9 September 2017
Dear organist colleagues,
I am a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and have been since about the time my feet were able to reach the pedals. I have performed in Member Recitals. I have served on Program and Executive Committees. I am a Past Dean. I believe in the mission and the work of the AGO, even as our profession and our professional organization continue to evolve.
I also believe that religious organizations should fairly compensate organists for their work.
The AGO published a Salary Guide for Musicians Employed by Religious Institutions for many years. I understand that the AGO no longer publishes this document for legal reasons.
But copies of this document still exist. It was published in The American Organist and surely remains available in academic libraries that received the journal. The AGO also hosted a PDF copy of the Salary Guide on their website. The PDF files of these past Salary Guides remain freely available on archive.org, which is where I retrieved the 2015 Salary Guide and other documents in January of this year.
I am not presently in a leadership position in the AGO. I am a member, and I intend to remain one. The original content of the post you are reading has been removed. The AGO asked that the content of this post be removed. Upon receipt of this request, I took immediate action to remove the content.
But I do wonder if attempted total censorship of this old material is really warranted, or even possible. The Salary Guide and other documents are, at the very least, a part of Guild history. Destruction of this material in libraries and on the internet seems infeasible.
It is clear to me that AGO members have very practical employment concerns, and I know that many who visit Sinden.org will be frustrated by my decision to remove this material. I hope that AGO members, chapters, and regional and national leaders can find more ways to openly discuss employment and salary without running afoul of federal regulatory agencies.
All of the material I have removed today is scheduled re-publish on Sinden.org on Tuesday, May 26, 2037, the day the Federal Trade Commission order terminates.
p.s. I hope you’ll check out my new podcast on Liturgy and Music from an Episcopal/Anglican perspective called All Things Rite and Musical. Listen at riteandmusical.org
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