Reading PA

Last updated: March 9, 2018 at 11:28 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

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.




“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

“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 Kansas City this summer. So, what will you be doing?

– Michael A. Baal, Editor



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



St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1 Front Street Plaza, Mohnton, PA 19540, (610) 777-9985, seeks a part-time Director of Music/Organist for 15-20 hrs/wk, including 1 Sunday morning service plus special services. Instrument is a Rodgers 2-manual organ. Position requires creativity, organ/piano proficiency, and appreciation for various musical/liturgical styles. Responsibilities include overseeing overall direction of music ministry, providing accompaniment for choirs, planning hymns and liturgy for worship, and developing musical participation within the congregation. Currently, St. John’s has a senior choir, youth choir, and bell choir with the possibility of other musical expressions. Salary commensurate with experience. Send resume to (Posted March, 2018.)

Holy Guardian Angels Roman Catholic Church, 3121 Kutztown Rd., Reading, PA 19605, (610) 921-2729, is seeking an experienced organist for weekend masses, Thursday evening choir rehearsals, funerals, weddings, and special events. Resumes can be forwarded to (Posted March, 2018.)

Community Evangelical Congregational Church, 51 Green Valley Rd., Sinking Spring, PA 19608, seeks a part-time organist for the 8 a.m. Sunday traditional service plus holidays/special services. Payment is per service, commensurate with experience; instrument is a 3-manual Allen Renaissance instrument; position will be available beginning in May. Visit the church website at or call the church at (610) 670-1942 for more information. Applicants should submit resume with cover letter to Karen Blanchard, Director of Worship Arts, via U.S. mail to church address above, or via e-mail (Posted February, 2018.)

Allegheny United Church of Christ, 1219 Kurtz Mill Rd., Mohnton, PA 19540, is seeking a part-time organist for Sunday services at 9:30 a.m., and to lead a choir for Easter and Christmas. Contact the Rev. Dr. Martha Smith, via e-mail at, or by telephone at (610) 401-0149. (Posted January, 2018.)

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,, 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; 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.)

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 (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 (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, 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.





Contact Us

Mr. John C. Brewster, Dean –
Sub-dean – vacant
Mr. David S. Wagner, Treasurer –
Mrs. JoAnne Lutz, Secretary –

Mr. Lee Ferrier, Executive Committee –
Member, Executive Committee – vacant
Mrs. Barbara F. Woods, Executive Committee –
Member, Executive Committee – vacant
Rev. Michael A. Baal, D.M.A., AAGO, Newsletter/Website Editor –



AGO National website