Virtual Senior Recital

By November 13, 2020

Organist Andy Rose, a senior at Texas Wesleyan University, will give his senior organ recital at FUMCFW as part of his degree requirements at Texas Wesleyan University where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in organ. He has attended Texas Wesleyan University since fall 2017. He currently studies organ with Dr. Jerry Westenkuehler.

This concert-styled program will be aired on Monday, November 16 at 7:00 pm for the Fort Worth American Guild of Organists November program — and to the congregation and the general public on fumcfw.org/live.

Andy, 25, who was born, raised, and homeschooled in Graham, Texas, has served as part-time organist at First Christian Church of McKinney since January of 2018. He says that he was first drawn to the organ and the concept of church music as a young child, when his mother would take him to Wednesday evening rehearsals in the choir loft of First Presbyterian Church in Graham. From then on, he was struck with the notion to become a church organist. He says that this recital and his near-term graduation sets him on the path for his goal to become a full-time church musician. In addition to his senior organ recital, Andy is preparing to take Section 2 of the CAGO exam on November 13, 2020 and will take Section 1 either in the Spring or Fall of 2021.

From the age of ten, he studied piano with Edwin and Francis Key of Olney, Texas. Since the age of fourteen, Andy has served as a church musician in various denominations. He began organ studies with Dr. Kiyo Watanabe in Wichita Falls at the age of sixteen. He will graduate from Texas Wesleyan in December of 2020.

Andy is also currently a member of the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Guild of Organists where he serves as a director on the executive board, webmaster of the chapter’s website, and assistant database administrator for the chapter’s membership database.

FUMCFW Organist Peggy Graff, Associate Director of Music and Worship Arts, currently serves the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) as Sub-Dean, Program Director, and Certification Coordinator. Of the long and supportive relationship between First Church and the AGO, Peggy says, “the American Guild of Organists has played a major role in my professional life as an organist/musician. For many years, I managed to hold part-time organist positions at churches while teaching full-time as a choral director/music education specialist; but the amount of organ practice I was able to achieve was minimal.  At some point during those years, I decided to enroll in the Master of Sacred Degree program at SMU and Perkins School of Theology; and I chose organ performance as my major area of concentration. This outstanding two-year degree program was a means towards more intense organ study and practice while fulfilling a thirst for knowledge in theology and other religious studies. After earning the MSM degree, there became little time for organ practice allowing me to excel, since I had continued to teach full-time.

After my retirement from teaching, I learned about the opportunity to become professionally certified as an organist through the AGO. Exam Certification encouraged me to spend the time necessary to focus on practicing specific organ repertoire, techniques and disciplines that brought me to a new level of excellence as an organist and musician. Currently, I have earned certification in the first two of the four certification levels (SPC and CAGO); and I have passed Section 1 of the third level of certification (AAGO) and am studying for Section 2 of the exam. As FWAGO chapter certification coordinator, I have significantly increased my knowledge of organ repertoire, music theory, composition, service playing and music history by offering and teaching workshops for exam candidates at all levels.

The purpose of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) is to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of the organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members.

The Fort Worth Chapter was founded in 1929, is a part of the Southwest Region, and currently has about 140 members. The AGO is a national organization comprised of 19,000 members in 350 chapters, split into seven regions. The national headquarters office is located in New York City.

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