Last updated: January 19, 2016 at 15:51 pm

Message from the Dean 

It is definitely autumn here in the Sandhills.  The leaves are falling and those misty, gray days, or soft days as the Irish refer to them, have become part of our scenery.  As musicians, many of us are in the midst of preparations for Advent and Christmas.  In fact, as hard as it is to believe, the next time you receive news from the Dean, Christmas will have come and gone! I’m sure I’m not the only one that looks forward to that day, post Christmas, where there is that momentary sigh of relief and reward. I particularly love being curled up on my couch on the afternoon of Christmas, with a beverage in hand, enjoying the Christmas tree in my living room, and feeling a great sense of satisfaction at all of the success and work that went into creating beautiful liturgies for the celebration of the birth of the Christ child.  I am especially looking forward to this day, as it will also be a day of rest following the installation of the new C.B. Fisk pipe organ for Emmanuel Episcopal Church where I serve as organist and choirmaster.  The unloading of the truck is on Sunday, December 6th, starting at 1 P.M. – come join us if you are in the area!

As we enter the season of light and love, I want to invite each of you to our November chapter event on Saturday, November 21st at 10:00 A.M. at Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church, 330 S. May Street, Southern Pines, NC.  On that morning members are asked to bring their five favorite anthems to share with each other.  These five favorites can be new favorites or old favorites.  It will be a wonderful opportunity for us to share choral music with each other that we have found very useful in our individual ministries or perhaps anthems that have provided great musical reward.  Please bring enough copies of the anthems for everyone to read through.  All copies are to be returned to those who brought them, assuming most all of us will be bringing anthems from the choral libraries of our individual churches.  Coffee and breakfast pastries will be provided.  The reading and sharing session will be held in the Choir Room of Brownson Church.  Please park in the parking lot on the north side of the church (entrance on the corner of May Street and Massachusetts Ave.).  There is easy access to the choir room from that lot.  This will be a wonderful time for us to share in some great music together.  Please feel free to bring your choral director friends along for the fun!  If you have any questions, please contact event host, Michael Howe, Director of Music at Brownson Memorial Presbyterian, 910-692-6252.

A big thank you to Mr. Stephen Gourley and Rev. John Jacobs from The Village Chapel who served as our hosts for our September Installation Service.  It was a wonderful event, enhanced by the incredible food provided by Judy Gourley, complete with three homemade cakes!  For those you of who could not be with us, you missed out and we missed you.  The fellowship was a personal highlight and it certainly confirmed the Executive Board’s belief that simply getting together as colleagues has great value and is of real importance.

I wish all of you a very blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas season.  May your services and holidays be filled with love, joy, and beauty.

Homer Ferguson



Local Events

Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza – Saturday, February 6, 10:00am-12:30pm. Please see poster below for more information.


Pedals and Pipes-page-72-dpi


AGO Dues Information

The AGO National Council has established new dues rates for all dues categories. The new rates will appear on the April 1 renewal notices that AGO Headquarters will send to current chapter members renewing for the 2015-2016 membership year. These rates are $100 for Regular members; $75 for Special members; $40 for Student members; and $75 for Partners. The new rates reflect a $3 increase in each membership category, with $2 being retained by each chapter and $1 allocated to National Headquarters.

The new dues rates will take effect on April 1 for those who join the Guild for the first time either as Chapter members or as Independent members, or who reinstate as either Chapter members or Independent members after their memberships have lapsed. Please note that new members and those who wish to reinstate their lapsed memberships can join now through March 30 at the current dues rates before they increase on April 1.



Membership coordinator Michael Howe may be contacted at music@brownsonchurch.org.



Employers and job seekers are invited to post and search listings of available positions on the Guild’s National Website.

For posting in the chapter newsletter, please contact Stephen Gourley at stephengourley@my.unt.edu.





Contact Us

For website or newsletter information, please contact Stephen Gourley, webmaster at stephengourley@my.unt.edu

Executive Board

Dean—Homer Ferguson

Secretary—Monica Sparzak

Treasurer—Marcia Heirman-Mervin

Membership Coordinators—Michael Howe

Newsletter Editor/Webmaster—Stephen Gourley

Chaplain—The Rev. Dr. John Jacobs




AGO National website