Choose one of two workshops:

Rejuvenating Senior Voices: Enhancing the Sound and Confidence of Mature Choral Singers

Michael Kemp

This workshop is sponsored by Nancy K. Scoggins in memory of Robert B. Scoggins, Sr., M.D.

It is an accepted fact: church choirs are getting older. Lots of seniors are singing, which is wonderful, but is also a cause for concern. Our choirs are beginning to sound older, but the cause is not as much about their voices getting older as about subtle deterioration of physical habits such as posture and breath support. This can all be corrected by sharing with seniors (actually, any singers older than 50) in accessible language the secrets of singing well. We need to help volunteer singers understand how better posture, breath support, tone placement, and adding more echo quality to their voices will allow them to sound much younger. Almost all vocal concerns of seniors can be solved.


Michael Kemp, conductor, clinician, author, and voice teacher is the founding conductor of Philadelphia’s Academy Chorale and Orchestra, now in their 20th season. In his career, Michael has conducted some 350 choral and orchestral masterworks. For 30 years he directed prestigious church music programs in Texas, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania, and then for 15 years served as choral and orchestral director for Germantown Academy, highly respected Philadelphia institution.

While in Texas, Michael founded and conducted for 11 seasons the Arlington Choral Society, which critics placed “on the top rung of choral music in the Dallas Metroplex”. During that time, he was also choral music lecturer at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology.  In his 52 year professional career, Michael founded two community choruses, one community symphony orchestra, four church youth choirs, and two academic high school choirs.

A respected choral clinician and voice teacher, Michael has taught and conducted over 430 choral workshops and festivals in almost every state and Canadian provinces, including the national music conferences of fourteen different church denominations.  He is the author of The Choral Challenge: Practical Paths to Solving Problems, Innovative Warm-ups for Volunteer Choirs: Creative Concepts to Improve Choral Sound, and Rejuvenating Senior Voices: Enhancing the Sound and Confidence of Mature Choirs, all available from G.I.A. Publishers in Chicago. His 4th training book for choir directors, Igniting Rehearsals with UMF’s (Unique Musical Focuses and Unique Motivational Flashes), is currently being published by GIA.


Social Media for Organists

David Sinden, Mary Stutz

This workshop is sponsored by Technology Assurance Group, Inc.

The social media landscape is crowded (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud, etc.) and ever-changing. With so many options, how do you know where to begin? Or if it’s even worth the time? (Hint: yes!) Come for a practical philosophy of electronic engagement that will serve you well on any platform. Learn tips, tricks, and lots of free resources that will help you share knowledge and inspire passion for what you are already doing at the organ. (Hashtag: #AGORVA)

David Sinden is a critically acclaimed organist and choral conductor noted for his “centered leadership and solid musicianship.” He is the Organist and Director of Music at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in St. Louis. Prior to this appointment, he served for five years as the Organist and Director of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond. He was also the Artistic Director of the Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale, 2013-2015. Mr. Sinden was previously Assistant Organist and Choirmaster of Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal) in Indianapolis. Mr. Sinden has held key positions in several AGO chapters, recently serving on the Program and Executive Committees of the Richmond Chapter. He is a former Dean of the Indianapolis Chapter. Mr. Sinden holds a master’s degree from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin.

Mary V. Stutz is currently serving as the AGO National Secretary and Councillor for Communication. In addition to her full-time position as Systems Analyst and Senior Producer of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation website,  Mrs. Stutz is organist at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport News. She holds a bachelor’s degree in information technology and is a member of the Richmond and Tidewater (Virginia) AGO chapters. She lives in Williamsburg.


Return to Convention Schedule