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.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Open house at Saint Thomas Choir School

Saint Thomas Choir School, New York, will host an Open House for interested musicians, clergy and families on Sunday, February 19, 2012. 

Choristers and their parents will give tours of the school and teachers will host visitors in the classrooms to answer questions about the curriculum and student life. 
At 3:00 PM, visiting boys will rehearse, vest and sit in the choir stalls with the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys for evensong.

Please contact Ruth Cobb, 212-247-3311, Ext. 304, or rcobb@choirschool.org, for further information or to reserve a place.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Deans meeting in Ocala, Florida

Representatives from the North and Central Florida AGO chapters met at First United Methodist, Ocala, for a Deans meeting. The meeting was organized by Michael Hunter, Florida District Convener. Chapters represented included Central Florida, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Ocala, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee, and Tampa. Thanks to all who attended! Wonderful conversation and sharing of ideas.

Pictured above (from left to right): Michael Hunter, Florida District Convener, Tampa;
Annette Sims, St. Petersburg; Laura Ellis, Councillor for Region IV; 
Wayne Earnest, Ocala; Gene Dunnam, Gainesville; Ture Larson, Central Florida; 
Tony Cruz, Jacksonville; David Stasney, Sarasota-Manatee

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bryan Anderson to perform in Huntsville

Regional Quimby Competition winner Bryan Anderson will play a recital at the Church of the Nativity in Huntsville, AL on Friday November 18th at 7:30 pm.  The church is located at 208 Eustis Avenue in downtown Huntsville; the organ is a (modified) Aeolian Skinner from the 1940s (see spec list).  All are welcome; there is no admission charge.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tennessee Deans Meeting

On Saturday, October 8, a great meeting occurred at Concordia Lutheran Church in Nashville, hosted by Melvin Potts. What was the event? Ah, yes, the meeting of the Tennessee AGO deans! About 12:30pm, I was joined by Philip Newton, District Convener for Tennessee; Sumner Jenkins, Memphis Webmaster; Jon Johnson, Nashville Dean; and Jeff Schofield, Chattanooga Sub-dean. The meeting consisted of sharing programming ideas (things that worked, things that didn't); guild initiatives (annual fund); upcoming conventions (national in Nashville this summer and the regional in Columbia, SC, in 2013); and general fellowship. I am constantly reminded of all the great people doing great things in this region.

Thanks to those that were able to attend. Look for a deans meeting to occur near you soon!

National Council meeting, day two and three

The AGO National Council meeting continued with meetings on Friday, October 7. Following business, the group had the opportunity to listen to three more organs that will be highlighted at the Nashville Convention: the Lively-Fulcher at Christ Church Cathedral where Michael Velting performed; the Moller at West End United Methodist Church where Wilma Jensen demonstrated; and the 2009 Fisk at Convenant Presbyterian Church where Gregg Bunn played. Another opportunity to hear some fantastic instruments. Conclusion? The Nashville Convention will be wonderful!

The council reconvened on Saturday morning for more meetings . . . the top five things from the meeting? 1) The Nashville Convention this summer will be great; 2) all are excited about the new color pages in the TAO; 3) the budget is tight . . .  cuts of 10% for all expenditures except salaries for the next budget year; 4) the council is considering ways to trim expenses, including streamlining council and committee structure; and 5) a $5 increase in dues for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. None of us like to see increases, but this will be the first increase in four years and dues will still be under $100. When I think of all that the guild does for us . . . a bargain!

Nashville, the music city . . . join us this July!

