Vote Today for the AGO Leaders of Tomorrow


Read the candidate biographies in the April TAO, pages 8-21. (Login with ONCARD username and password required.)

The governance of the AGO is vested in its National Council, a small cohort of volunteer Guild members elected by their peers to serve in a leadership capacity. All Council members serve two-year terms. Council­lors may serve up to five consecutive terms but can hold the same position for no more than three consecutive terms.

The Council currently consists of seven members, including four officers and three councillors with portfolio. It will expand to eight members if the majority of voting Guild members pass amendments to the bylaws that the current National Council has already approved (see details below).

The biennial election of Council members and Regional Councillors takes place in April of even-numbered years. Two of the four current national officers decided that they will not run for office again. For his dedicated service, we extend our heartfelt thanks to AGO President John Walker, who will be completing eight consecutive years of service (six as vice president and two as president) in his second tour of duty on the National Council. Christian Lane, who is also depart­ing, has served with distinction for four con­secutive years as councillor for competitions and new music (2012-16) and concurrently as vice president (2014-16) over the last two years.

This year, the ballot will include three motions to change the bylaws. The National Council has endorsed them all and recommends the membership vote in favor of each of them (see page 8 of TAO for the full texts). The first will add to the National Council an eighth voting member: the chair of the Board of Regional Councillors. The second deletes the title “Convener of the Regional Councillors” from the work and portfolio of the National Councillor for Membership. The third, providing guidelines for implementation of the first motion, states that “the Regional Councillors meet together as a Board and elect a Chair who serves, ex officio, as a voting member of National Council.”

The candidates who have been nominated to the National Council represent a diverse and experienced group. Fourteen of them (eight men and six women) are running for the seven National Council positions. These 14 candidates hail from 13 states (two are from New Jersey). Seven of them have earned Guild certification. Six currently serve on Council, while four others have served on Council in years past. No incumbents are running for president or vice president, but all four of the nominees for those two positions have served on Council previously. Fourteen candidates are running for the seven regional councillor positions. These 14 candidates include eight men and six women. Each is from a different state. Seven of the candidates have earned Guild certification–two SPC, two CAGO, and three AAGO.

Incumbents have been renominated to serve as regional councillors in six of the AGO’s seven regions. Two first-time candidates have been nominated to serve in the Southeast Region: Monty Bennett, CAGO, of Rock Hills, SC, and Homer Ferguson III, of Pinehurst, NC.

The men and women you elect in April will establish and uphold the governance policies of the Guild. Please read their biographical sketches and statements published in the April 2016 issue of TAO, beginning on page 9. All successful candidates will be installed at the Annual Meeting in Houston on June 22 and serve for two years thereafter.

In keeping with our custom, the quickest and easiest way to vote will be by electronic ballot. If we have your email address on file, we will send you an email that will give you access to a special website established by Intelliscan, our election management firm, at which you will be able to cast your ballot. You may also vote using the ballot bound into the April, 2016 issue of TAO.

The time to choose the future leaders of the Guild is now upon us. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to participate in the AGO’s election process. Every vote counts. Please vote.

James Thomashower
Executive Director
American Guild of Organists

This article originally appeared in the April, 2016 issue of The American Organist magazine.



  1. Robert Gaylord says:

    It’s now 2016-04-30, 11:01 Pacific Daylight Time. Therefore, it is still April 30, the postmarking deadline for sending in paper ballots by mail. If that’s the deadline, I should still be able to vote online through the end of April 30, and where I am, it is still April 30. Yet your online voting system says ‘Time for voting is past’ (or expired). So your online system is set correctly: it should still work for all members through April 30. (And members in Hawaii might have even more time.)

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