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...]

Southwest:  How to look for a job: Resources, What to look for, How to read ‘between the lines’ in a job description

Greetings from Southwest AGOYO! This year, we will be featuring posts about how to maneuver in our job market. From dealing with congregations and clergy, to the best way to prep for an interview with a pastor, to knowing when it's time to move to a new church position, we have you covered! We are looking forward to sharing insights with all of you as we transition from college to the workforce or within the workforce itself. --Logan Herod … [Read more...]

Mid-Atlantic: Introduction to the Difficulties in 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. 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 majority, however, feel a lack of certainty upon hearing this request, and some have even reported … [Read more...]

June 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

Plainfield United Methodist Church Plainfield, Indiana Reynolds Associates, Inc. Marion, Indiana By Thad Reynolds View an enlarged cover How times change! Plainfield United Methodist Church is a healthy and growing congregation west of Indianapolis. Plainfield has a large choir, and while the music there on any given Sunday morning could be anything from a motet to a Broadway tune, the worship program is usually traditional. Michael Pettry, the church’s organist and music director, makes each Sunday service an event. He does this not by showing off his skill, which is formidable, but by using the instrument to craft a musical environment that supports and enhances worship. The church’s first pipe organ was a small two-manual … [Read more...]

May 2017 AGO Chapter News

NORTHEAST REGION New London County, Conn. Jan. 29, the chapter hosted its 19th annual Children’s Choir Festival at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Niantic, Conn. Approximately 80 children and teenagers from eight area choirs performed, first as individual choirs, then in an enthusiastic combined choir directed by Jake Troy with piano accompanist Kathleen Bartkowski. Prelude, offertory, postlude, and hymns were played by John Anthony on the Fisk organ. —Elizabeth Limkemann Boston, Mass. Feb. 17, the chapter hosted a recital by Faythe Freese, professor of organ at the University of Alabama, at St. Cecilia’s Parish. Freese played the 52-rank Smith & Gilbert located in the gallery in works of Reger, Vierne, and the Boston premiere of The … [Read more...]

April 2017 AGO Chapter News

NORTHEAST REGION Greater Bridgeport, Conn. Oct. 30, the chapter held its 15th annual Pipescreams concert at the United Congregational Church, Bridgeport. John Michniewicz, minister of music, was the host. Frank Martignetti, sub-dean, was chairperson of the event. The Rev. Sara Smith brought greetings to the audience. The featured performers included choirs from Sacred Heart University and the University of Bridgeport, as well as organists and other musicians from area churches. As always, people came dressed in costumes for Halloween. A silent movie, accompanied by David Harris, concluded the program. A reception followed. Net proceeds from the concert benefitted the M. Louise Miller–Paul E. Knox Organ Music Scholarship Fund. • Jan. 7, … [Read more...]

Federal Trade Commission and AGO Setttlement

April 4, 2017 To All AGO Members: As you may know, on Friday, March 31, the Federal Trade Commission issued a press release announcing that the AGO had entered into a Settlement Agreement with the Commission. The release references a proposed consent order that resolves a complaint initiated by the agency alleging that the Guild’s rules restrained competition and harmed consumers in violation of the FTC Act. The FTC’s announcement is the culmination of 17 months of careful negotiations between the Guild and the Commission. We have previously detailed this process in emails to chapter leaders, articles in TAO, notices on the AGO website, and presentations at the 2016 National Convention. As part of the settlement agreement, the … [Read more...]

Round Lake Organ Declared National Monument

The 1847 Ferris organ in the Round Lake Auditorium in Round Lake, NY has been designated a National Historic Landmark, believed to be the first such honor for any organ in North America. AGO member Agnes Armstrong wrote a letter in support of the designation to the National Park Service. "I'm thrilled. This is really exciting," she said in an interview with the Times Union newspaper. She has played recitals on the organ for more than 30 years and released a CD of organ music played on the Ferris titled "Victorian Christmas in Round Lake." Read the full article on the Ferris organ National Historic Landmark designation. … [Read more...]

Support the AGO on #Giving Tuesday

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the US) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. We ask that you consider making a gift to the American Guild of Organists. We will apply your gift to the area of the Guild that is most meaningful to you. For example, you can choose to support our Annual Fund, specific educational programs like Pipe Organ Encounters or the Certification program, our conventions, our chapters, or our Endowment. A gift of any amount will be greatly appreciated. You can … [Read more...]

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