Wilmington Chapter

Last updated: June 23, 2018 at 20:45 pm

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 Sara Bryant, Dean, at sara.w.bryant@gmail.com.



Greetings from the Dean

Dear Friends,
I hope that all of you are having a wonderful Easter season. Pentecost is coming soon, and then things should calm down for a while, although those Sundays will keep on coming every week.

Those of us who work in churches spend a lot of our time planning. I think the planning process has become easier and more fulfilling over the years. When I first chose music for services forty-two years ago, I did not have many references to help me. The church I served did not use the lectionary, so I would pore over the hymnal looking for appropriate hymns to go with the minister’s sermons. There may have been books I could have bought to help, but I did not know about them.

Things are different now. In addition to many reference books and periodicals, we have many excellent online resources. Our April Chapter meeting program, presented by Justin Smith, gave me yet more information and help with planning music. Justin’s program was excellent, and his handout was especially good. The handout is included with this newsletter so that those of you who missed the meeting will have it.

I look forward to seeing you at our May event, Joby Bell’s concert at First Presbyterian Church, described in an article in this newsletter.

Best regards,
Sara Bayant, Dean
Wilmington Chapter of the AGO

Joby Bell Organ Recital

Landmark musician on a landmark organ to perform in Wilmington on May 13!

Dr. Joby Bell, renowned organist and professor at Appalachian State will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Trio Sonata in E Flat; John Cook’s Fanfare which features a solo trumpet and tuba stop on the organ; three pieces by Frank Bridge; and selections from the Widor Symphonies.

A symphony for an orchestra is one thing – a symphony played by a single person at the organ is another. Widor’s 10 Symphonies for organ solo elevate the organ to performance art. Dr. Bell is recording the complete Widor Symphonies on well-known organs in various churches known for their exceptional instruments. The recording is expected to be released internationally.

The E.M. Skinner organ at First Presbyterian was first played in 1928. It was given to the church as a memorial gift in loving memory of James Sprunt, a long-time member and one who had served the church for many years as deacon and elder.

The organ was restored in the 1980’s and underwent further restoration and repairs in the past decade. Bell described it as “sublime, rich, full, rewarding, and in a pristine restored condition.”

The concert, which is open to the public, will be held Sunday, May 13 at 5 pm at First Presbyterian Church, 125 Third St., Wilmington.  A reception will follow and is open to all. There is no charge, as are all Music at First offerings.

The May 13 concert is also sponsored by the Wilmington chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

April Business Meeting

Officers for next year were elected: Sara Bryant—Dean, John Sulivan—Sub-Dean, Sharon Miller—Secretary, Greg Gore—Treasurer and Membership Chairman, Doug Spivey—Member-at-Large. Bill Remele and Bob Norem will continue their terms as Members-at-Large. These officers will begin their terms on July 1, 2018.

We decided to contribute $500 to the AGO Annual Fund.

Membership Renewals

It’s renewal time for most of our members. If your renewal date is July 1, you will soon receive, if you haven’t already, an invoice by email or regular mail. If you have an alternate renewal date and your membership hasn’t lapsed, no further action is required at this time. Whenever you receive your invoice, please take a few minutes to renew. Since most of our funds are from member dues, prompt renewals are appreciated for budget and planning purposes. Also remember to update your personal information in ONCARD. We use this information when we compile the member directory. Dues rates are mostly the same as last year. A dues structure and a list of the many benefits of membership are included at the end of this newsletter.

Each member of the chapter is valued and appreciated! We need each of you for the continued success of our chapter!

Please contact me or the national office if you have questions or need assistance with the renewal process.

I look forward to seeing you at future meetings and events!

Gregory Gore
Membership Chairman

Organ Academy at Indiana University

Dear AGO members,
I write to ask you for your help sharing the following information about our pre-college/collegiate summer organ academy.

The Jacobs Organ Academy, July 15-20, is designed along the lines of a European organ academy. Participants will receive intensive instruction in organ performance while also having an opportunity to explore various other interests and related studies. The JOA offers a track for college-aged organ students, and a pre-college track, both tailored to offer organists a substantive weeklong summer education opportunity within the US. We are keeping enrollment low enough to afford all attendees a generous amount of time on our two major Fisk concert hall organs.  There will also be opportunities to play the new Paul Fritts organ, Opus 41, at First Presbyterian Church.

