Investing in the Next Generation of Organists
June 30, 2018
In 2014 I attended the American Guild of Organists (AGO) National Convention in Boston. At that
convention I attended a concert performed entirely by high school students. I was very impressed by
the ability of these young performers. Afterwards, I visited with them and their parents. I learned
many of them had received their first organ lessons through a unique program called the Young
Organist Collaborative (YOC). The Young Organist Collaborative invests in the next generation of
organists by offering the first year (or more) of organ lessons tuition free. For over 16 years this
organization, based in New Hampshire, has helped youth in that area to get excited about playing the
organ. Some of their participants have even gone on to become “rising stars” in the organ world.
Inspired by the success of the YOC in New Hampshire, we decided to start our own YOC here in
Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Meet our first students: Lindsey Edwards and Julia
Brown (pictured above). Lindsey and Julia have just completed their first year of organ study, with Dr.
David Runner, and Robert Greene, Jr. respectively. These YOC students received 8 paid lessons per
semester, or 16 lessons per school year. Bi-weekly lessons work well with busy youth like Lindsey and
Julia who, in addition to other school activities like cheer leading and marching band, must travel to
where the organs are each time they want to practice. Each of these youth has made great progress in
one short year, already playing for services at their respective churches, and participating in a year-end
The NE Tennessee/SW Virginia Chapter AGO created the Randy Farley Memorial Fund in 2016 to
support the work of the YOC. Every dollar of this fund is used to pay for lessons for worthy students
like Lindsey and Julia. Will you help make it possible for other youth in our area to get excited about
playing the organ? Will you join us by “investing in the next generation of organists?” Please see the
following for more information on how you can help. Thank you.
Robert J. Greene, Jr., Chair, Young Organists Collaborative Committee
Financial Facts about YOC
- The Young Organist Collaborative is pleased to accept donations of any amount.
- $640 supports one student for sixteen lessons scheduled over the school year.
- $320 represents a half scholarship for a student for one year.
- $200 provides a summer Pipe Organ Encounter scholarship for a continuing student.
- $300 provides us the means to hold a Master Class with a visiting organist.
- All donations are used to further organ study for worthy students.
- Your generous contribution is tax deductible and will be acknowledged with heartfelt thanks.
The Young Organist Collaborative welcomes your donations
Enclosed please find my/our $_________ donation to the Young Organist Collaborative
City: ________________________________________ State:_______ Zip: ______
Email Address: _______________________________________________________________
Checks may be made payable to the Northeast Tennessee/Southwest Virginia Chapter AGO
P.O. Box 1235, Milligan College, Tennessee 37682 – Memo: Young Organist Collaborative
For your convenience, we can now accept donations via our PayPal account.