2018 Capitol Caroling

At least 30 members and friends gathered in the Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda to celebrate the season in song and fellowship! (We also love the resonance and reverberation that the rotunda provides!) Next year, we’ll bring a step-stool to get the people in the back into the picture! Sorry, guys.

Madison ACM Branch/AGO Chapter

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

ACM Members Recital

Our members recital last Sunday was a success. It was held at the Christ Presbyterian Church on Gotham St in Madison.

Seventy people were in attendance. One of the attendees was moved to comment:

Hello Church Musicians;
Congratulations to all the ACM Organists performing Sunday at Christ Presbyterian Church.  We very much enjoyed your collective music selections, your playing, the spirit of performance among you, and the professional presence of The Association of Madison Area Church Musicians.  We delight at having you in our midst and at our instruments.  We long for a return visit.
From us all, thank you.
Sincerely, and with warm personal regards,
John Rafoth

Thank you, John!



Madison ACM AGO History Brief

Here are some paragraphs about our ACM and the Madison Chapter of the AGO. The source is 2012 directory:
“The Madison Chapter of the American Guild of Organists was chartered on September 14, 1953, as the outgrowth of work that was begun 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; their major legacy was the establishment in 1949 of the Louise Fulcher Memorial Library, and extensive catalog of organ and choral music now part of the Fulcher-Scidmore Sacred Music Collection housed at the Rock Prairie United Presbyterian Church, 8605 East Country Road A, Janesville, WI  53545 (phone: 608-752-1172, website: wwwrockprairiechurch.org).
In 1984, with the encouragement of Edward Hugdahl of the UW-Extension, the Madison Chapter of the American Guild of Organists was reorganized as the Association of Church Musicians, a broad-based group designed to attract church musicians of every interest and at every proficiency level, and to involve churches themselves in their musicians’ ongoing  education by replacing AGO Chapter dues with church memberships. More than two hundred churches in fifty-eight communities in south-central Wisconsin and northern Illinois have joined the ACM since its inception.”

ACM Program Year 2018-2019

(Updated 5/21/2018)

  • Sunday, August 26 2018, 4-6 pm — Season Kick-Off Potluck, location TBA
  • Sunday, October 7 2018, 2 pm (unconfirmed) — Pipedreams 35th Anniversary Members Recital (RPA Event) Christ Presbyterian, Madison (unconfirmed)
  • Saturday, October 20, 2018 — Trip to Nashotah to see change-ringing tower; arrive at 10 am.
  • Saturday, November 17 2018, 10-11 am — Morning Musicale, Oakwood Village West, Madison
  • Saturday, December 29 2018, noon — Caroling at the Capitol, Madison
  • Friday, February 1 2019 — Dinner at Bethel Lutheran, Madison. 5:30 pm hors d’oeuvres, 6 pm dinner, 7 pm Speaker: Bruce Bengtson, subject: “The Singing Organist”
  • Sunday, February 24, 2019, 2:30 pm — Choral / Organ Festival, St. Paul’s — University of Wisconsin, Madison Campus
  • Saturday, March 2 2019, — Bach Around the Clock, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, Madison
  • Sunday, May 19 2019, 1 pm —Annual Meeting, location TBA

This preliminary schedule is provided for your planning. This post will be updated periodically. Please check back for updates here or at the official site, http://madisonACM.org.

Please renew your membership by June 1 2018 to receive the full benefits of our organization. Blank forms are available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z-96IVaoIn8uR-Ddhrs_mxCBMqcPbCQX/view .

Madison ACM AGO Encounters the Overture Center Barton Organ

Today (May 20 208) members of the Madison Association of Church Musicians and American Guild of Organists Madison enjoyed a tour of the Madison Overture Center Capitol Theatre’s Barton Organ. Jaret Schroeder, curator of the organ, extensively demonstrated the numerous tab stops and special sounds. Thank you, Jaret!

More background on the organ and restoration plans can be obtained at this link: http://www.overture.org/support/individual-giving/barton-organ.

Barton Organ Console
Getting a look into one of the four chambers.
Inside the chamber.
Barton Organ LabelJaret at the console.

