At the beginning of this month, Viscount Organs was thrilled to be a featured part of the 2018 National American Guild of Organists Convention. As always, the convention was a smash hit, and to thank our gracious hosts, we thought we would take a few moments to talk about the Guild, its mission, history, and purpose. Join Viscount Organs as we discuss this important part of the organ playing culture in the United States.
The Mission And Values Of The AGO
Given that the organ playing community is rather small compared to other instrumentalists, the American Guild of Organists is committed to creating and supporting a healthy community of musicians who support one another by sharing their skills, insights, and passions. This, in turn, creates opportunities for members to engage other organists, and provide them with the means by which to develop their organ playing skills and more fully master the instrument.
The AGO’s History
Founded in 1896, the American Guild of Organists was founded to be an educational and service group. Through its promotion of musical standards and sharing of the joy of organ music, the AO has expanded to nearly 14,700 members across 300 chapters in the US and elsewhere. Based in New York City, the headquarters is staffed by a full-time team of dedicated performers, writers, coordinators, administrators, and more. To better serve the entire membership, the Guild operates nine different geographical regions, and the various chapters fall within those regions.
The Purpose Of The AGO
In keeping with their history and mission, the AGO’s purpose is to advance the field of organ playing and to increase their use in both aesthetic and religious experiences and performances. By creating a supportive community, the Guild wants to improve the performing skills of their members and related choral conductors. In doing so, they offer examination systems that grant certifications to those who have excelled in the art. Of course, all of this can be done through a variety of means, including the distribution of media and publications that include learning materials for performers of all ages and levels. To better reach the organ playing community, the AGO has partnered with the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, and both organizations support each other through financial contributions and its premier Pipe Organ Encounters program.
The AGO National Convention
The 2018 AGO National Convention was hosted in Kansas City, Kansas over the 4th of July week, and featured world-class organists and choirs, new music from leading composers, seminars, discussions, workshops and more from experts and icons. Notably, Viscount Organs unveiled a series of new organs that utilized the Physis® system, as well as the affordable Chorum line of organs.
Make the most of your organ playing experience, and take advantage of the amazing array of sounds, tones, and pitches that only a Viscount Organ — using our Physis® system — can offer you. To hear these stunning instruments for yourself, find a dealer near you today!