Pittsburgh Chapter, American Guild of Organists

Calvary Episcopal Church organ facade, Pittsburgh PA

Pittsburgh Organ Academy

Inspiring musicians to play the organ

A Program Of
The Pittsburgh Chapter

American Guild of Organists


The Pittsburgh Organ Academy was established as a committee of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Guild of Organists to provide an opportunity for young people and adults who have demonstrated ability on piano or organ and desire to play the organ the opportunity to expand these skills and achieve some level of mastery on the King of Instruments.

The POA is funded, in part, by grants from the Musicians Club Scholarship Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation and generous contributions from many local AGO members and music lovers.

The Academy offers partial and full scholarships to qualifying students in students who pass qualification exams administered by the Academy committee. The scholarships are granted in the form of credits to lessons with qualified local teachers for the period of one year.

Students may audition at three different levels, Level I (Beginning), Level II (Continuing), Level III (Adult). Prospective students will require access to a practice instrument.

Inquiries for auditions are welcome at any time and may be arranged by contacting the Committee Director listed below. You may check application information to for basic requirements and audition expectations.


OAS Logo OAS Logo
OAS Logo OAS Logo

At the end of their year of instruction, many students are invited to perform at one of the local AGO chapter meetings. This provides students the opportunity to meet other professional organists, demonstrate their skill, and provide an important performance experience that can be appreciated by others skilled in organ playing who can provide constructive feedback.

Pictured (right) at are students at a POA "Pipes, Pedals, and Pizza" event. During these events participants, typically young prospective students, are introduced to the organ and have an opportunity to directly experience many dimensions of the instrument. This includes tours of the pipe chambers where they can examine the intricate workings of the pipes and mechanics of the organ as well as the ability to individually experiment and explore the console of an actual instrument. Volunteers from the local AGO Chapter work to set up these events with organizations who generously open their facilities for access to the participants. As a result, many of the world-class instruments that can be found in the Pittsburgh area have been opened to prospective students to experience the instrument first-hand.


OAS LogoThe POA committee works hard to raise money in order to be able to fund lessons for aspiring organ students. Dedicated individuals like Nancy Vaughan (pictured left in center working to organize an event) work tirelessly on materials and programs which will provide a meaningful and valuable musical experience for students.

If you are interested in learning more information about the Pipe Organ Academy, are interested in donating your musical expertise as a teacher, would like to help the committee, or make a tax-deductible gift of any amount to the POA, please contact:

Mr. Robert Kardasz

email: poa@pitago.org

Pipe Organ Academy Committee

Robert Kardasz MM, FAGO, Chair
Larry Allen, S.M.M., Sara Ruhle Kyle, Ph.D., Dr. Ann Labounsky, FAGO, Ch.M.

ex-officio: Douglas Starr, Chaz Bowers, Aaron Sproul

Pittsburgh Organ Academy Home 

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    Level II    Level III    
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