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.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Greenville Chapter Meeting

Your Regional Councillor is 'on the road again!' This time for a visit to the Greenville (South Carolina) Chapter on Thursday, April 25. The meeting was held at Christ Church Episcopal (David Turner, host)  where we had a wonderful dinner, followed by an engaging talk by liturgical mystery author Mark Schweizer (https://www.sjmpbooks.com/pages/bio.html). It was a hard act to follow, but I concluded the evening with all things AGO . . . national restructuring, online dues, etc. A wonderful evening. Thank you to Charles Tompkins for inviting me to Greenville. Below is a pic of the attendees!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Congratulations to Region IV's RCYO winners!

The winners have been announced! (see previous posts) Congratulations to Carolyn Craig, Emily Caitlin Dowling, David Harrison and Thomas Williford for winning their local chapter competition of the 2103 AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists (RCYO)!

All four young organists will be competing in the finals of the Region IV Quimby/RCYO in Columbia, South Carolina. The competition will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 3, 2013, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (http://www.trinitysc.org)

Again, thanks to all who made the local chapter competitions a success. Join me in Columbia this summer to hear these fine young organists compete! Remember, the winner will appear in Boston 2014 as Region IV's Rising Star . . . . neat, eh?

RCYO, Knoxville Chapter

The Knoxville Chapter hosted their chapter competition of the 2013 AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists (RCYO) on MArch 9, 2013, at First United Methodist Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The winner of the competition was Carolyn Craig. 

Carolyn Craig
Carolyn Craig, 16 years old, began her organ studies two years ago with John Brock, Professor Emeritus of organ at the University of Tennessee. She was the first place winner of the 2012 Greater Columbia AGO Young Organist competition. As a pianist, she performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as a 1st place winner in the American Protégé International Talent Competition. She represented Tennessee three times in the solo piano performance competition at the Southern Division of the Music Teachers’ National Association, where she received Honorable Mention and was named Alternate in successive years. She won the J. Mark Metcalfe Memorial Scholarship in the Steinway Society of Nashville’s International Piano Competition. Carolyn is a rising senior at West High School in Knoxville, TN, where she is pursuing an International Baccalaureate diploma. An AP Scholar and member of the National Honor Society, she was selected to participate in the Medical Explorations program at UT’s Graduate School of Medicine. She is a member of the Youth Choir at Church Street United Methodist Church, where she is also the Children’s Choir assistant under Dr. Edie Johnson.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

RCYO, Macon Chapter

The Macon Chapter hosted their chapter competition of the 2013 AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists (RCYO) on April 6, 2013, at Mulberry United Methodist Church. The winner of the competition was Emily Caitlin Dowling. 

Emily Caitlin Dowling
Emily is a graduating senior pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance at Mercer University as a student of Elizabeth Pridgen. Caitlin performs regularly throughout Middle Georgia for various musical and social organizations and as a featured performer at Mercer University functions at the request of the President. She was the first student ever asked to give a full-length recital for the Macon Morning Music Club. Since Caitlin has been studying with Elizabeth Pridgen, she has performed with the Mercer University Orchestra and has placed as First Alternate in Georgia Music Educators’ Association (GMEA) Solo Piano Competition in the college division in both 2009 and 2010. Caitlin also won the Atlanta Music Club’s Summer Scholarship for the Undergraduate Keyboard Division in 2012. As a student at Mercer, Caitlin was selected to play in master classes with noted pianists Ann Schein, Anton Nel, Diane Huling and Joe Chapman. Caitlin auditioned and was selected to study at the Brevard Summer Music Festival on scholarship for the summers of 2010 and 2011, where she studied under Dr. Craig Nies and Sandra Wright Shen. At Brevard she performed Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet Suite with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra and conductor Mathias Bamert, played in many student recitals and and participated in master classes with Elizabeth Pridonoff and Barry Snyder.Caitlin will be attended SUNY New Paltz PianoSummer in the summer of 2012 and studied with artists such as Vladimir Feltsman, Alexander Korsantia, and Dr. Robert Roux. She also played in a masterclass with artist, Alexander Melnikov. As well as being a pianist, Caitlin is also an organist. She began her organ studies in 2011 under Cam Bishop and is currently studying with Dr. Jack Mitchener at Mercer University. Caitlin regularly assists at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church during services.  

RCYO, Jackson Chapter

The Jackson Chapter hosted their chapter competition of the 2013 AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists (RCYO) on March 16, 2013, at Northminster Baptist Church. The winner of the competition was David Harrison. 

David Harrison
David has lived, worked, and been educated in Mississippi his entire life. In his hometown of Ocean Springs, he began organ lessons with his mother, Dr. Michaelle Harrison, at age fourteen. He recently completed his undergraduate music degree in organ performance at Mississippi College in Clinton, under the instruction of Dr. Robert Knupp. Harrison is an active recitalist and church musician in Mississippi, and currently serves as the organist and music director of First Presbyterian Church of Natchez. In the fall, he plans to begin the pursuit of a graduate degree in organ performance at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington. 


RCYO, Atlanta Chapter Competition

The Atlanta Chapter hosted their chapter competition of the 2013 AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists (RCYO) at Grace United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 2, 2013.

Thomas Williford

The first place winner was Thomas Williford, a junior pursuing the Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance at Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music.  He is the organist and choirmaster of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Macon, Georgia.

Yinying Luo


The second place winner was Yinying Luo, 
         a student at Agnes Scott College, 
         Decatur, Georgia. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

AGO member honored

AGO member Yelena Banks was honored on Sunday, March 24, for her 47 years of dedicated service to Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. Yelena also served three terms as dean of the Pensacola chapter.

In photo below (courtesy of Phil Igney), Yelena is being presented a gift of appreciation from Mt. Zion pastor, Rev. Matthew Payne, II. Current Pensacola Chapter Dean Christine Dodd, presented an AGO letter of recognition to her as well.

Congratulations, Yelena -- and, thanks for all that you have done for the guild!

Monday, April 8, 2013

National Council Meeting in NYC

Keeping up tradition, here is my top ten list from the recent AGO National Council Meeting in New York:

10. Being in New York City for a few days.
9. The IRS is making it tough for our chapter administrators. New regulations are causing some chapters to be auto-revoked from their non-profit status. Chapter deans or treasurers please check with the IRS to ensure that your fiscal year is properly listed as June-July.
8. This summer’s POE is in Birmingham – encourage young organists to go!
7. Plans for our 2013 Regional Convention in Columbia, SC are going well -- register today!
6. A presentation about the Boston2014. Be there.
5. A presentation from the AGO’s new IT Director, Bill Valentine. The pilot program for online dues is now being used!
4. Testimonial from John Walker (who insures his car with Geico): he called up, identified himself as an AGO member, and actually received a reduction in his insurance rates. Give ‘em a call, perhaps it will work for you, too!
3. A stay at the Yotel Hotel (http://www.yotelnewyork.com) for council members; trendy in a weird sort of way. My only response: beam me up, Scotty!  
2. Having meetings at the Interfaith Center at 475 Riverside Avenue. Yes, this is where AGO headquarters are located. We didn’t meet in the National Office (it’s pretty small), but I was oddly comforted to find out by my New York friends that locals call the building the “God Box”!
1. Being able to attend the AGO Recital and Gala Benefit Reception honoring Marilyn Keiser. St. John the Divine, need I say more?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Marilyn Keiser Gala

In conjunction with the spring National Council meeting, the AGO had a recital and gala benefit recital honoring Marilyn Keiser at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York. NYC, St. John the Divine, Marilyn Keiser . . . what an evening!