top of page

Presenters and Workshops

Abbington Pic.jpg

James Abbington

Choral and Organ Music by Black Composers

Choral and organ music reading session of compositions from GIA Publications, Inc., which includes the Morehouse College Choral Series, the Jason Max Ferdinand Choral Series, and the African American Church Music Series.


J.W. Arnold

This workshop will present practical strategies to promote your chapter’s upcoming concerts and programs. Learn how to effectively pitch your events to local journalists, create “likable” social media marketing campaigns, and capture the performance for live-streaming or YouTube. J.W. Arnold, an award-winning PR, and marketing consultant with more than 25 years of experience, will share tips and tricks, as well as useful templates, to help capture the attention of both your members and local music lovers. This session is also appropriate for performers and those who work in churches and/or performing arts organizations.

Phil Asgian

Expanding Educational Programming and Outreach Around the Pipe Organ

Members of the Twin Cities Chapter's Education Committee share experiences and "hands-on” examples they have used to help build greater interest in the pipe organ in schools, churches, adult education programs, and increasingly for organ search committees.  We will use the chapter's demonstration instrument "mini opus" built from a collaboration with Dobson and Schantz pipe organ builders.  We will also feature one our science experiments, and introduce recent videos on the organ from a collaboration with Minnesota Public Radio's classical music station.

Phil Asgian UPLOAD L1060893.JPG

Marilyn Biery

New Releases for Organ from Augsburg Fortress

Featuring music for organ from David Evan Thomas, Brenda Portman, F. Melius Christiansen, David N Johnson and the most recent volumes of the Augsburg Organ Library. We will explore recent music for worship and concert as well as newly composed hymn introductions and reharmonizations to expand creativity through congregational song. Also featured will be Marilyn Biery’s recent volume of 10 transcriptions of Bach cantata movements in the style of the Schübler Chorales. 

Marilyn Biery.jpg

Dean Billmeyer

Professional Certification through the AGO: Why it Matters, and How You can Make this Program Work for You

In this workshop, Dean Billmeyer, FAGO will give an overview and background of the Professional Certification Program. Emphasis will be on the program’s relationship to the history and mission of the Guild, as well as how the program can be a valuable tool for organists and choral directors of all levels of ability to learn and improve their skills. Examples from Guild Exams at all levels will be shared, as will resources for further study and reference.

Dean Billmeyer Holiday Organ Recital Photo by Tony Nelson Press
Rick Erickson UPLOAD.JPG

Rick Erickson

Bach Cantatas
Celebrating the 300th Anniversary

Bach’s music is as alive and immediate today as 300 years ago. Rick Erickson will explore ideas for presentation and performance in various settings and contexts, with a focus on his sacred choral works. Issues such as choirs, soloists, instrumentation, key, language and more will be included. Come with experiences, questions and more!

David Heller

Pedagogy - organ methods.  Where are we now?

Our approach to performing organ literature from different stylistic periods has changed drastically over the past five decades.  How have these changes affected the way we teach organ students today?  What method books are available to us as teachers to help us incorporate ideas of performance practice?  How do you start a beginning organist when there are numerous approaches and opinions on the subject?  This session will explore the different tools available to teachers today and address some of the philosophical and technical issues confronting teachers and students in the twenty-first century.

David Heller.jpg
Sheri Masiakowski.jpg

Sheri Masiakowski

Solo Organ Works of Sr. Theophane Hytrek OSF

Sr. Theophane (1915-1992), earned the FAGO at age 30, PhD in composition (1957) from the Eastman School of Music, and AGO National Registrar and Education Committee—a driving force for institution of the Colleague Exam. Dr. Sheri Masiakowski’s dissertation research discovered unpublished compositional treasures. Delve into Sr. Theophane’s a few of these recently published manuscripts here.  Accompanied by Sheri’s commentary, explore forthcoming manuscripts useful in Catholic and Protestant service. 


Among the featured works are: Sonata Fantasia for Organ”, “Paschaltide Suite for Organ”, “Marche Nuptiale and Recessional for Organ”, “Organ Suite in Honor of Mary Immaculate”, “Offertory for Organ on ‘Rejoice, O Mary, Heavenly Queen’”, “Christmas Communion Number for Organ”, “Postlude-Partita on Old Hundredth”, “Cantabile for Organ”, “Now the Light Has Gone Away”, “Chaconne”, “Rhapsody of Praise based on the Gregorian Chant ‘Te Deum’”, and “Suite Gloriosa on the Austrian Hymn”.


Mary Newton

Member Forum led by North Central American Guild of Organists Regional Councillor

Northrop : Past, Present and Future

A 45-minute documentary film produced by the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists that features Northrop's Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, Opus 892 from its beginning in 1932 to the present day. 


Acknowledgements:  Kathrine Handford, Bill Lund, Peter Myers, TCAGO, Northrop

Copyright 2017 University of Minnesota_Photo_Patrick_O'Leary_07.jpg

Sound Advice: Musicians’ Ears - Practicing for Healthy Hearing

This presentation will be hosted by an esteemed panel from the Mayo Clinic Department of Otolaryngology, Rochester, MN

Michael Silhavy

GIA Publications Choral Music Reading Session

A reading session of new sacred choral music selections from GIA Publications, Inc., led by Michael Silhavy, Senor Project Editor for GIA. Participants will receive a free packet of music for review.

Michael Silhavy retouched 2.jpg

Alexis VanZalen

Rethinking French Baroque Organ Music

French Baroque Livres d'Orgue: Products of the French Catholic Reformation

Dr. Alexis VanZalen.jpeg
bottom of page