Dear Members and Friends of the Central Arizona Chapter,
The American Guild of Organists is both an educational and service organization that seeks to set and maintain high musical standards and to promote understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music. As articulated on our national website, the Guild endeavors 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. It also seeks to improve the proficiency of organists and choral conductors. The Guilds charter, granted by the Board of Regents of the State of New York in 1896, authorizes the organization to administer prescribed examinations and to issue certificates in organ playing, choir training, music theory, and general music knowledge.
As a Guild, our membership of over 17,000 is college educated, with approximately 80% holding degrees beyond the bachelor's, almost equally divided between genders, with 52% male and 48% female and, while predominately Caucasian, is comprised of all major races in its shared pursuit of musical excellence.
As stated in the Preamble of the AGO Code of Ethics, the purpose of the American Guild of Organists is to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members. In this one sentence, the founders of the AGO have inspired all of us to promulgate the organ, to nurture new talent, and to be leaders in our communities and churches in representing the highest excellence in music.
We invite you to share in these endeavors and to assist us in preserving the rich traditions of our past as we join to continue to discover new ways to create an ever more profound Alleluia! The Guilds motto, inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach, is Soli Deo Gloria To God Alone the Glory.
With best wishes,
Steven Swerdfeger, Ph.D.