Saginaw Valley Chapter

Last updated: March 22, 2017 at 15:25 pm

Message from the Dean 

From the Dean–January 2017

Happy New Year and Year of the Rooster Everyone!

I trust that you all had a great and fulfilling holiday season, whether you were on the bench or off of it.

I’d like to remind you of our January and February events (see details below):

January 14, next Saturday at 7:30 p.m.—Hector Olivera at SVSU.

February 19, at 4:00 p.m.—Two-harpsichord Recital featuring Scott Hyslop and William Randall at St. Lorenz in Frankenmuth.

I’m still enjoying my time in Florida, so will hope to see you at the February event.

Best wishes,
Steven Egler

Steven Egler, D.M.A.
Professor of Music (Organ)
104 School of Music
Central Michigan University
Mt. Pleasant, MI 49959
Dean, Saginaw Valley Chapter
American Guild of Organists

Programs for 2016-2017 are:

The Kent Dennis Memorial Organ Recital occurred on November 13, 2016
The annual event, sponsored by the Guild and the church, recognizes the commitment of Kent Dennis to the organ community and to the music ministry at the Presbyterian Church.

This year’s recitalist was Patricia Bowen of Midland. Patti is the Principal Organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Midland and is a retired Bullock Creek music teacher. She holds degrees in music education from Anderson University, IN, and a Master’s Degree in organ performance from Central Michigan University. She has held previous church positions at Westminster Presbyterian Church and Madison Avenue Methodist Church in Bay City and First Baptist Church in Midland. She has been involved with the Saginaw Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, serving two terms as Dean and several terms as a Member-at-Large of the Executive Board.

If you missed Patti’s recital and want to hear/see it, it is now streaming live on the Memorial Presbyterian Church website.

Use the following link and then click on “Archives.” The Kent Dennis Recital is the first event listed.


On April 23, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. the program will be at Messiah Lutheran Church in Bay City, MI. Pastor Andreas Teich and Pastor Steven Starke will present a hymn festival of American Folk Tunes. Members of the Guild will serve as organists for the program and will be joined by members of Exultate Deo Chamber Choir.


The final program of the season on July 2, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bay City, MI is the annual Patriotic Program. It will feature members of the Guild as organists and Exultate Deo Chamber Choir performing patriotic hymns, organ and choral music. Installation of A.G.O. officers will take place.

All programs are open to the public free of charge. For more information please check the Saginaw Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists Facebook page.

Members of the Executive Committee: Steven Egler, Dean; Robert Sabourin, Sub-Dean; Robert VanNostrand, Treasurer; Calla Ringgenberg, Secretary;  Matthew Benkert, David Hammond, Adrienne Wiley, Members at Large.

[as well as]

Non-EC Personnel and Committee Coordinators and Chairperson:
Patricia Bowen, Chairperson of Nominating Committee (Mair Alsgaard and Yvonne Becker)
James Gladstone, Coordinator of Wide Publicity
Karen Graef, Coordinator of Membership Directory
David Hammond, Coordinator of Chapter Webpage
Nicholas Schmelter, Chairperson of Kent Dennis Scholarship Competition (Matthew Benkert and Adrienne Wiley)
Nicholas Schmelter, Coordinator of Chapter Facebook Page

Local Events

Memorial Presbyterian Church
1310 Ashman Street
Midland, MI

Friday afternoons from 12:15-12:45 in the Sanctuary.

Featured Guest Artists

March 24
Mark Cox, Tuba/Euphonium

March 31
Fangye Sun, Violin

April 7
Dianne Granstra, Soprano



Trinity Episcopal Church in Bay City, The Rev. Susan C. Rich, Rector, announces its
series of Evensongs and music events for the 2016-2017 season.  For more information call 989-892-5813.

Dates for the 2016-2017 season include:

March 26, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
Choral Evensong
The Trinity Choir and Guests
Robert Sabourin, Organist

April 9, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
The Music of Holy Week
Exultate Deo Chamber Choir
Steven Egler, Organist

May 21, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
Choral Evensong
The Trinity Choir and Guests
Robert Sabourin, Organist

July 2, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
Patriotic Concert
The Ann Frisby Fitzugh Chapter of the DAR

All programs are open to the pubic free of charge.


Other Events in the State of Michigan



Sunday May 21, 2017 at 6:00 PM
Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Parish at the St. Helen campus, 2445 N. Charles in Saginaw, MI is proud to welcome Dr. Carl Angelo for an organ concert beginning at 6:00PM. there is a freewill donation suggestion of $10.00 for this concert.
For questions, please contact David Hammond


Other Events Outside the State of Michigan

Please visit the AGO web page at for more information.




Join the chapter’s Facebook

Other communications are sent via e-mail from chapter leadership.

