American Guild of Organists
San Diego
American Guild of Organists
San Diego


Welcome, How Can We Serve You?

Central to our mission is the nurturing of new organists. We take pride in offering a wide variety of educational programs, resources, performance and scholarship opportunities, and certifications to those seeking support. Regardless of your age or skill level, these services and support systems will allow you to grow in your love of the King of Instruments and reach your full potential. Please take a moment to read about these opportunities, we think you'll find there is something for everyone. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to meet with you in person to find out how we can best serve you on your journey. Welcome to the San Diego AGO, we're here to assist you every step of the way!

Sarah Amos, Education Coordinator


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AGO/Spreckels Scholarship Auditions

The Gertrude Elizabeth McKellar Scholarship fund was established in 1960 with a bequest from the McKellar estate given for the purpose of funding student scholarships. It has since been combined with the Mader and Kennedy Scholarship funds, in addition to the bequest from the estate of Wanda Teresa Edmonton and oil royalties gifted by Tenneco Oil. Combining these funds over the years has allowed us to maximize growth within our investments and thereby offer more financial support to those in need. We are grateful for all the benefactors who have made these scholarships possible and we want you to enjoy the fruits of their gifts for years to come!

The AGO/Spreckels Scholarship Auditions are designed to encourage every student from the earliest level of keyboard study to play the organ. It provides an annual progression of repertoire and skill development through nine levels, preparatory through advanced. Furthermore, it outlines an educational plan for those wishing to prepare for the AGO Service Playing Exam. Monetary awards are given to the top performers each year.

Keyboardists, including pianists, of all skill levels and ages are encouraged to audition for an AGO/Spreckels Scholarship Award. Each year, we have between 20-25 participating students. Many of these students have auditioned multiple times, growing considerably in their organ skills each year. Some have gone on to study organ at college, some have become church musicians, some have become performers...some attend organ concerts regularly, some serve on organ committees...but all have had the opportunity to meet, get to know, and fall in love with the King of Instruments! For a number of years we have partnered with the Spreckels Organ Society, which provides additional first, second, and third place cash awards to the top performers in the auditions. In addition, the top students will earn the chance to be featured on the Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park, the world's largest outdoor pipe organ!

Auditions are open to organ students of any age, as well as to piano students interested in auditioning for an introductory set of organ lessons. This is a terrific gateway into the world of organ playing for pianists who might have a bit of an "itch" to find out all that the organ has to offer!

Auditions will be held on Saturday, May 13th, 2023, at Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church. Apply Now!

Progressive Repertoire Requirements, Rules, and Applications can be downloaded below

If you have questions, contact Sarah Amos, Education Coordinator, at education@agosd.org

Pipe Organ Encounter (POE)

Pipe Organ Encounters are the most successful outreach program sponsored by the AGO. POEs offer teenagers and adults a rewarding opportunity to learn more about the pipe organ and its construction, receive instruction with experienced faculty, make visits to hear and play outstanding instruments, and the chance to meet and interact with peers who share an interest in the King of Instruments. San Diego AGO proudly offers scholarship support to those wishing to study organ and attend a POE. Please see the information above regarding AGO/Spreckels Scholarship Auditions for more information!



The American Guild of Organists was chartered in 1896 by the Board of Regents, University of the State of New York, to administer a comprehensive series of examinations for professional certification. These examinations have played a central role in the guild's work since its founding. Being professionally certified can play a major role in your life and career. We invite you to learn more about the following five levels of AGO professional certification:

Service Playing Certificate

Colleague (CAGO)

Choir Master (ChM)

Associateship (AAGO)

Fellowship (FAGO)