On February 1st, 2020, Vincent Carr, Councillor for Education (and former Director of the Committee on Career Development and Support), moderated a panel discussion regarding Know Your Value: Introducing the AGO’s New Employment Guide for Musicians. Panelists included AGO Executive Director James Thomashower, Councillor for Membership Vicki Schaeffer, Secretary/Councillor for Communications Leslie Wolf Robb, former Director of the Committee on Career Development and Support Vincent Carr, and AGO Executive Assistant Eric Birk.
The recorded webinar may be viewed here, and the handbook may be downloaded by tapping/clicking the title and cover graphic below.
This Handbook was adapted from
“Procedures for Employing Church Musicians”
Sixth Printing, (revised) April, 2010
by The Association of Church Musicians
Madison Chapter, American Guild of Organists
The Association of Church Musicians and the American Guild of Organists have
cooperated in the development of this booklet, which is available to all interested religious
institutions and musicians.
The two organizations share the view with religious leaders and their congregants that music
is fundamental to the worship service and that qualified individuals can enrich the service
through their special music talents.
The Association and the Guild assume that leaders in religious institutions want to recruit,
employ, and support qualified persons to provide strong leadership in sacred music.
Thus, these procedures have been developed to assist those who participate in the search and
employment process. This booklet provides perspective for clergy and lay persons responsible
for the process which will bring effective and talented musicians to religious institutions and
their diverse memberships.
Guidelines will help religious leaders and congregations conduct an effective search and make
appropriate choices of personnel. It is important that employers clearly define their needs and
expectations regarding the available position(s). A religious institution’s development of a
compensation “package” must reflect the time requirements of the position and skill level of the
It is our hope that this booklet will be useful to religious institutions and musicians.
The Guild gratefully acknowledges the work of the following individuals in the development
of this handbook:
David K. Lamb, DMus, CAGO, Councillor for Membership
Vicki J. Schaeffer, DM, Councillor for Membership
Vincent A. Carr, MM, AAGO, ChM, Director
Marlene C. Hallstrom, MM, CAGO, Director
Paul B. Carmona, PhD, AAGO
Nicole Y. Cochran, MM
Doris J. Dabrowski, JD, SPC
Adam Detzner, MM
Jessica M. French, MM
Andrew Johnson, SPC
Carol Feather Martin, MM
Eric Birk, MM, FAGO, Staff
James Thomashower, CAE, Executive Director