Wilmington Chapter

Last updated: December 30, 2016 at 17:03 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

  • No concerts in January

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

  • Feb. 1, 7:30 pm, 42 Street

Church Concerts

  • Jan. 20, 7:30 pm, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Wilmington Boys Choir, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
  • Jan. 21, 3:30  pm, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Wilmington Boys Choir, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
  • Jan. 27, 7:30 pm, Benny Weinbeck, piano, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
  • Jan. 28, 7:30 pm, A Symphony of Bells, St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church
  • Jan. 29, 7:30 pm, Domonique Launey, piano and Beverly Andrews, violin, First Presbyterian Church

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

  • Jan. 17, 5:30 pm, Rush Hour Series presents Clyde Edgerton
  • Jan. 26, 7:30 pm, UNCW Presents Series: Second Home

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

  • Jan. 22, 5:00 pm, Nancy King, soprano, and friends



Greetings from the Dean

Dear Members and Friends of the Wilmington AGO,

As I write this on December 23, I am especially aware of how busy this week, and indeed this entire month, has been for all of us.  It seems that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas gets shorter every year and we have more and more to do, and less time for ourselves and our families.  Thank you for everything you accomplish to make the music in Wilmington memorable all year.

I want to tell you about our next chapter event, which is coming up very soon in early January.  We are excited to be having the Third Annual Wilmington AGO Twelfth Night and Epiphany Party at the home of Lisa and Robert Nichol on Friday, January 6 at 6:30 PM.  The party will be similar to last year, and if you were able to come, you remember that it was a highly enjoyable evening of food, drink, fun, socializing, the exchanging of White Elephant gifts, and most importantly, relaxation.  

As always, significant others are invited.  Please plan to bring an appetizer, salad, vegetable, or dessert (your choice) along with whatever you would like to drink.  Lisa will be providing the main dish. Also, please bring a wrapped white elephant gift so we can have a large selection when we play the gift game after dinner!  Lisa and Robert live at 6000 Forest Creek Circle, Wilmington.  Lisa tells me that you can park anywhere along the street or in the driveway.  She says the curves on her street can be somewhat confusing, but to ask any neighbor and they will be able to point you to the right house if you happen to get lost.  Lisa would like a head count by Wednesday, January 4.  Please contact her by that date by calling her at 910-792-6210 or 910-398-1648 or emailing her at lisawnichol@yahoo.com.  Please come on January 6!

A final note about our November hymn festival.  Thanks to Paul Janiczek, we have an excellent recording of the event for everyone to enjoy.  If you would like to listen to our program, please check out all seventeen tracks of the hymn festival at https://soundcloud.com/wfuorg.  If you have any difficulties accessing the audio, please let me know.  Paul has graciously offered his direct-to-digital recording services for special events and concerts for AGO members at no cost.  He has a CD available that samples his work in many different situations and environments and he offers anyone interested in using his free recording services a copy of this CD.  Please contact him by email at pmjaniczek@yahoo.com to obtain the CD and discuss your needs for recordings.

Justin Smith

Young Organists Encouraged to Apply for Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival

(Minneapolis, MN) Lutheran Music Program has selected Kenneth Miller to serve as the Regina Holmen Fryxell and Patricia Schad Leege Chapel Organist at the 2017 Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival (LSM) from June 25thto July 23rd on the campus of Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. Miller currently serves as Assistant Professor of Church Music and Organist and Choirmaster of the Chapel of the Apostles at the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN.

As a member of the artistic faculty, Miller will maintain a private organ studio, teach the Introduction to Pipe Organ elective class, and serve as a member of the LSM worship team. In addition to serving as primary organist for all LSM worship services, Miller will also perform as a soloist and with the LSM Bach Cantata.

Lutheran Summer Music is a four-week residential training and performance program. Each summer, LSM brings together 150+ 8-12 grade band, orchestra, choir, keyboard and organ students from the U.S. and abroad in a supportive, intentional community. 

AGO members from the Wilmington Chapter are invited to refer students for the 2017 convening of Lutheran Summer Music Academy.  All students using the application code AGO200 will receive an automatic $200 tuition discount.  Other merit and need-based assistance is available.

For more information, go to lutheransummermusic.org or contact Dietrich Jessen and Kristina Rodel, Admissions Directors at 888.635.6583 or email at admissions@lutheransummermusic.org.

