Sarasota-Manatee Chapter-AGO







The Sarasota-Manatee Chapter of the American Guild of Organists had an interesting beginning. The Manatee Chapter was organized and chartered in 1952. Five years later, in 1957, the Sarasota Chapter was organized and chartered. Both chapters were active for the next ten years.


In 1967 the Manatee Chapter, for reasons yet to be uncovered, decided to disband. At a January 1967 meeting of the Sarasota Chapter a motion was made and carried to merge the Manatee Chapter into the Sarasota Chapter at an April 2 business meeting following a recital by Charles Dirr (Professor of Organ at Tift College, Forysth, Georgia) at Christ Episcopal Church, Bradenton.


For the next four years we continued to operate under the Sarasota Chapter name. In November 1971, at a Chapter business meeting at the West Bradenton Baptist Church, a motion was made and carried that “the chapter name be changed to Sarasota-Manatee which would better describe the area covered.”  Dean Stephen Dunn announced at a February 1972 meeting that National Headquarters had approved the name change.

The Sarasota-Manatee Chapter of the AGO continues to be an active musical presence in Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice and surrounding towns.


The official 2017-2018 membership directory includes 85+ members involved as Organists, Music Directors and Vocalists who are affiliated with 52 different churches.


Chapter meetings, dinners, and special events for members and guests are scheduled each year from September through May.


We are looking forward to an exciting year in 2017-2018 as we join together for fellowship, inspiration, education and world-class musical presentations.





Mrs. Walter Wooten 1957-1959

Mrs. Arthur Grossman 1959-1961

Miss Christia Basler 1961-1962

Mrs. J. Russell Garvin 1962-1963

Mrs. Russell Bagley 1963-1965

Carl G. Werner 1965-1967

Mrs. C. William Wierts 1967-1969

Franz Engle 1969-1971

Stephen P. Dunn 1971-1973

Thomas Michaelsen 1973-1975

Margaret H. Smith 1975-1977

Ann Stephenson-Moe 1977-1978

C. Richard Morris 1978-1980

Theodore West Ripper 1980-1981

Joel Gardner McKay 1981-1982

Franz Engle 1982-1984

Dorothy C. Menne 1984-1986

Sandra West Altman 1986-1988

Douglas B. Leightenheimer 1988-1990

Michael B. Roberts 1990-1991

Douglas B. Leightenheimer 1991-1992

Ronald A. Koopman 1992-1994

Kenneth E. Williams 1994-1997

Elizabeth R. Bharucha 1997-1999

Carl L. Parks 1999-2001

Todd Gresick 2001-2002

David Guyet 2002-2003

Carol Hawkinson 2003-2005

Don Baber 2005-2009

Greg Chestnut 2009-2010

David Stasney 2010-2013
Neil Page 2013-2015

Carl L. Parks 2015-2016








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