Dennis Memorial Endowed Scholarship Benefits Organists
The Saginaw Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists announces the 2017
Kent S. Dennis Memorial Endowed Scholarship to encourage and enrich the musical
education of present and future church or synagogue organists.
The scholarship is open to keyboard students of any age enrolled in high school or
college, and also adult students, residing in the area served by the Saginaw Valley
Chapter (including counties such as Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland,
Saginaw, and Tuscola) or studying with a teacher who is a member of the Saginaw
Valley Chapter. Awards totaling $750-1250 will be given for beginning study or further
study of the organ. Scholarships will be based solely on merit and will be paid directly to
the college or university or to an approved instructor on behalf of the student in
accordance with the Midland Area Community Foundation’s award distribution policy.
All application requirements of the Saginaw Valley Chapter and the Midland Area
Community Foundation must be completed by the posted deadline, March 1, 2017, to
quality for the scholarship.
If, in the opinion of the committee, no suitable candidate is eligible, the scholarship may
not be awarded. The amount of each award will be determined at the discretion of the
judges. The Midland Area Community Foundation reserves the right to accept or reject
the recommendations of the Saginaw Valley Chapter AGO.
Kent S. Dennis was born June 25, 1928, to William and Mabel Dennis in Donora,
Pennsylvania. A scientist, Dr. Dennis earned a BS degree in chemistry from Grove City
College, where he graduated summa cum laude. He received MS and PhD degrees from
Cleveland’s Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve). In 1954 he began
a position at the Dow Chemical Co. in Midland before being drafted into the U.S. Army
for two years. He retired from Dow in 1986 after 32 years as a senior research associate.
Dr. Dennis was organist at The Bertha E. R. Strosacker Memorial Presbyterian Church in
Midland for 47 years, and was named organist emeritus in 2003. He played for more than
700 weddings and performed annual organ recitals for 46 years; he also taught many
organ students. His community involvement included frequent leadership terms for the
Saginaw Valley Chapter AGO, which he served three times as dean. He also served on
the board of managers of the Midland Center for the Arts and as president of the Midland
Symphony Orchestra. In 1987 the Music Society and Midland Symphony Orchestra
honored him with the Musician of the Year award. In 1997 he received the Grove City
College Alumni Achievement Award. In 2002, Dr. Steven Egler commissioned an organ
piece, “Fantasia on Dennis,” by David Gillingham in honor of Dr. Dennis. Having both
extraordinary technical and musical talents, Dr. Dennis built a pipe organ in his Alden
Dow-designed home. When his health declined, he donated the organ to St. Joseph the
Worker Church in Beal City, Michigan. Kent Dennis died on January 1, 2007.
The mission of the American Guild of Organists (, with approximately
20,000 members in more than 300 chapters throughout the United States and abroad, is to
enrich lives through organ and choral music. To achieve this, guild members encourage
excellence in the performance of organ and choral music; guild members inspire, educate,
and offer certification for organists and choral conductors; guild members provide
networking, fellowship, and mutual support; guild members nurture future generations of
organists; guild members promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles; and, guild
members engage wider audiences with organ and choral music. Membership options vary
and include Chapter Friends. If you are not an organist, but would like to be affiliated
only with a local AGO Chapter, please join as a Chapter Friend. Chapter Friends support
the local Chapter, receive chapter newsletters, and participate in chapter events.
For more information about the American Guild of Organists, contact Nicholas
Schmelter, Saginaw Valley Chapter AGO, at 989.980.9912 or



Please visit the AGO national website at for detailed membership information.


Consider involving yourself in and with chapter happenings. Contact a chapter leader to volunteer. Do you have other talents to contribute with your colleagues?

– Participate in chapter programs.
– Serve the chapter’s Nominating Committee.
– Become active with the volunteer leadership board.
– Take an active role supporting new organists by serving the Scholarship Committee.
– Function in a role of hospitality at chapter events.
– Suggest program ideas to the Sub-Dean.
– Practice each day.



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

Job Posting

At this time there are no known open postings in the local area. When we are made aware of postings and have reviewed them, they will be posted here for a short time.

Contact Us

Steven Egler, D.M.A.
Professor of Music (Organ)
104 School of Music
Central Michigan University
Mt. Pleasant, MI 49959
Dean, Saginaw Valley Chapter
American Guild of Organists

Members of the AGO board include, Steven Egler, Robert Sabourin, Robert Van   Nostrand, Matt Benkert, Adrienne Wiley, Calla Riggenberg and David Hammond.


The prestigious Royal Canadian College of Organists.
England’s own Royal College of Organists.
The official website of the Organ Historical Society.
An indispensable, comprehensive site for anyone with a penchant for organ stop trivia.
Scores and midi files for an impressive collection of hymns.
A “virtual” trek through the great organ locations of Britain.
The Web home of renowned Canadian organ builder Casavant Freres.

AGO National website