European AGO Spring Meeting 2017

A Message & Opportunity from Lani Beuerman

Some of you may know that my husband and I lived in Germany for 30 years prior to moving to North Carolina.  During that time I was a founder and first dean of the European Chapter of the AGO in 1979.  Even though Lisa Nichol and I never met before moving here, we corresponded as she was also a member during the time she lived in Belgium.

Because of their widespread membership throughout numerous countries, the chapter does not have regular monthly meetings but, instead, holds a spring organ tour each year in one of them. You may have read about them in TAO.  This coming year it will be in the U.S.A.  Since it is on the east coast, some of you might be able to participate.  Lani Beuerman

European AGO Spring Meeting 2017

Washington, D.C., April 17 – 22, 2017


Dear Friends,

As I’ve worked to arrange the Spring Meeting for the European Chapter in Washington, D.C., next April, I’ve had the occasion to meet some of the most wonderful people! Organists, Music Directors, Pastors, Organ Builders, hotel and restaurant people, officials and members of local AGO chapters…entirely without exception, these people have been excited to learn that the European Chapter is coming to town, willing to go out of their way to help, and have offered their instruments, their churches, and their ideas to help make our week a fantastic experience. So I’d like to begin this update by thanking you, the members of the European Chapter, for giving me the opportunity to do this work for you. It’s been educational, interesting, and very fun. I’m so much looking forward to seeing how it all turns out next April!

And we have an Itinerary!! Have a look at the bottom of this update. As I’m sure each of you understands, this Itinerary is still a draft at this early date! Much can happen between now and April to change individual items on this program. But in the case of each church, each organ (12 of them!), each venue…the resident organists and officials in charge have been contacted, and each has agreed to host us in the timeframe shown in this program. This is one of the core activities of our week…seeing and playing interesting, American-built organs…and I’m very excited how this has all come together. Surely you will be thrilled to get your fingers (and feet) into these wonderful instruments!

Another core activity of the week will be the chance to meet members of AGO chapters in the USA, and this Itinerary  gives us the opportunity to mix with members of four AGO chapters…one in the university town of Winchester, Virginia (home to Shenandoah University) and three chapters in the D.C. area, our “tri-chapters” (the D.C. Chapter, the Northern Virginia Chapter, and the Potomac Chapter in the Maryland suburbs of D.C.). A couple of these chapters already have begun publicizing this visit by the European Chapter, and we’ve seen real interest and excitement on the part of local AGO members.

We are working, as well, to offer participants other enriching experiences. Setting up the meals has been a challenge, especially since I’ve wanted to keep the costs down. Having lived in Europe for 11 years, I know that great food can be had there for very reasonable prices. It’s a bit more difficult in the U.S. to find places where large groups can experience wonderful meals at modest cost. But I believe the culinary experiences we will be offering during the week might just tickle your palate and leave you sated without doing great violence to your wallet. That’s the objective, at least!

But the most enriching experience of the week? Why, of course, that would be spending time with good, close friends in the European Chapter, renewing acquaintances with American members of the Chapter who are returning to join us in the D.C. Spring Meeting, and, of course, making new friends here in the USA! I mean…the organs are great, yea, and who doesn’t like to eat??! But renewing old friendships and making new ones, especially among persons in our elite little corner of the professional world (fellow organists and organ lovers)…that’s the best! And there will be plenty of opportunity for that on a bus trip through the Shenandoah Valley, at meals, at each venue, or just hanging out at the hotel! Good friendships are immeasurably important…but they need to be nourished. We’ll be doing plenty of that at the Spring Meeting!

It’s wonderful that, as of today, we have 40 persons signed up to attend. Our room block at the Marriott Hotel in Tyson’s Corner has been expanded to 30 rooms, and 25 of these already have been reserved by individual attendees. And it’s still early, but the sooner we know whether you plan to attend, the better! Please don’t delay contacting Judy and me if you’re thinking seriously about attending.

The deadline to register for the Spring Meeting is January 31, 2017.

So if you’re still undecided and haven’t yet committed, you still have a while to think about it, but please tell us what you’re thinking. The hotel block will fill, and by late January, the opportunity will have passed you by.

