Congratulations to the 2016 NYACOP and NCOI Winners

Five finalists played at the 2016 NYACOP final round Saturday, June 18, 2016 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas. The winning players were Katelyn Emerson – First Place, Kirk Rich – Second Place, and Weicheng Zhao – Third Place. Three finalists were chosen at the 2015 NCOI semifinals held July 1, 2015 at the Charlotte SE Regional Convention. The three organists below traveled to Houston, Texas for the NCOI final round that was held June 21, 2016 at Christ Church Cathedral (Houston). Thomas Dahl, was awarded 1st Place and the Audience Prize, Matt Gender was awarded 2nd Place, and Kalle Toivio was awarded 3rd Place. … [Read more...]

Cedar Valley, Iowa hosts the first Pipe Organ Encounter of 2016

Cedar Valley, Iowa was the site of the first POE of 2016. Led by director Karen Black at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, the students, faculty and volunteers took a break from lessons, classes and activities to pose for an outdoor photo (below). A full report of this and other Pipe Organ Encounter events will appear in the December, 2016 issue of The American Organist. … [Read more...]

Eight Prizes Presented to Six Organists at National Convention in Houston, TX

The American Guild of Organists  is pleased to announce the results of its National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP) and the National Competition in Organ Improvisation (NCOI). Prizewinners were recognized at the 53rd biennial AGO National Convention in Houston, Tex. The following prizes were awarded: National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance First Prize—Katelyn Emerson The Jordan Organ Endowment Prize: $10,000, awarded in conjunction with a solo recital on the Jordan Family Organ in Columbus, GA; The Lilian Murtagh Memorial Prize: $3,000 cash award and career development assistance provided by Karen McFarlane Artists; a CD recording by Pro Organo; a performance at the 2018 AGO National … [Read more...]

AGO Recognizes Three Award Winning Composers

The American Guild of Organists honored three award- winning composers at its Annual Meeting on June 22, during the 2016 AGO National Convention in Houston, TX. AGO Vice President Christian Lane presided over the award presentations to David Ashley White of Houston, Ivan Božičević of Croatia, and Michael Gilbertson of Hamden, CT The 2016 Distinguished Composer Award was presented to David Ashley White. The prestigious award, created in 1986, is presented biennially to recognize outstanding composers of organ and choral music in the United States. White’s anthem, With a Shining Like the Sun, for mixed chorus, brass, timpani, organ, and congregation, was given its premier performance during the convention. Previous award recipients … [Read more...]

AGO’S Highest and Most Prestigious Awards Bestowed at National Convention

The American Guild of Organists bestowed its two highest awards of national distinction in conjunction with the 53rd biennial AGO National Convention in Houston, TX. Award presentations were made during the Guild’s Annual Meeting. AGO President John Walker made the presentation to Frederick Haas, and at Walker’s request, Jeffrey Hoover made the presentation to Robert Bennett because of Hoover’s long association with the award recipient. The AGO President’s Award was presented to Frederick R. Haas of Philadelphia, PA. The prestigious award, created in 1988, is presented biennially to recognize outstanding contributions to the art of the organ in the United States. The 2016 President’s Award was given to Haas “in gratitude for his inspired … [Read more...]

AGO Elects 2016-2018 National Council and Regional Councilors

On July 1, 2016, four newly elected officers, three national councillors with portfolio, and seven regional councillors begin their two-year term of leadership on the National Council and Board of Regional Councillors of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). Election results were reported and councillors were installed on Wednesday, June 22, during the AGO Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the AGO National Convention in Houston, TX. In addition, in accordance with AGO Bylaws, AGO Past President John Walker will remain on the Council as a non-voting member for a period of one year. The non-voting AGO Executive Director also serves as an ex officio member of Council. Election results follow: National Council President: Michael … [Read more...]

It’s Time to Renew Your AGO Membership

Benefits for members on the traditional July 1 -- June 30 membership year will end soon for those who have not renewed for the 2016-2017 year. To avoid interruption of your AGO membership benefits, including your monthly TAO subscription, please send your renewal payment as soon as possible. You may use ONCARD to quickly and securely renew online with a credit card or to print out your invoice and pay by check. Membership in the Guild comes with many benefits, including the following: connect with other organists enhance your skills as an organist and choral conductor celebrate the organ in historic and evolving contexts discover news of the organ and choral world online and in The American Organist nurture new … [Read more...]

Silent Auction Raises Funds for the AGO Annual Fund

The 2016 AGO Silent Auction raised more than $20,000 for the AGO Annual Fund. We extend our heartfelt thanks to our donors who contributed 129 auction items and to the 130 bidders that participated in the auction. A set of chorale-preludes and CDs by Paul Manz donated by MorningStar Music and a two-year subscription donated by Choir & Organ received the highest number of bids, while a hymn festival donated by John Walker raised the most revenue. … [Read more...]

AGO Elects 2016 National Council and Regional Councillors

Four newly elected officers, three national councillors with portfolio, and seven regional councillors have begun their two-year term of leadership on the National Council and Board of Regional Councillors of the American Guild of Organists. Election results were reported and councillors were installed on Wednesday, June 22, during the AGO Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the AGO National Convention in Houston, TX. In addition, in accordance with AGO Bylaws, AGO Past President John Walker will remain on the Council as a non-voting member for a period of one year. The non-voting AGO Executive Director also serves as an ex officio member of Council. Here are the election results: National Council President Michael Bedford, AAGO, … [Read more...]

July 2016 TAO Feature Article

Tang Shiu Kin Secondary School Chapel Hong Kong C.B. Fisk Inc. • Gloucester, MA By Elizabeth Hung Wong The pipe organ is not a familiar musical instrument to most people in Hong Kong. The few pipe or­gans that were installed there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries did not survive. The blame was mostly put on high humidity. An English gentle­man did open an organbuild­ing shop in Hong Kong in the early 20th century. A few of his instruments are still stand­ing in churches, but they are not currently playable. One of them made its way to the Philippines and was recently completely restored. Several small-to-medium-sized pipe organs built by European builders were installed in area churches in the mid-20th century, but they … [Read more...]