Houston to Host the AGO 2016 Convention

The 2016 AGO National Convention will take place in Houston, TX and showcase vibrant performances, world-class instruments, enlightening workshops, creative new music and inspiring worship. You will have many opportunities to meet fellow musicians and create dynamic connections. Convention dates are June 19-23, 2016. Registration begins in October, 2015. Bookmark the convention website to keep up to date with all the news: Houston Convention 2016. … [Read more...]

September 2015 TAO Chapter News

Northeast Region New London, CT June 7, two dozen people attended the chapter’s annual meeting and recital in historic Pequot Chapel, near Long Island Sound. New members at large Matthew Pro­vost and Jacob Troy were elected to join the executive board. Re­citalists included John Anthony, Steve Anderson, Katy King, Shari Lucas, and Joshua Ziemski, plus excerpts from virtual “Mystery Guest” Tom Hazleton’s dedication recital. A pizza party-picnic followed, with the arrival of The Rolling Tomato mobile wood-fired pizza truck at Phred Miles­ki’s home around the corner. Special thanks went to Dean Cheryl Banker for making the event such a success. —Eileen Paglia Merrimack Valley, MA June 17, chapter members met at a local … [Read more...]

August 2015 TAO Feature Article

Trinity Episcopal Church, Mobile, AL Goulding & Wood Organ Builders, Indianapolis, IN By Jason Overall Mobile, Alabama, saw severe, unusual weather on Christmas Day 2012, culminating in a destructive tornado. This Gulf Coast town, more accustomed to dealing with hurricanes, suddenly faced dealing with the precision damage unique to tornados. The storm's path led straight to the front doors of Trinity Episcopal Church, and the winds lifted the entire roof of the historic church building completely off the walls, setting it back at an angle. In the weeks that followed, the congregation struggled to recover from the emotional impact of the damage while also finding solace in the fact that, given the time of the storm, no one was in the … [Read more...]

Twenty three young musicians attend Pipe Organ Encounter in Wichita, KS

Twenty three young musicians, ages 13 through 17, from seven states attended a Pipe Organ Encounter in Wichita, Kansas, on June 14-19, 2015. The event was centered at Wichita State University with housing in the new Shocker Hall residence facility with classes, performances and workshops at various locations around Wichita State. Each morning the campers traveled to area churches for their daily lessons and practice times on a variety of organs throughout the city. The afternoons were filled with faculty recitals and workshops, more practice time, tours and recreation. Each evening featured a performance by faculty members, including a hymn festival on Wednesday. Faculty members included Tate Addis, recent Yale University graduate; Dr. … [Read more...]

July 2015 TAO Feature Article

United Church, Canandaigua, NY Parsons Pipe Organ Builders, Canandaigua, NY By Richard Parsons History Located in Upstate New York’s picturesque Finger Lakes region, United Church is situated in the heart of Canandaigua’s downtown historic district. The church was built in 1871 and dedicated in 1872 to house the newly formed First Presbyterian Church of Canandaigua. Constructed in the eclectic style of religious architecture common to the latter part of the 19th century, the edifice features a charming blend of Romanesque and Gothic Revival influences. On December 13, 1942, the neighboring First Baptist Church of Canandaigua was totally destroyed by fire. In 1947, First Presbyterian suggested that the two churches worship jointly … [Read more...]

Call for Nominations for the 2016-2018 National Council

The AGO National Nominating Committee is responsible for preparing a slate of 14 candidates for the seven positions on the 2016-2018 National Council. In an effort to identify the most talented and dedicated leaders of the Guild, the committee seeks names of potential candidates from all Guild members. Please review the committee’s "Call for Nominations" below and take a few moments to assist the committee in its work either by offering to serve the Guild yourself or recommending one or more colleagues for Council positions. —James Thomashower, Executive Director American Guild of Organists … [Read more...]

2015 Spreckels Organ Society & AGO Competition Held

The annual San Diego AGO/Spreckels Organ Society scholarship auditions were held recently in San Diego. Congratulations to young organists Miranda Kaack, Reiley Fleischbein, John Yokoyama, Suzy Webster, Lauren A., Margaret Campbell, Alex Kramer, and Vincent Pham for presenting an excellent concert on May 31. Robert Lang’s photos of the concert can be seen here. … [Read more...]

Claude Baker Wins First Ronald G. Pogorzelski – Lester D. Yankee Annual Competition

View the 2017 guidelines for the second Pogorzelski-Yankee Annual Competition. Application deadline is August 31, 2015. Advertising a new prize with a $10,000 commission for a solo organ composition, the AGO’s Committee on New Music fully expected a large body of applicants, but they were nonetheless overwhelmed when they received nearly 80 applications. Committee members were even more thrilled to learn that the applicant pool was not only broad but equally deep, boasting applications from many highly accomplished and internationally recognized composers. In the end, the panel of judges—Pamela Decker, Hans-Ola Ericsson, and David Shuler, all important figures in new music and the organ—selected as the winner a renowned composer new to … [Read more...]

June 2015 TAO Feature Article

Bryn Athyn Cathedral, Bryn Athyn, PA Kegg Pipe Organ Builders, Hartville, OH By Charles Kegg The Bryn Athyn Cathedral organ has been one of the most fascinating and challenging instruments in the history of the Kegg firm. The donor, Oberlin graduate and active Philadelphia organist Fred Haas, has always admired the work of Ernest Skinner. In the discussion of the new organ for the cathedral, all roads led to a recreation of Skinner’s work. We were asked to marry two modest E.M. Skinner organs, expand the combined instrument in Skinner style using new or vintage pipe work, and add a dramatic fourth manual division that complements the theology of the congregation and the dramatic building architecture— all while creating new … [Read more...]

John Walker Visits Shanghai Conservatory of Music’s Organ Department

AGO President John Walker (center) recently visited the organ department of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He met with Professor Lei Zhu, department chairperson (to Walker's left), Professor Dan Wu, organ teacher (to Walker's right), and many students.   … [Read more...]