Welcome to the Southeast Region Blog!

Welcome to the Southeast Region Blog!

Greetings to all members in the Southeast Region of the American Guild of Organists. I hope that this blog can be an easy way for us to keep in touch. Please contact me for news and events from your chapter that should be included. I'm happy to spread the word! Scroll to the bottom of the page for the regional events calendar.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2015-2016 season.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Tompkins performs in Tryon, NC

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross in Tryon, NC is delighted to present Dr. Charles Tompkins, organist, in recital on Saturday, February 13, 2016, 7:00 pm.

Dr. Charles Tompkins is recognized as one of America's most outstanding organ teachers and concert organists. A member of the Furman University faculty since 1986, his students have gained admission to major graduate schools in organ performance--including Yale University, Indiana University, and Florida State University--and may be found in significant church and university positions.

A graduate of the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan, Tompkins performs each year at universities and major churches throughout the United States. He has played recitals at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Piccolo Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, S.C.

Tompkins has also performed at national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists, Association of Anglican Musicians, Music Teachers National Association, and the College Music Society. His performances have been broadcast nationally on American Public Media's PIPEDREAMS radio program.

Dr. Tompkins' program at Holy Cross on February 13 will include:
J. S. Bach, Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C, BWV 564
Felix Mendelssohn, Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Opus 65
Ned Rorem, Four Pieces from Organbooks I-III (1989) 
            (Rondo, Pie Jesu, In Nomini Domine, Reveille)
William Albright, Sweet Sixteenths (A Concert Rag for Organ)
Joseph Jongen, Toccata, Opus 104

An active church musician throughout his career, Tompkins has been organist of Greenville's historic First Baptist Church since 1997, where he presides over the largest organ in South Carolina, an 86-rank instrument by Casavant. He has served as consultant for a number of outstanding organs, including Furman's magnificent Hartness Organ, a 42-stop instrument by C.B. Fisk Organbuilders.

This concert will be free and open to the public. Donations to the William E. Seifert Memorial Organ Recital Series will be especially appreciated in order to continue to offer fine organ concerts at Holy Cross. Holy Cross Episcopal Church is located at 150 Melrose Avenue, Tryon, NC. For more information, please call the church office at 828-859-9741.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snowy NC meetings in Baltimore

National Council meetings were held in Baltimore on January 21-22. Highlights from the meeting include Winter Storm Jonas (29.2 inches of snow reported at the airport) and a good discussion of all things AGO.

Regarding Winter Storm Jonas, here is a picture from my hotel room in the Mt. Vernon area on Saturday morning -- George Washington statue in the background.

Those assembled had a great discussion of the exciting new Virtual Youth Chapters (if you don't know about these, ask an under-30 AGO member near you); a presentation by the Marketing Committee; reports from all councillors; and an update on the guild's discussions with the FTC.

The guild is doing well -- thanks to you!

I hope to return to the Southeast soon. My Friday night flight home was cancelled, as were my rebooked Saturday and Sunday flights. Keep your fingers crossed that my Monday flight is a go. I'm ready to get back to the wonderful southeast region!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

AGO meetings in Houston

Members of the AGO National Councillor and Regional Councillors met in Houston Oct 1-3. Here's my Top Ten List:

10: Great to be able to check out the city where our next national will be located. Registration opens October 15 and there will be a nice discount if you register before December 31: http://agohouston2016.com

9: Welcoming Kevin Neel to the meetings. Kevin is serving as the convener for our newly formed virtual chapters for young organists. What a great initiative!

8. St. Paul's UMC (Schantz IV/80)
7. Palmer Memorial Episcopal (Fisk/Rosales III/51)

6. Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Pasi IV/106)

5. The Board of Regional Councillors met as a group to discuss concerns. Why do I love this? Because this is our time to focus in on the local chapter and membership!