A Quilt of Hymnody – Hymn Sing

Several of our members led us in a dozen selected hymns from the Worship Hymnal. We learned about the “origin, warp, woof and texture” of the hymns, too, from Peter Irvine. This was an hour of great choral singing by the combined forces of over 50 community members and chorus members from Bethel Lutheran Church, and St Andrews Episcopal Church! The sing was to benefit the Ruth Pilger Andrews Scholarship Fund, which assists music lovers and performers of all ages in furthering their organ studies.

From left to right, back row: Gary Lewis, Bethel Lutheran Church, Madison, Jaret Schroeder, Calvary Lutheran Church, Madison; middle row: Bruce Bengtson, Luther Memorial Church, Madison, Peter Irvine, Trinity Episcopal Church, Janesville; front row: Mark Miller, Good Shepherd Catholic Parish, Madison, Naomi Matthees, Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Catholic Church, Sun Prairie, Ann Uresk, Grace Lutheran Church, Madison, Ken Stancer, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Madison.

Click here to see the Quilt of Hymnody program guide.

Bishop O’Donnell Holy Name Memorial Chapel, 702 S. High Point Road, Madison Wisconsin.
WHEN: 7 p.m.
Duration: About an hour

Many thanks to Pat Gorman of the Bishop O’Donnell Holy Name Memorial Chapel for his invaluable efforts to make this concert and the social time afterwards a resounding success.

We got to meet Sarah Prescott, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Madison, a recipient of a 2018 Ruth Pilger Andrews scholarship to further her organ technique. Congratulations, Sarah.

Donations and memorials to the fund can be made at any time. There are no age limitations for applicants. Please make your check payable to Association of Church Musicians/RPA Fund, and send to:

Association of Church Musicians/RPA Fund
Attn: John Krueger, Treasurer
PO Box 5321
Madison, WI 53705

Application forms are available on the ACM website at


Map to the Chapel

Morning Musicale

On the morning of Saturday, November 18, 2017, about 75 residents and guests of Madison’s Oakwood Village – University Woods Senior Community enjoyed a one-hour program of music presented by members of the Association of Church Musicians / Madison Chapter AGO in Oakwood’s Resurrection Chapel.

Selections included pieces for organ, violin, and harp by Bach, Pachelbel, Nicolai, Zabel and others.  The chapel’s organ, a two-manual tracker, was built by ACM-member Bruce Case 23 years ago.  Since the organ’s installation, ACM/AGO has presented many member recitals at Oakwood as part of its outreach programming.

Following a greeting from ACM President / AGO Dean Naomi Matthees, musicians for the program included (bottom, left-right) Deborah Krauss Smith, organist, Monroe; Ted Reinke, organist, St. Luke’s Lutheran in Middleton; Elijah Cynric, organist, student of Ken Stancer, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, Madison;  Cora Rund, organist, St. Peter’s Lutheran, Janesville; Linda Warren, harpist, First Unitarian Society, Madison; (back) Lyle Anderson, organist, Plymouth Congregational UCC and First Church of Christ, Scientist, Madison; Gary Lewis, organist, Bethel Lutheran, Madison; Jaret Schroeder, organist, Calvary Lutheran Chapel, Madison; Robert Eversman, violinist and organist, Heritage Congregational, Madison; and Tyler Pimm, organist, Lake Mills Moravian Church, Lake Mills.  Also debuting was ACM’s new banner, which will be displayed at ACM’s public events to increase awareness of the existence and work of ACM / AGO.

ACM Members at the Morning Musicale at Oakwood Village

Field Trip to Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology

Several ACM members met on Saturday, October 7th in Franklin, Wisconsin for a chance to see the beautiful chapel on the grounds of the Sacred Hearts Seminary and School of Theology.

Deborah Krauss Smith, Greg Smith, Lucy Dechene, Don DeBruin, Naomi Mathees, Morris Sadicario at Sacred Heart School of Theology, Franklin WI

The chapel is an octagonal shaped building that is home to a Berghaus Pipe Organ (Opus 30, ca. 1994 – 2 manuals, 27 stops, 35 ranks).

Berghaus Organ.


Berghaus Organ Sacred Heart Franklin

Several members went on a field trip to the Sacred Heart School of Theology and had an opportunity to play the Berhaus Organ. In the video above, Deborah Krauss Smith is checking out the stops. The circular chapel contributes to a warm acoustical experience, with a pleasantly long decay time.

Don DeBruin takes his turn at the organ, as we get a view of the chapel interior.