Wilmington Chapter

Last updated: July 8, 2016 at 14:31 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
  • May 6, 8:00 pm, CFCC Acting II Class presents Rockstar, CFCC Fine Arts Center Studio Theater
  • May 8, 4:00 pm, Presbyterian College PC Ringers, St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church
  • May 8, 5:00 pm, Tallis Chamber Orchestra, Kenan Chapel, Landfall
  • May 13, 7:30 pm, Wilmington Boys Choir Spring Concert, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
  • May 15, 4:00 pm, Wilmington Choral Society, CFCC Fine Arts Center, $
  • May 15, 5:00 pm, Piano Concert, Carolina Beach Presbyterian Church
  • May 21, 7:00 pm & May 22, 3:00 pm, Cinderella, CFCC Fine Arts Center, $
  • May 22, 5:00 pm, Dominique Launey, piano, First Presbyterian Church
  • May 27, 7:30 pm, Lilac 94 Harp Duo, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, $

$ = admission charge



Greetings from the Dean

Dear Members and Friends of the Wilmington AGO,

It is hard for me to believe that I have been in Wilmington for almost eight years! When I moved here right out of college, I was unsure of what it was going to be like to have a “real job” and live as an “adult,” how I would make friends, or what exactly my life was going was going to look like going into the future. One of the very earliest memories of my life in Wilmington was when then-Dean Sara Bryant welcomed me to town and began to introduce me to this wonderful chapter. I could not imagine then that I would be here eight years later working at UNCW and at St. John’s, and serving as your Dean. But here we are, and I am thrilled at your enthusiasm and support over this past program year.

I have attended most of the AGO programs over the past eight years, and while I know many of you have attended far more than me over the years, I believe that our April program, the Downtown Wilmington Historic Church and Organ Tour, was one of the best in recent memory. I was so pleased to see many of our chapter members and friends with us as we walked all over downtown Wilmington showing interested residents and visitors our beautiful churches and organs, and explaining, even if just a bit, about what we do as an AGO chapter. I especially want to thank Sara Bryant who put the entire event together and coordinated with all of the hosts, which included John Tabler, John Sullivan, and Steven Thomason. I also thank David Heinzman and Charles Woodward for stepping up to the plate when asked. Thank you to everyone who took time to talk to the community members throughout the tour. You really made them feel right at home. I received so many positive comments throughout the afternoon about how wonderful it was to hear about our work and experience the organ in a user-friendly event. I have learned first-hand over the past months that organ recitals and church services may be very foreign and uncomfortable to some folks, so having a unique event that allowed for informality while also introducing the organ was really quite needed. The eighty or ninety attendees certainly showed us that we came up with an idea that resonated with the community.

Speaking of ideas for programs, it is not too early to begin thinking of program planning for next year. What are your hopes and dreams for our AGO chapter? What would you like to see us do next year? Another progressive dinner for our members and significant others? What about a choral or handbells concert? Would you prefer more educational programming? What about community outreach? All of these questions are generally discussed at program committee meetings over the summer. While we have not yet determined when they will be occurring (mainly because we have not elected officers yet), we will be scheduling the program planning meetings as soon as possible. We would love to have new folks participate this year in the sessions, so please go ahead and decide to join us for the meetings, and begin thinking about what you would like to see next year.

The nominating committee has been hard at work over the past few weeks and they have a slate of officers that they would like to share with you. The nominating committee is not always an easy job, often receiving many “no’s” from individuals before coming up with a complete slate, and it is often thank-less, so I want to express appreciation on behalf of the chapter to committee members John Miller (chair), Lisa Nichol, Bob Norem, and Bill Remele. Their report can be found later in the newsletter. We will vote on the slate at our June 5 social.

More information about the social will be forthcoming in the coming weeks so be looking for my emails about it. Please mark it on your calendars now. It will be held on June 5 at 6:00 PM. The location again this year is the home of Bob Norem and Carl Salisbury, 734 George Trask Drive.

In a bit of personal news, I wanted to let you know that I have been appointed by the AGO National Council to be the next District Convener of the state of North Carolina. I made sure, that if I accepted the role, I would still be able to continue serving as Dean if I am elected for another term. I was assured that I could do that, so if the membership feels I should continue on in another term, I will serve as the chapter Dean first, and as District Convener second. The District Convener mainly facilitates communication between chapters and their various leaders, and tries to encourage cooperation between chapters throughout the state. Since I already know most of the Deans in North Carolina, I felt like I would be a reasonable choice for the role, and that is why I accepted Laura Ellis’s request that I stand for appointment.

Thank you again for all of your support over this program year at all of our programs, and I look forward to seeing you at our final one on June 5!


Justin Smith


Renewal season is here! You should have received a renewal email or a paper invoice via US mail with renewal instructions if your membership expires July 1, 2016. This applies to most of our members. Notices are sent about two months prior to your expiration date. Please take a few minutes now to update your personal information in ONCARD (https://www.agohq.org/oncard-login/) including the chapter specific fields concerning our chapter substitute list. These fields are at the bottom of the personal information page. Our chapter member directory 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. The board appreciates your renewing on time. Remember, effective November 1, 2014, your membership year is one year from your renewal date so for a few of you it is not time to renew your membership.

Membership in the Guild comes with many benefits. Current members list these as the most important:
 Opportunity to connect and build friendships with other organists
 Opportunity to enhance one’s skills and knowledge as an organist
 Opportunity to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles
 Annual subscription to The American Organist magazine
 Opportunity to help engage wider audiences with organ and choral music
 Opportunity to help nurture young organists through POE’s, scholarships, and competitions
 Membership in a local chapter with access to newsletters and chapter events
 Opportunity to find inspiration and professional challenge
 Access to the AGO online job board

Please contact me if I can be of assistance with the renewal process.
Gregory Gore, Treasurer/Registrar

Welcome New Member

The Chapter welcomes Matthew Rosendahl as a new member.

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 –

Dean: Justin Smith
Sub-Dean: John Sullivan
Secretary: Sharon Miller
Treasurer: Greg Gore
Member-at-Large Class of 2019: Bill Remele.
Mark Gansor remains on the Executive Committee as Class of 2017 and Sara Bryant as Class of 2018.
The election will be held at the June social on Sunday, June 5 at the home of Bob Norem and Carl Salisbury.

Respectfully submitted,
Nominating Committee 2016
John Miller, Chairperson


2015-2016 Programs

  • 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.

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