The mission of the American Guild of Organists is
to enrich lives through organ and choral music.
An American Organist in Paris
The Blue Ridge AGO Chapter invites our colleagues in the WNC chapter to our opening event tomorrow, September 8: "An American Organist in Paris" presented by Ned Tipton at Hendersonville Presbyterian Church. The program begins at 11:00 and is open to the public. Ned will tell some tales, play some tunes, share some trends. Ned has a wealth of experience in the sacred music world. It should be a fascinating program. Hope to see lots of you there.
Is that all there is?
Is WNC AGO still a chapter? I haven't heard anything from our Dean for over a year, and as far as I can determine he is the only Board member left on the National roles. Have we thrown in the towel in defeat?
And here's the big question: Am I maintaining a website for a Chapter that has, for all intents and purposes, disbanded? I've posted Open Positions, and I've posted Community Events, but no Chapter events, and I don't see any reason to continue if there is no chapter.
I realize that I haven't made any public inquiries of this nature before. I have been hoping that email communication with our Dean (is he still Dean?) would yield some response, but I don't even know if he's yet alive.
Our website's Domain Registry will expire at the end of September, and unless I am given a reason to continue, I will let it expire. I've been paying for the hosting and Domain since I started the website, as a contribution to the Chapter, but if we're no longer a viable Chapter, why waste money?
I guess I'm just putting the Chapter, and anyone else who reads this blurb, on notice that my frustration has reached its limit. If anyone knows how to get in touch with our Dean, please do so, for I don't think he reads my emails anymore. Let him know that I'm about to expire, at least as Webmaster.
AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS
AWARDED $25,000 GRANT FROM THE
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
NEA Funding Will Support Educational Programs and the 2018 AGO National Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects, such as this one to the American Guild of Organists, are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “At the National Endowment for the Arts, we
believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities and connections the arts bring.”“The NEA’s funding sends an uplifting message to the entire organ community: our instrument and its music are vitally important to the American people,” Thomashower added. “The award validates the AGO’s ongoing efforts to ensure that music for the organ is created by talented composers, performed by skilled musicians, and appreciated by the widest audience possible. It is an honor for the Guild to be recognized by the NEA, the most prestigious independent federal agency in the United States responsible for funding and promoting artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation.”In February, the NEA announced that $25 million in grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in every state and across all artistic disciplines in 2018; $24 million of that is earmarked for Art Works, the NEA’s largest funding category. Art Works focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. The NEA will give 936 Art Works grants to organizations in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in 2018. By comparison, the NEA awarded 970 Art Works grants totaling nearly $26 million in 2017.
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at Arts.gov. For further information about the AGO’s educational programming, please visit the AGO website at Agohq.org.
JOHN FERGUSON HONORED BY THE
AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS AT
ST. OLAF COLLEGE IN NORTHFIELD, MINN.
Celebration of the Lifetime Achievements of Internationally Recognized
Organist Raised $24,000 Benefitting the AGO Endowment Fund
NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) paid tribute to John Ferguson at its fifteenth annual Gala and Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award celebration on Friday, April 27. The evening began with a hymn festival led by John Ferguson at St. Olaf College, where he had served as professor of organ and church music and cantor to the student congregation for three decades.
AGO President Michael Bedford, AAGO, CHM, presented the John Ferguson with the AGO Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award “for his illustrious career as a church musician, educator, and performer, and faithful support of the mission of the American Guild of Organists.” Ferguson responded saying “It is an honor to accept this award; I do so on behalf of church organists everywhere who have dedicated their lives to being on the bench every week.”
An audience of more than 750 colleagues, students, friends, and loved ones filled the pews of Boe Memorial Chapel on St. Olaf’s campus to celebrate Ferguson’s lifetime achievements and dedication to sacred music. The honoree was joined by the 75-voice St. Olaf Cantorei, James Bobb, conductor; and five church choirs from the Twin Cities, conducted by Anton Armstrong.
The hymn festival was Internet livestreamed to an audience of nearly 400 viewers. More than 800 viewers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and twelve countries have now watched the video on demand. It can be found online at www.agohq.org/2018-gala.
A Gala Benefit Reception followed at the Northfield Arts Guild with 75 guests in attendance. The celebration was sponsored by the AGO National Council and its Finance and Development Committee in cooperation with St. Olaf College. The event raised more than $24,000 to be invested in the AGO Endowment Fund in Ferguson’s honor. Annual earnings from the Endowment support the educational activities of the Guild.
Established in 1994, the AGO Endowment Fund provides income to educate new organists and to cultivate new audiences for organ and choral music. Tax-deductible contributions to the Endowment Fund are invested in perpetuity to produce continuing income for essential Guild programs and educational projects. The AGO Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award and annual Gala travels around the country to celebrate distinguished members of the organ world, to raise awareness for the Endowment Fund, and to secure gifts to strengthen it.
Past AGO Gala honorees have included Marie-Claire Alain (2002, New York City), Charles Callahan (2014, St. Louis), David Craighead (2006, Philadelphia), Gerre and Judith Hancock (2004, New York City), Wilma Jensen (2016, Nashville), Joyce Jones (2010, Fort Worth), Marilyn Keiser (2013, New York City), Joan Lippincott (2017, Princeton), Marilyn Mason (2009, Ann Arbor), Thomas Murray (2011, New Haven), John Obetz (2007, Kansas City), Frederick Swann (2008, Los Angeles), Ladd Thomas and Cherry Rhodes (2015, Glendale), and John and Marianne Weaver (2012, Philadelphia).
The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. Founded in 1896 as both an educational and service organization, it sets and maintains high musical standards and promotes the understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music. The mission of the American Guild of Organists is to foster a thriving community of musicians who share their knowledge and inspire passion for the organ. The Guild currently serves approximately 15,000 members in more than 300 local chapters throughout the United States and abroad. THE AMERICAN ORGANIST Magazine, the official journal of the AGO and the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, reaches an audience of more than 20,000 each month. Visit the AGO online at Agohq.org.