Friday, October 7, 2011

National Council Meeting in Nashville, Day One

My Thursday (Oct. 6) began with flights from Florida to Nashville. The Councillors for the Regions had an afternoon meeting, with President Eileen Guenther and Executive Director James Thomashower joining us for the discussion. The steering committee for the upcoming Nashville National Convention invited the council to visit some venues we'll see this summer: Jon Johnson played a mini-recital on the 59-rank Schantz at First Baptist Church; then to Schermerhorn Symphony Center to hear the Nashville Symphony perform; and following this concert Andrew Risinger played a mini-recital on the 64-rank Schoenstein in the hall. What a full and exciting day. Nashville will be a great spot for this summer's National Convention!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Durham-Chapel Hill Chapter has opening dinner

On Friday, September 30, the Durham-Chapel Hill chapter began its 2011-2012 program year with a kick-off dinner at the Top of the Hill restaurant in Chapel Hill. Twenty-five organists and friends enjoyed a meal and fellowship with each other. This was followed by an Organ Dedication Recital at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chapel Hill. Organist John Allegar dedicated the recently installed 2 manual Casavant organ by playing pieces from Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Rogg. This was followed by an organ-piano arrangement of Franck’s Prelude, Fugue, et Variation performed by husband-wife team of Valerie and Adam Lefever Hughes on organ and piano, respectively. Valerie is Organist at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. The opening festivities were concluded with a Masterclass led by Allegar on Saturday, October 1. He demonstrated ways organists can reduce tension at the console. He discussed methods of physical and mental preparation before services or performances and encouraged attendees to try out those techniques by playing a piece or a hymn they had prepared beforehand.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Councillor on the road . . .

In her never-ending quest to visit all AGO chapters within Region IV, Laura Ellis appeared (well, she WAS invited!) at two recent chapter events: Sunday, September 25 found her in Vero Beach, Florida, for the combined choral festival sponsored by the Treasure Coast Chapter. Included in the afternoon event was the installation of officers. On Tuesday, September 27, Ellis ventured to the St. Petersburg Chapter to give a presentation aimed at "Growing the Guild." The title of the 'talk' was "What the AGO can do for you & what you can do for the AGO." A raffle was held for Non-AGO members--the prize? A free year membership in the AGO. Feel free to invite your councillor to one of your upcoming chapter meetings!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dr. Robert Parris, remembering a colleague . . .

Dr. Robert W. Parris, 59, passed away Thursday, September 22, 2011 following a courageous battle with esophageal cancer. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 24, 2011 at Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Macon. Father David Probst will officiate. Interment will be private. Dr. Parris was the Charles B. Thompson Professor of Music and University Organist of Mercer University, where he was appointed to the faculty in 1979. In that capacity he taught organ and harpsichord, as well as courses in both music history and music theory at graduate and undergraduate levels. He was also Choirmaster and Organist of Christ Episcopal Church in Macon. A native of Virginia, Dr. Parris received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester he earned a Performer's Certificate, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Post-doctoral studies were undertaken in Boston and in northern Germany. An international concert artist, Dr. Parris toured under Windwerks Concert Management. His command of historic performance technique has caused his frequent performances on significant antique instruments in northern Europe. In 2004 he was a featured performer at the AGO national convention in Los Angeles, appearing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in Walt Disney Hall. Dr. Parris recorded repertoire by Mozart and Reger on the Spectrum label and music of Sowerby in an album titled "Jubilee" on Premier. His most recent recording was released in early 2006, a recital titled "Land of Rest" on the Loft Recordings label, including music of Buxtehude, Bach, Franck, Sowerby and Dupre. Dr. Parris is survived by his wife of 31 years, Ellen Gifford Parris; four children: Lindley Wood (Gary), John Parris, Lauren Parris and Leah Parris all of Macon, Georgia; parents Mr. and Mrs. H.P. Parris of Salem, Virginia and sister Dale Lee (Robert) of Salem, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Robert Parris Scholarship, Mercer University. Register online at www.hartsmort.com. Hart’s Mortuary and Crematory, Cherry Street, has charge of arrangements.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Upcoming concerts at Church of the Redeemer, Atlanta

Please add these spring 2012 concerts to your calendar: 

February 3, 7:30 PM: Joby Bell, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Atlanta, GA

