Reading PA

Last updated: August 31, 2015 at 19:30 pm

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

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.

Saturday, September 12, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. , the Fall Festival of the Arts’ Salon Presentation by Kurt Lueders, “Aristide Cavaillé-Coll: the Right Man at the Right Time,” a multimedia celebration of the life and works of the man, the instruments and the music they inspired at the home of Dail and David Richie, Wyomissing. Limited seating, preregistration required. Please call the Christ Episcopal Church office (610) 374-8269 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. to register. Address will be provided at the time of registration. $20 admission fee payable at the door, special discount price of $10 for church organists. Presentation begins a 7 p.m., but arrive early for a special treat – from 6 to 7 p.m., jazz pianist Lars Potteiger.

Christ Episcopal Church, 435 Court St., Reading, presents an organ concert featuring Kurt Lueders in a program of French works on Sunday, September 13, 2015, at 4 p.m. The concert is part of the Fall Festival of the Arts presented by Christ Church and Trinity Lutheran Church; a freewill offering is being received.

Immanuel United Church of Christ, 99 S. Waverly St., Shillington, presents “An Evening with David Cullen,” performing masterworks for the guitar on Sunday, September 20, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. Part of the Immanuel Gifts of the Arts series, tickets ($10 for adults and $5 for students) can be reserved by calling the church at (610) 777-7107.

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.

Frieden’s Church, 28 Wolf Creek Road, Shartlesville, presents organist Adam Dieffenbach in recital on the church’s 1891 Thomas Dieffenbach pipe organ on Friday, October 23, 2015, at 7 p.m. This event is the second annual installment in a series of benefit recitals and other community efforts to raise funds to repair and maintain the six historic Dieffenbach organs in Berks County. A freewill offering is being received, and a time of fellowship with refreshments will follow the program.

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:



St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1185 Summerhill Road, Auburn, PA 17922 is seeking a part-time Director of Music/Organist. Responsibilities (10-15 hours per week) include providing musical leadership for two Sunday services plus special worship services, directing adult choir, contemporary music group, and handbell choir. Resources include a 2-manual Moller pipe organ, piano, and keyboard; salary is commensurate with experience. Full position description available upon request. Interested musicians should submit cover letter and resume to church at the address above, or via e-mail to (Posted August, 2015.)

St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 396, Douglassville, PA 19518, is seeking a part-time Organist/Choirmaster for 10-12 hours per week. The person should be an experienced organist and choir director, and familiarity with the Episcopal liturgy and seasons of the Christian year is a plus. Regular responsibilities include planning and coordinating service music with the rector, working with a volunteer choir rehearsing one weeknight and on a Sunday morning, and providing music for the 10/10:30 Sunday morning service. For more information go to http:/, click on the “WORSHIP” tab, then scroll down to the link under “MUSIC.” (Posted August, 2015.)

Grace Lutheran Church, 30 Liberty Street, Shillington, PA 19607, is seeking a part-time Organist. Position is 12-15 hrs./week. Responsibilities include two Sunday morning services plus occasional special services, weddings, funerals, and accompanying two 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; interested applicants should send a letter of intent and credentials by e-mail to (Posted August, 2015.)

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 5 Brooke Manor, Birdsboro, PA 19508, seeks a part-time organist. Responsibilities include one Sunday morning service at 9 a.m. plus occasional special services. Contact the church office at (610) 582-8167, if interested, and/or send resume and contact information to, Attn: Organ Search. (Posted July, 2015.)

Christ Lutheran Church, 325 Covered Bridge Road, 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 part-time 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.)

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