Wilmington Chapter

Last updated: March 6, 2017 at 11:56 am

Message from the Dean 

Greetings from the Wilmington (North Carolina) Chapter! Founded in 1989, the Wilmington Chapter currently has a growing membership. While the majority of its members live in the greater Wilmington area, the chapter spans a large geographic area that includes southeastern North Carolina and portions of eastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina. The Chapter meets monthly September through June. Each meeting includes a program which often is a concert performed by chapter members for the community, a lecture on a topic of interest or a guest artist recital. Many meetings feature a catered meal. The Wilmington chapter prides itself on presenting many concerts and events for the greater community. Many years, chapter members present a Hymn Festival for the Church Year, and a members’ organ recital. Chapter members also form the AGO Chamber Choir which performs a concert of the works of a major composer many years with chamber orchestra. The 2010 choral concert featured works of Benjamin Britten. Historic Wilmington, North Carolina, is located on the Southeastern coast of North Carolina and is home to many fine pipe organs. Builders represented include Austin, Bozeman, Casavant, Estey, Goulding & Wood, Noack, Pilcher, Schantz, E. M. Skinner, Taylor and Boody, and Visser-Rowland. For more information on the Wilmington Chapter, please contact Justin Smith, Dean, at cjs@alumni.wfu.edu.


Local Events

Beckwith Recital Hall, UNCW: http://uncw.edu/music/events/events-calendar.html

  • March 16, 7:00 pm, UNCW Community Music Academy
  • March 19, 7:30 pm, UNCW String Ensemble
  • April 2, 4:00 pm, UNCW Choirs

CFCC Fine Arts Center: http://cfcc.edu/capefearstage/tickets-and-events/

  • Feb. 28 & Mar. 1, 7:30 pm, Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
  • March 5, 2pm & 6pm, The Jungle Book
  • March 10, 7:00 pm, Best Foot Forward
  • March 16, 7:30 pm, Lionel Popkin Dance Co.
  • March 17, 7:30 pm, Earth, Wind, & Fire
  • March 18, 7:30pm, Wilmington Symphony Orchestra
  • March 21, 7:30 pm, Ann Wilson of Heart
  • March 22, 7:30 pm, Stomp
  • March 25, 7:00 pm & March 26, 3:00 pm, City Ballet presents Beauty & the Beast
  • March 30, 7:30 pm, Jason Isbell w/special guest Hiss Golden Messenger

Church Concerts

  • March 2, 7:00 pm, St. Matthew’s Lutheran, Meredith College Chorale
  • March 7, 7:30 pm, St. James Episcopal, High Point University Chamber Choir
  • March 19, 5:00 pm, First Presbyterian, Dr. Barry Salwen, piano
  • March 25, 7:30 pm, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Tallis Chamber Orchestra, w/violinist, Jacqui Carrasco (Wake Forest Univ.)
  • March 26, 5:00 pm, First Presbyterian, Stevenson/Stohl Suziki Tour Group
  • April 2, 5:00 pm, First Presbyterian, Domonique Launey, piano

Kenan Auditorium, UNCW: http://uncw.edu/arts/calendar.html

  • March 2, 7:30 pm, UNCW Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Winds
  • March 11, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Dream Dance Challenge
  • March 20, 7:30 pm, UNCW Jazz Combos w/Juan Alamo, percussion
  • March 21, 5:30 pm, Rush Hour Series: Onward Soldiers
  • March 23, 7:30 pm, UNCW JazzFest: Ron Blake Quartet
  • March 24, 7:30 pm, UNCW JazzFest: Rex Richardson, UNCW Jazz Ensemble I
  • March 25, 7:30 pm, UNCW Presents The Nile Project
  • March 28, 7:00 pm, Speaking Greek
  • April 2, 4:00 pm, USAF Concert Band & Singing Sergeants

Kenan Chapel, Landfall: http://kenanchapel.com/calendar/

  • March 26, 5:00 pm, UNC School of the Arts Chamber Group



Greetings from the Dean

Dear Members and Friends of the Wilmington AGO,


An important part of any professional organization or association such as the American Guild of Organists is the ability for the members of the group to connect with one another often and in a way that allows everyone to learn from each other.  Our February meeting was the perfect example of that, in which we learned many interesting things from chapter member and noted choral conductor Jerry Cribbs.  Jerry provided useful ideas that we can take back to our own choirs and use on a regular basis.  I personally have already used several choral techniques with my choir that I learned from Jerry just at this meeting.  In addition, Jerry said that he learned from chapter members attending the event by their many questions.  This type of two-way instruction is one of the things that makes me proud to be a part of this chapter.

