2018 Pipe Organ Encounters


Six Summer Programs for Teenagers and Adults
Celebrate the Thirtieth Anniversary of the POE Program
Supported by Organ Builders and the National Endowment for the Arts


NEW YORK CITY—The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is proud to announce five PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTERS (POEs) for students aged 13–18, and one POE+ for adults in 2018. Complete contact information for each week long Pipe Organ Encounter can be found in The American Organist Magazine and online at www.agohq.org/education/poe. The summer schedule follows:

POE (for ages 13–18)

June 17–22Phoenix, Ariz.

June 24–29Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

July 8–13   Philadelphia, Penn.

July 16–21 Los Angeles, Calif.

July 22–27 Deland, Fla.


POE+ (for adults)

June 17–22Rockford, Ill.


The PIPE ORGAN ENCOUNTER (POE) is an introduction to the pipe organ through instruction in organ playing, repertoire, history, design, and construction. These regional summer music camps for teenage students provide private and group instruction in service playing and solo repertoire, opportunities to learn about the musical heritage of various religious denominations, and a chance for young musicians to meet others with similar interests. Piano or organ proficiency ranging from intermediate to advanced is required. Scholarship assistance is available.

The POE+ is a summer program filled with practical information and instruction for adult keyboard musicians interested in improving their service-playing skills. Participants will be introduced to basic organ skills through private instruction and classes. The week long experience will lead to greater confidence and competence at the organ.

Generous funding from the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America (APOBA), the American Institute of Organbuilders (AIO), the Jordan Organ Endowment, and the National Endowment for the Arts will support these summer educational programs from coast to coast. “The AGO and APOBA have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship since 1975,” declared AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “Likewise, the AIO has been active in supporting the Guild’s educational programs, beginning with their partnership in Pulling Out All the Stops, a video produced jointly in 1996 by the AGO, AIO, APOBA, the Organ Historical Society, and the American Theater Organ Society and aired on PBS. In addition, we are delighted to have received support from the Jordan Organ Endowment at Columbus State University for our POE program, as well as a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts supporting our educational activities this year.”

In addition to the POE and POE+ programs, but not offered in 2018, is a POE (Advanced) that provides intermediate to advanced classes in areas such as organ literature, history, pipe organ construction and design, music theory, improvisation, conducting, and service playing for students who have achieved a high level of success in organ study. Also, there is a POE (Technical) designed for students who are interested in learning the art and craft of organ building. The event is hosted in the workshop of an organ builder working in cooperation with a local AGO chapter.

POE site locations are selected by the AGO Committee on Pipe Organ Encounters and approved by the AGO National Council. Applications for 2019 are available from AGO National Headquarters and online at www.agohq.org.