow the concert. 

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 donation

Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
Harp/Violin Duo, Merynda Adams and Christopher Collins Lee presented by Glen Ridge Community Concerts.
Christopher Lee has long been a favorite at the Marlboro, Aspen, Mozarteum, Maggio Musicale and other celebrated music festivals worldwide.  Merynda Adamas, in great demand as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Canada, has performed with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and many others.  Their ensemble performance is stellar.
Glen Ridge Congregational Church
195 Ridgewood Ave., Glen Ridge, NJ 07028. 973-743-5596 x26.
Admission: $20 Adults; $15 Seniors; $10 Students
Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.
Organ recital with Ann Labounsky presenting a program of French organ music from the 19th & 20th centuries.
Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart
89 Ridge Street, Newark, NJ 07104 – 973-484-240
Suggested donation – $15 gray-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