Wilmington Chapter

Last updated: April 6, 2016 at 9:50 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
  • April 8, 7:30 pm, William Hueholt, piano, Beckwith Recital Hall, UNCW, $
  • April 9, 2:00 pm, Stray Local Band, First Presbyterian Church, free, (Saturday in the Biblical Garden)
  • April 9, 7:30 pm, Fairy Tales: Reflections & Transformations with Sophia Tegart, Flute, Helena Spencer, bassoon
  • April 10, 7:30 pm, Chamber Music Wilmington presents Enso String Quartet, Beckwith Recital Hall, UNCW, $
  • April 13, 7:30 pm, Contra Tiempo, CFCC Fine Arts Center, $
  • April 15, 7:30 pm, Jazz Ensemble II & Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Beckwith Recital Hall, UNCW, $
  • April 16, 7:30 pm, Music & Art: Combining the Senses, St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church, free
  • April 17, 4:00 pm, Cape Fear Chorale presents Mozart’s Requiem, CFCC Fine Arts Center, free
  • April 17, 5:00 pm, Wilmington Girls Choir, Kenan Chapel, Landfall, free, (tix available Apr. 11)
  • April 17, 7:30 pm, David Sedaris, Kenan Auditorium, UNCW, $
  • April 18, 7:30 pm, UNCW Classical Guitar Ensemble, Beckwith Recital Hall, UNCW, $
  • April 19, 7:30 pm, Marcus Roberts Trio, Kenan Auditorium, UNCW, $
  • April 20, 7:30 pm, UNCW Saxophone Ensembles, Beckwith Recital Hall, UNCW, $
  • April 22, 7:30 pm, Cape Fear Jazz Society Scholarship Concert: Beth Crookham, vocals, Beckwith Recital Hall, UNCW, $
  • April 22, 7:30 pm, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, St. Paul’s Choir with orchestra & soloists, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, $
  • April 23, 7:30 pm, Wilmington Symphony, UNCW, Kenan Aud$itorium, $
  • April 23, 7:30 pm, Generation Axe – A Night of Guitars, CFCC Fine Arts Center,$
  • April 24, 3:00 pm, Opera Wilmington Sings Gilbert & Sullivan, Thalian Hall, $
  • April 24, 4:00 pm, Wilmington Youth Orchestra & Junior Strings, Kenan Auditorium, free
  • April 24, 7:30 pm, UNCW String Ensemble / The Accidentals, Beckwith Recital Hall, UNCW, $
  • April 25, 7:30 pm, OLLI New Horizons Band, Kenan Auditorium, UNCW, free
  • April 26, 7:30 pm, UNCW Chamber Winds & Wind Symphony, Kenan Auditorium, UNCW, $
  • April 27, 7:30 pm, UNCW Student Honors Recital, Beckwith Recital Hall, UNCW, free
  • April 27, 7:30 pm, The Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes & Tonino Baliardo, CFCC Fine Arts Center, $

$ = admission charge



Greetings from the Dean

Dear Members and Friends of the Wilmington AGO,

I trust that we all have successfully made it through the busy, busy time of Holy Week and Easter!  I know that for those of us who are church musicians, it is the high point of the year, but also most likely the busiest as well.  For those of you who are retired and did not have to work all week and weekend, congratulations!  I think I played and conducted nine services during Holy Week and the Triduum.  It was certainly exhausting by about Saturday afternoon, and so I hope that all of you were able to rest some on the afternoon of Easter.  I know from my Facebook newsfeed that it seems like most musicians were taking naps!  If you are like me, though, you are also probably a bit let down now that our busiest time of the year is over.  This year, as is the case with most years, after Easter Day services are over, I sat down, and thought, WHAT’S NEXT?  All of our planning, rehearsing, and serving in church for these special services is over for another year.  I wondered to myself about what I could do to fill my time now that things are calming down.  I wondered what I could have done better to help my congregation worship more fully.

