WELCOME to the Greater Hartford Chapter of the American Guild of Organists website!  The stpetersnewbritaincaseAGO is a national organization that seeks to promote the pipe organ and its music, so if you love the sound of the organ then the AGO is for you. The Greater Hartford Chapter is quite active and made up of a very welcoming group of musicians. We present workshops and concerts, offer educational opportunities for young musicians and host social events so that we can share ideas with our colleagues. Check our “Chapter Events” calendar for upcoming programs in the Hartford area. The “Regional Calendar” features events presented by our members and by members of nearby chapters of the AGO. While you’re here, check out our forum where any topic related to the organ can be discussed, or browse the “Organs of Hartford.” We hope you’ll be sufficiently impressed to join our chapter, in which case you may find all the information you need under the “Join us” menu!


ImageView a Printable GHC-AGO 2015-16 Program Schedule here: 2015-16 Programs


Click Here To Read a review of the

2015 Regional Convention in New Haven


Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival News

by David Spicer, Artistic Director

The Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival is moving to its new home at Trinity College in Hartford! After enjoying eighteen glorious years of this annual Festival at the First Church of Christ in Wethersfield — we look forward to an even greater community participation moving forward.

I want to thank the First Church of Christ, Wethersfield, for allowing the Festival to take place at the church for these eighteen years. It has been wonderful to have so many talented young artists and the adjudicators with us and to use the church’s magnificent Austin pipe organ. The graciousness of the congregation, staff, and the community was truly a blessing!

Many thanks to Bon Smith of Austin Organ Service who served as “babysitter” for the competition, in case something went wrong. Nothing did! Thanks also to Alex Belair and Michael Tanguay from Bon’s company, who serviced the organ prior to the Festival.

This year’s festival featured judges Diane Meredith Belcher, Peter Richard Conte, and John Walker, and opened on Friday, September 11 with a Festival Choir composed of representatives from Center Church in Hartford, the Cathedral of Saint Joseph (also in Hartford), and the First Church of Christ. Ezequiel Menendez accompanied, and I conducted.

John Walker, adjudicator, writes:
Emerging from the six brilliant finalists in the eighteenth annual Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival, Monica Czausz won first place in the young professional division and Adrian Binkley took top honors in the high school division. All contestants played at an impressively high level, everyone therefore being declared a winner. Having been nurtured for almost two decades by its founder, David Spicer, ASOF is far more than a performance competition: featured events of the weekend included a festival concert with massed choirs and organ, the competition, opportunities for all contestants to play in services of worship at the First Church of Christ (Wethersfield) and the Cathedral of St. Joseph (Hartford), an organ masterclass with the adjudicators, a field trip to the Austin Organ factory, and shared meals with competitors, adjudicators, and board members of ASOF. Following that memorable weekend, everyone departed with renewed inspiration and confidence in the future of our chosen vocation.

The finalists this year were:
High School Division —

  • 1st Place ($2000) – Adrian Binkley from Madison, Wisconsin.
    This prize is provided by The Marjorie Jolidon Fund of the Greater Hartford Chapter, American Guild of Organists.
  • 2nd Place ($1000) – Aaron Patterson from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
  • 3rd Place ($500) – Elena Baquerizo from Miami, Florida
Young Professional Division —
  • 1st Place ($3500) – Monica Czausz from Houston, Texas
  • 2nd Place ($1500) – Robin Ericksen from Macon, Georgia
  • 3rd Place ($750) – Mary Pan from Burlington, Connecticut
The David Spicer Hymn Playing Award ($1000) –
  • Adrian Binkley from Madison, Wisconsin
Save the dates — The Festival is moving to the last weekend in September— Friday, September 30 to Sunday, October 2, with an opening concert at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Hartford. The competition will be held at Trinity College on Saturday, October 1, and — new — the 2015 first-prize winners will return on Saturday night and play a recital at St. John’s Episcopal Church in West Hartford. A masterclass will end the Festival and will be held on Sunday afternoon at Trinity College. Exact times will be published in a forthcoming release.

We are grateful to the Marjorie Jolidon Fund of the Greater Hartford Chapter, American Guild of Organists, for supporting, in part, The 2015 Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival.

For more information about the Festival weekend, please see our website atwww.schweitzerfestival.org or contact us at 860-529-1575, ext. 209.


Finalists: (left to right) Elena Baquerizo, Aaron Patterson, Robin Ericksen, Adrian Binkley, Mary Pan, and Monica Czausz. (Photo by Marla Darius)