Region IV of the American Guild of Organists covers the Southeastern United States and Bermuda, including the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana. There are seven districts, 58 local chapters, and over 3,000 members. Our work supports the mission of the Guild: To promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members.

October 6, 2009

Register NOW for our regional convention!

Don't wait! Register before Oct. 31 to receive the discounted early registration rate. The Sarasota Chapter has been working hard to prepare a fabulous convention for us January 17-20. You will be very happy staying at the convention hotel right on the beach, the Lido Beach Resort. The featured performers are Balint Karosi, John Fenstermaker, Dr. Laura Ellis, Tom Trenney, Ahreum Han, Felix Hell, Dr. Janette Fishell, The Richard Zielinski Singers and Cynthia Roberts-Greene. You will hear organs built by Letourneau, Nichols and Simpson and more! Visit the Psalms and Palms convention website to learn more and to download the registration form. Plan now to take a break after Christmas, and come to be with friends, and spend some days learning and listening to great music. You will leave inspired, refreshed and renewed. I look forward to seeing you there!

Sarah Hawbecker, Regional Councillor

August 18, 2009

Alabama Organ Scholarship Competition

Announcing the University of Alabama School of Music 2010 Organ Scholarship Competition. First place is an $8,000 UA Scholarship or a $500 cash prize; Second place is a $5,000 UA Scholarship or a $200 cash prize; and Third place is a $3,000 UA Scholarship. The first place winner will perform in concert at the University of Alabama 2010 Church Music Conference on Friday, January 29, 2010. All winners will have automatic acceptance into the University of Alabama School of Music. This competition is open organists who live or study in the United States or Canada. There are no age restrictions. The application deadline is November 16, 2009. For more information contact Dr. Faythe Freese or visit the University of Alabama Organ Department website.

We're invited to the NC ACDA Conference

The North Carolina ACDA is hosting its fall conference September 18-19 at the UNC
Greensboro School of Music. The clinician is Bob Chilcott. The event
includes 4 sessions with Bob Chilcott, 2 interest sessions, reading sessions,
and 5 choral concerts. Click here for the conference website. For
more information, you may contact Ginger Wyrick, NC ACDA President.

Huntsville Organ Festival - March 12-13, 2010

The Greater Huntsville, AL AGO Chapter announces its festival weekend celebrating and promoting excellence in young organists. On Friday, March 12 at 7:30, Paul Jacobs will present a Gala Concert at Trinity United Methodist Church. On Saturday, March 13, Huntsville will host an Organ Competition and Master Class with Paul Jacobs. First Prize is $1000. Audition CDs are due January 16, 2010. Click here for repertoire requirements, application and all other information.

June 22, 2009

RCYO winners

The Region IV AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists announces the results of the competition, held on June 17, 2009 at Christ Church Episcopal Church, Bradenton, FL and hosted by the Sarasota/Bradenton Chapter. The judges were Bonnie Wolfgram, Dr. Robert Parrish and Dwight Thomas.

Pictured are competitors Kenneth Miller, Josiah Armes, Catherine Elliott, Kevin Neel and Christin Baker. (Not pictured are Justin Maxey, Christopher Ray and Nathan Stewart.)

The First Prize winner is Josiah Armes, of Lakeland Florida, representing the Jacksonville Chapter. Josiah is a graduate of Stetson University and is currently a graduate student at Yale University, studying with Thomas Murray. Josiah will perform a recital during the regional convention, to be held in Sarasota January 17-20, 2010. He will also perform as a Rising Star at the National Convention in Washington, DC next summer.

Second prize was awarded to Catherine Elliott, who had won the Nashville Chapter competition. Catherine is a student of Dr. Janette Fishell at Indiana University.

The other competitors were Christin Baker, (East Carolina Chapter), a student of Colin Andrews at East Carolina University; Justin Maxey (Atlanta Chapter), who studies with Dr. Peter Dewitt at Shorter College; Kenneth Miller (Charlotte Chapter), a student of Dr. Florence Jowers at Lenoir-Ryne University; Kevin Neel, an Indiana University student studying with Janette Fishell; Christopher Ray (Jackson Chapter), a student of Dr. Robert Knupp at Mississippi College; and Nathan Stewart (Knoxville Chapter), a student of Dr. John Brock at the University of Tennessee.

All of these young organists are to be congratulated for their achievements in this competition. Chapters are encouraged to feature these fine artists in upcoming programs. For information on how to contact any of these competitors for a recital, please contact Sarah Hawbecker.

June 16, 2009

Winthrop Organ Festival, August 13-16, 2009

Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC, will host a festival of four concerts, lectures, workshops and a masterclass, all celebrating the restoration of the D.B. Johnson Memorial Organ, James F. Byrnes Auditorium Organ by Aeolian-Skinner, Op. 1257, 1955. The organ is the last of any large instruments tonally finished by G. Donald Harrison. Virgil Fox played the inaugural concert on November 2, 1955.

Alumni Recital
Thursday, August 13 - 7:30 pm

Richard Elliott, Mormon Tabernacle Organist
Friday, August 14 - 7:30 pm

David Lowry, Professor of Music Emeritus at Winthrop University
Saturday, August 15 - 2:00 pm

Robert Ridgell, Associate Organist of New York's Trinity Episcopal Church, Wall St.
Sunday, August 16 - 7:30 pm

For more information, contact Dr. David Lowry. Click here for the link to the Festival brochure.

