Wilmington Chapter

Last updated: September 5, 2016 at 15:35 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 Justin Smith, Dean, at cjs@alumni.wfu.edu.


Local Events

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

  • Sept. 19, 7:30 pm, University of South Carolina Experimental Music Workshop
  • Sept. 20, 7:30 pm, Chris Condon, saxophone
  • Sept. 23, 7:30 pm, Annual Alumni & Faculty Showcase: The Minimalists
  • Sept. 25, 3:00 pm, Chamber Music Wilmington: Zora String Quartet

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

  • Sept. 8, 7:30 pm, “Weird Al” Yankovic
  • Sept. 16, 7:30 pm, Tanya Tucker
  • Sept. 17, 7:30 pm, Wilmington Symphony Orchestra: Four Centuries of Orchestra Music
  • Sept. 24, 8:00 pm, Aaron Neville
  • Sept. 27, 6:00 pm, Matt the Knife
  • Sept. 25, 7:30 pm, North Carolina Symphony: Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1
  • Sept. 30, 8:00 pm, Sounds of the 70’s

Church Concerts

  • Sept. 16, 7:30 pm, St. Pauls Episcopal, Richard Rhoads, organ
  • Sept. 18, 5:00 pm, First Presbyterian, Elizabeth Field, soprano, Steven Field, piano
  • Sept. 24, 7:30 pm, St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian, New Odyssey, (3 guys/30 instruments)
  • Oct. 2, 5:00 pm, Romantic Works for Harp, Wesley Memorial UMC

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

  • Sept. 17, 6:00 pm, So Does Your Church Have Talent?
  • Sept. 22, 7:30 pm, Ballet Folklorico
  • Sept. 28, 7:30 pm, UNCW Jazz Faculty w/Lynn Grissett, trumpet
  • Oct. 2, 4:00 pm, UNCW Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Band
  • Oct. 3, 7:30 pm, Jazz Ensemble 1 with Matt White, trumpet

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

  • Sept. 18, 5:00 pm, Peter Borgia, piano



Greetings from the Dean

Dear Members and Friends of the Wilmington AGO,

I am probably not alone in wondering where the summer has already gone. For better or for worse, the summer has flown by for me. Even though the pace changes a bit for all of us, we generally do stay busy with travelling, conferences and conventions, time for planning and accessing what has worked and has not worked in our programs over the past year, and finding time for things that may have gotten pushed to the back burner during the busy fall and spring months that are filled with rehearsals and other obligations. I know some of you have already started back into the routine of weeknight choir rehearsals, with the rest of us following suit very soon in the week or so following Labor Day.

The AGO program year kicks off in early September as well, with our first meeting scheduled for Sunday, September 11 at the home of John and Sharon Miller. We will gather at 5:00 PM for a time of socializing and catching up after all the travelling and busy-ness of summer activities. John and Sharon will provide BBQ for everyone and they ask that we bring either an appetizer, side dish, or dessert. As usual, it is BYOB. As part of the social, I hope we will have a chance to discuss everything we have done this summer in terms of continuing education and our travels to enjoy music that we might not normally get to experience during the regular program year.

It has been a productive summer of planning for our upcoming program year, which you can read about later in this newsletter. This planning would not have happened without the many ideas of an energetic and forward-thinking program committee. I want to thank them for their contributions to the discussion about what they thought chapter members wanted to see in this year’s programming. This year’s program committee included: Sara Bryant, Mark Gansor, Greg Gore, John and Sharon Miller, Bill Remele, John Sullivan, John Tabler, and Charles Woodward. Besides the program committee, I want to especially thank Greg Gore for his tireless work as membership coordinator for our chapter. It is a difficult job now that renewal dates can be at any time during the year and ONCARD sometimes makes it difficult to send invoices and renewal reminders through the system. He has spent a huge amount of time this summer encouraging everyone to renew and keeping track of all of those details. In addition, I also want to thank Sharon Miller for her superb attention to detail as Yearbook Editor. She has worked for weeks with Greg in getting the membership list just right and has called and emailed people all over town to get concert listings. Thank you both!

I also want to show appreciation to all of you for renewing and being an important part of our chapter family. I do consider us somewhat of a family, and I thank you for your support of organ and choral music in our little corner of the world here in Wilmington. As our organ and history tour last spring showed us, we are indeed an important part of the community and people are interested in what we do as organists and choral directors. Thank you for supporting our profession and for supporting each other as we continue to make progress each day.

Justin Smith

Annual Fund Acknowledgment 

August 30, 2016

Wilmington (N.C.) Chapter

Dear Mr. Smith,

Thank you for your chapter’s contribution to the AGO. Your chapter’s generous gift of $300.00 to the Annual Fund (Chapters) in memory of Mrs. Linda P. Nance was recorded on August 22, 2016. Our donor list will be published in the December issue of THE AMERICAN ORGANIST Magazine. The American Guild of Organists fosters a thriving community of musicians who share their knowledge and inspire passion for the organ. Your generous contribution helps to support this mission through educational programs, outreach, and member services that otherwise could never be supported by membership dues alone. Please extend our thanks to the members of your chapter executive board for this gift. Thank you again for your support of the AGO!

Sincerely yours,

F. Anthony Thurman, DMA


Young Organist Columbia Competition 2017

Sponsored by the Greater Columbia (SC) AGO Chapter

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Columbia, S.C.

