The mission of the American Guild of Organists is
to enrich lives through organ and choral music.
Upcoming Programs for 2014-15
Your Board has been meeting over the Summer to come up with a list of programs to advance our knowledge of and appreciation for our chosen art. We are where we can start announcing the proposed events, so here's what we have so far:
- We will start with a Progressive Dinner: Monday, October 20. The schedule is as follows:
6:00 PM - Black Mountain Presbyterian Church - Appetizers
Demonstrating the organ will be Mike Barker and one other person, TBA.
7:00 PM - Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church - Main Course
Demonstrating the organ will be Steve Williams and one other person, TBA.
8:30 PM - Groce United Methodist Church - Dessert
Demonstrating the organ will be Becky Smith and one other person, TBA.
- Twelfth-Night Reception will be held on January 4, 2015, at the home of John and Margie Johnson in Montreat.
- We're planning a Pedals, Pipes & Pizzas event, details not yet finalized.
- New AGO officers being installed as part of the Festival Evensong Sunday, May 17, at 4 pm. Details are still being finalized for this, as well.
We didn't want you to feel that we were doing nothing, and while the dates and specifics are still being solidified, this will give you a good idea of what to expect.
— Bill Smith, Webmaster
August 20, 2014
The American Guild of Organists extends best wishes to Wilbur Held on the occasion of his 100th Birthday!
Wilbur Held, AAGO, FAGO, SMD, was born into a musical family in 1914 in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines. He attended the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, studying organ with Frank Van Dusen and theory and composition with John Palmer. For seven years he was Leo Sowerby's assistant at St. James Church. Soon after completing his master's degree he received the AAGO and FAGO certificates. In 1946 he joined the faculty of Ohio State University as professor of organ and church music and head of the keyboard department. He remained in this position for over 30 years and for most of that time was also organist-choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church in Columbus.
He earned a doctor of sacred music degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York, and studied organ with Marcel Dupré, André Marchal, and Vernon de Tar, and composition with Normand Lockwood and Wallingford Riegger. He has served on the national councils of both the AGO and the Hymn Society of America, and has appeared as recitalist at their national conventions.
His Nativity Suite, published in 1959, has sold well over 25,000 copies. Having written several suites primarily for pedagogical use, he turned his attention to broadening the repertoire for church use, continuing to stress modest technical requirements and flexibility of registration. To date he has published at least 350 organ works. In 1978, he retired to Claremont, California, where he was active as clinician and recitalist until recently. He continues to compose.