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Upcoming Chapter Events


We will meet at the Bach Library, Rm. 160 Boesel Musical Arts Center,  new wing of the  Baldwin Wallace Conservatory. The entrance to the building is at 49 Seminary Street, Berea, Ohio 4401. Parking at corner lot across the street.  
Dr. Melvin Unger, Bach Institute Director, will share treasured scores and manuscripts from the Bach Library vaults. Works to be displayed this year include J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion,  a complete Bach Cantata with orchestral parts in Bach’s hand and the Clara Schumann Bach Book. 

Following a  brief tour of the new Conservatory wing, our group will walk to a Thai restaurant, Sweet Mango, 43 Front St. for refreshments. If your schedule allows, you may want to stay on campus for the 4 pm Opening Concert of the Bach Festival – program listed in Concert calendar below. See the full  Bach Festival Schedule of Events at 

Please send your reservation for the library tour and/or Sweet Mango Restaurant to Sub-Dean, Barbara MacGregor, by Monday, April 21st.   
Attention Eastside members:  we will car-pool leaving from First Unitarian Church, 21600 Shaker Blvd. Shaker Hts, at 12:15 pm. Contact Fern Jennings / 216-751-2320 or Paul Guyer/ 440-349-7086. if you would like to share a ride.

Sunday, May 18 – 3 pm (note time change)

Cleveland Chapter organists, Max Bunker, Paul Guyer, and Brian Wentzel, will perform mini-recitals on three different pipe organs at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 18001 Detroit Ave. Lakewood, OH 44107  and Lakewood Congregational Church,  1375 W. Clifton Blvd.  Holtkamp, Jaeckel and Schantz organs. 

The program begins at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Tasty refreshments and  our Annual Meeting with Installation of officers follow the program. Join your fellow members in hearing three different instrument and players, welcoming our new officers and celebrating a successful year.

Next Executive Committee Meeting

To Be Announced

Nominating Slate for 2014/15

Nominating Committee Report and Biographies

The Chapter Nominating Committee has submitted the following names for the Cleveland AGO Chapter Officers and Executive Committee members for the coming election:

Dean: Paul Guyer
Sub-Dean: Matthew Skitzki
Secretary: Jan Jones
Treasurer: Don Jackson

Executive Committee (3 year term expires 2017) three to be elected

James Leek
Barbara MacGregor
Brian Wentzel
Carol Wipper

Additional nominations may be made by petition if each petition is signed by five (5) members of the Chapter in good standing and submitted to the Chapter Secretary within thirty (30) days of this announcement of the slate. (by  March 27, 2014)

Nominating Committee
Max Bunker, Betty Meyers, Robert Schneider, Leah Hottel, Tim Hemry



DEAN: PAUL GUYER (CAGO).  Paul brings over thirty years experience of musical leadership having served in congregations large and small.  Paul believes in an inclusive approach to making music; incorporating a wide variety of styles, interests, and abilities.  He has served in various denominations, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal, and Church of the Brethren.  He holds a degree from Westminster Choir College, and has completed the Education for Ministry course from the University of the South School of Theology.  Paul has sung in the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, the Westminster Symphonic Choir and  has performed with Robert Shaw, Robert Porco, Franz Welser-Most, Zubin Mehta, and Leonard Bernstein. Paul has also worked in business as an IT professor and has earned the Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.

SUBDEAN: MATTHEW SKITZKI (SPC).  Matthew is a proud member of the Cleveland Chapter of   AGO since 2011.  He is Music Director at Church of the Western Reserve in Pepper Pike and staff accompanist at Hathaway Brown School.  A native of Cleveland, Matthew studied piano at CIM with Betty Zimmer, and organ with Adeline Huss.  He went on to earn a Bachelor of Music  in Keyboard Literature and a Bachelor of Jazz Studies at Bowling Green University and then a MM in Piano Performance with Grammy Award-winning Dr. Angelin Chang at Cleveland State University.  While earning degrees in piano,  Matthew pursued organ study with advice from Todd Wilson and Chris Toth, and earned a Service Playing Certificate in 2013 with hopes of advancing to the Colleague level by 2015.  Matthew also sings bass with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, and joined them on their 2013 European tour.  Matthew has served as Facebook Administrator and on the Website Committee for the Cleveland Chapter of the AGO, and would be honored to serve in the capacity of sub-dean.