Open to Grades 8-12

First Prize $1,500

Second Prize $1,000

Third Prize $750

Best Bach Performance Award $250

Hymn Playing Award $250

For rules and application see Young Organist Competition 2017 at www.columbiaago.org

Nominating Committee Report

This year’s Nominating Committee is comprised of four members; John Miller, Lisa Nichol, Bill Remele, and
Bob Norem. We would like to extend our deep appreciation to Judith Siebold for three years of dedicated service
as Member-at-Large Class of 2016. We are also thankful to Dean Justin Smith, Sub-Dean John Sullivan,
and Treasurer Greg Gore for agreeing to another year of leadership, pending election by our membership.
Therefore, the Nominating Committee proposes the following slate for our Executive Committee for 2016 –


2016-2017 Programs

  • Sunday, September 11, 2016, 5:00 PM, Home of John and Sharon Miller,: September Social. With this potluck dinner in beautiful Kure Beach, we will have a chance to reconvene after a busy summer away from regular activities, including seeing AGO colleagues and friends. This informal program will include the installation of new officers and a discussion of summer activities and conferences attended.
  • Tuesday, October 11, 2016, 6:30 PM, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 12 N. Sixth Street, Wilmington: Lecture on Bach’s Orgelbüchlein by Bill Remele. Bill is our resident expert in all things Baroque. Members always enjoy his informative discussions of music that is a very important part of the organ repertoire. In this dinner meeting and program, Bill will discuss the Orgelbüchlein and how this collection of chorale preludes has some of the most beautiful and accessible music that Bach ever wrote. He will provide suggestions on how these pieces can be used in worship.
  • Sunday, November 13, 2016, 4:00 PM, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1219 Forest Hills Drive, Wilmington: Hymn Festival played by chapter members with the theme of November liturgical days. While the seasonal cycles of Advent/Christmas/Epiphany and Lent/Easter/Pentecost are often well-represented in musical events and hymn festivals, the liturgical feast days of November are often left out or pushed to the back burner. This year, we will put these interesting and important days in focus by having a community-wide Hymn Festival featuring music for the great “November festivals:” All Saints, Thanksgiving, and Christ the King. If you would like to help plan this event or play in the festival (hymn preludes and hymns), please contact Justin Smith.
  • December: No chapter event. Happy Advent and Christmas!
  • Friday, January 6, 2017, 6:30 PM, Home of Robert and Lisa Nichol: Epiphany Party. Join us for a wonderful evening of unwinding and socializing together following the hectic seasons of Advent and Christmas. The main course will be provided, with chapter members bringing other dishes.
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 6:30 PM, Grace United Methodist Church, 401 Grace Street, Wilmington: Workshop on leading choral rehearsals by Jerry Cribbs. Jerry is well-known throughout the state as one of the best choral conductors and choir trainers of his generation. Presently he serves as conductor of the Cape Fear Chorale and the chancel choir at Grace United Methodist Church. In this event, which features dinner at the church, Jerry will lead chapter members through a mock choir rehearsal in which we can learn effective choral rehearsal techniques for various situations. By experiencing an actual rehearsal (those in attendance will be the “choir”) we can see how Jerry runs a rehearsal first-hand, with opportunities for questions and comments.
  • 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

Piano Recital

Carolina Beach Presbyterian Church will showcase their newly acquired Kawai baby grand piano in a recital featuring three of Wilmington’s outstanding musicians on Sunday, May 15 at 5:00 pm. Dr. Elizabeth Loparits, a member of the Music Department at UNCW, will perform sparkling Chopin etudes, a rollicking piece by Listz, and finally Beethoven’s famous “Moonlight Sonata.” Ms. Beverly Andrews, violinist and concertmaster of the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by Dr. Loparits, will perform Massenet’s ethereal “Meditation from Thais” and Vela Keler’s boisterous Hungarian “Son of Putsza.” Bob Norem, CBPC Organist and Director of Music, will join them with the chancel’s organ in a piece showing off the diversity of piano and organ. All three musicians are well known in the area as teachers and performers. The public is invited to this free concert. Come enjoy fine music on the Island. Donations are gratefully accepted and will be used to continue the cultural outreach of this church.



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/.


Coordinator of Music and Liturgy

Email: opdir@stthereseparish.net

Website: www.stthereseparish.net

St. Therese Parish is seeking a full-time Coordinator of Music and Liturgy to serve our 500+ households in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Responsibilities include planning and leading the music programs for three (3) weekend Masses (4 in summer), Holy Days, funerals, weddings and other special events of the parish. It involves adult and children’s choirs, cantors, and instrumentalists. The position requires a Bachelor’s Degree in music and knowledge of liturgy; worship in the Roman Catholic Church; proficiency as organist; skills in choral direction, being collaborative, strong leader, and capable of recruiting parishioners to music ministry while inspiring the parishioners. Compensation is commensurate with education, skills, and experience.

Please email cover letter and resume, no later than Monday, July 25, 2016, to: Joseph A. Baiunco, opdir@stthereseparish.net.


Piano Accompanist / Organist Position
Pine Valley United Methodist Church
3788 Shipyard Blvd
Wilmington, NC 28403

Piano accompanist /organist needed at Pine Valley United Methodist Church. We are looking for someone to play piano and organ for our two Sunday morning traditional/blended services. You must also be available every Wednesday night for choir practice. Other rehearsals and services are needed but are negotiable if the best person is not available to play for everything. Please send your resume to: PVUMC, Attn. Music Director, 3788 Shipyard Blvd, Wilmington, NC 28403. Or fax it to 910-452-4583.

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