What is a Pipe Organ Encounter+ ?

Pipe Organ Encounter+ for Adults is an educational outreach program to adults from the American Guild of Organists (AGO). This 5-day conference is scheduled for June 8–13, 2014, and will be hosted by the Rockford Chapter of the AGO. Venues for the conference include Redeemer Lutheran Church, First Lutheran Church, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Second Congregational Church, Court Street Methodist Church, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, Our Savior Lutheran Church, and Holy Family Catholic Church.

Nationally acclaimed faculty members will perform recitals, lead workshops and teach individual organ lessons. Student participants will benefit from daily organ lessons with these superb teachers and will receive ample organ practice time to facilitate their learning of new skills acquired at these lessons.

To supplement and reinforce individual lessons, the schedule will include workshops related to pipe organ playing: organ technique, hymn playing, organ building and registration, organ literature, sight reading as well as daily classes in beginning and intermediate organ improvisation.

Exciting evening events are planned including an excursion to The Sanfilippo "Place de la Musique" in Barrington Hills–known worldwide for its magnificent collections of beautifully restored antique music machines, phonographs, chandeliers, art glass, the world's largest restored theatre pipe organ, a most spectacular European salon carousel, street and tower clocks, steam engines and other functional mechanical antiques, displayed within a breathtaking French Second Empire setting.

A Brief Overview

  • POE+ for adults offers instruction in basic technique, pedaling, improvisation and registration, and skills such as hymn playing, sight reading and transposition (which may lead to qualifying as a candidate for the AGO Service Playing Certificate).
  • Other topics include an overview of organ literature, history, and pipe organ design and construction.POE+ provides a unique opportunity for participants to meet and interact with peers.
  • The Rockford, Illinois POE+ is the only seminar of its kind in the Midwest this year.

  • Financial aid may be available from your local AGO chapters or religious institutions.


Contact us:

Rockford AGO chapter website:

AGO National website:

POE+ Director:

POE+ Registrar:
Devon Hollingsworth

If you have any dietary restrictions, contact:
Valerie Blair or
Carol Ostrom

POE+ Steering Committee:
Ron Barchinger
Valerie Blair
Vickie Dombrowski
Devon Hollingsworth
Carol Ostrom
Ron Weber
Sharon Whitlock

Brad Whitlock


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Pipe Organ Encounter is an educational outreach program of the American Guild of Organists. Major funding for Pipe Organ Encounters is provided by the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America. Additional support is provided by the American Institute of Organbuilders. Permanently endowed AGO scholarships are provided in memory of Charlene Brice Alexander, Robert S. Baker, Seth Bingham, Clarence Dickinson, Philip Hahn, Charles N. Henderson, Alfred E. Lunsford, Ruth Milliken, Ned Siebert and Martin M. Wick; and in honor of Anthony Baglivi, Philip E. Baker, Morgan & Mary Simmons, and the Leupold Foundation.