For Immediate Release

Inauguration of the Singapore Chapter

Of the

American Guild of Organists


20 th February 2004 , 7:30 pm

Kampong Kapor Methodist Church

Singapore , February 11, 2004 The Singapore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists [AGO] will be inaugurated on 20th February 2004 at Kampong Kapor Methodist Church . The purpose of the American Guild of Organists is to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for mutual support, inspiration, education and certification of Guild members.

Dr Margaret Chen - Honorary Advisor to the Chapter, will be playing at the Inauguration Ceremony. Dr Chen, currently based in Chicago , is organ consultant for the Klais organ at the Esplanade Concert Hall, and curator of the organ at the Victoria Concert Hall. She will be performing on the church's historic Walker & Taylor Organ, originally installed in 193637, and subsequently enlarged several times by Mr. Robert Navaratnam, Singapore 's only organ builder.

Dr Evelyn Lim, Esplanade's Pipe Organ Master and Organ Lecturer with the Methodist School of Music, is the first Dean of the Singapore Chapter. Says Dr Lim, We are pleased to be AGO's first Chapter in Southeast Asia . The establishment of a Singapore Chapter of the AGO will go a long way in the promotion of the organ, both in sacred and secular use. Opportunities for certification offered by the AGO will help set benchmarks of achievement for organists in Singapore and raise standards of excellence in organ playing for the small but growing community of local organists. There are certain misconceptions about the organ and its music that we would like to dispel for example, the notion that organ music is boring with mainly loud, slow or sombre tones. Certainly with the ongoing programmes at the Esplanade and several local recitals held elsewhere, the public has tasted a little of what organ music can be! With the Singapore AGO, we would like to go further along that path by offering training and awareness programmes, as well as concerts for youths and adults who may be interested in the organ and its music. Membership to the Singapore Chapter is open to all individuals with an interest in organ and choral music. Membership benefits of the Guild include educational opportunities such as performances, workshops, competitions, and Pipe Organ Encounters, a program to introduce the organ to teens and adults. The Guild also certifies organists, supports professional development and publishes a wide range of materials on the Organ, including The American Organist', a monthly magazine published by the AGO which is the most widely read journal on organ and choral music in the world.

If you would like to attend the charter night on 20 th February 2004 , please email < [email protected] > or telephone 64370103 as seats are limited. Admission is by invitation only.