The JOA offers instruction in technique and repertoire, church music, theory, and registration, as well as plenty of practice time, an organ crawl, masterclasses, concerts, a closing performance, and a little fun along the way. The college aged track includes a specialized focus on specific repertoire: this year’s topics are the music of J. S. Bach and his North German predecessors, and music since 1900. The German Baroque focus will lead to a performance on the Fritts organ, while the latter repertory includes a survey in a masterclass/performance setting.

The pre-college track can accommodate experienced organists and newcomers to the instrument. We encourage pianists with an interest in organ to consider this as well; proficient pianists keen on learning to play the organ can expect to receive a thorough introduction to the instrument in a thoroughly stimulating environment.

Our faculty, Janette Fishell, Vince Carr, and Chris Young, have decades of teaching experience, preparing students for the challenging and fruitful world of church music, performance, and teaching, and encouraging them to embrace excellence in all aspects of their musical lives. Additionally, Academy fees and dorm costs are quite reasonable!

Further information and application procedures for the Jacobs Organ Academy can be found here: http://music.indiana.edu/precollege/summer/jacobs-organ-academy/index.shtml

If you think one of your current students would be interested in attending, please encourage them to apply. Also, I ask that you kindly forward this email to any pre-college students, teachers of pre-college students, or college students who may be interested. Feel free to email me should you have any questions.

Thank you for your efforts,
Chris Young
Jacobs Organ Academy

Carol Williams Concert

British born, Carol was raised in a Welsh family with many musical influences and began private lessons at age five and could read music before she could read English. She began performing organ recitals at age eight.

Carol’s formal training started with five years at the Royal Academy of Music where she specialized in organ performing as a student of David Sanger and obtained the Academy’s prestigious Recital Diploma together with an LRAM (organ) and an LRAM (piano).

Carol was awarded all the major prizes for organ performance and, during her studies she became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and a Fellow of Trinity College London plus an Associate of the Royal College of Music. Carol continued her studies with Daniel Roth, the Organist at the Church of St. Sulpice, Paris.

Then moving to the United States in 1995 she undertook postgraduate study at Yale University under the direction of Professor Thomas Murray where she was appointed University Chapel Organist and was awarded an Artist Diploma together with the Charles Ives prize for outstanding achievement.

Next Carol undertook Doctoral studies under Professor McNeil Robinson at the Manhattan School of Music where she received the Helen Cohn award for her D.M.A. degree. During her time there she was the Associate Organist at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Long Island’s Garden City. In 2001 Carol became the first woman in the world to hold the
title “Civic Organist of San Diego” from 2001-2016. This position is one of the remaining Civic Organist positions in the world.

Carol will be featured in a concert on May 20, 2018, 3:30 PM, at Park Road Baptist Church, 3900 Park Road, Charlotte, NC.

Read more about Carol here: http://melcot.com/

Summer Organ Institute at Baylor University

I wanted to let you know that we will be holding a summer organ institute at Baylor University from June 10 to 16, 2018.
More information can be found here: https://www.baylor.edu/busmc/doc.php/260481.pdf
The week will include lessons, group classes in service playing and organ literature, concerts, a visit to the carillon tower, and a silent movie! There is, however, always much time to practice and to enjoy the company of other students.
All the best,
Isabelle Demers, DMA
Associate Professor of Organ
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97408
Waco, TX 76798-7408
Office: (254) 710-6509
2018 National Convention

July 2-6, 2018
Kansas City, Missouri

MARK YOUR CALENDARS – 2019 AGO Southeast Regional Convention

June 9-12, 2019

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

For more information: http://www.agose2019.com/

2017-2018 Programs

  • Saturday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m.: Chapter dinner with Joby Bell, First Presbyterian Church, 125 South 3rd Street.
  • Sunday, May 13 at 5:00 p.m.: Organ recital featuring Joby Bell, First Presbyterian Church, 125 South 3rd Street, Reception following.
  • Friday, June 15: Summer social, home of Bob Norem.

