The mission of the American Guild of Organists is
to enrich lives through organ and choral music.
Our first program of the season was a rousing success. We met at St. Mark's Lutheran Church and enjoyed appetizers (a vegetable/dip tray, shrimp tray, hummus and pita tray, wine and water - from Harris Teeter). I had a good chance to meet other attendees, most of whom I had met before, some I knew in name only. David Anderson was kind enough to provide a spec. sheet for the organs pipework, then he played Chorale Preludes on "Ein feste Burg" by Buxtehude and Helmut Walcha, and Steve Williams the last two movements of the Eb (Trio) Sonata by J. S. Bach.
At St. Mary's Episcopal Church we enjoyed a wonderful dinner of bread/rolls, green beans, rice and chicken from the Corner Cafe. Afterward, Vance Reese played the last partita section of "O Gott, du frommer Gott," by Bach, and the G Major Prelude by Mendelssohn and Corey Powell played the G Major Fantasia by Bach.
For dessert, we met at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. Avenue M provided (donated) the apple crisp which was nicely served with ice cream, with coffee. Our Dean, Kyle Ritter, thanked those in attendance for participating in our program, also those who served in the role of host at each church, as well as those who played. He acknowledged those who provided the food for this occasion, explained that when Barry Oliver left for Memphis, Kyle was left as the Dean, then offered thanks for Barry's re-energizing of the Board putting this program and the three to follow on the agenda. Then Kyle assumed the bench and played Litany by Joel Martinson; and Fanfare (for the State Trumpet) by Alec Wyton.
- Bill Smith & Vance Reese
AGO PRESIDENT EILEEN GUENTHER PROMOTED TO PROFESSOR AT WESLEY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Promotion to Professor of Church Music Approved by Washington Seminary's Board of Governors
NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) celebrates the promotion of Guild President EILEEN GUENTHER to Professor of Church Music at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., where she has been Associate Professor. Her promotion was approved by the seminary's Board of Governors on Friday, May 17, in Washington. Wesley is a teaching seminary and a service-oriented community with a student body of approximately 1,000 members. Her responsibilities include directing Chapel Music and the Wesley Chapel Choir, chairing the Chapel Committee, and supervising worship planning teams and teaching courses in music and worship. The mission of Wesley Theological Seminary is to equip Christians for leadership in the church and the world, to advance theological scholarship, and to model a prophetic voice in the public square.
Also on May 17, Eileen Guenther was honored with the presentation of the 2013 Inspiration Ribbon from the Concert for Life Committee at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington. The occasion marked the 20th annual Concert for Life, which Dr. Guenther established to raise awareness and support for individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Washington and Africa. During her tenure at Foundry, the Concert for Life raised more than $600,000 for this cause; this year's anniversary concert brought the cumulative total to over $1 million. Dr. Guenther was presented a plaque citing her for "blending the healing power of music with mission in a labor of love that saves lives" and given funds to take to South Africa to present to the beneficiary of her choice.
In February, Eileen Guenther was named Director of Music at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C.—an historic downtown church with commitments to racial justice, women's issues, peace advocacy, sexual equality, and concern for the homeless. Dr. Guenther plays the organ, directs the choir, participates in worship planning and helps to shape a monthly First Thursdays Concert Series.
Eileen Guenther is presently serving her third term as president of the American Guild of Organists. During her tenure, she has overseen the development and implementation of a comprehensive membership survey, the preparation of a long-range plan, and the adoption of major changes to the organization's bylaws and governance structure. She is the author of Rivals or a Team? Clergy-Musician Relationships in the Twenty-First Century (MorningStar, 2012) and is currently completing another book that is projected for publication in 2014. The Power of Spirituals: In their Own Words will trace the origin of the Spiritual and context in which it grew using text from the slaves themselves as contained in their writings and interviews. ■