Utah Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
Newsletter • October 2019

Engage, Support, and Uplift Every Organist
Message from the Sub-Dean 
Miranda Wilcox

We enjoyed Felipe Dominguez’s recital of delightful seventeenth-century Italian music at the Provo Central Stake Center in September. We wish Felipe the best as he performs in Europe.

In October, the Utah Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists celebrates its fortieth anniversary. The chapter was founded on 9 October 1979 at the home of Ephraim and Verena Hatch. Since then the chapter has engaged, supported, and enriched local organists. To remember and honor the legacy of local organ fellowship, please attend the 40th Anniversary Gala on Friday, October 18, at the Provo Stake Center, 1315 East 900 South.

The evening will begin at 6:30 pm with mingling, memories, and hors d'oeuvres in the cultural hall. The program will commence in the chapel at 7:00 pm. The chapter historian will read the names of the chapter’s deans and founding members. Then three local organ composers—Jim Kasen, David Chamberlain, and Neil Harmon—will introduce and perform some of their music. After the program, we'll move back to the cultural hall for cake. We will also have the opportunity to meet and browse the music of Utah Valley organ composers. For added fun, there will be door prizes throughout the evening!

If you compose/arrange organ music, please let me know if you would like to showcase your music at the Gala (email me at
Chapter Dean, Lori Serr, displays the original charter that was received from the National American Guild of Organists in recognition of the formation of the Utah Valley Chapter. 

In the fall of 1979, a group of organists gathered at the home of Ephraim and Verena Hatch in Provo for the purpose of forming a local chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The chapter was named the Utah Valley Chapter. Officers were selected, with Gerald Dick as the first dean, and a petition was then sent to National Headquarters for the official chartering of the chapter. The charter was issued October 9, 1979, and it was signed by Roberta Bitgood, National President of the AGO.
Upcoming Chapter Events 
October 18 :
Opening Social - 40th Anniversary Gala, 1315 East 900 South, Provo, 6:30 p.m. Hors d'oeuvres, program, door prizes!
November 2:
Lecture by Andrew Fellows and Dr. Neil Harmon on the Organs of Cavaille-Coll. Saturday, November 2, 10:00 a.m., Room E-400, Harris Fine Arts Center, BYU. Andrew and Neil made an extensive tour of European organs of this famous organ builder this summer, and they're going to share their experiences and introduce us to some of these organs and their amazing venues. You won't want to miss it!
December 7:
It was so much fun last year that we are doing it again! A Christmas Organ Music Informal, Provo Sunset Stake Center, 1560 South 1100 West. Hosted by Blaine Olson, 6:00 p.m. Bring Christmas music and play the Johannus organ.
Organ Crawl and Bench Time on a Notable Organ in the Valley, date and time TBD.

February 8:
Pedal, Pipes & Pizza (for youth), 10 to noon, home of Sarah Reed and Ruth Eldredge Thomas, 883 North 1200 East, Provo, from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

March 20:
Bach Birthday Recital at the Provo Central Stake Center, 450 North 1220 West, 7:00 p.m.

April 25:
Super Saturday Hymn-Playing Workshop, 9:00 a.m. to noon, Orem YSA Third Stake Center on Geneva Road

Closing Social and Member Recital, Spanish Fork Stake Center
We enjoyed Felipe Dominguez’s recital of delightful seventeenth-century Italian organ music at the Provo Central Stake Center in September. We wish Felipe the best as he performs his program in Europe.
Recitals! Recitals! Recitals!
Upcoming Recital on Temple Square 
Christophe Mantoux – October 30, 7:30 p.m. in the Tabernacle at Temple Square. Mantoux is Titular Organist at the Church of Saint-Séverin in Paris, and Professor of Organ at the Pôle Supérieur and the Conservatoire régional de Paris, where he teaches students from all over Europe, the United States, South America, South Korea, and Japan.

Message from Dr. Don Cook, associate professor of music at BYU: "We are thrilled to have French organist Christophe Mantoux coming to perform a recital in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.  Christophe was the tour guide in May 2018 for our BYU Organ Study Tour of France, and his excellence as a performer, scholar, and improviser – not to mention his engaging personality – caused an immediate bond with our 25 tour participants, including some from the local chapter!"

View the program for this event by clicking on the button below.
Mantoux Program
Upcoming Recital at BYU 
BYU Organ Faculty Recital: Don Cook, Neil Harmon, Neil Thornock – February 6, 2020, 7:30 p.m., Madsen Recital Hall. Free admission.
Eccles Organ Festival
The Eccles Organ Festival is an internationally recognized organ recital series, which seeks to provide the highest quality and most engaging organ performances free of charge to Salt Lake audiences, as well as masterclasses and public lectures.