Official registration for the Spring Meeting will take place in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel from 4:00 – 6:00 pm, Monday, April 17. As in the past, if an attendee already is a member of the European Chapter, there is no registration fee. Non-members will be asked to pay $30 (or 30 Euros) to register for the Spring Meeting, or they may become a member of the European Chapter, including the category of Chapter Friend, for $20 (or 20 Euros), in which case they will be excused from a registration fee to participate in the Spring Meeting.

Participants are expected to pay for their own lodging, meals and transportation during the Spring Meeting. As has been our practice in the past, the cost for the chartered bus will be split between the participants and the European Chapter. The many additional costs of the Spring Meeting are covered by the European Chapter.

About two months before the Spring Meeting, the participants will be informed as to his/her share for the bus, as well as the amounts for the Opening and Closing dinners. The participants will be asked to pay for the bus and dinners in cash at registration between 4:00 and 6:00 in the Marriott Hotel lobby.

The European Chapter 2017 Spring Meeting in DC promises to be a very interesting, enjoyable, and rewarding experience, professionally and personally. Please consider joining us! Roger

Roger’s e-mail address:


Judy’s e-mail address:


European Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Spring Meeting, Washington D.C.

April 17 – 22, 2017

Monday, April 17

Members Arrive

7:00: Opening Dinner

at Clyde’s of Tyson’s Corner

Special guest: James E. Thomashower,

Executive Director, AGO


Tuesday, April 18

9:00 – 11:00: Natl. Presbyterian Church (Aeolian-Skinner)

11:30 – 1:00: Lunch (on your own in the Shirlington neighborhood)

1:30 – 4:00: Virginia Theological Seminary (Taylor & Boody)

5:30 – 6:30: National Cathedral Choral Evensong

7:00 – 9:00: Dinner on your own in National Cathedral neighborhood

Possible late night encounter with National Cathedral organ

(Ernest M. Skinner & Son)

Wednesday, April 19

9:00 – 11:00: First Baptist Church of  Washington DC (Austin)

11:30 – 1:00: Lunch (on your own in Dupont Circle area)

1:00 – 3:30: Driving Tour of the City

4:00 – 7:00: Basilica of the National

Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Moeller and Schudi)

7:30: Return to Hotel; Dinner on your own in the Tyson’s Corner area

Thursday, April 20

Staunton & Winchester, Virginia

7:30: Depart Hotel for Taylor & Boody OrganBuilders, Staunton

10:00: Arrive T&B Organ Shop; tour shop

12:00: Lunch at T&B Organ Shop

1:00: Trinity Episcopal and Christ Evangelical Lutheran (Taylor & Boody)

3:30: Depart Staunton

5:00 – 9:30: Winchester AGO Chapter, Demonstration Recital and Hosted Dinner

9:30: Depart Winchester for Tyson’s Corner Hotel

10:45: Arrive Hotel

Friday, April 21

10:30 – 12:30: New York Avenue Presbyterian Church (Schleuter)

12:30 – 2:00: Lunch (on your own in McPherson Square area)

2:30 – 4:30: St. John’s Church (Episcopal) Lafayette Square (Lively-Fulcher)

5:00 – 7:30: St. John’s (Episcopal) Norwood (Berghaus)

5:30 – 7:30: Reception Hosted by Tri- Chapters

(DC, Northern Virginia, and Potomac)

8:00 – 10:00: Farewell Dinner

10:30: Return to Hotel

Saturday, April 22

Members Depart

Free Organ

Village Presbyterian Church (Fayetteville) has an older organ that is just sitting in storage. I know nothing about it other than at one point it needed repair and they could not find anyone to repair it. I think they would be happy to give it to someone who might be willing to take it. If you know of anyone who might be interested, I would be happy to let them see the organ.

Larry Hogan

ECU Young Artists Competition

The East Carolina University Young Artists Competition for Pre-College Organists is an innovative outreach program designed to inspire young musicians to strive for the highest level of musicianship and technical accomplishment in organ performance. The competition is open to any precollege organ student in the United States. In addition to generous monetary prizes, the competitors will also compete for the two additional prizes in Hymn playing and Bach interpretation. The competition will be staged in two rounds. From the recorded application round, three finalists will be chosen to compete live on March 18, 2017. All three will receive prizes and will be considered for the two special prizes mentioned above.

