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Bach’s Organ World Tour June 2-11, 2020

BAGO members Lee Ridgway and Mark Steinbach, DMA, will lead the seventh “Bach’s Organ World” tour to Germany, June 2-11, 2020. The tour will visit organs which Bach actually played: Hildebrandt organs in Naumburg and Störmthal, and the Trost in Altenburg. Other highlights are Silbermann organs in Dresden and Freiberg; the 1624 Scherer in Tangermünde; and the 1905 Sauer in the Berliner Dom. Participants will have time to hear and play the instruments and participate in masterclasses.For more details click here or call 800-300-8841.


5th Annual Women In Music Festival (WimFest)
Members’ Forum at 6 PM, Concert at 7 PM
Including the music of Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677)

Sophie Michaux, mezzo-soprano
Benjamin Katz, harpsichord
Paul Holmes Morton, theorbo
To view the concert program, click here
Suggestion donation: $10 per person
* This event is co-sponsored by The Cathedral Church of St. Paul.


AGO National Convention 2020
Atlanta, Georgia
July 6 – 10


Special Project Advisory Committee Awards Announced – Fall 2019

The Special Projects Advisory Committee has granted three awards during the Fall of 2019, for a total disbursement of $2500.

Anthony Thurman, Music Director and Organist at the First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, PA was awarded a $1200 grant for a project celebrating the 100th year anniversary of the largest church organ in the area. This included real time streaming of two concerts, a January Martin Luther King Day celebration with organ and brass, and a concert by Ken Cowan in April. The Boston Chapter would use the experience and information from Thurman about real time video streaming, to determine if this should be done by the Boston Chapter.

Steve Young was awarded a $1000 grant to continue his scholarly research on the life and career of French organist and composer, Marthe Bracquemond (1898-1973).

Morton Hyams of Needham has been awarded $300 to have students from the Jackson Mann School in Boston travel to First Lutheran Church, Boston, to learn about the organ and hear Mr. Hyams and Jonathan Wessler play. This award is contingent upon Mr. Hyams receiving the proper authorization and contacts to conduct this event.

The deadline for the next SPAC award nominations is March 15, 2020. An application can be obtained here.

In 1954, H. Winthrop Martin wrote “A History of the American Guild of Organists in Boston, Massachusetts 1905-1954” in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Master of Scared Music degree from Union Theological Seminary, New York City. That work is in process of being transcribed and digitized, as the work itself is very fragile.

Years 1905 – 1933 are now available online by clicking here. More content will be added periodically.

Remembering that this is a dissertation, the writing can be pedantic, but the document is very useful and can answer questions you didn’t know you had:

  • What musical selections were played at recitals and concerts in the early years?
  • When was a church first mentioned?
  • What issues faced the Founders?
  • What “famous” organists visited Boston?

Enjoy browsing this valuable resource.


Call for Nominations for Projects Requesting SPAC Funding (Special Project Advisory Council)

SPAC is an endowment to fund special projects in the organ world.  Not just chapter members, but anyone could apply for funding derived from the endowment income.

In order to keep the group’s non-profit status the projects funded can only be ones that the public would be invited or participate in some way.  The money also would not be considered for the building or maintenance of organs in churches.  The organ (and choral) projects that could be funded include: 1) public concerts, 2) radio broadcasts, 3) research projects 4) publications, 5) music commissions, 6) educational projects, 7) recordings, and 8) scholarships.  In arriving at their recommendations SPAC often takes into account additional money raised by the applicant from other sources.

Project requests are due March 15, 2020.  For more information on the application process, click here

Buy Your Music from the Boston AGO Organ Library !

The AGO Organ Library, housed in the School of Theology at Boston University, has lots of used organ music for sale at relatively inexpensive prices. At the moment our supply is large, and we are offering discounts on Bach Scores, especially if you are a student. The Library is physically open only on Sunday afternoons, but it’s much easier (for you and for us) if you shop online anyway, so visit our website and click on “Music Sales” in the menu along the right side of the picture. There are various categories to look in (individual composers; collections; method books; books about organ music.) Then send us an email with your order (don’t try to call on the phone); We’ll email you back with the total and the shipping cost. We’re not fast (our staff is very tiny, often only 1 person) but we are cheap, very knowledgeable about the repertoire, and only charge necessary shipping costs. Our email is orglib@bu.edu.

Happy music hunting,
Carl Klein, DMA
AGO Organ Library Administrator

* Sponsored Content: the advertising is not an endorsement by the Boston Chapter of the American Guild of Organists of the event or the performers, and the Boston Chapter disclaims any responsibility whatsoever for the content of the advertising or of the event itself.