Do not worry!  I have some suggestions for things that we can do as a chapter now that our most hectic time of year has already come and gone.  Those of you who made it to our March chapter meeting heard some of the suggestions of regional councillor Laura Ellis for what we should be doing as a chapter to fulfill our role as active members of the American Guild of Organists.  Positively for us, we are already doing many of those things as a chapter, including having educational events for the community, such as our April Downtown Wilmington Organ and Church History Tour (more on that below), and having social events where we can grow our chapter’s camaraderie and support network for each other.  We do have some things that we can work on as a chapter, such as growing our membership and increasing involvement in chapter events.  Laura’s encouraging words did let us know that we are likely doing just as well as most other chapters our size (and larger) with getting people to attend meetings, participate in events, and support each other by positive interactions between chapter members.  However, we still have a good number of folks who may not have time to attend meetings due to rehearsal conflicts on meeting nights, or do not feel comfortable coming into a room without knowing anyone else, or might feel like their time is better spent doing something away from music, given how little free time musicians tend to have.

All of those are definitely reasonable ideas that prevent more people from participating in AGO functions.  As chapter members, we should be encouraged to reach out to those who we have not seen lately (or at all) at meetings, and encourage them to give us a try.  Maybe we can do that by inviting them to come as our guest to a meeting, or taking them to coffee just to discuss music ideas and to network.  Who can you invite to come with you to our next meeting?   This could be a chapter member or friend who we have not seen in a while, or maybe someone interested or employed in church music who is not involved in our group.  I encourage you to think of other ways to involve more people in our organization, and consider how you can get more involved in the chapter yourself.  An excellent way to become more involved is to volunteer to serve in chapter leadership.  Our nominating committee has been formed and will soon be searching for new members to join our executive board.  Please consider volunteering to serve in some way in leadership.  Contact nominating committee chair John Miller at jandsmiller@charter.net to discuss possible opportunities!

An excellent upcoming event that will allow you (as well as community members) to get involved with our chapter is the Downtown Wilmington Organ and Church History Tour, scheduled for Sunday, April 24 at 3:30 PM, beginning at the Basilica Shrine of St. Mary.  I hope that you will make plans now to attend this interesting and informative event that will showcase some of the wonderful downtown organs that Wilmington has to offer.  While many of you may have seen and played these organs before, there are certainly chapter members who probably have not had an opportunity to do so, and so many more Wilmington residents who probably do not know they even exist.  Many people may not be religious or interested in going to a church service or an organ recital, but they are interested in the long history of Wilmington’s buildings and institutions.  We hope to bill this event as something that will draw new and long-time residents of Wilmington who may not have an opportunity to see the buildings and organs otherwise.  Recent holiday candlelight tours have brought many curious folks to these downtown churches and many have asked about the history of the churches or the organs.  This is an opportunity for that type of person to find out more.  Please publicize, publicize, and publicize this event!  To make it easier, we have included a flyer at the end of this newsletter that you can distribute to friends, family, church members, etc.  In addition, we specifically ask that every chapter member include the following blurb in your church bulletins and newsletters:

The Wilmington Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will hold an organ and church history tour of four downtown Wilmington churches on Sunday, April 24 at 3:30 PM. We will begin at the Basilica Shrine of St. Mary at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Ann Street, continue on to First Presbyterian and St. James Episcopal on Third Street, and end at First Baptist at the corner of 5th Avenue and Market Street. The presentation at each church will include information about the church and a chance to hear the organ. The tour will end at 5:30. Everyone is invited! For more information, contact Sara Bryant at 910-392-0517 or music@thestmaryparish.org.

I do hope that you will do everything you can to attend this special community event.

Justin Smith

Linda Nance

The chapter sympathizes with the family of Linda Patton Nance, chapter member and secretary, upon her passing on March 12, 2016.


Renewal season will soon be upon us! National will begin emailing renewal notices in April. If you requested a paper invoice, you will receive one via US mail. Please take a few moments now to update your personal information in ONCARD including the chapter specific fields concerning our chapter substitute list. These fields are at the bottom of the personal information page. Our chapter handbook will be compiled from the information in ONCARD so it’s important to fill this out completely and accurately. Most of our members are on the July 1–June 30 membership year which we hope to keep for the sake of planning and budgeting next year’s programs. Remember, effective November 1, 2014, your membership year is one year from your renewal date so for a few of you it may not be time for you to renew. Please contact me if I can be of assistance with the renewal process.

Gregory Gore, Registrar


Welcome New Members

The Chapter welcomes Pam Langston as a dual member with the Central North Carolina Chapter and returning member, Lara Capparuccia.