Local Events

Cameron Art Museum

  • May 10, 7:00 PM: Pro Musica Concert Series-celebrating music of living composers, $

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

  • May 13, 4:00 PM, 7:30 PM, The Illusionists, $
  • May 15, 7:30 PM, Jay Leno, $
  • May 19, 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM, A Literary Feast: Three Original Ballets, $
  • May 20, 4:00 PM, Sing Me to Heaven, Wilmington Choral Society, $
  • May 24, 7:30 PM, Paul Taylor Dance Company: American Spirit, $

Church Concerts

  • May 10, 5:30 PM, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Organ concert followed by Evensong at 6:00 PM
  • May 13, 5:00 PM, First Presbyterian, Joby Bell, organ
  • May 18, 7:30 PM, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Rejoice in the Lamb-Britten; Five Mystical Songs-Vaughan Williams
  • May 20, 5:00 PM, First Presbyterian, Stevenson Stohl Suzuki Tour Group

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

  • May 8, 2;00 PM, National Theatre Live: Young Marx, $
  • May 9, 8:00 PM, Knitting Factory presents Chap Prather: comedian, armchair philosopher, musician, humorist, $
  • May 11, 7:00 PM, Cape Fear Chordsman: Phantom of the Barbershop, $
  • May 12, 2:00 PM, Cape Fear Chordsman: Phantom of the Barbershop, $
  • May 20, 4:30 PM, Wilmington Symphonic Winds, $

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

  • May 13, 5:00 PM, Tallis Chamber Orchestra

$ indicates admission charge



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/.



St. Andrew’s-on-the-Sound Episcopal Church

Interim Director of Music Ministry

St. Andrew’s On-the-Sound Episcopal Church in Wilmington is seeking an interim Director of Music Ministry. This half-time position involves directing a children’s choir, a handbell choir, and an adult choir. Funding is available for section leaders as well as a separate fund for paying guest musicians to enhance worship. There are two services: 9:00 and 11:15 and a 1995 Cornell Zimmer pipe/digital instrument. Please contact Richard Elliott at 910-256-3034.

First Christian Church

Music Director

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Wilmington, NC is seeking a skilled and passionate leader to become our next Music Director.
This is a part time position that is in charge of leading our choir and directing the music program of the church, with the assistance of an organist/accompanist who is already in place.
Major duties include selecting music, conducting rehearsals of the choir, and the planning and implementation of schedule special music events.Preferred Education and Experience

  • Conducting experience, preferably with church choirs
  • Familiarity with a broad range of sacred music, with an emphasis on traditional and classical, but a willingness to incorporate more contemporary music as well
  • Interpersonal communication and planning skills
  • Proven ability to plan, with consultation of the ministers, the music program of the church
  • Ability to direct handbells and/or children’s choirs as needed.
  • Actively seeking out new choir members.

Interested applicants should send a letter of interest and resume (including professional references) to:

First Christian Church
2035 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, N. C. 28403
Attn: Music Committee

or by email to: dfurr1@ec.rr.com

Cape Fear Presbyterian Church

Interim Music Director/Organist

2606 Newkirk Ave., Wilmington, NC  28412


PURPOSE: To coordinate and implement the music program of the church and to provide appropriate organ music and/or piano accompaniment for services of worship.

The positions of music director and organist are combined.  The qualified person will maintain a music program that seeks to balance the church’s longstanding traditional music focus with new ideas in order to be inclusive of all generations represented within the congregation. and the diversity of musical expression found in scripture and throughout reformed worship.

WORKING RELATIONSHIPS: The part-time Interim Music Director/Organist is accountable to the Pastor (head of staff and primary worship leader).  He/she also works with the Worship Team as well as other staff persons.


  • Play the organ/piano for worship services in the church sanctuary for regular Sunday morning services, as well as for all special services such as Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Christmas Eve, etc.
  • Select, with guidance from the Pastor, appropriate music for worship.
  • Rehearse and direct adult choir for worship and seasonal music (Wednesday evenings).
  • Notify the church secretary by Wednesday of the name and composer of the anthem, and information on the organ prelude, offertory, and organ postlude.
  • Encourage congregational participation by recruiting members for the choir. There also may be instrumentalists within the congregation whose participation would enhance the congregation’s worship.
  • Be available, when possible, to provide music for funeral services held in the sanctuary. The family will provide an honorarium to the organist for this service.
  • Be available, when possible, to provide music for weddings held in the sanctuary. Compensation for this service is to be paid to the Church office according to the wedding policies.
  • Attend Worship Team meetings (quarterly) and work with the team in developing and monitoring music budget.
  • Attend periodic staff meetings.
  • Arrange for and supervise periodic piano/organ maintenance.
  • Maintain an organized choir room with special regard to the music, robes, stoles.
  • Maintain the music library, adding to it appropriate music in keeping with the limits of the budget.
  • Secure substitute musical leadership when absent for reasons of vacation or personal business.