April 15, 2:00 PM: Rodland Duo (Catherine Rodland, organ, and Carol Rodland, viola), Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Atlanta

Information can be found at http://www.redeemer.org/Concert_Series

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

East Carolina University Organ Competition

East Carolina University (Greenville, NC) is pleased to announce its Sixth Annual Competition for Pre-college Organists! Organists in Region IV are encouraged to apply. Significant cash prizes are awarded.  For details, visit: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cfac/music/organsacredmusic/youngartistscompetition.cfm

Columbia 2013 . . . Steering Committee Meeting

On Saturday, August 27, I traveled to Columbia, South Carolina, to join the Steering Committee for their initial organizational meeting for the 2013 Region IV Convention. We met at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church -- coffee in abundance. I was excited to be able to attend and meet all of the steering committee members. I appreciate the efforts of Tony Roof, convention coordinator; Patrick Hawkins, Greater Columbia Chapter Dean; Frank Ballard, Registrar; Christopher Nash, Publicity/Program Book; Polly Watts, Hospitality/Volunteers; Frances Webb, Gifts and Grants; Sara Beardsley, Secretary; Susan Sturkie, Treasurer; Mark Husey, Program; Thomas J. White, Exhibits; and David Lowry, Quimby/RCYO. What a great cast of characters for a great event. Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Greater Columbia Chapter sponsors Young Organist Competition 2012

Details for the Young Organist Competition 2012 sponsored by the Greater Columbia Chapter have been released. The competition will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2012 in Columbia, SC, and is open to students in grades 8-12. For rules and application information, please visit the Columbia AGO website:  http://www.columbiaago.org/YOC.html

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Photos from Region IV's Quimby/RCYO

Thanks to Howard Adams for sharing some of his photos from the Region IV Quimby/RCYO event held in conjunction with the regional convention in Greensboro. Good pics!

From left: Ellis; judges Dr. Timothy Olsen, Dr. Boyd Jones, and Dr. Faythe Freeze; competitors (on bench) Samantha Koch, Bryan Anderson, Gregory Zelek (in back of organ to front) Wesley Hall, David Harrison, and Paul Thomas.
From left: Ellis with Bryan Anderson (1st place) and Wesley Hall (2nd place)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Get ready for the next regional in Columbia!

Yes, plans are already being made for the 2013 regional convention in Columbia. Join our group on Facebook: search 2013 American Guild of Organists Region IV Convention. Also, check out their webpage: http://www.regional2013.org/

Stay up to date with all of the convention plans!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Carolina celebration, part three . . .

The Greensboro convention comes to a close . . . the final concert was held at Christ United Methodist Church. The AGO joined forces with the Eastern Music Festival to present four organ concerto premieres! New concertos by Pamela Decker, Robin Dinda, Rachel Laurin, and Dan Locklair. What a night! (And, a gala reception followed, I'm smiling!)

Earlier in the day, we traveled to UNC-Greensboro to hear a splendid recital by Chelsea Chen and a unique recital by Andrew Willis on fortepiano. Afternoon workshops followed (I attended a great session by North Carolina legend Margaret Sandresky).

Five days in Greensboro -- organ music, choral music, and great fellowship. What a wonderful week! Thanks to the Greensboro steering committee for doing a GREAT job!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Carolina Celebration, part two . . .

More news from the Greensboro Regional: on Monday night Dame Gillian Weir gave a fantastic recital at First Presbyterian Church. Her musicality is superb . . . such a joy to listen to her perform. On Tuesday morning the 'crew' headed to High Point for a recital by AGO/Quimby RCYO winner Bryan Anderson (what a great talent!) Next: Kernersville Moravian Church for a BBQ lunch followed by Bach's Clavierubung III performed by Hans Christensen. The choral ensemble "Bel Canto Company" closed out the day with a fine concert at West Market Street UMC. I just love good choral music. All in all, another GREAT day in Greensboro!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Greensboro -- A Carolina Celebration!

