This question was sent by Jeremy, and Jeremy is on our team of people who transcribe our podcast conversations. So one day, he wrote that he received word that he passed the CAGO examination from the American Guild of Organists. And I asked him what the requirements were, and he writes:
I found out about three years ago that I need some type of long term goal to work towards in my life. The easiest thing was to become certificate in something. It began with my Masonic organization, which I received a Masonic Instructor in the state of Iowa.
I have been playing the organ for church for about ten years now and two years ago, I decided to take it more seriously by seeking out a teacher. Dr. Christiansen got me involved in the local AGO chapter, and encouraged me to work towards the Service Playing Certification and continued my education to get the Colleague certification. We now have a blood pact! If I take the Associate exam next year, he will take the Fellow exam.
That being said, the certification program up to this point has been very practical for me as a church musician--standard repertoire that I have used quite a bit in the service, hymn playing, transposing passages of music, sight reading, harmonization, and improvisation. All of these things I have used at some point in the last year. The most work for me came in the improvisation and transposition portions of the exam. I was introduced to this in the past, but it always remained theoretical and not practical. I have now incorporated these into my daily practice sessions. Your courses have helped out a lot with them, but I still have miles to go!
3 pieces of repertoire: Bach In dir ist freude; Parry Chorale prelude on Omnium Christe Redemptor, and Alain Variations on a theme of Clement Janequin.
2 anthems: Britton's Jubilate Deo and Dupre's Ave Maria.
Improvising an 8ish bar piece modulating between two keys.
Sight reading a short three staff piece.
Harmonizing a folk tune.
Short prelude and hymn playing on two hymns.
Transposing a hymn into two keys. A half step up and a step down.
The improvisation and transposition were the most difficult part. I am reviewing your transposition course and your prelude in Baroque style course. Also, the complaints for the most part were about tempi. Too slow.