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, September 29, 2014

Durham-Chapel Hill Hymnfest

On Sunday, September 28, 2014, the Durham-Chapel Hill chapter and University United Methodist Church co-sponsored a hymnfest titled "Lord Send Out Your Spirit and Renew the Face of the Earth: A Festival of Hymns" led by organist-composer, Dr. Michael Burkhardt. The choir consisted of members from Christ United Methodist Church, Chapel Hill; St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Durham; United Church of Chapel Hill; and University United Methodist Church, Chapel Hill. The service consisted of readings from various sources of literature, including John William Lowe, Jaroslav Vajda, Jan Berry, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Robert Baden; and hymns, most of which were Burkhardt's own settings for choir, organ, and brass quartet. Many thanks to Michael Burkhardt, who led a wonderful hymnfest, to Tim Baker and University United Methodist Church for hosting, to Daniel Steinert for arranging to bring Dr. Burkhardt to Chapel Hill, to Laurel and Nick Siviglia for their hospitality, and to Daniel Steinert, Jacqueline Nappi, Mary Beth Peterson, and Tim Baker, who brought their choirs to participate in this hymnfest.    

Above, acting Dean, Tim Baker (l) and Michael Burkhardt pose for a picture next to the Möller organ at University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Treasure Coast Chapter Installation

Your southeast regional councillor traveled to Vero Beach on Sunday, September 21, to install officers for the Treasure Coast chapter. The AGO officer installation was part of the annual Massed Choir Festival Service. Guest director for this year's festival was Andrew Walker, Director of Music at St. Micheal's Episcopal Church, Orlando.

Here's an impromptu 'after-festival' photo of the choir. Fun event!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Brennan Szafron in Recital at Holy Cross

Comes Autumn Time is the theme of Brennan Szafron's organ recital at Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Tryon, NC, on Friday, October 10, 2014, at 7:00 pm. Autumnal music by composers Leo Sowerby and Joseph Bonnet will be heard, as well as music by J. S. Bach and Charles-Marie Widor.

A native Canadian, Brennan received a Bachelor of Music degree, with distinction, from the  University of Alberta, a Masters of Music degree from Yale University, and a Doctoral of Musical  Arts degree in organ performance from the University of Michigan. He was hired in 2003 as the first full-time organist/choirmaster of the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, SC.

Dr. Szafron maintains an active recital schedule. In 2012-13, he reprised the Barber Toccata Festiva with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly the Greater Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra), and gave recitals at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, GA and St. James Episcopal Church in Hendersonville, NC. In the summer of 2013 he dedicated the organ at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Spartanburg and gave a recital at First United Methodist Church, Charlotte. 2013-14 included a recital at the Church of the Advent celebrating their organ’s 25th anniversary, a solo recital with guest pianist Doug Weeks in Twichell Auditorium, a performance with the Converse College Symphony Orchestra as the soloist for the Poulenc organ concerto, a recital at Central Synagogue, NYC, and a recital at Landrum Presbyterian Church, Landrum, SC.

The Chancel Organ at Holy Cross was rebuilt by John Dower and Company in 1994-1995, incorporating pipes from the previous Möller and Holloway instruments.

Dr. Szafron’s concert at Holy Cross Episcopal Church, 150 Melrose Avenue, Tryon, NC, is free, and the public is invited to attend. For more information, please call the church office at 828-859-9741.

Submitted by Susie Mahnke, organist/choir director, Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Tryon, NC