The American Guild of Organists (A G O) is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. Chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York in 1896, the A G O now serves over 22,000 members in 369 chapters throughout the United States, in Panama, and in Europe.
Founded as both an educational and service organization, the Guild seeks to set and maintain high musical standards and to promote understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music.
Membership is through local chapters, which hold regular meetings featuring performances, lectures, seminars, and discussions on a wide variety of topics.
Worcester Chapter Mission Statement
The Worcester Chapter of the American Guild of Organists educates and empowers local organists by providing resources to develop their skills and to network with other members of the arts community and church music profession in Central Massachusetts. It heightens the visibility of the pipe organ and its music by promoting recitals and recording projects, workshops, and other programs while actively supporting the next generation of organists by providing scholarships, seminars, and performance opportunities for young musicians.
The diagram below shows various initiatives and focus areas along the road from our Mission Statement to implementing our programs and direction for the year.
Statement of Fundamental Purposes
The fundamental purposes of the National AGO, as stated in its Bylaws, are as follows:
- To advance the cause of organ and choral music, to increase their contributions to aesthetic and religious experiences, and to promote their understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment.
- To improve the proficiency of organists and choral conductors.
- To evaluate, by examination, attainments in organ playing, choral techniques, conducting, and the theory and general knowledge of music, and to grant certificates to those who pass such examinations at specified levels of attainment.
- To provide members with opportunities to meet for discussion of professional topics, and to pursue such other activities as contribute to the fulfillment of the purposes of the Guild.
Under the leadership of a National Council, a network of volunteer committees and officials at the regional, state, and local levels directs the activities of the Guild. A professional staff at headquarters in New York City coordinates publication, administration, and development activities of the organization.
Membership in the Worcester Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is open to all, and includes working professionals–organists, choir directors, teachers, organ builders, technicians, and suppliers to the field–as well as students, clergy, amateur musicians, organ enthusiasts, and dedicated supporters.
The A G O provides a wealth of benefits and opportunities under the guidance of the national officers, Councilors for Education, Professional Concerns, Organizational Concerns, and Development and Communications, and working committees–all volunteer leaders of the Guild. Among the benefits available to members are educational opportunities, organ and choral concerts, Guild certification through an examination process, an extensive organ library, job placement (permanent and/or substitute), the national organization’s magazine The American Organist (T A O), assistance and guidance in regard to professional concerns, consultation services, and a growing list of local business discounts and networking.