Another opportunity to learn from each other is soon approaching with our March chapter program.  While February’s event focused on choral techniques and how to properly lead a choral rehearsal, March’s event is more focused on the actual choral music that we can use with our church and community choirs.  Everyone is always looking for new music, and with busy schedules, especially for those of us in part-time church roles, it is often difficult to find time to scour the Internet and the many catalogues that come in the mail each year.

In an effort to make choral music planning easier and more productive, the program planning committee thought it would be a good idea to have an old-fashioned choral reading session.  These sessions are familiar to people who go to church music conferences in the summer, such as Montreat and Lake Junaluska, but it is not something that we see as often during the program year when we are working in our individual organizations.  Several chapter members have volunteered to bring several of their favorite anthems that have also been well liked by their choral groups.  These pieces will work well with choirs of many sizes and abilities, and have been selected specifically for their role in the church year, and how they fit into liturgical and non-liturgical services of worship.

Sara Bryant, Sharon Miller, Lisa Nichol, Bill Remele, John Sullivan, and John Tabler will be presenting music for Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter, Pentecost/Trinity Sunday/Christ the King, Communion, as well as general music and music for two and three-part choirs.  This music should provide a variety of ideas to you.  While most of the music will need to be returned so it can go back in the church’s music library that we are borrowing it from, some music will be available for you to take home and use with your choirs for free, which is an added treat for everyone.

Our March program is scheduled for Tuesday, March 14 at 6:30 PM at St. James Parish in downtown Wilmington at Third and Market.  A catered dinner of marsala chicken tetrazzini with mushrooms, baby green salad with balsamic dressing, garlic bread, brownies, and cookies will be served, along with iced tea, water, and coffee.  As usual, dinner is $12.00.  A vegetarian option of marsala tetrazzini (with mushrooms and without chicken) will be available.  The program will then follow at 7:30 PM in the Choir Room.  Dinner will be in the Great Hall, which is in the Parish Building on the Market Street side of the block.  The easiest parking is on Market Street or in the First Citizens Bank parking directly across the street from the Parish building steps. Parking at the bank should be okay after business hours.  The church parking lots are both off Dock Street on the other side of the block, if you would like to park in the church lots.  If you park there, please walk along the cloister that begins at the Brown House at the corner of Third and Dock and follow the cloister.  Handicapped accessible parking is available by parking in the driveway near the Brown House (Parish Offices).  From the driveway, follow the ramp into the Day School entrance just off the front lawn.

To make a dinner reservation, please email Lisa Nichol at lisawnichol@yahoo.com or call her at 910-398-1648.  The deadline for reservations is 3:00 PM on Friday, March 10.

Another way we can learn from each other and serve each other is by participating in chapter leadership.  To that end, it is time to convene a nominating committee.  The members of the committee will come up with a slate of officers for the 2017-2018 program year.  If you are interested in serving on the nominating committee, please contact me.  We need several volunteers, and your help is greatly appreciated.

I look forward to seeing everyone on March 14 to sing through and enjoy some choral music during our reading session.

Justin Smith


Local Churches Host College Choirs

The High Point University Chamber Choir, Dr. Elizabeth Doebler, conductor, presents a concert on Tuesday, March 7, 7:30 pm, at St. James Episcopal Church, 25 South Third Street, Wilmington NC, 28401. Admission is free. The Concert will feature works of Tomas Luis da Vittoria, Johannes Brahms, Eric Barnum, Stephen Paulus, Stacey V. Gibbs, Kim Arnesen, Josephine Poelinitz, Moses Hogan, and others. Contact John Sullivan (910- 763-1628) for more information.