SECRETARY: JAN JONES (SPC). Jan is organist at Dover Congregational Church in Westlake.  Although she was trained as a scientist, she was “drafted” to learn organ to assist at the church  she was attending.  She joined the Guild immediately and has been an active member for over twenty years.  Gradually she began to freelance, and she was thrilled to earn her Service Playing Certificate.  Her teachers have included Peg Limkemann, Nicole Keller, David Blazer, and the many generous Guild members who taught and encouraged inexperienced organists in workshops and classes.  She also studied piano with Dr. Gerald Evans at Lorain County Community College while taking the Associates Degree music course sequence there.  Although her organ education is unconventional, she is passionate about the instrument and is eager to give back to the Guild, which has been so helpful to her.  She is living, enthusiastic proof that there is more than one way to become an organist.  She would be pleased to serve for another year as Secretary.

TREASURER: DON JACKSON is in his second year as chapter treasurer.  Prior to becoming treasurer he served as publicity chair and before that as a class member.  Don has over 20 years of experience in business IT systems that he brings to the position and has just finished a certificate program in nonprofit administration.  He is currently working as a contract bookkeeper and as organist at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Westlake.


JAMES LEEK learned organ building while apprenticing under his father, a master organ builder, as a teenager and later while pursuing a degree from BGSU in Industrial Technology Education.  In 1992 James succeeded his father as President of Leek  Pipe  Organ Company.  Organ building is a personal calling for James complimenting his  Christian faith.  He is a current member of the American  Institute of Organ Builders, the  Organ Historical Society, the AGO, and St. Clarence Church.  James is an avid golfer, skier, and loves the outdoors.  Despite his 6’7” frame, over the years he has mastered the skill of working in tight corners and small spaces of organ chambers.  You can find information on James and his firm at:

BARBARA MacGREGOR, AAGO, DMA, has been a member of both Cleveland and Akron AGO chapters for many years.  She was awarded the Associate Degree from the Guild and has served Cleveland Chapter AGO as Sub-Dean/Program Chair from  2012 to the present.  In 2012 she served as Co-Chair of the NYACOP  Semi-Finals held in Cleveland.  She is also past Dean of Akron Chapter and  continues to serve as Education/Certification Chair.  Barbara was Professor of  Music at The University of Akron for 35 Years teaching Organ, Harpsichord, Music Theory courses and serving as Performance Coordinator and Keyboard  Studies Chair.  Barbara was Organist/Director of  Music at two downtown Akron churches for 35 years.  Summer  found her in Lakeside, OH, as organist for the  Chautauqua-on-Lake-Erie program. She was Director of Akron’s Trinity Organ Series and has also served on the  boards of the Tuesday Musical  Association in Akron and the Music from the Western Reserve concert series in Hudson.

BRIAN WENTZEL, MSM, FAGO, is Director of Music at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lorain, OH, where he has served since 2006.  At First Lutheran Brian has  developed the FIRST music series, and was instrumental in procuring an Historic Organ Citation for the church’s organ, all while remaining focused on the core mission of leading congregational singing. Brian is an active performer in the Cleveland area,  singing with Apollo’s Singers and Quire Cleveland, and regularly playing organ recitals and festivals. His musical compositions are published by Augsburg Fortress and Hope,  and his writings have appeared in The Canterbury Dictionary of Hynmology, Word and World, and the curriculum of Leadership for Musicians..  Brian is currently Dean of Lorain County AGO and also serves on the Program Committee and Website Committee of AGO Cleveland.  Brian’s degrees are from Northwestern University (BMus, BA, 2003) and Luther Seminary (Master of Sacred Music, 2006.)

CAROL WIPPER.  Although I have not been active recently in the AGO, was on the Program Committee in the past.  I also helped with the competitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art as a Board member of The Musart Society.  I am currently auxiliary organist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and substitute at St. Christopher’s, Gates Mills.  Other musical involvements include being formerly on the Board of Apollo’s Fire and now on the Board of The Cleveland International Piano Competition. I regularly attend concerts at CIM, Severance Hall and City Music venues.


Mission Statement

The mission of the American Guild of Organists is to enrich lives through organ and choral music. 

To achieve this, we:

  • Encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music;
  • Inspire, educate, and offer certification for organists and choral conductors;
  • Provide networking, fellowship, and mutual support;
  • Nurture future generations of organists;
  • Promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles; and
  • Engage wider audiences with organ and choral music.

This Week in Classical Music History

On April 10, 1868 Johannes Brahms conducted the first performance of his Ein Deutsches Requiem. The event was a Good Friday concert in Bremen. The deaths of Brahm's mother and his friend Robert Schumann were likely motivating factors in the composition of the Requiem. The concert was a great success and a turning factor in Brahms' career. Here is a link to a performance of  "How Lovely Are the Dwellings" from the Requiem.

Brahms - "How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place"


Events Calendar

AGO Admin,
Feb 19, 2014, 7:16 PM
AGO Admin,
Mar 4, 2014, 11:20 AM
AGO Admin,
Feb 19, 2014, 7:17 PM
AGO Admin,
Sep 17, 2013, 8:46 AM