The Eccles Organ Festival is made possible by a generous grant from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, with additional funds from the Salt Lake Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, the Salt Lake County Zoo Arts and Parks Program and many Friends of the Eccles Festival.
Eccles Schedule
Welcome, New Members!
The following individuals have recently joined our chapter. We extend a warm welcome to each of you, and hope to see you at our monthly events! (If we missed your name, please let us know. Thank you!)

Christina Clingerman Hemphill
Previous Chapter: Portland, Oregon

The following individuals recently joined through the National AGO Volunteer Organist Pilot Program:
Kayley Byers

JoEllen Taylor

Rebecca Miller
Heber City

Teresa Osorio

Cathy Caldwell
American Fork

Alek M. Bacon
Eagle Mountain

Harmony Siufanua

Angela Johnson
Pleasant Grove

Janean Baker
Spanish Fork

Mary Ellen Jackman
Pleasant Grove

Elena Brooks

Corey Jensen
Eagle Mountain

Christine Beesley

We would also like to collectively thank those who recently renewed their memberships.
Reminder: Please Initiate or Renew Your Membership

The chapter appreciates your continued support of its mission to "engage, support, and uplift every organist." If you already have a membership, you may receive an email reminder when it is time to renew your membership. If you've not become a member yet or do not receive the reminder, now is your chance!

Your contributions enhance the chapter's ability to sponsor monthly organ events each year, including Super Saturday. Please reflect on how your associations in the guild have supported and uplifted you, and consider what you can do to help. Thank you!
Learn How
A Pilot Program

The AGO Achievement Awards are designed to assist and encourage early-level organists as they improve their skills. A mentor from the chapter volunteers his/her time and energy throughout the process – from planning through completion. The candidate, who must be a chapter member, prepares the requirements independently or with the help of the mentor, a teacher, a chapter member, or friend. He/she may then complete the requirements at any time during one or more appointments with the mentor. This process provides a simple way for the chapter to involve new organists in chapter activity, and to encourage them to continue their education through AGO certification.

Our chapter is one of four that has been selected to do a field test of the five new Achievement Awards. They are designed to help brand new organists to take steps in the direction of learning to play the organ.  All five tests have been attached as well as everything that the chapter, the mentor (assigned by the chapter), and the candidate need to begin. Mentors should ideally hold an AGO certificate or a college degree in organ. Also, the program is free to members of the guild.
This program was announced at Super Saturday in April and a few who were interested signed up for more information. 
Read over the material and consider ways to go about testing it out in our chapter.  A few of the board members discussed introducing it to some of their new students.
Guidelines & Requirements
National AGO Volunteer Organist Pilot Program

In January, 2017, the AGO Councillor for Education, Dr. Don Cook; the Committee on Membership Development and Chapter Support; and the AGO National Council voted to introduce a pilot program that established a new category of membership for volunteer organists. To date, we have acquired 57 members and know that with your help, we can grow this membership.

This membership will be extended only to those who have attended an educational workshop for volunteer organists hosted by Don Cook. At the conclusion of each workshop, participants who are interested in joining the AGO will submit a Volunteer Membership Form and receive a complimentary six-month membership. Once the Volunteer Membership is processed, AGO Headquarters will send a “welcome to the AGO” email to each new volunteer member, copying the appropriate chapter dean.

After the initial six-month period, volunteer members will receive an offer to continue their membership at a discounted rate of $50. The dues are to be split evenly between national headquarters and the local chapter, each receiving $25. This introductory membership includes all the benefits of a regular AGO membership with one exception: Volunteer members may access The American Organist magazine (TAO) online, but will not receive a printed copy.

If this program is successful, this new AGO membership category will be available to any musician who earns less than $1,000 per year while serving as an organist and/or choir director.

If you know of a volunteer organist who would be interested in this category, please advise your colleague to contact Dr. Don Cook at We have asked Don to send us his schedule of upcoming workshops so that we can immediately inform each chapter of the date, time, and location of Don’s presentations.

One of the greatest benefits of being an AGO member is the community offered through local chapter meetings and programs. We encourage you as chapter officers to reach out to your new Volunteer Members during their first six months of introductory membership to immediately engage them by inviting them to chapter events, recitals and if needed, to set up carpools to support their attendance.
Help Us Grow This Membership Program!
  • Make immediate contact with volunteer organists upon receiving membership notifications
  • Add these members to your newsletter list to inform them of upcoming activities
  • Assign an enthusiastic member to offer to pick them up to attend a program and personally introduce them to other members
  • Support local workshops for volunteer organists
  • Continue to involve them in self-sustaining chapter activities
  • Offer a service through which local chapter members would be available to meet with volunteer organists to teach them about their organs/consoles.
Do you have Facebook?
So do we!

"Like" our page to stay in touch with people, events, and important information regarding the Utah Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Copyright © 2019 Utah Valley Chapter, American Guild of Organists, All rights reserved.

Our website is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp