AGO Announces Afffiliation with Vox Humana

The American Guild of Organists is pleased to announce their affiliation with Vox Humana, a new online journal that presents current ideas, trends, and research about the organ. Articles are published every two weeks by leading organists and scholars from around the globe. Visit Vox Humana. … [Read more...]

January 2018 TAO Cover Feature

Key to Pipe at the Speed of Light Grace Episcopal Church Hartford, Connecticut Schoenstein & Co. and Peterson Electro-Musical Products Inc. View an enlarged cover View the Stop List For generations, Grace Episcopal Church has held a well-deserved reputation for its traditional Anglo-Catholic liturgy and its fine music program headed by Kyle Swann, who is also lecturer in opera at Yale University. The church is quite small, seating only 112—a village church in the heart of a big city. It has a very pleasant, resonant acoustic; amid the grandeur of the ceremony, the setting seems spacious. However, space for the organ is another matter! Sixteen stops, 18 ranks was the absolute limit without encroaching upon already-tight space for … [Read more...]

Great Lakes: Managing Personal Finances as Freelancers/Part-timers

Hey everyone and Merry Christmas from the Great Lakes AGOYO Chapter! As wonderful (despite the stress of planning liturgies and extra concerts) as the season can be, it also has the potential to be a stressful mess financially with extra expenses like traveling home, gifts, and extra holiday parties - particularly if you earn your living as a freelance musician, which is at least partially the case with many organists. Despite its ominous title, this article has some interesting points (and very do-able, even on a limited budget) that not only can help you prevent finding yourself in financially tight spots, but also start planning for long terms goals, even if you aren't a freelance musician. Have a great Christmas everyone! The … [Read more...]

AGO Launches the American Guild of Organists Monograph Series

The American Guild of Organists is pleased to announce availability of J. Michael Barone and Pipedreams: The Organ and Public Radio. Barone created a unique presence for the organ on the airwaves, produced a trove of original and important recordings, and, 35 years ago, created the foremost organ-centered broadcast, Pipedreams. Future monographs in the series will include The Organ on Campus and The Making of a Virtuoso Organist. Download a free copy of this unique document or purchase a printed copy in the AGO online store. … [Read more...]

Greetings from the North Central AGOYO: Iberian Organ Music

This month we delve into the under-appreciated world of Iberian organ music from the late Renaissance and Baroque. The organs with their large arsenals of horizontal reeds provide a pleasing sight not only to our eyes, but to our ears as well. Composers also utilize the unique split keyboard design of Iberian organs to compose pieces that are not playable on other instruments of the same time. -Phillip Radtke Understudied and underappreciated, Iberian organ music and organs had the biggest impact during the 17th century while the Iberian Peninsula experienced a period of strong political power. Iberian organs were influenced by builders of France, the Netherlands and most of Europe. While the music was conservative it is distinctively … [Read more...]

West: Stress Relief

Greetings from the West Region AGOYO! Our topic this month is Stress Relief, especially appropriate for those of us that hold church positions in this busy season! As the world speeds up around us during the holiday season, it is easy to get caught up in the stress and pressures of work and family life. Sometimes it's hard to feel like there is time for everything! I have found that it is often helpful to take a step back from the things that are stressing me out, whether that means taking a long practice break or even taking a day off. Taking a day off and engaging in healthy self-care habits will help you to return to work the next day feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next challenge. If you find yourself feeling burnt out as … [Read more...]

Two new Pogorzelski-Yankee Scholarships will be awarded for the 2018-19 academic year

The online application period for 1) an entering college freshman and 2) entering 1st year graduate scholarship begins January 1st and ends February 15, 2018. More information on the Pogorzelski-Yankee scholarship - The application period has begun! Students must plan to be an entering college freshman or an entering first year graduate student in the 2018-19 academic year. Students must have a desire to commit a significant portion of the two years following graduation to teaching, performing, or other serious endeavor with respect to the organ. Students must attend, or plan to attend, a nationally or regionally accredited post-secondary institution (college, university, or conservatory) by the time awards are made. … [Read more...]

North Central: Dutch Organ Culture During the Reformation

Greetings from the North Central region of AGOYO! In light of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting of the 95 theses, effectively beginning the Reformation, I would like to address reformer John Calvin’s important role in shaping Dutch organ culture through religious doctrine. John Calvin (1509-1564), French theologian and reformer based in Geneva, Switzerland Most well-known for his doctrine of predestination and the sovereignty of God in the role of salvation Influenced the development of the Reformed and Presbyterian traditions Three Important Scripture Verses and Calvin’s Interpretation I Corinthians 14:16: surrounding the context of speaking in tongues during worshipand the need for an interpreter. According to … [Read more...]

Southwest: The Four C’s- How to deal with congregation, coworkers, committees, and clergy

Greetings from the Southwest AGOYO! Our topic is The Four C's- dealing with Coworkers, A Committee, A Congregation, and Clergy. In our field especially, interpersonal skills are extremely important. However, there may be times where we face a coworker or someone in a neighboring department that we may not work as well with. Dealing with conflict in a workplace setting can be quite difficult and knowing how to resolve issues and reach out to others, if needed, is vital. Read More... -Solena Rizzato … [Read more...]

Mid-Atlantic: Pedal Technique

Greetings from the Mid Atlantic AGOYO! Continuing in our series on transitioning from piano to organ, here is an article written by one of our board members, Peter Bayer, about pedal technique. The Pedal of the Organ is another keyboard like a manual, but instead of having two hands wherewith to play it, one has two feet. The two feet generally work best if they are treated as a unit, as if they were one hand with two fingers. The primary motion of the feet should be a pivoting motion from the heels, while the legs above the heels remain relaxed, only coming into motion in order to facilitate large movements. Therefore, good posture is of utmost importance for good pedal technique. The back must be straight, and one must sit … [Read more...]