Organists chosen for the Final Round arrive for practice on Thursday and/or Friday, and attend the 7:30 p.m. recital by the competition judge, Peggy Haas Howell of Lynchburg, VA. The organ competition will take place on the following afternoon, on the Perkins and Wells Memorial Organ, C.B. Fisk, Opus 126, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, which borders the ECU campus. The competition will conclude with the awarding of prizes. Competitors and their families are welcome to come early or stay on in Greenville for the purposes of observing lessons and classes in the organ/sacred music area. The organ faculty will also be available to offer private lessons to competitors following the competition. All recitals, masterclasses, and the competition itself are free and open to the public. Full organ competition details can be found below.


February 15, 2017 Postmark deadline to submit application form, fee, and recordings

Thursday and/or Friday, March 16-17 Finalists practice at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. A schedule will be announced when finalists are determined. Finalists and/or family members welcome to 252-328-1261 scanlona@ecu.edu www.ecu.edu/music ECU School of Music AJ Fletcher Music Center observe sacred music classes/lessons while in Greenville. Please make arrangements with Prof. Scanlon

Friday, March 17, 7:30 p.m. 9:00-afternoon: Practice time continues TBA: East Carolina Campus tour, courtesy of ECU organ majors 7:30 p.m. Organ Recital by guest artist & adjudicator, Peggy Haas Howell (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church). Reception follows in St. Paul’s Parish Hall.

Saturday, March 18 9 am-12 pm: Finalists warm-up at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 12:30-2:30 p.m.: Organ competition followed by awarding of prizes 2:30 p.m.: Reception Afternoon: Faculty available to teach lessons (by appointment, please contact Prof. Scanlon)

Sunday, March 19 All are welcome to attend services at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (8:00, 9:00, 11:00 a.m.) All are welcome to attend the 5:00 p.m. service of Choral Evensong-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Official ECU

Organ Competition Rules 2017 Eligibility: The competition is open to pre-college students between the ages of 13-18 who are residents of the United States of America. Current students of the judges and previous first place winners are ineligible to compete.

Application Procedure and Repertoire Requirements: Competitors must submit the application form along with three copies of a CD (repertoire described below) postmarked no later than February 15, 2017. The recordings must contain no speaking, and each piece must be continuous and unedited; recordings must not be marked with the name of the competitor. 1 One work by Johann Sebastian Bach. 2 One piece composed between 1850-1950 in a Romantic style. 3 One piece composed after 1950 in a style contrasting with the second work. Total performance time of the repertoire should not exceed forty (40) minutes. Contact Prof. Scanlon with repertoire concerns or questions.

Final Round: Not more than three persons will be chosen for live competition. Each will receive an equal amount of practice the days before and of the competition. All attempts will be made to notify competitors of 252-328-1261 scanlona@ecu.edu www.ecu.edu/music ECU School of Music AJ Fletcher Music Center their competition status in a timely manner, in order that arrangements can be made for travel to Greenville.

Compositions to be performed at the final round are to be the same as those on the recording with the following addition: All finalists will be sent a competition hymn packet, and candidates should be prepared to play an introduction and designated stanzas of all the indicated hymns. Upon arrival, all finalists will be notified of one appointed hymn, and all will play the same, single hymn as part of the final round on the competition day. Performance from memory is optional.

Teachers or other assistants provided by the competitor may help with registration choices and turn pages; however, each competitor must accomplish his or her own registration changes (i.e. piston changes) during the competition. Both the preliminary recorded round and final competition will be judged with complete anonymity and judges’ comments will be given to each competitor. Performers must use legal scores. The judge’s decisions will be final. The competition will be open to the public.


First prize: The Cathee Jean Huber Memorial Prize, sponsored by East Carolina Musical Arts Education Foundation. $1,500

Second Prize: The Fisk Prize, sponsored by C.B. Fisk, Inc., Organ builders. $750

Third prize: The American Guild of Organists Prize, sponsored by the Eastern Carolina Chapter of the AGO. $300

The Bach Prize: recognizing the outstanding performance of a work by Johann Sebastian Bach

The Hymn Playing Prize: recognizing the day’s most outstanding hymn playing.

All finalists will be awarded a compact disc of their performance.


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

2016-2017 Programs

  • 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, Dinner location TBD; 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 before the presentation, 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




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/.


 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