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 … [Read more...]

2015 Pogorzelski-Yankee Scholarship Applications accepted through February 17

Applications for the 2015 Pogorzelski-Yankee scholarship will be accepted through February 17, 2015. Award notification will be on or near April 1. Two new scholarships will be awarded in 2015: 1) entering first-year undergraduate student and 2) entering first-year graduate student. 2015 Pogorzelski-Yankee scholarship Information … [Read more...]

AGO Past President Charles Dodsley Walker Dies at Age 94

A Memorial Service for Charles Dodsley Walker (1920-2015) will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2015, at 3:00, at the Church of the Heavenly Rest (2 East 90th Street, New York, NY 10128). A reception immediately following the service will take place in the church. Charles Dodsley Walker, distinguished Past President of the American Guild of Organists, passed into life eternal on January 17. For many decades Charles has shared generously of his rich insight, wit, humor, and musicianship. As his grateful friends and colleagues, we will miss him deeply; we wish him eternal rest and joy everlasting. His obituary can be found online. … [Read more...]

AGO Taiwan Chapter Sponsors Organ Competition

The American Guild of Organists Taiwan chapter sponsored the country's first organ competition on July 20, 2104. , Six finalists were selected to compete on that day. There were nearly 300 people present at the competition. The first-round judges were Maw Sheng Chen and Nigel Potts, and the judges for the final were Felix Hell, Kitty Yang, and Lynn Kuo. Schantz Organ Company was the major sponsor for this event. First-prize  was awarded to Esther Yu; second prize went to Kyle Lee, and third prize and audience prize went to Yung Hsien Lee. … [Read more...]

Carl G. Harris Jr.: Trailblazer in Choral Music

By Roy L. Belfield Jr. Note: This article originally appeared in the December 2014 issue of The American Organist For 42 years, Carl G. Harris Jr. was the consummate choral conductor. His versatility as a musician too was masterful, and a matter of record. I met Harris in 1979, when he was a professor of music and choral director at Virginia State College (now University) in Petersburg, Virginia. A skilled organist, he was my first organ teacher, from 1980 to 1985. He became my mentor and longtime friend. Our close relationship afforded me an exclusive opportunity to reflect with him on his extensive career as choral conductor, music educator, organist, pianist, accompanist, lecturer, and church musician. Throughout his 57 years of … [Read more...]

December 2014 TAO Chapter News West Region

Long Beach, CA September, 2 the chapter’s annual potluck and kickoff meeting was held at the home of Peter Bates. Following dinner around the pool, a short meeting was held. Then everyone adjourned to the house for a program of organ, piano duet, and organ/piano selections, performed by members David York, Peter Bates, Margaret Armstrong, Althea Waits, Vern Mouw, and Leroy Pabst. --Rebecca Ogle Long Beach Chapter website San Jose, CA June 8, the chapter held its annual membership meeting at Los Gatos United Methodist Church. A hymn sing was held, where each participating organist played a selected hymn and the congregation then sang it. For some hymns, an arrangement was also played. Kirk Waiblinger, winner of the chapter’s … [Read more...]

2015 Gala Tickets Short Form

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December 2014 TAO Chapter News Southwest Region

Albuquerque, NM September 13, the chapter opened the season with an organ crawl. It began downtown at First United Methodist Church, where Dan Cummings (music director) introduced featured guest organist Joyce Jones from Waco, Texas, who provided wonderful insight into the organ and gave a mini-recital for the 25 attendees. The following day, Jones gave a recital, attended by many Guild members. The next stop was at First Presbyterian Church, to hear New Mexico’s largest four-manual M.P. Möller organ played by James Yeager. This instrument was designed in the American Classic style by Ernest White and Goodsell Slocum in 1955 and consists of more than 3,000 pipes! Yeager encouraged members to try their skills on the organ. A New … [Read more...]

December 2014 TAO Chapter News North-Central Region

Wichita, KS Sept. 7, chapter members and friends met at the Church of the Brethren. The evening began at the Scholarship Library, in its new location. All of the music from the files was pulled out for attendees to purchase. There were lots of hugs and greetings as members arrived to look through the stacks of music. The crowd then gathered in the fellowship hall. Marlene Hallstrom shared information about changes at the national level, and Lynne Davis spoke of highlights at the 2014 AGO National Convention in Boston. Debbie Lynch and Christopher Shaw updated those present about changes on our local board. A potluck meal was enjoyed by all, followed by a glance at the program year given by Shaw. Ken Rodgers, from the Hutchinson AGO … [Read more...]

December 2014 TAO Chapter News-Great Lakes Region

East Central IL, September 13, the chapter hosted a Pedals, Pipes, & Pizza event for eight young people ages 11–17. They toured, listened to, and played the 1921 Wurlitzer at the newly renovated Virginia Theatre, and the 48-rank 1965 Casavant at First United Methodist Church, both in downtown Champaign. Also, staff at the nearby Buzard Pipe Organ Builders took participants on a tour of their facility, including their renovation and new organ projects. After a pizza supper, the group was treated to a performance by theater organist Mark Gifford at the Virginia Theatre, including the accompaniment of a Buster Keaton silent movie. —Carolyn Pater East Central, IL AGO Chapter Website Cherry Capital, MI September 7, … [Read more...]