The Greensboro Regional has begun! Sunday night: a pre-convention program by the Raleigh Ringers and an opening festival of hymns at First Presbyterian Church with featured organist Dr. Joyce Jones. On Monday morning we heard splendid recitals by Dr. Faythe Freese (West Market Street UMC) and Dr. Timothy Olsen (Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church). Afternoon workshops included one by me entitled "How to Jump Start Your Chapter." I hope attendees left with a few good ideas.

I'm about ready to hop on the bus for the featured evening recital by Dame Gillian Weir. Gotta love regional conventions . . . thanks, Greensboro AGO!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists, the results . . .

On a sunny Saturday in June, six accomplished young organists competed for the title of 2011 AGO/Quimby RCYO winner in Region IV. The competition was held at Wesley United Methodist Church in High Point, North Carolina, on a 65 rank Austin organ. Check out information on the Sanctuary Organ.

Each competitor performed a major P & F of Bach (we heard the DM, FM, Wedge, am, and 9/8 CM), a romantic work (ranging from Franck, Vierne, and Bossi), and a contemporary work (Langlais to Demessieux to Hakim).

The judges of the event had a difficult decision to make -- the playing was fantastic! Thanks to judges Dr. Faythe Freese, Dr. Boyd Jones, and Dr. Timothy Olsen for their time and expertise. Also, thank you to Dr. Andre Lash for serving as director of the competition and overseeing a myriad of details.

Drum roll, please??? The results of the Region IV AGO/Quimby RCYO held on June 25: 2nd place, Wesley Hall; 1st place: Bryan Anderson. Bryan will play for Region IV convention attendees on the morning of Tuesday, June 28.

Congratulations, Bryan! And, thanks to all of the competitors for their hard work and fine playing. The future of the organ is certainly in good hands.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

One week to Greensboro!

I look forward to seeing everyone in Greensboro next week for the regional convention! Get your bags packed and get ready for a great time. Want to remind yourself of the exciting events? Check it out at http://www.ggago.org/carolinacelebration.html. See you all soon!

Columbia 2013, Program Committee Meeting

On the road again! Saturday, June 18, found me at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Columbia, South Carolina. I sat in on a meeting of the Columbia 2013 Regional Program Committee. Yes, the 2013 Regional Convention is 2 years away, but committees are hard at work. Their website is already up and running! Find it at http://www.regional2013.org/.

POE 2011, Birmingham . . . . Friday, The Final Day

Friday at the Birmingham POE. We've had a full week of organ playing, practicing, recitals, and, oh, yes . . . lots of food! The closing recital, held at Hodges Chapel, was the highlight of the week for me. The performances by the students were really first-rate . . . what is the future of the organ? Well, working with these students for the week gives me confidence that the future of the organ is looking good in Region IV!

POE 2011, Birmingham . . . . Thursday, Day Four

The day began with lessons . . . then to Hodges Chapel for our group picture (below):

What a great looking group, eh?

After lunch, Dr. Bradley Welch gave a masterclass for POE participants. Some fine playing!

After dinner, we traveled to East Lake United Methodist Church for a concert of transcriptions and improvisations. Hmm . . . . Star Wars and Star Spangled Banner were highlighted! A sudden thunderstorm welcomed us as we returned to the dorm.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

POE 2011, Birmingham . . . . Wednesday, Day Three

Day Three at the 2011 POE began with a bus ride to nearby Tuscaloosa to tour the organ facilities at the University of Alabama. Dr. Faythe Freese presented an energetic program, allowed the students to try out the historic Holtkamp, look inside the case, and even gave one of her CDs to all the POE attendees! See a photo of the concert hall below:

Following afternoon lessons all were treated by a colorful recital by Dr. Bradley Welch at St. Mary's Episcopal Church. And, oh my, what a reception! A photo of recitalist Dr. Welch:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

