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...]

Great Lakes: Career Benefits of Degrees and AGO Certifications

Whether you would like to pursue a degree in performance or church music, there are several reasons why an organ degree will benefit your career as an organist: Formal organ study. Taking consistent lessons, enrolling in music classes, and studying alongside other peer musicians is a phenomenal growing experience. (Studying music in college is awesome!) Experience. A degree will provide you with valuable performing and teaching experience. This is your opportunity to hone your skills and learn from your mistakes! Take advantage of this time to be a student! Efficient practice. As organists, we have to learn music rather quickly. Whether learning an anthem for Sunday morning or getting ready for a recital, organists need experience in … [Read more...]

Support the AGO on #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday, November 28, is a national day of philanthropy. To celebrate the occasion, we ask that you consider making a gift to the AGO Annual Fund. Our ambitious goal is to raise $24,000 in 24 hours. We are both making a commitment to contribute to the Guild on Giving Tuesday, and we encourage you to do so as well. The Guild is poised for great things in 2018. Contribute Now At our National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., July 2-6, we will roll out a completely new, three-year strategic plan that is designed to provide greater support to our chapters and members than ever before. But first, we will start the year by helping to fund January Jubilees in Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio. In the spring we will … [Read more...]

Southeast: Five Ways to Combat a Little Bit of Christmas Rage

This one is best read from the ​source … [Read more...]

December 2017 TAO Cover Feature

The New Organ at Pilgrim Lutheran Church Carmel, Indiana Buzard Pipe Organ Builders by John-Paul Buzard View an enlarged cover View a Stop List Pilgrim Lutheran Church’s former building was located on land that the State of Indiana purchased to create a new entrance ramp for I-465; their parking lot was purchased by another institution. The congregation was therefore able to relocate and erect a new building without the need for fund-raising, although the process occupied more than ten years. Early in their planning process, Pilgrim’s organ committee selected Buzard Pipe Organ Builders for their hoped-for new organ in what was then their hoped-for new building. Imagine my delight and surprise when many years following our … [Read more...]

Southwest: How to interview and audition: prep, questions to ask, questions to be prepared to answer, choosing audition pieces based on where you’re auditioning…

Greetings, friends! As part of the Southwest Region’s ongoing theme of professional development, I wanted to post today about an issue that many may consider an awkward topic: how to know when it’s time to leave. This is a bit of a difficult topic for some of us and it’s one that we often don’t even consider until we’re starting to wonder why we haven’t left yet. My goal is to get you thinking *now* about these things so that, if/when the day comes, you’ll be ready. A few weeks ago, I was looking through Facebook and noticed a post by an older gentleman asking for opinions on how one should know when it is time to “hang up your shoes.” There were several great responses in the comments that followed, but I was concerned at the lack … [Read more...]

West: 500th Anniversary of Reformation: its significance to music history

Good evening, and greetings from far away in the West! As many of us are aware, this year marks the 500th year since the traditional beginning of the Reformation. Although we may not all be celebrating it in our congregations, we must acknowledge the role that Martin Luther played in sacred music. Many great compositions come from the Lutheran tradition, from J.S. Bach to Paul Manz, and many more. Are you celebrating Reformation Sunday this year? Are you going to sneak in some Bach? Go all out with choir and brass, or maybe your church is just going to pass? Tell us in the comments below. I’m certain some good ideas will surface. Luther's Impact … [Read more...]

Mid-Atlantic: An Introduction to the difficulties associated with moving from Piano to Organ

Greetings from the Mid-Atlantic Region! We will talk this year about moving from playing the piano to playing the organ. Many exciting topics await exploration, so make the 28th of each month your day to check back here! It happens inevitably in the pianist’s career that he or she will, at some point in time, be asked to play the organ. The request comes most often from those who do not understand the niceties of technique, touch, and coordination associated with the various instruments in the keyboard family, and it is assumed that if one keyboard looks like another, than it will be an easy enough affair to transition from one to the other. Indeed, certain gifted artists within living memory have successfully attempted this feat. The … [Read more...]