Next WorcAGO Program:  Saturday 3/14 Workshops (Trinity Lutheran, Worcester)

Local Workshop Saturday is MULTI-FACETED

- Hymn Playing (treat yourself to some inspiring new twists for something we do each week)

- Choral directing for ALL levels: See outline summary below – re-think how you plan and conduct an effective and inspirational rehearsal.

- Music sale and some freebies 10+ large boxes of choral and organ scores, proceeds to support the Scholarship Fund

- Open console and networking with your colleagues from around New England

10AM Practical Ideas for Hymn Playing/Leading

1PM Choir Directing Tips for Church Musicians

(lunch, open console, music score sale(choral, organ) at noon)   RSVP

Hymn Playing (10AM)   Dr. Stuart Forster’s bio

Playing hymns on the organ is a centuries-old tradition that has been passed down largely through osmosis and guesswork. To address a growing need for more explicit instruction, Dr. Forster will review approaches to hymn playing, and then highlight  twenty vital aspects encompassing the art of hymn playing. To equip the organist with a palette of tools for every occasion, his discussion considers topics:

techniques for learning hymns, teaching hymns, playing hymns, selecting hymns, introductions, engaging the choir, empowering the congregation, making the most of the organ, registration choices, working with other instruments, collaborating with clergy, effective preparation, and altered harmonizations to complement the hymn texts and fit the context of the service. We will explore the balance between predictability and creativity to enliven congregational song in ways that are thoughtful, musical, and sustainable.

He will draw from examples in his latest book which contrasts differing styles and denominations. The workshop will adapt to the abilities and experiences of those who attend, so it will be a very enlightening seminar for all who attend regardless of their skill level.

Choral Conducting (1PM)  Dr Felicia Barber’s bio

Choral directing is a major part of many church musicians’ responsibilities. Few of us have studied the basics, but have picked up ideas along the way in our music careers.  Dr. Barber will offer two mini-workshops in this reinvigorating time with us:

· Choral techniques with emphasis on clearly conveyed beat patterns and transitions between sections using standard choral repertoire, diagnostic techniques in choral rehearsals using discriminating ears, score preparation, formulating an interpretation for a piece, planning the rehearsal, and empowering the chorister’s full musical potential.  Scores for the demonstrations will be available at the workshop and via emailed PDF to those who RSVP.

· The second half will focus on Spirituals in context and language usage. Dr. Barber has done extensive research on this topic having studied with Andre Thomas at FSU.

Choral Workshop Outline Announced

· Effective Warm up

· First 5 Minutes

· Foundations of Basic Gesture

· Four elements that make up a conductor’s gesture

· Conducting Examples – Patterns of 4,3,2

· Score preparation

· See Article: Score Analysis, Exploration and Preparation

· A method (in development) Drew Collins, Kenneth Jennings, and etc.

· Elements of an Effective Choral Rehearsal

· Rehearsal Hierarchy

§ Rehearsal Management: Plan Appropriate Repertoire; Divide Rehearsal

A light lunch buffet will be offered at Noon (included in the workshop fee). During the lunch hour, (used) organ and (LOTS of sets of) choral scores will be on sale to benefit the WorcAGO scholarship fund.  In parallel, Trinity’s 1969 III/61 Op. 40 Noack will be available for Open Console (the acoustics are GREAT too).   please RSVP

The workshop fee (any part or all of the day) is $20 (AGO members, any chapter), $25 non-members.  Check  or credit card accepted.

RSVP to Register


WorcAGO PROGRAM YEAR, Spring-Winter 2015

January 4 Twelfth Night Party

Private Residence   –   Huge Success and lots of fun!

February 6 (13 snow) Friday 7:00 p.m. Hymn Festival with Organ Preludes

St. Peter’s Church, 931 Main Street, Worcester (across from Clark University). This ecumenical event will feature WorcAGO organists performing and leading the congregational hymns. Free will offering. Snow date 2/13/15.

Composers: Franklin Ashdown (SLANE), Aaron David Miller (FINLANDIA), David N. Johnson (WONDROUS LOVE), Robert Hobby (ST. COLUMBA),  our own Dorothy Frisch (AR HYD Y NOS), Wilbur Held (FOUNDATION), Samuel Walter (LAUDA ANIMA), Janet Linker (HERE I AM, LORD). GET SOME GOOD IDEAS FOR YOUR OWN SERVICE MUSIC!

Come lift your voices and spirits in a beautiful setting with the
III/53 Casavant Frères Ltée., Opus 2938, 1967 (Stoplist).

Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 7:00 PM    String Quartet “plus” concert  Shrewsbury Congregational on the Common

Chamber music for strings with three different keyboard instruments, including Schumann’s celebrated Piano Quintet in E flat major, the Rheinberger Suite for violin, cello and organ, op. 149, and the world premiere of Fitchburg composer Robin Dinda’s Organ Concertino #1 with the church’s J. W. Walker portativ organ.