4. Approval of a new chapter within our region -- Nairobi, Kenya!

3. Oh, yes, this summer the Southeast region also welcomed a new chapter in Barbados!

2. Share with the young organists in your area about the POE this summer in Atlanta: http://www.agoatlanta.org/html/POE.htm

1. The top thing about AGO meetings in Houston??? Talking about all the great things that are going on in the Guild. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A message from the Southeast Professional Development Coordinator

To all my fellow AGO members,

Greetings! I am excited to begin my two-year term as your Region IV Coordinator for Professional Development this Fall. Serving its members' professional development needs is one of the AGO's major goals, and I'm here to help coordinate those efforts within our region. Since many of you probably don't know me, though, please let me first share with you a bit about myself.

I was born and raised in the small town of Thomasville, Georgia. I know and love the South, and have lived here for most of my life. I began studying the piano at age 5 and the organ at age 15. My first organ teacher was Rick Carlson, long-time organist at First Presbyterian Church of Thomasville and alumnus of both Hope College and Northwestern. I earned both a Bachelor of Music and Doctor of Music in Organ in performance from Florida State University in Tallahassee, where I was a student of Michael Corzine. My Master's Degree in Sacred Music (theology major) is from the University of Notre Dame, where I studied organ with Craig Cramer. I also hold the Colleague and Choirmaster Certificates of the AGO, and became a “Rising Star” after winning the RCYO in Atlanta in 2007. I have studied choral conducting with Kevin Fenton, Nancy Menk, and Andre Thomas. I currently serve full time at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and Day School (ELCA) in Tampa, Florida. I am part of a religious order called the Order of Saint Luke (www.saint-luke.net), which informs all aspects of my life, but at present I'm also going through the candidacy process to become a Lutheran deacon. I have been happily married to my wonderful wife Kelly for ten years and have two small children.

In my time as your Regional Coordinator, I'd like to serve both as a personal resource to you and also as true coordinator for our region's membership on all matters non-musical. I will be contacting each of your chapter deans and your district conveners individually with this same message, which I hope you'll take to heart: The difficult part of our job as musicians, whether in churches/synagogues, educational institutions, or other venues, often has little to do with music, and more to do with working relationships, questions of ethics, and questions about the standards of our profession/vocation.

Bearing that in mind, please contact me if you:
  • Want to know more about what “professional development” means in the first place!
  • Just want to talk to somebody about what's going on in your professional life.
  • Have an ethics or professional standards question.
  • Want to know more about the unique polity or history of the church/synagogue you serve.
  • Are need of a particular print or personal resource, from AGO headquarters or elsewhere.
  • Need help determining if there exists a resource that will help meet your professional needs.
  • Want to know who to contact at the regional or national level about an issue.

You are free to reach me on my cell phone, by email, Facebook, or on Twitter. My complete contact information is below. I look forward to meeting many of you over these next two years. Until then, peace.

Jonathan Hehn, OSL
AGO Region IV Coordinator for Professional Development
850-980-2812 (cell)
813-877-3105 (office)
E-mail: jonathan.hehn@gmail.com
Facebook /jonathanjakobhehn
Twitter @JonathanHehn

Saturday, July 4, 2015

2015 Southeast Regional, Charlotte!

Wow, what a wonderful few days at the regional convention in Charlotte! I hope you had a chance to follow us on the Southeast Region Facebook Page.

As I sit in the Charlotte airport, I reflect on the past few days and offer my personal Top 10 List from the 2015 Regional Convention in Charlotte:

10: Great receptions with wonderful food.
9:   Baroque dance during RenĂ©e Anne Louprette's recital (a far cry from "Dancing with the Stars")
8:   Quimby/RYCO competition: the future is bright!
7:   Downtown Charlotte . . . beautiful.
6:   A good raffle at the Southeast Regional Meeting (well, at least I enjoyed it!)
5:   The velvet tones of Michael Barone.
4:   Atlanta Master Chorale: gotta love fine choral music.  
3:   Olivier Latry at Winthrop University -- "oh what a night!"
2:   Did I mention that the food was great???
and . . . .
1:  Sharing good times with friends, old and new! The Southeast Region has wonderful members -- what a pleasure to spend time with you all :-)

