Reading PA

Last updated: November 13, 2017 at 13:10 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.

gray-bar-1px

Local Events

Trinity Lutheran Church, 527 Washington St., Reading, presents organists Adlai Binger, Karen Eddinger, David McConnell, and James Wilson on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at 12:05 p.m. as part of the Noonday Recital Series. The program will conclude at 12:30 p.m., and a freewill offering will be received.

Trinity Lutheran Church, 527 Washington St., Reading, presents pianist Dr. George Kershner on Wednesday, November 22, 2017, at 12:05 p.m. as part of the Noonday Recital Series. The program will conclude at 12:30 p.m., and a freewill offering will be received.

Atonement Lutheran Church, 5 Wyomissing Blvd., Wyomissing, PA 19610, presents the Wheatland Chorale “Winter Light” Holiday Concert on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 8 p.m. This is a ticketed event.

Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, 625 Montgomery Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010, is the site for the annual January Jumpstart event organized by the Philadelphia Chapter, AGO, and offered to the entire region. Saturday, January 13, 2018, is the date, and Mark Patterson will be the featured clinician as part of a full day of workshops, seminars, and fellowship.

Calvary United Church of Christ, 640 Centre Avenue, Reading, PA 19601, presents Albright College vocal ensembles the Albright Angels and the Mane Men in concert on Sunday, March 25, 2018, at 3 p.m.

Atonement Lutheran Church, 5 Wyomissing Blvd., Wyomissing, PA 19610, presents the Wheatland Chorale “Reflections” Concert on Friday, April 13, 2018, at 8 p.m. This is a ticketed event.

Calvary United Church of Christ, 640 Centre Avenue, Reading, PA 19601, presents The Celtic Martins in a concert of folk music on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at 7 p.m.

St. Andrew’s United Church of Christ, 1320 Spruce Street, Reading, presents organist Michael Baal in recital on Sunday, June 3, 2018, at 3 p.m. A freewill offering is being received, and a time of fellowship with refreshments will follow the program.

 

gray-bar-1px

Newsletter

“2017 Young Organist Scholarship Winner”

Kelsey Richmond, daughter of Gary and Stacia Richmond, is the winner of the Reading Chapter, AGO, Young Organist Scholarship for 2017 – 2018. Kelsey is completing Grade 8 in the Fleetwood Middle School. She is a student of Kimberly Ayrton. 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 www.readingmusicalfoundation.org.

“From the Editor”

“Founded in 1896 as both an educational and service organization, the American Guild of Organists sets and maintains high musical standards and promotes understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music.” That church music should be of the highest quality and that church musicians should be of the highest possible caliber were numbered among the primary goals of the founders of the Guild: To that end, the American Guild of Organists has established a certification program through which members can challenge themselves to hone their skills and grow as professionals. All of the programming offered by the Guild, nationally, regionally, and in the local chapters is intended in some way to support and nurture church musicians and church music.

So what might you be planning to do this year to stretch yourself as a church musician? Perhaps you might consider preparing for and taking an AGO certification examination. Among the benefits the Guild touts in its promotional materials is the possibility of increasing your earning power. That is a consideration (and a possibility), but rare is the church these days that offers an organist a pay raise just for earning the right to add a set of letters behind their name. On the other hand, enhancing your skill set may render you more marketable, and you might be able to attain a new church position with an improved salary. Moreover, the real worth in pursuing an AGO certificate is to challenge yourself: it’s the discipline of making yourself practice those transposition exercises every day until you master the skill. Truth be told, we all lead busy lives, and it’s so easy to let our practicing slide because we’re pressed for time, and, anyway, the prelude for Sunday is one I’ve already played at least a dozen times over the years–it will be okay.

Or maybe you’ll decide that it’s time to seek out a teacher and sign up for a few music lessons. When I began my graduate studies in music, people who took an interest in my plans were often surprised to hear that private organ study was a major part of the program. After all my previous study and all my years of practical experience, what on earth could I possibly glean from more organ lessons? Of course, the first benefit is the discipline: the fact that I’m paying someone to hear me play the organ on a regular, recurring basis provides a certain impetus for me to ensure that there is time in my busy schedule for practice, so that I will have something prepared when lesson time comes around again. Moreover, every one of us can benefit from submitting now and again to the guidance of a second pair of eyes and ears: eyes to observe elements of our technique that need correcting or that might benefit from a slight adjustment in our approach, and ears to determine whether what we think we’re trying to accomplish is what the listener out in the room is actually hearing.