POE 2011, Birmingham . . . . Tuesday, Day Two

Your daily report from the 2011 POE. Morning lessons followed by two GREAT faculty presentations. Mr. Herb Buffington challenged us all with tips on improvisation and Mr. Scott Elsholz shared his "Eleven Principles of Hymn Playing." Pictures of the clinicians are below
(Mr. Buffington, left photo; Mr. Elsholz, right photo).
The day concluded with a pool party and barbeque at a local home. Check out all the photos at the 2011 POE Blog: http://poe2011.birminghamago.org/

POE 2011, Birmingham . . . . Monday, Day One

Monday at the Birmingham POE began with morning organ lessons. Then, yours truly gave a presentation on practice techniques in Hodges Chapel . . . . I have the picture to prove it (see below!)

And they didn't fall asleep! (see evidence below . . . . )

The day concluded with a fantastic recital by Weston Jennings at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Thanks for an incredible program, Weston! (pictured below)

On right:

POE attendees pictured with recitalist
Weston Jennings in the balcony of
St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
What a great bunch!

POE 2011, Birmingham . . . . Sunday night check-in

To all the naysayers: the organ is not dead! Region IV's POE is currently being held in Birmingham. 22 students descended on the campus of Samford University for the 2011 edition of the Region IV 'Pipe Organ Encounter.'

Sunday night parents dropped students off at Reid Chapel.
(see picture at left)

Our home away from home were dormitories on the Samford Campus . . . hot showers and a place to sleep. Perfect!
(see picture of the female dorm on right)

The opening evening concluded with a visit to The Alabama, home to a fantastic Wurlitzer theatre organ. Ken Double, President and CEO of the American Theatre Organ Society, gave us all a great musical tour of the organ and all the POE attendees were able to try out the instrument. What a great prelude to the week!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mormon Tabernacle Organist to perform in Sarasota next Spring

Richard Elliott is right at home at the massive console of the Tabernacle organ, having previously served as an assistant organist for the world's largest functioning pipe organ in Philadelphia's Lord and Taylor (formerly John Wanamaker) department store. His background in jazz and popular music has likewise prepared him well for his role as accompanist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, with its broad range of repertoire.

Richard Elliott will be in recital at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road, in Sarasota, on the Sunday afternoon following Easter, April 15, 2012 at 4 o'clock. Tickets can be reserved at the church (924-4664) for $15 and AGO members with membership cards will be admitted free.

On Saturday, April 14th, at 10 AM at the church, Elliott will conduct a workshop on hymn playing, choral accompanying, and other issues related to the church musician. This event is $10 and is open to anyone.

As Principal Tabernacle Organist, Richard Elliott performs, tours and records with the Choir. He also plays for the weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts and joins with his fellow organists in presenting daily 30-minute organ recitals in the Tabernacle. He works alongside the rest of the Choir's musical staff to ensure perfect balance among the singers' voices, the organ and the Orchestra at Temple Square, thus producing the Choir's signature sound. In addition, Elliott performs widely as an organ recitalist and has recorded on the Tabernacle organ for several record labels.

Prior to his appointment in 1991 as a Tabernacle organist, Elliott was an Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University, where he taught courses in organ and music appreciation. His early musical studies were undertaken at the Peabody Conservatory and the Catholic University of America. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the famed Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and later received Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

Elliott is a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and was a featured performer in the Guild's national convention held in 1992 in Atlanta. He is a published composer and has also written articles for several music journals. Elliott currently sits on the advisory boards for the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ and for the Eccles Organ Festival at Salt Lake's Cathedral of the Madeleine.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Birmingham POE still on!

