Saginaw Valley

Last updated: July 16, 2015 at 15:31 pm

Message from the Dean 


The Saginaw Valley Chapter AGO is a gathering of organists, teachers, builders, and music mentors from the Great Lakes Bay Region, Michigan’s Thumb, and the Sunrise Coast.  Its 2013-2014 chapter programs raised awareness of the organ in ways regional and national, and they encouraged the fellowship of members.

The chapter mourned the passing of members Blair Konn and Ruth Wondrasch at the conclusion of the 2013-2014.  Konn, a native of Saginaw who spent years as an organ technician in California, served on the organ committee at the First Congregational Church in Saginaw.  Wondrasch was a faithful member of the chapter who dedicated her life to students, teachers, and families in Lutheran parochial education.  She functioned in several instances as the chapter’s elected Treasurer.

A nonprofit organization led by a dedicated volunteer board, members of the Saginaw Valley Chapter voted in 2013 to invest the chapter’s scholarship funds with the Midland Area Community Foundation. In one year’s time, this financial decision has proven to be a responsible stewardship of chapter assets.

Chapter members elected officers listed below with unanimous approval in April 2014. Among the chapter’s elected officers, the board welcomes new member Calla Ringgenberg.  A graduate of Central Michigan University, Ringgenberg resides in Clare, and she has recently accepted an organist position in Alma.

Thank you for your participation and collegiality in the Saginaw Valley Chapter.

S. D. G.

Nicholas E. Schmelter

Dean, Saginaw Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
1205 Burbank
Saginaw, Michigan 48638

Director of Music, First Congregational Church
403 S. Jefferson Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48607


Local Events

Events for the 2014-2015 season are listed below. Performers are needed for the October and July events. Please let Bob Sabourin (989.631.4996) know if you are interested.

September 13, 2014 – 12:00 p.m.

Annual Meeting and Chapter Luncheon

The Panda House, 1010 N. Niagara St., Saginaw, MI 48602

Members meet for lunch and for the chapter’s annual meeting. Please RSVP to Bob Sabourin.


September 13, 2014 – 1:30 p.m.

Organ Introduction and Open Console

First Congregational Church, 403 S. Jefferson Ave., Saginaw, MI 48607

Explore the sounds of the recently rebuilt Skinner organ at the First Congregational Church. Bring your organ shoes and music to enjoy a sample.


October 12, 2014 – 4:00 p.m.

Organ Highlight and Benefit Event

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 105 S. Erie St., Bay City, MI 48706

Be part of an event raising awareness of the transplanted and deteriorating Skinner organ at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church. Communicate your interest performing in a brief recital to Bob Sabourin.


November 16, 2014 – 7:00 p.m.

Kent S. Dennis Memorial Organ Recital, Nicholas Schmelter

The Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1310 Ashman St., Midland, MI 48640

Nicholas Schmelter is invited to perform the 2014 recital with all proceeds directly benefiting the Kent S. Dennis Memorial Endowed Scholarship held by the Midland Area Community Foundation. Enjoy selection by Bach, Hebble, Mulet, Stanford, Willan, and others.


February 15, 2015 4:00 p.m.

The Music of Scott Hyslop

St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, 1030 W. Tuscola St., Frankenmuth, MI 48734

Chapter members and the community celebrate the compositions of Dr. Scott Hyslop, whose music and scholarship reflects a diversity of sacred music interests.


April 24, 2015 – 8:00 p.m.

Recital, Jonathan Rudy, First Prize at the 2014 Nat. Young Artists Competition in Organ

First Presbyterian Church, 121 S. Harrison St., Saginaw, MI 48602

Rudy, a student of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, performs a recital of varied repertoire at First Presbyterian Church. He was awarded the audience prize and first prize at the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance on June 23.


May 3, 2015 – 4:00 p.m.

“Made in Michigan” – a Hymn Festival

Trinity Lutheran Church, 3701 N. Jefferson Ave., Midland, MI 48640

Rev. Andreas Teich, an active participant in The Hymn Society in the United States, leads a hymn festival with local musicians.


July 5, 2015 – 4:00 p.m.

A Patriotic Concert

Trinity Episcopal Church, 815 N. Grant St., Bay City, MI 48708

Take part in the chapter’s fifth annual popular patriotic concert, scheduled during Bay City’s Independence Day festivities. Bob Sabourin invites your participation and repertoire suggestions.



Join the chapter’s Facebook group for regular updates.  Other communications are sent via e-mail from chapter leadership.



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.

Contact Us


Nicholas Schmelter
1205 Burbank Pl.
Saginaw, MI 48638

Nicholas Schmelter, Dean; Robert Sabourin, Sub-Dean; Thomas Wegener, Past Dean; Robert Van Nostrand, Tresurer; Calla Ringgenberg, Secretary; James Gladstone, Member-at-Large; John Olson, Member-at-Large; Adrienne Wiley, Member-at-Large


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