March 14 (no snow) 10AM Workshops: Practical Ideas for Hymn Playing/Leading and  1PM Choir Directing for Church Musicians

Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester

Lunch, open console, music score sale fundraiser

April 15  Noontime Brown Bag Worcester Organ Concert,  Peter Krasinski, organ

Celebrate the Hook organ in classic repertoire, along with a Silent Film accompanied by Peter.

Mechanics Hall, Worcester

April  17  Humanarts Organ Recital Friday 7:30PM  -  Ezequiel Menendez(Hartford), organist
works by: Mendelssohn, Ginastera, Piazzolla, Franck

Assumption College Chapel

April  24 Young Artists Showcase:  Jonathan Wessler, organist Friday, 7PM

Innovative Transcriptions and Works by Ludwig van Beethoven (Leonore Symphony 3), Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Alexandre Guilmant.

First Unitarian Church, Worcester

May 15 William Ness, organist 7:15PM
First Baptist Church, Worcester

May 18 Scholarship Recipients’ Recital and Annual Meeting 6:30PM (Catered Dinner adjacent)

Bolton Federated Church, Rev. Mr. Richard Jones, host

June 5   Young Artists Showcase:  Nicholas Capozzoli, organist Friday, 7PM

First Unitarian Church, Worcester

August 5 Monica Czausz – Mechanics Hall Brownbag Noon
August 12 Abraham Ross – Mechanics Hall Brownbag Noon

Revisit last summer’s BOS national convention

Our own Peter Krasinski demonstrates at Old South

Congratulations to WorcAGO, winner of 2013-14 National Creative Programming Contest!

See our winning year’s events at


WorcAGO is using the national AGO “ONCARD” system for renewing member dues for the membership year beginning July 1 2014

To access ONCARD you will need to login. Your username is your first initial plus your last name. Your password is your AGO membership ID, which can be found on the TAO label, just to the left of your membership expiration date. After your initial login you can use the Username & Password Change feature in ONCARD to change both.
Pay your member dues

Membership in the Guild comes with many benefits, including the following:

  • Annual subscription to the american organist
  • Educational activities including chapter programs and national and regional Conventions
  • Professional development services including access to our online job board
  • Certification program
  • Discounts on AGO conventions and publications
  • Access to high-quality, competively-priced insurance plans




August 6 2014: Worcester Organ Concert, Young Artist: Alexander Pattavina, Noon, FreeAugust 13: Worcester Organ Concert, Young Artist: Grant Wareham, Noon, Free

September 21: Internationally Renowned Organist Hector Olivera, presented by Worcester AGO
funded in part by a grant from the Intel Foundation

October 26: 3 PM Worcester Organ Re-Dedication Concert, Worcester AGO and Mechanics Hall
including an improvisation by Peter Krasinski

December 17 2014: Worcester Organ/ Holiday Music Concert, Noon, Free


The year ahead: 2014-2015 Programs/Events

Below are some ideas being considered for events/activities for the upcoming program year.  Please let us know your druthers.

  • Continue First Thursday Lunches, First Monday Open Console events (both starting 10/14)
  • Annual Meeting and Scholarship Recital (May 2015)
  • Co-sponsored concerts with local venues (Mechanics Hall, First Bapt, Trinity, Assumption, etc.)
  • September21 7PM Major Program: Hector Olivera at Mechanics Hall – Organ Day in Worcester (Holy Cross at 3PM) – Local restaurant dinner discounts
  • Practical Tips Choral and Hymn Playing/Leading Workshop (3/15)
  • Hymn-based Members Recital  (2/15)
  • Twelfth Night: The Holly and the Ivories (1/15)

Scholarship Fund Donation Appeal

Celebrating 25 years, the WorcAGO Scholarship Program is one of the hallmarks of our chapter.  It’s an important part of our Mission, to provide not only educational programming throughout the year, but also financial support for training of member organists who are taking lessons from member teachers.  Our program has had over 100 student awards in its history, and many years have featured a recital by scholarship recipients to demonstrate their progress.

See our alumni list at and what they’re up to these days!

A great example is that of Brett Maguire – a 1995 scholarship recipient – who had gone on to be an organ scholar at Holy Cross, received his masters at Oberlin, and won first prize as well as audience prize in the 2006 Marchal International Organ Competition in France. He has held several organist/director positions in churches since, and is currently at Wesley United Methodist in Worcester.

Our coffers are meager. We would like to be able to support more students with a larger stipend than our current balance will allow.  The next funding period is Spring 2014, and now is a perfect time for you to help us ensure the longevity of the fund (and help your tax deductions!).  People have commented about the future of organs and organists, now is the time you can take action!

If 25 people donated $25 each, we could add another student for 2015.