Despite the unsettling weather that has hit recently Alabama, the Birmingham Pipe Organ Encounter is still a 'go!' Student attendees will get a wonderful great chance to spend time at Samford University and explore the Birmingham area. Jamie McLemore, director of the 2011 POE, recently told me that applications are still being accepted and registration will not close until June 6th. I'll be there, too! So, please encourage young organists and pianists to join us in Birmingham!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thinking of our Region IV colleagues

Having seen the news footage of the terrible tornado damage that has crossed the southeast in the past few weeks, I pause each evening to think of our Region IV colleagues who may have suffered damage and/or loss. What a violent spring Mother Nature has given us. Please join me by keeping fellow organists, choir directors, singers, congregation members, and churches in daily prayers. (Phil 4:13)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Margaret Smith McAlister honored

Margaret Smith McAlister, a member of the Tampa, FL, chapter of the AGO since 1940, was honored during the chapter's annual "Bach Bash" on Tuesday, March 22, 2011. In recognition of Margaret's commitment to young organists, the chapter named their organ scholarship fund in her honor. The first recipient of the "Margaret Smith McAlister Scholarship for Beginning Organists" was Benjamin Parker.

On behalf of the membership of Region IV, Laura Ellis, Councillor, joined in the festivities by presenting Margaret with a "Distinguished Service Award." 

Margaret is in her 65th year as organist at First Presbyterian, Tampa. Not only was she honored during the evening, she performed a Bach chorale prelude as well! Margaret -- thanks for being such an inspiration!

Margaret Smith McAlister, seated

From left to right:
Nancy Callahan, Tampa AGO Dean;
Michael Hunter, Florida District Convener; 
Scholarship recipient Benjamin Parker;
Laura Ellis, Councillor, Region IV

Jackson AGO/Quimby Competition

The Jackson, Mississippi, Chapter held its AGO/Quimby RCYO Competition on Saturday, March 26th. Congratulations to winner David Harrison (pictured)! David will travel to Greensboro this June to compete in the regional competition. Special thanks to competition coordinator, Donald Messer, and judges Dr. John Paul (St. Andrew's Cathedral, Jackson), Michael Beattie (Chapel of the Cross, Madison, MS) and BIlly Trotter, Northminster Baptist Church, Jackson). 


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Revered Composer Robert J. Powell to Present Recital at Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Tryon, NC

Holy Cross Episcopal Church is honored to present Robert J. Powell, organist and composer, in a lecture recital on Sunday, May 15, 2011, at 5:00 p.m..
Having composed over 300 works for chorus, solo, organ, handbells, and instrumental ensembles, Robert Powell is one of the most well known and respected of American church music composers today. A member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, he has received the Standard Music Award from ASCAP for the past 35 years.
In addition to two of his own compositions, Powell's program will include works by J. S. Bach, Herbert Howells, Buxtehude, Karg-Elert, and others. Powell will also share with the audience a glimpse of what inspires the writing of a musical composition and how the musical composition process evolves.
Powell will perform on Holy Cross's 43 rank organ, rebuilt by The John Dower Company in 1994-1995. This recital, free and open to the public, is made possible by the William E. Seifert Memorial Organ Recital Fund. Holy Cross Episcopal Church is located at 150 Melrose Avenue, Tryon, NC 28782. For more information, please call Susie Mahnke at 864-982-1014. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Charlotte AGO/Quimby Competition

The Charlotte, North Carolina Chapter held its AGO/Quimby RCYO Competition on Saturday, March 26th.  The single competitor, Gregory Zelek, from Coral Gables, Florida, and a freshman at The Juilliard School, played brilliantly!  He was awarded the chapter’s first prize of $350 plus expenses to the Region IV Convention in Greensboro, NC, this summer.  Pictured are the jurors with Mr. Zelek (from left to right):  Dr. Joby Bell, Appalachian State University; Gregory Zelek, competitor; Jane Arant, Minister of Music at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Charlotte; Dr. Timothy Olsen, North Carolina School  of the Arts. (submitted by Dr. Florence Jowers)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Young Organist Competition 2011

The Young Organist Competition, sponsored by the Columbia Chapter AGO, was held on March at Centennial ARP Church. Jacob Reed (Chapel Hill NC) was the first place winner of a $1000 check and recital opportunity here in Columbia at a later date.  Engraved plaques were presented to second place winner Scott Scheetz (Aiken SC)  and third place winner Kevin Edens (Marietta SC). Congratulations to the winners! Pictured below are Jacob Reed, Scott Scheetz, Kevin Edens.

