Cherry Rhodes and Ladd Thomas to be Honored at AGO Recital and Gala Benefit Reception


The American Guild of Organists will sponsor a Recital and Gala Benefit Reception honoring internationally acclaimed organists and university professors Cherry Rhodes and Ladd Thomas. The dynamic couple has been selected by the AGO National Council to receive the 2015 AGO Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award. The biographies of the honorees can be found here.

The celebration will begin on Friday, April 17, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church of Glendale, Calif., where Ladd Thomas has served as organist for 55 years. The honorees will perform as organ soloists in Mendelssohn’s Sonata No. 1 in F Minor (Thomas) and Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, transcribed by Jean Guillou (Rhodes). They will combine their talents in a rare organ duet performance of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas, as arranged by Rayner Brown for their exclusive use. The gala benefit reception will follow at the Hilton Los Angeles North/Glendale Hotel (advance tickets required).

Ladd and Cherry Welcome

Sponsorship opportunities are available at the $25,000, $10,000, $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 levels. Full descriptions of sponsorship packages and benefits are available online at

Gala Benefit Reception Tickets are $150 (75% tax deductible, includes admission to the recital) and can be purchased online at or by calling 212-870-2311, ext. 4308. Gala ticket holders will be offered preferred recital seating and will have their names printed in the commemorative program book. The deadline to be included is April 1. General admission to the Recital, only is $20.

The AGO is offering Display Advertising opportunities in the full-color commemorative program book. Ad placement includes inside and back covers ($1,500, each includes four gala tickets), full-page ($1,000, includes two gala tickets) and half-page ($500, includes one gala ticket) insertions. Advertising orders can be placed online at The advertising deadline is April 1. E-mail for further information. The publication will become a part of the American Organ Archives.

A limited number of rooms are available in our block at the Hilton for those needing overnight hotel accommodations. Our discounted room rate is $159/night. Make your reservation by calling 818-956-5466 and asking for the AGO group rate. The Hilton offers complimentary shuttle service to/from the Burbank Bob Hope Airport.

Those unable to attend the Recital and Gala Benefit Reception are invited to Participate from a Distance by making a contribution to the AGO Endowment Fund in honor of Cherry Rhodes and Ladd Thomas. Contribute online at or by sending a check to the AGO Endowment Fund, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1260, New York, NY 10115. Contributions received by April 1 will be reported in the commemorative program book.

All proceeds from the Gala will honor Cherry Rhodes and Ladd Thomas in perpetuity through the AGO Endowment Fund. For further information, please call 212-870-2311, ext. 4308, or e-mail ■

Please click on the links below for further information and to purchase tickets:

Purchase Tickets, Ads, or make a Contribution 

AGO Gala Fact Sheet


  1. Diane McClellan Heuser says:

    I won’t be able to attend because I’m in Colorado but I wanted to congratulate both of you on your amazing achievements. It’s great that they are honoring you and them. I’m sure it will be a wonderful night to remember…miss you, Diane McClellan (Heuser)

  2. Carlene Befort says:

    I greatly regret that I will be unable to attend this wonderful event. My husband is very ill and I have to stay close to home these days. I have many wonderful memories of the four years that I had the great opportunity to study with Ladd. He prepared me for several major recitals and I still apply many of the great principles that he taught me. He was truly a great inspiration to study with. I also enjoyed seeing and visiting with Cherry occasionally. I wish them the very best and they are both to be greatly commended for their many years of dedicated work to the musical community.

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