AGO PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTERS
WITH THE KING OF INSTRUMENTS PROVIDE
OPPORTUNITIES FOR EDUCATION AND FELLOWSHIP
Nine Summer Educational Programs for Teenagers and
Adults Announced by the AGO with Generous Funding
Provided by the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America
and the American Institute of Organbuilders
NEW YORK CITY—The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is proud to announce five PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTERS (POEs) and one POE (Advanced) for students aged 13–18; one POE (Technical) for students aged 16–23; and two POE+ programs for adult students in 2014. Generous funding from the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America (APOBA) and the American Institute of Organbuilders (AIO) will support the summer programs, which will be held from coast to coast. Complete contact information for each Pipe Organ Encounter can be found in The American Organist Magazine and online at Agohq.org. The summer schedule follows:
POE for ages 13–18
June 8–13, Fort Collins, Colo.
June 9–14, Indianapolis, Ind.
June 29–July 4, Wilmington, Del.
July 7–11, Manhattan, Kans.
July 13–18, Easton, Mass.
POE (Advanced) for ages 13–18
June 29–July 4, Ann Arbor, Mich.
POE (Technical) for ages 16–23
June 8–13, Stowe, Pa.
POE+ for Adults
June 8–13, Rockford, Ill.
July 13–17, Seattle, Wash.
“The AGO and APOBA have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship since 1975,” declared AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “Likewise, the AIO has been active in supporting the Guild’s educational programs, beginning with their partnership in Pulling Out All the Stops, a video produced jointly by the AGO, AIO, APOBA, the Organ Historical Society, and the American Theater Organ Society in 1996. Collectively, APOBA and the AIO have contributed more than $446,000 in support of the AGO’s educational programs during our long association. For their ongoing, committed generosity in supporting the Guild’s mission—to enrich lives through organ and choral music—we are extremely grateful.”
The PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTER (POE) is an introduction to the pipe organ through instruction in organ playing, repertoire, history, design, and construction. These regional summer organ music institutes for teenage students provide private and group instruction in service playing and solo repertoire, opportunities to learn about the musical heritage of various religious denominations, and a chance for young musicians to meet others with similar interests. Basic keyboard proficiency is required, although previous organ study is not necessary. The POE (Advanced) provides intermediate to advanced classes in areas such as organ literature, history, pipe organ construction and design, music theory, improvisation, conducting, and service playing for students who have achieved a high level of success in organ study. The POE (Technical) is a program designed for students who are interested in learning the art and craft of organ building. Scholarship assistance is available. The POE+ is a summer program filled with practical information and instruction for adult keyboard musicians interested in improving their service-playing skills. Participants will be introduced to basic organ skills through private instruction and classes. The weeklong experience will lead to greater confidence and competence at the organ. ■
POE site locations are selected by the AGO Committee on the New Organist and approved by the AGO National Council after application by AGO host chapters. The deadline for applications to host 2015 POE and POE+ programs is March 15, 2014. Applications are available from AGO National Headquarters. Partial program funding is provided to AGO host chapters.
AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS
AWARDED $15,000 GRANT FROM THE
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
NEA Funding Will Support Performances, Workshops, and New Music at
the 52nd Biennial AGO National Convention in Boston, Mass., June 23–27, 2014
NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has been awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the 2014 AGO National Convention in Boston, Mass., June 23–27, 2014. The $15,000 NEA “Art Works” grant is directed to support performances, educational workshops, publication of the Boston Organ Book, and new music premieres. The grant carries a mandate that it be matched dollar for dollar from other funding sources. The 2014 AGO National Convention is the fifth consecutive AGO National Convention that has garnered funding from the arts endowment.
AGO President Eileen Guenther stated, “The recognition by the NEA reaffirms the importance of new music commissions to increase organ and choral repertoire, and to increase the American public’s knowledge of and appreciation for contemporary classical music. The AGO is especially interested in supporting new music for the concert stage, as there are increasing numbers of American concert halls, including the Symphony Hall in Boston, with new or renewed concert organs.” AGO Executive Director James Thomashower added, “It is an honor to be recognized by the NEA. We are highly grateful for this grant that will enable us to continue our tradition of presenting outstanding musical performances to enrich lives through organ and choral music when we meet for our National Convention in Boston.”
Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancing the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,528 eligible Art Works applications, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 895 are recommended for grants for a total of $ 23.4 million. Acting NEA Chairman Shigekawa said, “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable experiences for the public to engage with the arts.”
The 2014 AGO National Convention will augment and enrich cultural life in New England and beyond through performances by outstanding solo artists and choral and instrumental ensembles in the city’s concert halls and houses of worship, educational workshops, and presentations of scholarly papers. In addition, the Guild has commissioned 14 composers renowned for artistic excellence, totaling more than 100 minutes of new music.
Convention performers and performing ensembles include: James David Christie (organ) and the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Christopher Wilkins (conductor); Joan Lippincott (organ) and the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble; Handel and Haydn Society; Boston City Singers Youth Choir; Cantata Singers; Berklee Jazz Organ Group; Blue Heron Renaissance Choir; organists: Chelsea Chen, Heinrich Christensen, Craig Cramer, Scott Dettra, Thierry Escaich, Janette Fishell, Peter Krasinski, Christian Lane, Renée Anne Louprette, Kimberly Marshall, Rosalind Mohnsen, Bruce Neswick, Jonathan Ortloff, Kola Owolabi, Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra, Jonathan Ryan, John Scott, Stephen Tharp, and Catherine Todorovski; Peter Sykes, harpsichord; plus winners of the AGO National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance, the AGO National Competition in Organ Improvisation, and the AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists.
Premier performances will be presented of commissioned works from: Carol Barnett, Lisa Bielawa, Carson Cooman, Pamela Decker, Libby Larsen, David Lasky, Matthew Martin, Nico Muhly, Betty Olivero, Scott Perkins, Robert Sirota, Hilary Tann, Edward Thompson, and James Woodman. Serving to highlight Boston’s heritage of American musical composition, six historic compositions by Boston composers will be grouped with six new music commissions to form the Boston Organ Book, a publication to be distributed to all convention registrants to encourage performances for the benefit of the public.
For further information about the 2014 AGO National Convention, please visit Agoboston2014.org. For further information about the National Endowment for the Arts, please visit Arts.gov.
$2.5 MILLION GIFT ENABLES THE
AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS TO
ENRICH LIVES THROUGH ORGAN MUSIC
Largest Bequest in the History of the AGO Establishes Endowments for
College Scholarship Program, Organ Composition Competition, and
Organ Fund to Maintain Tracker Pipe Organ
NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is spearheading three major initiatives that have been made possible by the largest bequest in Guild history. Totaling more than $2.5 million in cash and assets including a tracker pipe organ, the bequest from the estate of Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee was first announced at the 2010 AGO National Convention in Washington, D.C.
With the gradual distribution of the assets over the last three and a half years, the Guild has worked diligently and faithfully to honor the donors’ intentions by establishing (1) an endowment to provide college scholarships to dedicated organ students with financial needs, (2) an endowment to provide for the relocation and ongoing maintenance of the donors’ tracker organ, and (3) an endowment to support an annual organ composition competition for that instrument. Two of these endowments are now fully funded, with the third nearing completion.
“This extraordinary bequest helps us accomplish our mission—to enrich lives through organ and choral music—by providing the resources to implement two new programs and establish a lasting relationship with a new academic partner,” said AGO President Eileen Guenther. “The AGO continues to be much more than the world’s largest membership association for organists. At the national level and through our international network of more than 300 chapters, we conduct more educational and outreach programs supporting organ and choral music than any other professional organization.”
The Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Memorial Scholarship will be available to six students (four undergraduate, and two graduate) beginning with the 2014–2015 academic year. Four undergraduate scholarships in the amount $7,500 each will be offered: one each to an incoming college freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior. Each scholarship will be renewable through completion of the student’s undergraduate years of study. Two graduate scholarships in the amount of $15,000 each will be offered and will be renewable for a total of two years of graduate study. Eligibility requirements and application details are available online at Agohq.org. The application deadline is March 1, 2014.
The Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Pipe Organ Endowment was established to support the ongoing maintenance of the Pogorzelski and Yankee Memorial Organ. The 2-manual and pedal, 24-stop, 21-rank tracker organ, built by R.J. Brunner & Company in 1991 for Pogorzelski and Yankee’s private residence in Bucks County, Pa., was inspired by the early Pennsylvania German organs of David Tannenberg (1728–1804). The casework is gilded in 22-karat gold leaf. It will be moved and installed at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in May 2014 where it will be used for teaching and performance. The AGO’s lease of the organ to IUP will be renewable annually.
“The Guild selected IUP because of its thoroughly documented and passionate desire to have this instrument on campus and for its commitment to use the organ regularly for teaching and performance purposes exactly as Messrs. Pogorzelski and Yankee desired,” declared AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. The proposal, he said, “made it abundantly clear to us that IUP’s organ students, faculty, and administration would treasure the opportunity to have this elegant organ at the school and that it would be of immediate and lasting benefit not only to the academic community, but to the larger community around Indiana, Pa.”
The organ will be installed in the IUP Music Department’s Large Instrumental Rehearsal Hall, a room with the size and acoustical properties to provide an ideal setting for teaching and performance on the organ, according to Michael Hood, dean of the College of Fine Arts at IUP. “We are thrilled with the great honor that the American Guild of Organists has bestowed upon the department and IUP, and I can guarantee you that its honor and trust will be fully matched by the care and the respect with which this marvelous instrument will be treated,” Hood said.
Christine Clewell, IUP’s assistant professor of organ added, “IUP will embrace a policy of hospitality with the instrument, using it as a tool for building community relations, where we will continue to encourage the study of organ to vanquish the ever-present problem of the ‘vanishing organist’,” addressing the shortage of organists in the rural, western Pennsylvania region and elsewhere throughout the U.S. She expects the new organ to result in more frequent, higher quality organ performances, which will increase interest in organ study. “The new acquisition will materially raise the profile and expand the reputation of the IUP organ program and will serve as a promotional vehicle for organ study not only for prospective students, but also for those presently enrolled.”
The Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Annual Competition, a composition competition to encourage the creation of new music specifically for the R.J. Brunner organ, is being established by the AGO. Each year, the winning composition will be given its world premier performance in a gala recital at IUP by an internationally recognized organist. The AGO National Council has approved a preliminary statement of the competition rules as drafted by the AGO New Music Committee. The rules will be finalized and published later this year. The winning piece is expected to be performed at IUP in 2015. Complete details including the application process for composers will be posted online at Agohq.org.
Speaking on behalf of Messrs. Pogorzelski and Yankee at the 2010 AGO National Convention in Washington, D.C., Dale J. Marsico noted, “According to my uncles, the heart is reached easier through the use of organ music than any other musical form. Their music collection, music room, pipe organ, and Ron’s playing ability were testimony to their love of the instrument. This gift is a testament to their hopes that future generations might come to enjoy—to love and appreciate organ music as they did. They felt that their bequest to American Guild of Organists offered the best opportunity for that possibility.”
SILENT AUCTION AT 2014 AGO NATIONAL CONVENTION IN BOSTON
The AGO National Council will sponsor a Silent Auction at the AGO National Convention in Boston in June 2014. The proceeds will benefit the Annual Fund, which covers the expenses of educational programs, Pipe Organ Encounters, professional certification programs, competitions, conventions, January Jubilees, and other costs of running the organization. The auction will be run online so that all AGO members and friends may participate, and not just those attending the national convention.
Chapter members are invited to promote the auction, including donation of items that might be interest to the AGO membership. This might include time share vacations, new scores and books, complimentary registration to a regional convention, a recital or workshop.
Donors will need to establish a reasonable value for each item and a recommended starting bid. For tangible items (books, CDs, artwork, rental equivalency of a time share week, concert tickets), the value should be tax deductible, but check with your tax professional. Unfortunately, services (lessons, a recital or workshop) are not tax deductible. The AGO will set a minimum starting bid where none is advised by the donor.
What to do with the donated items? Wait until you hear who the winning bidder was, and then mail/ship the item to the winning bidder. Shipping expense is to be covered by the donor. Items for which there is no bid will be kept by the donors.
We would like to have a complete list of auction items, and a photograph of each item, by 1 May 2014 in order to prepare the auction. The online auction will begin 1 June 2014 and end on 30 June 2014.
Send your list of donation items, photos of them, and stated values with minimum bids for each item, to:
F. Anthony Thurman
Director of Development and Communications
American Guild of Organists
212-870-2311, ext. 4308