East Carolina AGO/Quimby Competition

The East Carolina Chapter local round of the AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists was held on Saturday, March 12, 2011, at First Methodist Church. First prize went to Samantha Koch. Samantha will travel to the regional competition to be held during the Greensboro Regional this June. Special thanks to Bill Weisser, Jeremy Thompson, and Tom Marshall (judges) and Casey Waley (competition coordinator). Congratulations, Samantha! 

Pictured above (from left): Marcia Heirman (ECAGO Dean), Andrew Scanlon (professor of organ at East Carolina University), Tom Marshall (judge, William & Mary), Samantha Koch (chapter winner), Bill Weisser (judge, Edenton Street Methodist), Jeremy Thompson (judge, First Presbyterian Church Goldsboro) and Casey Whaley (ECAGO Secretary and Competition Coordinator). 

Atlanta AGO/Quimby Competition

The Atlanta Chapter local round of the AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists was held on Saturday, March 4, 2011, at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. First prize went to Bryan Anderson (pictured below). Bryan will travel to the regional competition to be held during the Greensboro Regional this June. Special thanks to Peter Marshall, Sue Mitchell-Wallace, and Robert Parris (judges) and Nicole Marane (competition coordinator). Congratulations, Bryan!

Knoxville AGO/Quimby Competition

The Knoxville Chapter local round of the AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists was held on Saturday, March 12, 2011. First prize went to Paul Thomas (pictured) and second prize to Nathan Stewart. Paul will travel to the regional competition to be held during the Greensboro Regional this June. Special thanks to Jim Garvey, Peter Van Eenam, Joy Fournier (judges) and Edie Johnson (competition coordinator). Congratulations to all competitors!

Wilmington AGO/Quimby Competition

The Wilmington Chapter local round of the AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists was held on Saturday, February 26, 2011. First prize went to Wesley Hall and second prize to Brent Trubia. Wesley will go on to the regional competition to be held during the Greensboro Regional this June. Special thanks to John Jordan, Richard Rhoads, Andrew Scanlon (judges), Justin Smith (competition coordinator), and John Miller (host). Congratulations to both competitors!

Pictured (from left): 
Wesley Hall, Brent Trubia

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

David Briggs: Organ Music in Black and White

The Central Florida Chapter presents "Organ Music in Black 'n White -- The Art of Film Accompaniment" with Concert Organist David Briggs on Saturday, April 9, 2011, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, The Cathedral Church of St. Luke, 130 N. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, FL, 32801.

A well-known British-American Concert Organist and Improvisator, David Briggs will give a presentation on the preparations necessary to accompany a film at the organ. Topics to be covered include registration, creating different emotions and using melodic motifs. Examples will be given from Mr. Briggs' preparations for "King of Kings" to be presented the next day. Also, if you would be interested in having a private organ lesson at another time with Mr. Briggs during this weekend, please contact Dean, Central Florida Chapter, Mr. Ture Larson, clavier@cfl.rr.com

The next day, Sunday, April 10, 2011, 7:00 p.m., Briggs will accompany the silent film, "King of Kings" at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, 130 N. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, FL, 32801. 

This 1927 Cecil B. DeMile production will be accompanied by Mr. Briggs. Bring your friends and family to witness and hear the drama and message of this film accompanied so appropriately on the organ. 

There is no charge for either of these events. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

National Council meets in the windy city!

Your councillor for Region IV travelled to Chicago on March 24-26 for the spring meeting of the National Council. Leaving 80-degree temperatures in Florida, I found Chicago to be not only windy, but cold (!) with highs in the 30’s. 

