Reading PA

Last updated: April 20, 2015 at 22:08 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

Trinity Lutheran Church, 527 Washington St., Reading, presents Julianne Michalik, Piano, on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in a Noonday Recital at 12:05 p.m. Noonday Recitals conclude at 12:30 p.m., and a reception with refreshments follows each program.

Trinity Lutheran Church, 527 Washington St., Reading, presents David Gross and Karen Eddinger, Organ Duet, on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in a Noonday Recital at 12:05 p.m. Noonday Recitals conclude at 12:30 p.m., and a reception with refreshments follows each program.

Immanuel United Church of Christ, 99 S. Waverly St., Shillington, presents “The Road Home,” a concert featuring the Campus and Chamber Choirs of Penn State – Berks, on Friday, May 1, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $5 each. For more information and/or to reserve tickets, call (610) 777-7107.

The Reading Chapter, AGO, presents the annual Members’ Recital on Sunday, May 3, 2015, at 3 p.m. at the Jesuit Center, 501 N. Church Road, Wernersville. This event is a fundraiser for the Reading Chapter’s Young Organist Scholarship Fund; an offering will be received. A reception with refreshments follows the program.

Atonement Lutheran Church, 5 Wyomissing Boulevard, Wyomissing, presents the Berks Youth Chorus Spring Concert, “Spring Into Song,” on Sunday, May 3, 2015, at 4 p.m. For ticket information, please call (610) 898-7664.

Emmanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 69 W. Broad St., Souderton, Pa. 18964, presents Don Kinnier, organist, accompanying the silent film “The General” on Friday, May 15, 2015, at 8 p.m. For more information, please call (215) 723-7514.

Trinity Lutheran Church, 121 S. Home Ave., Topton, Pa. 19562, presents Dr. Ina Slater Grapenthin performing the dedicatory recital for the church’s new pipe organ on Sunday, May 17, 2015, at 3 p.m.

St. Andrew’s United Church of Christ, 1320 Spruce St., Reading, presents Michael Baal, Organ, in recital on Sunday, June 7, 2015, at 3 p.m. A freewill offering will be received, and a time of fellowship with refreshments follows the program.




“2014 Young Organist Scholarship Winner”

Sarah Woronko, daughter of Thomas and Christine Woronko, is the winner of the Reading Chapter, AGO, Young Organist Scholarship for 2014 – 2015. Sarah has completed Grade 8 at Wilson West Middle 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 www.readingmusical

“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:



First Presbyterian Church, 37 S. 5th Street, Reading, PA 19602, seeks a part-time Organist/Music Director. Responsibilities include leading senior choir and bell choir; instrument is a 3-manual, 47-rank pipe organ rebuilt in 2006 by Patrick J. Murphy Organbuilders. Resumes can be sent to the church at the address above, or e-mailed to Kim-Marie Coon at (Posted March, 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.)

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 121 Church St., Phoenixville, PA 19460, seeks an Organist/Choir Director. Responsibilities include one Sunday morning worship service plus special holy day worship services, weekly choir rehearsal preceding the Sunday service, plus youth choir rehearsals as needed; instrument is a 1980 II/24 Austin pipe organ. Annual salary is budgeted at $18,000; additional compensation rates established for weddings and funerals. E-mail resume to Interviews will begin in 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