June 9, 2009

Eight Young Organists to Compete June 17

The 2009 Quimby/Regional Competition for Young Organists for Region IV will be hosted by the Sarasota Chapter on Wednesday, June 17. The competition will take place at Christ Church, Bradenton, FL. The public is invited to attend.

The purpose of the RCYO competitions is to encourage younger organists to pursue excellence, to gain performance experience, and to receive recognition for their achievements. These competitions begin at the Chapter level and conclude at the nine regional conventions. The winner of each Regional Competition will be invited to perform as a Rising Star at the 2010 National Convention in Washington, D.C. The AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions are made possible by a generous grant from Michael Quimby, President, Quimby Pipe Organs. The eight organists competing on June 17 in Bradenton have won their respective local competitions in Atlanta, Charlotte, East Carolina, Jackson, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Nashville and Winston-Salem. The winner of the regional competition will also perform a recital during the regional convention in Sarasota, January 17-20, 2010.

2009 Charlotte Chapter Summer Recital Series

All programs are at 7:30 pm unless noted.

June 7
- Erica Johnson, Organ Professor, North Carolina School of the Arts
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 1621 Dilworth Rd. East, 28203

June 14
- Florence Jowers
First Baptist Church, 301 S. Davidson St., 28202

June 21
- Leon Couch
Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1000 E. Morehead St., 28204

June 28 - Jim Glass
First Presbyterian Church, 700 N. Main St., Lancaster, SC 29270

July 5 - Katie Ann McCarty
Davidson United Methodist Church, 233 S. Main St., Davidson, NC 28036

July 12 - RSCM Evensong (4:00 PM) with Malcom Archer, director and Patrick Pope, organist
Myers Park Baptist Church, 1931 Selwyn Ave., 28207

July 19 - Student Recital featuring the Stigall Scholarship Recipient and Students of the Charlotte Chapter AGO
Myers Park Baptist Church, 1931 Selwyn Ave., 28207

July 26 - Thomas Fielding, Dean, Raleigh Chapter AGO
Davidson College Presbyterian Church, 100 N. Main St., Davidson, NC 28036

August 2 - Jonathan Ryan
Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1000 E. Morehead St., 28204

August 9 - Brennan Szafron
First Presbyterian Church, 1621 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia, NC 28054

August 16 - Robert Ridgell
Byrnes Auditorium, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC 29733

August 23 - Adam Ward
Sardis Presbyterian Church, 6100 Sardis Rd., 28270

August 30 - Sacred Choral Festival Featuring the combined choirs of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Sardis Presbyterian Church, Trinity Presbyterian Church and Myers Park Presbyterian Church
2501 Oxford Pl., 28207

March 2, 2009

Florida Organist in the News

Congratulations to Jack Rain, who recently celebrated 40 years as Organist at First Presbyterian Church in Tampa. WTVT aired a segment on the 6:00 news featuring him. You can see it here.

February 10, 2009

Regional Competition

The AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists will take place on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at Christ Episcopal Church in Bradenton, FL. Competing will be the winners of the nine local RCYO competitions held throughout the region between February and April. The public is invited to attend. The instrument is a three manual 68 stop Letourneau, Op. 96.

February 5, 2009

Pipe Organ Encounter, June 21-26

The Macon Chapter is hosting our region's Pipe Organ Encounter, an exciting week-long summer event for teenagers to discover the wonders of the Pipe Organ, the King of Instruments. Housing will be provided on the campus of Wesleyan College in Macon, GA. The program is open to students age 13-18 with piano competency. Previous organ study is not required. Highlights of the week include daily lessons with professional organists, practice time on numerous pipe organs in Macon, organ crawls in Macon and Atlanta, a tour of an organ factory, faculty and student recitals, recreation at the college, and the opportunity to meet other organists the same age.

Registration is limited to 26 students. Early registration (postmarked April 1) is $390. After April 1, the tuition is $425. Financial assistance is available. Please contact Michael McGhee, Macon POE Director, for information.

Click here for the brochure and registration form

Register now for the Pedagogy Conference, March 11-14

  • Have you ever grappled with the challenges of preparing a student to serve in the church music world while studying in an academic environment?
  • Have you ever tried to prepare a sixth grade student to serve as a church organist?
  • Have you ever helped an older student make the transition from piano to organ?
  • Have you ever had a young student ask you about the future of church music?

If so, this year's AGO National Conference on Organ Pedagogy cosponsored by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, March 11–14, 2009, is for you!

This year's theme, "Teaching Church Music in
North America: An Old Vocation in a New Millennium" will delve into these challenges. We will hear details of representative church music programs in colleges and universities from around the country, and leaders in the field will offer masterclasses every day featuring the nuts and bolts of teaching church music (including hymn playing, anthem accompaniment, and improvisation). We will also delve into the future of church music and how that will reflect our pedagogical emphasis in years to come. Keynote speaker Martin Marty will be joined by Quentin Faulkner, Don Saliers, Bishop Robert Rimbo and Marva Dawn. The conference will feature the organs and facilities of Yale University.

Click here to register.