A variety of topics were covered during the meeting, and I’ll summarize events with the ‘Top Seven’ list from the Spring Meeting of the National Council:
  • 7. New dates for for AGO Houston 2016: June 20-23, 2016
  • 6. Kansas City won the bid for the 2018 National Convention!
  • 5. Has your chapter considered hosting a POE or Regional? Now is the time to consider putting together a bid. Let me know if you’re interested!
  • 4. As of the meeting date, only 9 of the chapters in Region IV had contributed to the AGO Annual Fund. As many of you know, a high percentage of giving makes our organization more attractive to grant agencies. Perhaps your chapter can give a small amount?
  • 3. Status of National Dues Collection – delayed. The company contracted to prepare the system was not able to complete their work on time so implementation is delayed. While I don’t have answers to all the questions, I am now able to preview sample pages of the program. I do think the system has exciting possibilities -- we’ll just need a bit of patience as we make the transition. If there is any way I can assist, let me know!

And, closer to home . . . .
  • 2.  Thanks to all chapters in our region that agreed to host local rounds of the AGO/Quimby regional competition. Competitions were/will be held at six locations. Watch the Region IV blog (http://agoregionivblog.blogspot.com/) for announcements of winners.
  • 1. Have you registered for the Region IV regional convention yet? It’s time! I look forward to seeing many of you there . . . let’s all go to Greensboro!

New competition established by the Atlanta AGO

The Atlanta Chapter AGO is pleased to announce the establishment of the Taylor Organ Competition to take place on April 21, 2012, and every three years thereafter. The first prize carries a cash award of $10,000 and a solo recital for the winner in Atlanta. The second prize consists of a cash award of $5,000. Complete information, including the rules and the application form, is available at the competition web-site: http://www.taylororgancompetition.com. Let's get the word out about this great opportunity!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Early registration for Greensboro extended!

Region IV members . . . . the early registration deadline for the Greensboro regional has been extended to March 31! Please take advantage of this great opportunity. For more information: http://www.ggago.org/carolinacelebration.html

See you in Greensboro!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Greensboro, June 26-29 . . . see you there!

Greensboro: the place to be this summer. Why? Great concerts, great performers, and wonderful fellowship! Join your colleagues from Region IV for this exciting event. Performers include Joyce Jones, Faythe Freese, Timothy Olsen, James David Christie, Chelsea Chen and The Eastern Music Festival Philharmonic. Complete details may be found at: http://www.ggago.org/carolinacelebration.html

Birmingham POE

Region IV's POE will be held in Birmingham this summer:  June 12-17. Early registration will be accepted on or before April 1 — let's make sure that the event has lots of young organists in attendance! For more information, please visit: http://www.birminghamago.org/2011POEHome.html

Registration information and details are available via e-mail to: poe@birminghamago.org

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jehan Alain Centennial Celebration in Charlotte

The Charlotte Chapter hosted a Jehan Alain Centennial Celebration at Myers Park Baptist Church  on Tuesday, February 15. The program included Intermezzo  performed by Aaron Goen, Messe Modale performed by The Queens University Chamber Singers, Variations sur un thème de Clément Jannequin performed by Larry Stratemeyer, Andante con variazioni and Scherzo for string quintet, a piano piece performed by Michael Lehtinen, Postlude pour l'Office de Complies performed by M. L. Marley, a work for piano and flute, and Litanies, performed by Jonathan Crutchfield.

Pictured left to right:  Jonathan Crutchfield, M. L. Marley, first row.  Aaron Goen, Larry Stratemeyer, Michael Lehtinen, second row.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Organ Recital in Spartanburg, South Carolina!

Dr. Andre Lash, organist at Christ United Methodist ChurchGreensboro, NC, will present a solo organ recital at Central United Methodist Church, 233 N. Church Street, Spartanburg, SC on Friday evening, March 25, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.  Admission is free.
This recital commemorates the 30th anniversary of the installation of the Austin III/31 organ, and is co-sponsored by the Spartanburg chapter of the AGO and the church.

For more information, please contact the church office at 864-582-7263.