Meredith College, Raleigh, N.C., has been a prominent private college since 1891. Meredith College’s Chorale directed by Ms. Shannon Gravelle with Dr. Jean Wozencraft-Ornellas & Ms. Brenda Fernandez, collaborate to make beautiful and inspiring music. The group embarks upon a tour each year and is called upon to sing at various on- and off-campus events, concerts, convocations, and Chapel services. From February 28th-March 4th they will be touring N.C. and sharing their music across the state. On March 2nd, the Chorale will perform a concert at St Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Wilmington, N.C. at 7pm. Contact Bill Glisson (910-233-1309) for more information

Organ Recital in Greenville, NC

The 2016-2017 Fisk on Fourth Concert Series concludes with Peggy Haas Howell, Lynchburg, Virginia, providing a wonderful program to include selections by Bach, Dupré and Mendelssohn. Ms. Howell is Organist-Choirmaster at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lynchburg and is well-known as an organ recitalist in the United States and Europe. Join us Friday, March 17, 2017 at 7:30pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 401 East Fourth Street, Greenville, North Carolina for this special event. All concerts feature The Perkins and Wells Memorial Organ, C. B. Fisk, Opus 126. The concert is free of charge.

The Fisk on Fourth Concert Series is made possible through the East Carolina Musical Arts Education Foundation (ECMAEF), a non-profit corporation, created to enrich the cultural offerings in Eastern North Carolina and to encourage continued interest in and performance of pipe organ and choral music.


Organ Academies – Indiana University

Dear Colleagues,

Greetings from the Jacobs School of Music Organ Department! I write to make you aware of three summer programs that will be held on our campus this-coming summer with the hope that you will share this information with anyone who may be contemplating a week of continuing education this summer in the fields of organ performance and/or sacred music. In addition to our successful Sacred Music Intensive Course, now in its third year, we are happy to announce the creation of two new organ academies, serving both pre-college and collegiate students.

Full details regarding each course can be found at the links below:

Third Annual Sacred Music Intensive: June 5-9, 2017, Taught by faculty from the Jacobs School of Music, the course supplies continuing education enrichment to church musicians who seek a supportive and stimulating environment in which to sharpen skills and engage new concepts and repertoire. Open to church musicians aged 18 & older.


Inaugural Jacobs Organ Academies: Both academies are designed for the inquisitive and motivated organ student who seeks a week of engagement with artist faculty, the stimulation of encountering new ideas, opportunities to perform on outstanding instruments, and the camaraderie of other organists.

Pre-College Organ Academy: July 17-21, 2017, open to organists & keyboardist ages 13-17


Collegiate Organ Academy, July 24-28, 2017, Open to collegiate students, recent graduates, or college-bound students ages 18 and older.


We thank you, in advance, for sharing this with students, colleagues, professional organizations and members of the church musician community. Best wishes, Janette Fishell, D.Mus

AGO Honors Joan Lippincott

NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has selected internationally acclaimed organist and teacher JOAN LIPPINCOTT as the honoree for the 2017 AGO Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award Recital and Gala Benefit Reception on Friday, April 21, 2017, in Princeton, N.J. Complete information can be found online at https://www.agohq.org/2017-gala/.

The celebration will begin at 7:00 p.m. at Princeton University Chapel, where the honoree, joined by organists Scott Dettra and Eric Plutz, will play a recital that is free and open to the public. A Gala Benefit Reception (advance tickets required) will follow at Prospect House, the private dining club of Princeton University.

Joan Lippincott has been acclaimed as one of America’s outstanding organ virtuosos. She is professor emerita of organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and was principal university organist at Princeton University from 1993 to 2000. Her many recordings on the Gothic label include music of Bach, Duruflé, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Widor, Alain, and Pinkham. Lippincott’s most recent CD is J.S. Bach: Orgelbüchlein, recorded on the Fritts organ at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Gala sponsorship opportunities are available at the $10,000, $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 levels. Full descriptions of sponsorship and benefits are available online at https://www.agohq.org/2017-gala/. All proceeds from the Gala will honor Joan Lippincott in perpetuity through the AGO Endowment Fund. For further information, please call 212-870- 2311, ext. 4308, or e-mail gala@agohq.org

AGO Southeast Regional Convention

June 11-14, 2017

Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida

Click on the link below to register!



