Reading PA

Last updated: July 24, 2015 at 10:18 am

Message from the Dean 

Welcome to the website of the Reading, Pennsylvania, Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Chapter membership includes organists and others from the Greater Reading area, encompassing Berks and Schuylkill Counties.

Please contact the chapter dean or one of the other chapter officers listed below for assistance with suggestions for organists available for Sunday substitute work or for a list of available organ teachers offering private instruction.


Local Events

Reading Chapter, AGO, presents a Workshop for Pastors and Musicians on the use of “Multi-Media in the Worship Setting” at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 4125 Penn Avenue, Sinking Spring, PA 19608, on Saturday, August 15, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with keynote speaker Rev. Michael G. Bausch.

Chapter members and their guests are invited to attend the Reading Chapter’s Annual Picnic on Saturday, September 12, 2015, at 411 Green Valley Road, Sinking Spring, at 5 p.m.

Reading Chapter is organizing a bus trip to Longwood Gardens for Saturday, October 10, 2015. The itinerary for the day includes a private tour of the organ and free time to enjoy the gardens.

Trinity Lutheran Church, 300 W. Arch St., Pottsville, hosts the 11th annual city churches’ concert featuring organist Michael Kiehner and a combined choir under the direction of Catherine Zimmerman on Sunday, October 25, 2015, at 3 p.m.




“2014 Young Organist Scholarship Winner”

Jacqueline Wilson, daughter of James and Victoria Wilson, is the winner of the Reading Chapter, AGO, Young Organist Scholarship for 2015 – 2016. Jackie has completed Grade 8 at Exeter Junior High School. She is a student of Teresa Kissling. The Reading Chapter, AGO, partners with the Reading Musical Foundation in the administration of the Young Organist Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a student from Berks or Schuylkill Counties in Grades 7 – 11, who is new to the organ (less than one year of organ lessons at the time of the audition). For complete information on the scholarship visit

“From the Editor”

Unfortunately, many records of the early decades of the Reading Chapter, AGO, were lost some years ago. Every once in a while, though, parts of our otherwise lost history resurface in odd ways. Gathering the information for our 2013 Annual Members’ Recital at Frieden’s Church, Shartlesville, I turned to my “Organ Handbook 2003,” for the stoplist of their Thomas Dieffenbach Organ. (The Organ Historical Society held its 2003 convention in Central Pennsylvania, and Shartlesville was one of the performance venues.) Salem Church, Bethel, which houses an 1872 Thomas Dieffenbach instrument, was also visited by those OHS conventioneers. It turns out that the Salem Church recitalist was John Charles Schucker, a native of Rehrersburg, and the winner of the first scholarship of the Reading Chapter, AGO, presented in conjunction with the Reading Musical Foundation. Mr. Schucker went on to graduate from the Juilliard School. We had forgotten that the Reading Chapter’s Young Organist Scholarship had existed–at least briefly–prior to the current series of annual scholarship awards that began in 2002.

– Michael A. Baal, Editor



Chapter Treasurer Mr. Kevin R. Kline coordinates all membership matters for the Reading Chapter. If you are considering joining our AGO Chapter, please contact him by mail: 1406 N. 14th St., Reading, PA 19604; by telephone: (610) 763-7393; or by e-mail:



Christ Lutheran Church, Oley, is seeking a PT Minister of Music/Organist. The position includes one Sunday morning service plus direction of senior choir and occasional bell choir. Additional services during Lenten and Christmas seasons. Salary commensurate with experience. Please submit credentials and letter of interest to Search Committee, 339 Mountain Blvd., Wernersville, PA 19565; e-mail, or call 610-670-1167. Leave message and contact number. Position available on or about August 2, 2015. (Posted July, 2015.)

Schwarzwald United Church of Christ, 75 Church Lane Rd., Reading, PA 19606, seeks a Director of Music. Responsibilities include one Sunday morning service plus the usual special services, one weeknight choir rehearsals for adult choir and one (possibly two) younger choir(s). Instruments include a Möller pipe organ, piano, and handbells. Interested candidates should direct inquiries and submit resumés to church address above, call (610) 779-0850, or e-mail to (Posted July, 2015.)