Education and Experience 

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Experience as a director of music and organist required
  • Familiarity with Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) worship ideal

 Technical Competencies 

  • Proficiency in playing organ and piano
  • Experience in vocal and instrumental music direction
  • Skill in choral training and selection of appropriate music
  • Ability to play and teach handbells desirable

 Personal Attributes 

  • Christian
  • Friendly and courteous
  • Work well in a collaborative environment
  • Possess good verbal and written communication skills.
  • Possess effective planning and organizational skills
  • Ability to work with all ages, from children to senior adults
  • Possess the flexibility to consider and implement creative means of enhancing the church’s music ministry.


Part-time (10-12 Hrs./week); salaried position: $11,000/yr


Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

Position Announcement – Director of Liturgy and Music
Immaculate Conception Church
6650 Carolina Beach Road
Wilmington, NC 28412


Come to Coastal NC – to a growing Catholic parish seeking to further develop its liturgy and music programs.

In collaboration with the Pastor, the Director of Liturgy and Music provides for the liturgical life of the parish. This is accomplished through the guidance, preparation, and direction of all parish liturgical celebrations. Responsibilities would include the formation and on-going support of all liturgical ministers and parish musicians. In addition, the Director works in relationship with other staff members to support the community to live out Living Jesus Christ” by proclaiming the Gospel, celebrating the Eucharist, nourishing our Faith, and serving all God’s people with compassion, humility and gentleness.

Required Qualifications:

  • An undergraduate degree in music, liturgy, or related field.
  • Working knowledge and understanding of, and proven experience with Catholic liturgy.
  • A practicing Catholic in good standing.
  • Skills as an accompanist on the piano and organ with good sight-reading skills, preferred.
  • Special emphasis on leading the assembly in song, as well ability to improvise, prepare and play creative accompaniments to the hymns and liturgical music.
  • Proven experience with choral conducting with volunteer choirs.
  • Experience contracting professional instrumentalists and students for special liturgies and Holy Days.
  • Possess pastoral, organizational, computer, communication, motivational and people skills.

This candidate will be involved with the selection of a new piano for the current worship space and giving input toward the design of an eventual new church building.

This is a regular fulltime, 40-hour per week, salaried, exempt position.

In addition to a competitive salary, Immaculate Conception provides a comprehensive benefits plan, including:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision insurance
  • Group life
  • Long-term disability insurance
  • A generous 403(b) plan

Please submit your resume with cover letter expressing your understanding of liturgy and music via email to icccsearchcommittee@gmail.com.

Immaculate Conception is a parish of 1,000 households ministering to the faithful coastal communities of Carolina Beach and historic Wilmington, NC. The community is administered by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

For more information please visit our website www.iccwilm.org.

Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church (ECO)

North Myrtle Beach, SC

Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church of North Myrtle Beach, SC is a flourishing community of believers dedicated to proclaiming the Word of God, to making disciples and to ministering to the needs of the surrounding community. ODPC is seeking a part time organist.  The organist will play for the traditional Sunday worship service and as part of
the orchestral ensemble, and accompany the Chancel Choir.  The organist will play for the Wednesday choral rehearsal, for other services during the church year as requested, as well as funerals or weddings.

Our organ is a Rodgers Oxford 945 with three manuals. If interested in applying for this ministry opportunity, please contact our Director of Traditional Worship, Karen Alexander, at kalexander@odpc.org.  For more information, see https://www.oceandrivechurch.org/church-organist-position/.

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 sara.w.bryant@gmail.com.


Contact Us

Dean: Sara Bryant- sara.w.bryant@gmail.com

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

Secretary: Sharon Miller – smiller@sacpc.org

Treasurer: Greg Gore – chawk92@aol.com

Member at Large (2018): Matt Rosendahl – rosematt66@gmail.com

Member at Large (2019): Bill Remele – wremele@gmail.com

Member at Large (2020): Bob Norem – noremtpc@gmail.com



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

AGO Southeast Region Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/AGOSoutheast

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

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

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

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

AGO National website