Marilyn Keiser Honored by American Guild of Organists at New York City Gala

Celebration of Brilliant Performer, Church Musician, Teacher, and Friend Raised $40,000 Benefitting the AGO Endowment Fund.

The American Guild of Organists (AGO) presented its tenth annual Recital and Gala Benefit Reception on Friday, April 5, at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City. An estimated audience of 300 colleagues, students, and friends came together to celebrate the lifetime achievements of Marilyn Keiser, FAGO, CHM, at her New York recital. Dr. Keiser was given the AGO Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award.

The gala was sponsored by the AGO National Council and its Development Committee. Major funding was provided by Mr. and Mrs. Bruce P. Bengtson, AAGO; and Pemcor Inc. of Lancaster, Pa., printer of THE AMERICAN ORGANIST. Additional support was provided by the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. The event raised approximately $40,000 to be invested in the AGO Endowment Fund in Marilyn Keiser’s honor.

The recital, which was played by Marilyn Keiser on the Cathedral’s Great Organ, was introduced by AGO President Eileen Guenther. Dr. Keiser’s program included works by Alec Wyton, Herbert Howells, Josef Rheinberger, Dan Locklair, Mark Jones, Robert Powell, Margaret Vardell Sandresky, Olivier Messiaen, and Louis Vierne. Composers Locklair and Jones were in attendance at the recital, as well as representatives of the Wyton and Sandresky families. One hundred sixty-five individuals attended the gala reception following.

Established in 1994, the AGO Endowment Fund provides income to expand programs for leadership development among AGO members; educate new organists; and cultivate new audiences for organ and choral music. Tax-deductible contributions to the Endowment Fund are invested in perpetuity to produce continuing income for essential Guild programs and educational projects.

Those unable to attend the gala will receive a copy of the souvenir program book with their contribution of $25 or more to the Endowment Fund. Contributions in honor of Marilyn Keiser can be made online at or by mailing a check to: AGO Endowment Fund, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1260, New York, NY 10115. All gifts will be acknowledged in THE AMERICAN ORGANIST. For information, please call 212-870-2311, ext. 4308, or e-mail