First Presbyterian Church, 3231 Tilghman St., Allentown, PA 18104, (610) 395-3781, is seeking a Minister of Music to serve as our Director of Worship. Music is an essential medium for worship at FPCA. Responsibilities include coordinating the musical elements of traditional and contemporary worship in creative collaboration with the pastoral staff. The Director of Worship may assume the role of organist, director for vocal and/or hand bell choirs, worship leader for the contemporary service or some combination of these roles depending on his or her skill set. Complete job description is available on the church website Application deadline: July 21, 2015. Required experience: Advanced choral and/or instrumental skills: 5 years; Bachelor’s Degree required, Master’s Degree preferred. (Posted July, 2015.)

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1559 Perkiomen Avenue, Reading, PA 19602, is seeking a part-time Organist/Choir Director. Responsibilities include a weekly informal Saturday worship service at 5 p.m. and a traditional Sunday worship service at 10:15 a.m. (9 a.m. in the summer), plus special services, adult choir, and bell choir. Instruments available include a two-manual Moeller pipe organ and a piano. Salary is negotiable. Those interested can submit resume and contact information to the church at the address above, or by e-mail to For more information, please contact the church at (610) 373-3135. (Posted June, 2015.)

Grace Lutheran Church, 30 Liberty Street, Shillington, PA 19607, is seeking a Director of Music Ministries/Organist. Position is 35 hrs./week, Monday-Thursday and Sunday; position can be divided. Responsibilities include two Sunday morning services, four vocal choirs, and two bell choirs. Instrument is a 15-year old Allen console accessing 32 ranks of Moller organ pipes and 23 digital stops. For more information contact the church at (610) 777-7885 or by e-mail at (Posted May, 2015.)

Becker’s St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Fleetwood, is seeking a part-time organist. Responsibilities include one weekly Sunday morning service at 9 a.m. to provide preludes, postludes, occasional offertory music, and lead the congregation in service music and hymns (selected by Worship and Music Committee), as well as occasional special worship services, weddings, and funerals. For more information and/or if interested please contact Diane Fegely, Worship and Music Committee Chair, at (610) 683-3897 or by e-mail at (Posted April, 2015.)

Reformation Lutheran Church, 3670 Perkiomen Avenue, Reading, PA 19606, is seeking a part-time Organist/Accompanist for Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings to assist with the church’s music program; salary is negotiable. Please send resume and contact information to the church via e-mail, or call (610) 779-0534. (Posted March, 2015.)

Bethany Lutheran Church, 1375 Friedensburg Road, Reading, PA 19606, is seeking an Organist or Pianist for one Sunday morning worship service with a small choir. Call (610) 779-4620 for more information; resumes can be sent to the church at the address above. (Posted January, 2015.)

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Mertztown, seeks someone to lead their Music Ministry program (10-15 hours per week). In addition to providing musical leadership for congregational worship and choir(s), the candidate should possess handbell experience. If interested, contact the Rev. Jeremiah Sassaman at (610) 657-0269. (Posted January, 2015.)

Note: these listings reflect the best current information received by the chapter dean about area vacancies. We attempt to keep the list current, but notice of a vacancy being filled is not always reported to us in a timely fashion.

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





Contact Us

Mrs. Teresa A. Kissling, Dean –
Mr. John C. Brewster, Sub-Dean –
Mr. Kevin R. Kline, Treasurer –
Mrs. Miriam I. Borkert, Secretary –

Mr. Lee Ferrier, Executive Committee –
Mrs. Marjorie Fitz, CAGO, Executive Committee –
Mrs. Annamae R. Loose, Executive Committee –
Mrs. Kimberly F. Ayrton, Executive Committee –
Rev. Michael A. Baal, D.M.A., AAGO, Newsletter/Website Editor –



AGO National website