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About the Association of Church Musicians (ACM) &
the American Guild of Organists (AGO), Madison Chapter


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The Madison Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) was chartered on September 14, 1953, as the outgrowth of work which began in June 1947 by Ruth Pilger Andrews, Paul Jones, and others, meeting as the Wisconsin Association of Church Musicians. WACM held annual hymn and choir festivals and organ recitals; its major legacy was the establishment in 1949 of the Louise Fulcher Memorial Library, an extensive catalog of organ and choral music now part of the Fulcher-Scidmore Sacred Music Collection. Housed at the Janesville (WI) Public Library for many years, the collection's current home is at Rock Prairie United Presbyterian Church in Janesville.

In 1984, with the encouragement of Edward Hugdahl of the UW-Extension, the Association of Church Musicians was established to serve in a dual role with Madison Chapter AGO. The intention was to involve churches themselves in their musicians' ongoing education by encouraging church memberships (in addition to AGO memberships) and to have a broad-based group designed to attract church musicians of every interest and at every proficiency level. More than 200 churches in 58 communities in south-central Wisconsin and northern Illinois have joined the ACM since its inception.

ACM publishes a monthly newsletter called Church Music Notes, offers a year of programming and outreach as it relates to all facets of church music, maintains a library of audio and video recordings and books, offers used organ music for sale, has a placement and substitute service available to members, and provides scholarships for students pursuing organ studies. Recommended salary guidelines for church musicians, along with sample contracts and standards of business practice, were first published in 1982 as Procedures for Employing Church Musicians, but had to be discontinued in 2017 as part of a settlement between national AGO and the FTC. However, ACM/Madison Chapter AGO was proud to have its longtime employment guidelines serve as the basis for national AGO's Employing Musicians in Religious Institutions (2020).

The ACM continues in its dual role as the Madison Chapter of the AGO for organists and organ enthusiasts, and was also the umbrella organization for the Madison Chapter of the Choristers Guild from 1989 until it was declared inactive in 2016.

ACM administers the Ruth Pilger Andrews Organ Scholarship Fund, an endowed fund established in recognition of one of the Madison Chapter's founders for students of any age pursuing the study of organ.

Association of Church Musicians Incorporated is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, EIN 39-1570927.


PRESIDENTS of WISCONSIN ASSOCIATION of CHURCH MUSICIANS (WACM)
Paul G. Jones1947-1948
Matthias R. Cooper1948-1949
Miriam Belleville1949-1950
Peter Nelson1950-1951
Bertram Webber1951
Alice Tetlie1951-1952
Matthis R. Cooper1952-1953
DEANS, MADISON CHAPTER AMERICAN GUILD of ORGANISTS (AGO)
Miriam Belleville1953-1954
Paul G. Jones1954-1955
Marion Winans1955-1957
Arlene Wallace1957-1959
Lawrence G. Kelliher1959-1960
Betsy Farlow1960-1962
Norma Bruhn1962-1963
Loui Novak1963-1964
John Wright Harvey1964-1966
Arlyn Fuerst1966-1967
John G. Barr1967-1968
M. William Gervais1968-1969
William C. Mueller1969-1972
Steve Ackert1972-1974
Hope Koski1974-1976
Clara Cox Fountain1976-1978
Theodore Reinke1978-1979
Bruce Bengtson1980-1981
Marlys Mittelstadt1981-1982
Max H. Yount1982-1983
Eva Wright1983-1985
ACM PRESIDENTS/AGO DEANS
Eva Wright1984-1985
Mary Kurtz Monkmeyer1985-1987
Linda Krueger1987-1990
Linda Morgan Stowe1990-1992
Glenn Schuster1992-1994
Richard Horn, CAGO1994-1997
Bruce Bengtson1997-1999
John Chappell Stowe, AAGO ChM1999-2000
Mark Johnson2000-2002
Don DeBruin2002-2003
Jane Peterson Ganz2003-2004
Ken Sosinski2004-2005
Mark Bloedow2005-2007
John Krueger2007-2009
Mark Brampton Smith2009-2010
Jonathan Orwig2010-2011
Bruce Bengtson2011-2012
Sigrun Franzen2012-2013
Aristotle Esguerra2013-2014
Patrick Gorman2014-2015
Deborah Krauss Smith2015-2017
Naomi Matthees2017-2019
Robert Eversman2019-2020
Deborah Krauss Smith2020-2022
Dr. Andrew Schaeffer2022 -