Welcome to the Saint Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists!
The purpose of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) 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, inspiriation education, and certification of Guild members. The AGO has 20,000 members in 348 chapters throughout the United States, Europe, Korea and Argentina.
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About our Chapter
The chapter now known as the Saint Louis Chapter #633 of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) was originally chartered as the Missouri Chapter on October 23, 1911. In February of 1955, we officially became the Saint Louis Chapter. Saint Louis was privileged to host the 1948 AGO National Convention. The 1948 Convention was the first post-war convention and was organized largely by Dr. Howard Kelsey, former Washington University professor in the Department of Music in Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Kelsey served as the University organist at Washington University for more than 30 years. During that time he established one of the naation’s first programs in historical performance practice as well as a nationally acclaimed program in organ. He supervised two-dozen PH.D. students, over a dozen Fulbright scholars, and scores of master’s degree students. He helped many of his students secure positions at major churches and universities across the United States and abroad.
Mid-Winter conclaves were held in Saint Louis in 1956 and 1975. In 1985, Saint Louis was the site for an AGO Regional Convention. Saint Louis has also hosted two Pipe Organ Encounters (2006 and 2010.) The Saint Louis chapter has been selected as the site for the 2015 North Central Region Convention. Andrew Peters, pastoral musician at Second Presbyterian Church in Saint Louis has been selected as the convention coordinator.
Our Chapter welcomes in membership anyone interested in organ and choral music. All are welcome without regard to his/her proficiency, experience, employment status or age. As we move into our second century, we welcome your participation, solicit your ideas and suggestions, and invite you to visit a meeting and program and join us in our love of organ and choral music. Our goal is to encourage individual expression, abolish the barriers of elitism and expand our chapter’s relevance to all of its members. I encourage you to be vocal about your observations and help us be responsive to and inclusive of all our members.
As the Dean, I welcome you and look forward to seeing you at a meeting or program very soon.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Dawn E. Riske
Dean, Saint Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists