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Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Chapter news

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  • 04 Oct 2019 8:47 PM | Dawn Daehn (Administrator)

    The annual fall kickoff will be a Hymn Fest followed by a German dinner. Event will be held at Zumbro Lutheran Church, 624 3rd Avenue SW, Rochester, Minnesota.

    Date: Sunday, October 20, 2019
    Time: 4:00 p.m.

    This event is open to all present, past, and future members of the chapter and their guests. Cost of the dinner is $15 per person. Make reservations with our treasurer, Brian Poch at 507-251-4981.

    Please join us to meet new friends and colleagues who have move to our area!

  • 10 Dec 2018 10:30 PM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)

    You are invited

    SE Minnesota

    American Guild of Organists

    Winter Social

    This simply is a time for friends, old and new to come together! A time to enjoy a few hours of food, fun and fellowship. Please encourage past and present members, potential new members and any other organ friends you know of! 

    The same delicious menu we used last time was incredible . . . Please bring an hors d'oeuvres and/or a dessert to share. Wine, water, soda and beer provided. napkins, plates and flatware provided.

     Sunday, January 13, 2019

    4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

    First Unitarian Church 

    1727 Walden Lane SW - Rochester, MN 55902

    Please R.S.V.P. to Brian Poch

    Phone/Text: 507.251.4981 or Email:

    12-08-2018 Winter Social Invite.pdf

  • 03 May 2017 5:16 PM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)

    Southeast Minnesota Chapter Spring Social

    Sunday, May 21, 2017

    5:00 p.m.

    RSVP by May 10, 2017 

    Chapter social and picnic will be at the home of Lee Afdahl, 10344 County Road 3 NW, Pine Island, MN. Pulled pork entrée, beverages, plates, and tableware provided. Bring a salad or dessert to complement the pulled pork entrée. Bring a lawn chair, too. RSVP to Lee Afdahl by email: or call him at 507-356-6424 or cell 507-271- 8238.

    We will be saying our fond farewells to Robert Hochmeister and his wife, who will be moving to Saint Louis area. 

    The nomination committee has a slate of new and returning officers and executive board for the 2017-2018 term. Elections will take place at the social. 

    Brian Williams, Dean 

    Glen Meyer, Sub-Dean

    Brian Poch, Treasure 

    Jon Nienow, Secretary 

    Matt Lehman, Past-Dean

    Lee Afdahl

    Erik Floan*

    Dick Morris* 

    Connie Scheulka*

    *New board members 

    In appreciation, we thank the out going offices: John Albright, Jeff Daehn, Ruth Monson, and Scott Schilbe.  Thank you for giving of your time and service the Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

    Diving Directions:

    Highway 52 north, exit #64 (Oronoco, Cty Highway 12 west) Turn left at end of off ramp. Head west on 12 about 4 ½ miles. As 12 ends, turn RIGHT on Cty 3 toward Pine Island. One mile on Cty 3, turn right on to black topped driveway (10350/ 10344) Cty Rd 3. At the “Y”, stay to the left; do not go to the right as that is another property. Park near barn in the circle driveway, between house and barn if no room near house.

    10344 Cty. Rd 3 NW, Pine Island, MN 

  • 04 Aug 2016 4:41 PM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)

  • 30 Apr 2016 9:54 AM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)

    Chapter Program and Spring Social Event

    May 22, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

    Lime Springs United Methodist Church

    125 E. Main St., Lime Springs, Iowa

    Half hour program on the 9-rank Estey 1924 pipe organ. Chapter picnic follows at the summer home of Brian Williams and Thom Hiniker, 125 E. Franklin, Lime Springs. Pulled pork sandwiches, iced tea, plates and tableware provided. Bring a dish to pass and a lawn chair. RSVP to Brian or call him at 507-282-9429.

    Driving Directions

    Take US 63 south from Rochester.  When you get the to T-intersection at Hwy 16, turn left to continue on 63.  When you get to Spring Valley, 63 makes a right turn.  (There may or not be a construction detour.  Just follow the signs.)  When you cross into Iowa you will be in Chester.  (Watch the speed limits!)  Lime springs is 4 miles farther.  Turn left to Lime Springs at the Casey's store.  When you come into town, you'll be on Merrill Street.  Turn left on Center Street, and then a right on Main.  The church will be on the right.

    This is the way I go.  It's prettier and almost as fast.  Take County Hwy 1 south out of Rochester.  (This is 11th Avenue SE that goes past Mayo High School.)  When you get to the stop sign in Spring Valley, turn left on Hwy 16.  Go about 6 miles to County Hwy 5 and turn right (toward Forrestville & Mystery Cave).  There will be a 3 stop-signs and you'll go through Cherry Grove.  Turn left on County Hwy 44 and go for about 1 mile, and then right on Hwy 5 again.  There will be a sign indicating a right turn to Lime Springs, IA.  When you cross the state line you'll be on County Hwy V36.  This will take you into Lime Springs.  As you go through town, that street will eventually become Center Street.   Turn left on Main.  The church is on the right.

  • 11 Feb 2016 6:43 PM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)

    Please plan to join your Chapter on a "road trip" to Winona, Minnesota for a second Organ Crawl. The crawl will be on Saturday, March 5, 2016 beginning at Wesley Methodist Church, on the corner of Main St. and Broadway in Winona starting at 9:30 AM. Three churches will encompass the crawl, Wesley Methodist (formerly Central United Methodist); St. Paul's Episcopal, Broadway and Lafayette Sts. and The Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka on Fourth St. at Carimona Street.

    Wesley Methodist has a 3-manual, 34 rank Moller organ of four divisions placed in the front of the sanctuary, and a 12 rank antiphonal organ placed at the rear of the sanctuary. The building itself dates from 1962 following a devastating fire that left only the bell tower and fellowship hall intact. The building is an artistic blending of old and new, with obvious honor being made to the original church.

    The second organ on the crawl will be St. Paul's Episcopal Church. This magnificent building dates from the 1870s and houses a 3-manual, 30 rank Austin organ installed in 1907 using some pipes from a previous Jardine. Horace Seaton, respected organist, played the organ for decades originally from England. The Austin Organ was rebuilt and enlarged in 1957. The worship space has been beautifully conserved and maintained. It gives a feeling of being transported back through time to the post-civil war era.

    The final organ on the crawl, back by popular demand, is the Toledo Organ at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka. The Basilica is possibly one of the finest acoustical environments for organ in Southeast Minnesota. The organ is a 3-manual, 32 rank Toledo Organ which began life as an E. M. Skinner Organ which was moved to Winona in 1935. The organ of four divisions is in three cases, two placed on the first balcony encompassing swell, great and pedal, with the choir organ in a case on a high second balcony.

    The crawl will provide a brief history of each organ and congregation, a demonstration by selected organists, then a chance for Chapter Members to play the instrument. Please prepare your favorite selections, including hymn tunes, for this wonderful opportunity to see, hear, and play three distinctively different organs in three outstanding worship spaces.

    Following the crawl, organists are invited to lunch (at your cost) at Signature's Restaurant at the former Winona Country Club. Please RSVP by February 24, to Jon Nienow ( or by telephone 507-523-2002 [toll free from Rochester and Winona], in order to prepare for the luncheon).

    Wesley Methodist Church, Winona, MN

    Moller organ at Wesley Methodist Church, Winona, MN

    Wesley Methodist Church, Winona, MN

    St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Winona, MN

    Austin organ at St. Paul's Espicopal Church, Winona, MN

    St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Winona, MN

    The Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka

    Toledo Organ at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, Winona, MN

    The Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, Winona, MN

  • 11 Feb 2016 6:42 PM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)

    Mendelssohn Workshop and Lecture Photos

    Beautiful day for a workshop at First Presbyterian Church
    Albert Lea, Minnesota 

    Dr. James Hammann, Lecturer, seated at console of
    1930 W. W. Kimball organ at First Presbyterian Church, Albert Lea, MN

    Workshop attendees at the Mendelssohn Workshop (from Left to Right)

    Back Row: Dr. John Schultz , Ryan Hulshizer, and John Albright

    Second Row: Matt Lehman (Southeast Minnesota Chapter, Dean), Dr. James Hammann (Lecturer), and Brian Williams (Southeast Minnesota Chapter, Sub-Dean)

    Front Row: Marilyn Schempp (North Central Regional Councillor), Ruth Monson, Eileen Nelson-Ness, Gail Thurnau, Cyndy Johnson (North Iowa Chapter, Dean) , Jeff Daehn, and Janet Gilbertson

    1930 W. W. Kimball organ at First Presbyterian Church, Albert Lea, MN

    Saturday, February 27, 2016
    9:30 AM – Noon

    Workshop and Lecture led by Dr. James Hammann

    First Presbyterian Church
    308 Water Street
    Albert Lea, Minnesota 56007

    The Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the American Guild of Organist is hosting a Mendelssohn workshop and lecture. Dr. Jim Hammann, an esteemed chapter member, will present a lecture on the life and organ music of Felix Mendelssohn. The workshop will be held in Albert Lea, Minnesota at the First Presbyterian Church. This church houses a charming historic organ built by W. W. Kimball Co., ca. 1930. 

    Refreshments preceded the workshop and a group lunch follows at a local restaurant.  

  • 21 Jan 2016 1:36 PM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)

    The Congregational Church UCC, 974 Skyline Drive SW, Rochester, MN cordially invites members and friends of AGO to an organ recital by Julie Yoonjeong Kim on Sunday, January 31, 2016, at 4:00 pm. The concert will feature music of Max Reger, particularly the Toccata and Fugue forms, Op. 59, 80, 129.  This will be a lecture-recital in conjunction doctoral degree requirements.  Also on the program will be Reger’s Fantasia and Fugue on B-A-C-H and Exaltatio by Stefania B. Denbow.

  • 28 Dec 2015 10:57 AM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)

    Join us on Saturday, January 16, 2016 for an excellent chapter event that focuses on repertoire for small organs. Chapter members will lead this informative presentation and discussion. We hope you can join us for the morning events and a soup lunch. Invite fellow organists that would be interested. 

    Hosanna Lutheran Church

    2815 57th St NW
    Rochester, MN 55901

    9:30 am – Gathering and Refreshments

    10:00 am – Small Organ Repertoire and Discussion 

    11:00 am – Reports on AGO Events and Regional ALCM Conferences

    11:30 am – Soup Lunch

    12 noon – Chapter Board Meeting

  • 16 Dec 2015 1:26 PM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)


    Cedar Valley Chapter
    January 23, 2016 – 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

    Nazareth Evangelical Lutheran Church
    7401 University Avenue
    Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613

    University of Northern Iowa
    Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center
    8201 Dakota Street
    Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614

    Mariko Moria, Director
    Web site


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