Utah Valley Chapter Organized
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.
Parley L. Belnap, Michael C. Bigelow, Heidi Brown, Janice Burton, Douglas E. Bush, Robin Cardon, Don Cook, C. Gerald Dick, Gladys Farmer, Verena Hatch, Lillian Heil, J.J. Keeler, Erla Knudson, Lawrence E. Weidmann, Steven Wright, Zara Tonks
1979—1980: C. Gerald Dick
1980—1981: Michael L. Bigelow
1981—1982: Dr. Don Cook
1982—1984: Dr. Douglas E. Bush
1984—1986: Joan Stevens
1986—1987: Dr. Brett Zumsteg
1987—1990: Scott Mills
1990—1992: Thomas K. Hinckley
1992—1994: Carol Dean
1994—1996: Lella Pomeroy
1996—1998: Larry Tomkinson
1998—2000: LuJean Moss
2000—2002: Dr. Parley L. Belnap
2002—2004: Cynthia Wells
2004—2006: David Chamberlin
2006—2008: Nancy Christensen
2008—2010: Mike Carson
2010—2012: Florence Hawkinson
2012—2016: Sheri Peterson
2016—2018: Quinten Knudsen
History & Purpose of the National Organization
The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. The Guild serves approximately 20,000 members in more than 300 chapters throughout the United States and abroad.
Founded in 1896 as both an educational and service organization, the Guild seeks to set and maintain high musical standards and to promote understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music.
The purposes of the American Guild of Organists are:
- To advance the cause of organ and choral music, to increase their contributions to aesthetic and religious experiences, and to promote their understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment.
- To improve the proficiency of organists and choral conductors.
- To evaluate, by examination, attainments in organ playing, choral techniques, conducting, and the theory and general knowledge of music, and to grant certificates to those who pass such examinations at specified levels of attainment.
- To provide members with opportunities to meet for discussion of professional topics, and to pursue such other activities as contribute to the fulfillment of the purposes of the Guild.
- Guild sponsored activities include a series of examinations for professional certification as well as programs and an extensive list of publications, CDs, DVDs, and learning resources for all levels of interest. The Guild sponsors competitions in organ performance and improvisation and in organ and choral composition. National and regional conventions held in alternate years, present the finest performers. THE AMERICAN ORGANIST magazine, published monthly by the AGO, is the most widely read journal devoted to organ and choral music in the world.