I am sure that everyone who attended had their own Top 10 List. The Southeast Region is the place to be. Thanks to everyone in the Charlotte Chapter for putting on a fabulous convention. Kudos to convention coordinator Timothy Belk. Enjoy some well deserved time off!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

January Jubilee 2015

Has your chapter considered hosting a January Jubilee?? This is an education outreach of the AGO -- join the excitement. Here are the details: 

The Committee on Sharing Skills and Resources announces seven Jubilees to be held in 2016, with a $1,000 subsidy from National to each Jubilee. It is the goal of the committee to have one Jubilee from each of the seven regions. January Jubilees are for the purpose of nurturing musicians working for religious institutions, introducing those musicians unacquainted with the AGO to its work and mission and encouraging them to become members of the Guild. We hope you will consider this unique opportunity to reshape your chapter into a more accessible and welcoming image, to fill the gap between local chapter activities and conference level efforts, and to meet and interact with peers who share an interest in the King of Instruments.  February 1, 2015 is the deadline for submitting an application to host a 2016 Jubilee. The program is outlined in the JJ handbook available online at the American Guild of Organist website. You are welcome to contact Sheila (info below) if you have any questions.

Sheila Hess, Director
Committee on Sharing Skills and Resources

Oh, yes, Sheila is from our very own Southeast Region. Thanks for your great work, Sheila!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

National Council Meetings, Version October 2014

Your roving regional councillor has spent the last four days in the greater Louisville area in AGO meetings.

As I sit at the airport awaiting my flight back home, I glanced at my boarding gate information. Hey, destination CHARLOTTE!!  I hope YOU have destination Charlotte for our 2015 Regional Convention in July.

Here is your day-by-day 'low-down':

Wednesday was a meeting of the Regional Councillors. Here is the time that I get to bring your concerns to the ears of our national officers.

Thursday brought a meeting of the Committee for Conventions with the convention coordinators for the 2017 regional conventions (yes, we are thinking that far ahead for you). Thanks to Peter DeWitt and the Jacksonville chapter for stepping up for our region!

Friday and Saturday were meetings with the national council. As usual, I bring you my Top Ten list from the most recent edition of national council meetings:

10: Have you joined the AGO's Facebook page? Great information is shared. Check it out by Searching "American Guild of Organists".
9: What have you done to personally bring a new person into the guild? How about sponsoring a high school student with a membership?
8: One of our own, Sheila Hess from Jackson, Mississippi, is on the Committee for Sharing Skills & Resources. Has your chapter considered sharing their chapter expertise with a January Jubilee? Ask Sheila if you have questions.
7: Our new President John Walker was at the helm during Council meetings. I remember when I first met him back in the early 90's. I served as his host when he performed a recital in the chapel at University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas (my first teaching job). My, how time flies by.
6: I touched down in a sunny Louisville, after leaving a very soggy Sunshine State. I guess they don't call my home city "The Swamp" for nothing . . .
5: Register for Charlotte 2015!
4: On Friday evening, four members of the Indiana University organ department played a recital for us. Imagine my delight to see our own Carolyn Craig (2013 Region IV RCYO/Quimby Winner) on the bench performing. Go Knoxville girl, we are proud of you!
3: Please ensure that your members are renewing (either via ONCARD or mail). We don't want to lose any members during this cycle!
2: Have you contributed to the annual fund? How about becoming a member of the Clarence Dickinson society? Let's ensure that the guild has a bright future.
1. The guild has a number of great initiatives, has your chapter considered hosting a POE?

Great minds, good energy, and love of the guild are evidenced in these meetings. Day by day, let's remember the AGO mission: "to enrich lives through organ and choral music". What have you done lately??