2016-2017 Programs

  • Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 6:30 PM, St. James Parish, 25 S. Third Street, Wilmington: Anthem Reading Session (featuring music for various liturgical seasons), led by chapter members. This program promises to provide a lot of creative and fun music planning ideas. Chapter members have volunteered to bring anthems related to liturgical seasons, baptism and communion, as well as music for the small choir. They will lead us in singing through the pieces. Plan to make notes on what will work for your own choir! Dinner will be served in the Great Hall, followed by the program in the Choir Room.
  • Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 6:30 PM, Home of Herman and Sara Bryant: Pre-concert discussion and presentation on music being played at the May program. This program will be a bit different when compared to our usual events. We will enjoy dinner (provided by Sara Bryant) and chapter members making short presentations and leading discussions about the music that we will hear at our May chapter program. If you would like to speak about a piece or pieces that will be played, please contact Justin Smith.
  • Friday, May 12, 2017, 7:30 PM, First Presbyterian Church, 125 S. Third Street, Wilmington: Recital by 2014 NYACOP winner Jonathan Rudy. This organ concert, sponsored and produced by our chapter, crowns our program year with an evening of beautiful organ literature on the stunning 1928 E.M. Skinner organ at First Presbyterian. Mr. Rudy has won and been a finalist in several organ competitions over the past several years and presented a featured recital at the 2016 AGO national convention in Houston. He studied organ in graduate school with Janette Fishell and Bruce Neswick, while also teaching at Indiana University. Please invite friends and family!
  • Friday, June 9, 2017, 6:30 PM, Home of Bob Norem and Carl Salisbury: Summer Social. Join us for a great time relaxing and enjoying each other’s company as we close out the program year. This event features a potluck dinner and time to talk to friends and colleagues in our chapter




Membership in the Wilmington AGO is open to all who possess a love of organ and choral music. For more information on becoming a member, please contact Greg Gore, Treasurer, at chawk92@aol.com.  You may also join online by visiting https://www.agohq.org/oncard-login/.



Shallotte Presbyterian Church

Position Announcement – Organist/Pianist

Shallotte Presbyterian Church, located in the town of Shallotte, NC in Southeastern, NC (Brunswick County) announces a staff opening for the position of a part-time Organist/ Pianist.

The Organist/Pianist is responsible for two weekly traditional services (8:30 and 11:00 AM) and accompanying the Chancel Choir at weekly rehearsals and in services.  Additional special services are also covered by the Organist/Pianist (Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Christmas Eve, etc.).  There may be an occasional additional rehearsal required as needed for special services and other work with soloists, ensembles, etc.  Weddings and funerals held at the church are offered to the Organist/Pianist with remuneration over and above the base salary.  There may be other opportunities for additional remuneration through special events and meetings scheduled at the church.  The church owns a Rogers Trillium 928 Organ and Baby Grand Piano.

Compensation range is $15,000-$18,000 annually based on experience and training.  The position offers four Sundays and four rehearsal days of annual vacation and two Sundays and two rehearsal days of sick/family leave.  Opportunities for professional development are available and encouraged.

To apply for the position, submit a cover letter, resume and supporting materials to:

Barry Auman, Music Director

Shallotte Presbyterian Church

P.O. Box 3256

Shallotte, NC  28459

The Search Committee may ask for references at a later date.

Questions relating to the position may be directed to Barry Auman at:

bauman@atmc.net, 910-579-1485

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



For more information about certification, please visit http://www.agohq.org/certification or contact the Dean at cjs@alumni.wfu.edu.


Contact Us

Dean: C. Justin Smith- cjs@alumni.wfu.edu

Subdean and Program Coordinator: John Sullivan – jds3rd@aol.com

Secretary: Sharon Miller – smiller@sacpc.org

Treasurer: Greg Gore – chawk92@aol.com

Member at Large: Mark Gansor – mark@markgansor.com

Member at Large: Sara Bryant – music@thestmaryparish.org

Member at Large: Bill Remele – wremele@gmail.com



AGO Southeast Region Blog: http://agoregionivblog.blogspot.com/

AGO National Headquarters: http://www.agohq.org

Music at First: http://www.firstonthird.org/music/music-at-first/

Music at St. Paul’s: http://www.spechurch.com/music

Music Events at UNCW: https://events.uncw.edu/MasterCalendar/MasterCalendar.aspx

Wilmington Symphony Orchestra: http://wilmingtonsymphony.org/

AGO National website