A Young Organist Asks: Why go to the AGO National Convention in Kansas City?

Why do we bother having national conventions and why would I want to go?

As a Young Organist myself, I know how hard it is to find the time and the money to attend a convention. But this one has my attention. Here are five reasons to attend the 2018 AGO National Convention and four ways to make it happen.

1) Content. You will have the opportunity to attend concerts, workshops, and presentations by world class musicians and scholars. Don’t believe me? Check them out on our website agokc2018.com.

2)  Learning about a new city. Explore Kansas City in the Heartland of the U.S. and occupying space in two different states. You never know where that next job opportunity might come from and wouldn’t it be nice to know a little something about Kansas City beforehand? For instance, did you know that the Huffington Post lists Kansas City as one of the “20 awesome U.S. cities you need to visit in your 20s”?

3) Networking. You will be spending a week surrounded by colleagues, potential employers, and even potential employees.

4) Timing. The convention falling over the Fourth of July means you don’t have to take as much time off and you get the added bonus of seeing some great fireworks shows.

5) Camaraderie. You will spend a week surrounded by people who do not expect you to justify your choice of career, the hours you spend practicing, or your budget request. However, they may expect you to justify your musical taste!

Well, this is great, but how do I make it happen?

1) Ease of access. Kansas City is one of the easiest places to get to in the U.S. In addition to the very user-friendly airport and the train station right next to the hotel, a vast swath of the U.S. is within driving distance. Attendees from Colorado to Tennessee and Texas to North Dakota can reasonably drive to Kansas City in one day.

2) Cost. As conventions go, this convention is not very expensive. Not only is there a discounted registration rate for Young Organists ($250), there is also a discounted bus package available ($100). Don’t wait too long though – the Young Organists’ registration rate does increase after May 31st.

3) Scholarships. We have fabulous scholarships available for both Young Organists and Young Professionals. The Young Organist scholarship (multiple available) covers the full cost of registration, the full cost of transportation during the convention, and half of the hotel room cost. If you share a room with a roommate your cost is effectively $0. The Young Professional scholarship (one available) covers the entire hotel cost. We highly encourage any and all Young Organists and Young Professionals to apply for these scholarships. The application deadline is April 1, 2018.

4) Room sharing. Anyone needing assistance in finding a roommate during the convention can send us an email at room.share.ago.2018@gmail.com. Please include your name, gender, dates you plan to be in Kansas City, and contact information. This is also another great way to help with networking.

Take advantage of our great rates with early registration, good until March 31, 2018.

  • AGO Regular member – $435
  • AGO Senior (65+) member – $395
  • Spouse/Partner – $350
  • Young Organist (under 30) – $250

The full bus transportation package ($175 – for those age 30 and over) is recommended. For Young Organists under 30, the bus is only $100 for the entire convention. Daily and single-event bus passes are also being offered.

Can’t wait to learn more about the convention? Check out our website, like us on Facebook, and stay tuned for the next newsletter.


John Deahl


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