Nominating Committee

Thank you to John Miller, Bill Remele, Lisa Nichol & Bob Norem for serving on the Nominating Committee. The purpose of the committee is to present a slate of officers for 2016- 2017.


2015-2016 Programs

  • Sunday, April 24, 2016, 3:30 PM-5:30 PM, beginning at the Basilica Shrine of St. Mary, 412 Ann Street: Downtown Wilmington Historic Organ Tour.  The Wilmington AGO will sponsor a community-oriented organ tour through some of the historic churches of downtown Wilmington.  Each location provides an incredible view into the history of our city and how it has changed over the years.  Please plan to invite family, friends, choir members, and church members to this community outreach event.  Short demonstration recitals will be held on each organ.  Locations include: First Presbyterian Church chapel and sanctuary, St. James Parish, Basilica Shrine of St. Mary, and First Baptist Church.
  • May: No chapter event.  Happy spring!
  • Sunday, June 5, 2016, 6:00 PM, Home of Bob Norem and Carl Salisbury, 734 George Trask Drive, Wilmington: Summer Social.  Join us for a great time relaxing and enjoying each other’s company as we close out the program year.  This event feature a potluck dinner and time to talk to friends and colleagues in our chapter.

Sandresky Birthday

On April 28, 2016, Margaret Vardell Sandresky will celebrate her 95th birthday. Margaret has had a long, distinguished career as an organist and a composer. She continues to add new compositions to the ten volumes of her music that are already in print and remains a vital presence in North Carolina’s musical scene. Her compositions have been performed internationally and continue to be featured on many AGO conference programs.

In honor of her achievements, we are asking you to consider programming one of Margaret’s pieces (either organ or choral) on Sunday, May 1, 2016. Her organ works are available from Wayne Leupold (www.wayneleupold.com) and many of her choral pieces can be obtained from Paraclete Press (www.paracletepress.com).

We ask that you provide either a hard copy or an electronic copy of your Sunday bulletin so that we can create a scrapbook for Margaret commemorating this event. Please email Nate Zullinger (nzullinger@highlandpres.org) if you plan to participate. We welcome participants from near and far, so please feel free to send this email on to friends and colleagues.

Most sincerely,
Dr. Nate Zullinger
Director of Music
Highland Presbyterian Church
2380 Cloverdale Avenue
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103

Sacred Music Workshop

You are invited to attend the 9th Annual Sacred Music Workshop at the University of Florida on May 2-3, 2016.  Our guest clinician this year is Andrew Walker. This year’s workshop will begin at 1PM on Monday, May 2 and run until 5PM on Tuesday, May 3 (with an optional masterclass on Tuesday evening). Come on Sunday if you want to join our Gainesville chapter for our end of the year potluck!

Our website has all of the details (including a downloadable registration form!): http://ufsmw.weebly.com

Please contact me (lrellis@ufl.edu) or Scott Ziegler (scottrziegler@ufl.edu) if you have any questions. Join our Facebook group so that you can stay up to date as we get closer to the event: https://www.facebook.com/ Ufsacredmusicworkshop

Laura Ellis



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/.




Military Base Musician Needed

Location: Jacksonville, NC
Compensation: $1,200 per month
Hours of Operation: Sundays, Catholic 9:00-10:00, Protestant 11:00-12:30
2 hours of Choir Practice weekly (Schedule TBD)
● Have extensive knowledge of both Catholic and Protestant music, religious
service organization, and program development. Has leadership ability to direct
choirs and develop musical programs for other Chapel programs.
● Shall have at least a minimum of two years of experience playing in a church
● Must be able to effectively play the piano, keyboard, and organ. Individual must
be able to sight read music.
● Must be able to play a wide variety of music from traditional church hymns to
contemporary church music in order to support all Catholic and Protestant
● Must be able to recruit, train, and coordinate volunteers for choir, praise team,
cantatas, a band, or other musical groups in support of chapel programs.
Company: Sawyer Contracting LLC
Point of Contact
Contact Person: Anne Rose
Email: anne@sawyercontracting.com
Office: 407-602-7780, ext. 102
Fax: 321-765-6437

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 davidleeorgan@yahoo.com.


Contact Us

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

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

Treasurer: Greg Gore – chawk92@aol.com

Member at Large: Judy Siebold – judy908@bellsouth.net

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

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



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