Maybe you’ll make a concentrated effort to hear a few other organists in recital this year so that you can be inspired (please refer to our calendar of events), or maybe you’ll take advantage of some upcoming educational opportunities (perhaps you’ll try January JumpStart early in the new year), or maybe you’ll enjoy the fellowship and support of your colleagues at one of our social/networking events. And maybe you’ll start planning (and saving) now to attend the national convention in Houston this summer or the regional convention in Richmond in the summer of 2017. So, what will you be doing?

– Michael A. Baal, Editor

gray-bar-1px

Membership

The Chapter Treasurer normally coordinates all membership matters for the Reading Chapter.

gray-bar-1px

Placement

Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, 421 Windsor St., Reading, PA 19601, seeks a part-time organist. Responsibilities include Sunday morning worship plus usual seasonal services. Instrument is a recently restored 36-rank E.M. Skinner organ. For additional information and/or to submit resume contact the church at the address above, or e-mail to holyspiritreading@gmail.com,, or contact the church office at (610) 376-0825. (Posted November, 2017.)

Wyomissing United Church of Christ, 2 Vermont Rd., (Gouglersville) Reading, PA 19608 is seeking a part-time organist/choir director. Responsibilities include Sunday morning worship plus usual seasonal services; adult, children’s, and bell choirs. Instrument is a new Rodgers 3-manual digital organ. Send resume with cover letter to wyomissingucc@verizon.net; call (610) 777-3772 with questions or for additional information. (Posted July, 2017.)

Bethany Lutheran Church, 1375 Friedensburg Rd., Reading, PA 19606, is seeking an organist (or pianist). There is one weekly Sunday morning service at 9 a.m. and a small choir. Submit resume via U. S. Postal Service to the church’s mailing address, or contact the church at (610) 779-4620. (Posted May, 2017.)

St. John’s (Hain’s) United Church of Christ, 591 N. Church Rd, Wernersville, PA 19565, is seeking an energetic, spiritual individual to lead the church’s music ministry. Qualified candidates will be proficient at organ/piano and directing vocal/handbell choirs. Salary commensurate with experience ($34,000 – $38,500). If interested in learning more about this uplifting part-time position, email resume with references to church@stjhains.org or send via U.S. mail to St. John’s (Hain’s) United Church of Christ, Attn: Music Search Committee, 591 N. Church Road, Wernersville, PA 19565. (Posted April, 2017.)

Wyomissing Church of the Brethren, 2200 State Hill Rd., Wyomissing, PA 19610, is seeking a part-time Director of Music (20 – 30 hrs. per month) to develop and maintain the church’s music program. Music degree and/or church experience is a plus. Send resumes to wcotb2200@aol.com. (Posted July, 2016.)

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 June, 2016.)

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 diane.fegely@live.kutztown.edu. (Posted June, 2016.)

Zion Blue Mountain United Church of Christ, P. O. Box 98, Strausstown, PA 19559, is seeking a part-time Minister of Music (10-15 hours/week). Responsibilities include one weekly Sunday morning service plus special worship services (holidays, weddings, and funerals) and one choir. Experience directing choral groups and playing Sunday worship services preferred. For a more detailed job description, and/or if interested, please contact Mrs. Pat Moyer, Worship and Music Committee Chair via e-mail at tpaa4@comcast.net, or send a copy of your cover letter and resume to Pat Moyer, c/o of Zion Blue Mountain UCC, at the address above. (Posted March, 2016.)

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.

gray-bar-1px

Certification

 

gray-bar-1px

Contact Us

Mr. John C. Brewster, Dean – jbrewster@adventonline.net
Sub-dean – vacant
Mr. David S. Wagner, Treasurer – dfwag3343@comcast.net
Mrs. JoAnne Lutz, Secretary – rnjsing@outlook.com

Mr. Lee Ferrier, Executive Committee – leecferrier@gmail.com
Member, Executive Committee – vacant
Mrs. Barbara F. Woods, Executive Committee – greenthumb66@windstream.net
Member, Executive Committee – vacant
Rev. Michael A. Baal, D.M.A., AAGO, Newsletter/Website Editor – mb2al@verizon.net

gray-bar-1px

Links

AGO National website