About the American Guild of Organists
The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. The Guild serves over 20,000 members in 330 chapters throughout the United States, Asia, and Australia.
Founded in 1895 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.
Under the leadership of the National Council, a network of volunteer committees and officials at the regional, district, and local levels directs the activities of the Guild. The National Headquarters in New York City coordinates publication, administration, and development activities of the organization. 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 attainments in organ playing, choral techniques, conducting, theory, and general knowledge of music, and to grant certificates to those who pass examinations at specified levels of attainment.
· To provide members with opportunities to meet for discussion of professional topics, and to pursue other such activities as contribute to the fulfillment of the purposes of the Guild.
· Guild activities include examinations for professional certification with an extensive list off publications, audiocassettes and learning resources for all levels of interest. The Guild sponsors competitions in performance, improvisation, and composition. National and regional conventions held in alternate years present the finest performers. The American Organist monthly magazine is the most widely read journal devoted to organ and choral music in the world.
From AGO National Headquarters—Revised December 3, 2007
All individuals interested in the organ and choral music fields are invited to join the American Guild of Organists. Membership is open to everyone, regardless of denominational affiliation or musical ability. Membership starts at the Chapter level and annual dues are collected by the Chapter (with portions sent to National Headquarters for further processing).
Lifetime membership is a new and exciting membership option for those who wish to declare their timeless support o the Guild by making a commitment to Guild membership for life. Never write a check for AGO membership renewal again! AGO National Headquarters will remit the chapter portion of your membership dues to the local chapter of your choice on an individual basis. Lifetime Membership is available for $3,000, either as a lump sum or payable over six years.
AGO Code of Ethics
Members of the American Guild of Organists are bound by the AGO Code of Ethics and guided by the Code of Professional Standards (adopted by the National Council on October 23, 1933 as revised through April 16, 2007.
Preamble: 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. Voting members are entitled to enjoy the privileges and are expected to accept the responsibilities of membership in the Guild. Members shall be considered equally for Guild offices and participation in Guild activities. These are the rules that shall be considered binding upon all voting members in good standing.
RULE 1. Members shall promote good working relationships within the American Guild of Organists and shall respect the employment of colleagues. Members shall address differences between themselves and other members by following the procedures outlined in the Discipline.
RULE 2. Members shall not seek or appear to be seeking employment for themselves, a student, or a colleague, in a position held by someone else. Members shall apply for employment only for a position which the employer, with the knowledge of the incumbent musician, has officially and publicly declared vacant by announcement of the vacancy.
RULE 3. In cases pending under the Procedures or in cases where the National Council has determined that a position has been made vacant by wrongful termination of a member of the American Guild of Organists, members shall not seek or accept regular or permanent employment for themselves, a student, or colleague at that institution until the National Council is satisfied that differences between the Guild and the Institution have been resoled. Interim services may be provided for a period of 90 days.
RULE 4. Members shall obtain the approval of the incumbent musician before accepting an engagement for a wedding, funeral, or other service requested by a third party. In such cases, the incumbent should receive his/her customary fee, and the third party is expected to provide it. It is the responsibility of the guest members to inform the third party of this rule. Members are advised to protect themselves as incumbents in this regard by negotiating employment contracts which secure these fees and which provide some responsibility. Oversight, and control as to choice of music, etc.
RULE 5. Members shall conduct professional activities with truthfulness, honesty, and integrity, and shall maintain sensitivity in matters of a personal or confidential nature.
RULE 6. Members shall not discriminate against others on the basis of race, national origin, age, religious affiliation, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or medical condition (including, but not limited to, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).