• ABOUT AGM

    ABOUT AGM

    Building Young Musicians Today. For a Better Tomorrow.

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Our Mission

The American Guild of Music, a multi-national organization whose mission is to advance the study of music and to foster interest in, promote and advance the artistic, educational, recreational and commercial position of music of all kinds

Our History

The American Guild of Music is the world's oldest international music organization. Its membership is open to independent music teachers, music store owners and their teaching staffs, music publishers and instrument manufacturers and music students. With over 5,000 members, representing every instrument, the American Guild of Music is an exciting and dynamic organization. Progressive, constantly growing, ever changing and extremely popular, the American Guild of Music is a music experience you just can't miss!

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Our Leadership

Led for Students by Lifelong Teachers and Learners

Tracey King (Taylor, Michigan) - President

Tracey King (Taylor, Michigan) - President

Tracey King began AGM participation with students in 1991, and joined the board of directors in 2002. Her students have repeatedly won NAICs and All-Around Awards in Voice and Piano. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Cleveland State University and Spring Arbor University and has forty-one years of teaching piano and voice privately. She is the founder of the “King School of Music” studio, which celebrates 25 years in 2015. As a member of the AGM Board of Directors, Tracy has served in many capacities and roles including Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and currently as the Co-Secretary in charge of communications and President. She created the first Vocal test list with assistance from Adriane Galea and works on updating the piano and vocal sight-reading test lists, etc. She also accompanies (and occasionally directs) the National Convention Choir.
Gina Selvaggi (Vaughan, Ontario) - 1st Vice President

Gina Selvaggi (Vaughan, Ontario) - 1st Vice President

Owner and music director of Musaic School of Music, Virginia Gina Selvaggi received the R.A.V.E award as 2012 Music Educator from the City of Vaughan. Virginia earned her degree in Mathematics from York University while continuing her studies in music through the Royal Conservatory of Music. With 27 years of teaching and performance experience, Virginia has also taken on roles as adjudicator and clinician. Virginia has been the Contest Director for the American Guild of Music since 2010 and currently sits on the Board of Directors as the 1st Vice President.

Julie Kopasz (Harrison Township, Michigan) - 2nd Vice President

Julie Kopasz (Harrison Township, Michigan) - 2nd Vice President

Julie has been a board member since 2009 and has sent her students to AGM Contests for 20 years. She teaches piano at Huber & Breese, Evola Music and Privately. Julie is the Banquet Chairman, Syllabus Chairman, Judges Liaison, Practice Room Chairman, Co Director of the Cadet teachers and Volunteer Co-ordinator.
Dan Miner (Houston, Texas) - Treasurer

Dan Miner (Houston, Texas) - Treasurer

Dan holds degrees from Michigan State University in both music education and piano. He has performed both solo piano and organ recitals as well as chamber music recitals in both the United States and Italy. As an educator he maintains a private piano studio, authors teaching resources for secondary-level music educators, and teaches middle school chorus in the Houston metropolitan area. He avidly promotes new practices and ideas in music education, technology in the classroom, and incorporation of popular music into the curriculum. He is also a regular accompanist in both sacred and secular settings. At AGM, Dan has been involved as a student, teacher, volunteer, judge, and now member of the Board of Directors. He serves as AGM’s Treasurer and Assistant Convention Manager.

Clinton Pratt (Cincinnati, Ohio)- Membership Chair

Clinton Pratt (Cincinnati, Ohio)- Membership Chair

Clinton Pratt has been teaching piano for over 15 years in the Greater Cincinnati area. He not only maintains a private studio, but is also faculty at the Indian Springs Academy of Music and the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department. Clinton holds a Bachelor of Music in piano from Cincinnati Christian University and a Master of Music in piano from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He has additional training in Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Recreational Music Making. His unique teaching approach includes improvisation, composition, ear training, and rhythmic games. He also established Music Alive!, an innovative multimedia concert that his students present, which fuses music with art, movement, videos, and other visual components. He has served on numerous committees, is an active presenter, holds several teaching certifications, has been published in American Music Teacher, and recently received OhioMTA’s “Teacher of the Year” award for his district. Clinton is an experienced adjudicator of many festivals and competitions, and joined the RCM College of Examiners in 2014. Clinton has been a judge for AGM since 2012 and recently joined the Board of Directors in 2015.
Richard "Rick" Chizmadia  (Cincinnati, Ohio) - Convention Manager

Richard "Rick" Chizmadia (Cincinnati, Ohio) - Convention Manager

Rick has been a part of AGM leadership for over 30 years and began his relationship with AGM as a young child competing on accordion and piano. Rick toured Europe several times with a 30 piece accordion orchestra and performed with several groups over his lifetime. He has as BA in Music from Oakland University and Master of Arts degree in Communications and Multimedia from Saginaw Valley State University. He has instructed hundreds of champion piano, keyboard, accordion and vocal students over his vast teaching career and is the director of Keyboard Centre. Rick brings vast organization skills to AGM from other endeavors, including serving on the board of the Human Rights Campaign, Great Lakes Men’s Chorus, and Cincinnati Men’s Chorus. Currently he sits on the board of FAWCO Alumni USA (FAUSA) and is co-chair of the Cincinnati Ronald McDonald House Play-a-thon. Rick was the first AG Student Council president and was Convention Orchestra director from 1990 to 2002. He currently holds the positions of Past President, Convention Manager and Newsletter Editor at the American Guild of Music.
Rachel Watson (Clinton Township, Michigan) - Score Room Director

Rachel Watson (Clinton Township, Michigan) - Score Room Director

Rachel Watson has been involved in music competitions since the age of 8. She first became involved with AGM at the age of 15, when she started keyboard lessons with Richard Chizmadia. She has won many awards in piano, voice and keyboard competitions, including winning Champion for keyboard N.A.I.C in 1999. She went on to attend Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois where she was active in the music program performing in three honors recitals and being chosen to play at a piano dedication. Rachel studied piano with Dr. Julia Hennig and Professor Brian Bloye and piano with Professor Martha Kasten. She sang in the Kapelle choir and the some elite Chamber Choir under the direction of Doctor Charles Brown. She received a Major in Elementary Education with a concentration in music. She has been a member of AGM since 2005 and was elected on the Board of directors in 2009. Rachel is the current score room director and is on the contest planning committee. She has been teaching since 1997 and currently teaches out of her privately owned piano studio. She lives in Clinton Township with her husband and two children.
Erik Blundell (Shelby Township, Michigan) - Director

Erik Blundell (Shelby Township, Michigan) - Director

Erik is a guitar teacher and teaches at Gus Zoppi Music Studio. He plays in the Detroit Area Band Threshold -- one of Detroit's hottest cover bands! He started with AGM as a student under the instruction of John Wilson. Erik has a BA in Music and BS of choral and general music from Ball State University with a certificate in performance.
Adriane Galea (Allen Park, Michigan) - Director

Adriane Galea (Allen Park, Michigan) - Director

Adriane Galea is a vocal and piano instructor from Allen Park, Michigan. In addition to teaching, Adriane runs a non-profit performing arts initiative and serves on several arts-based boards of directors, mentors high school students wishing to pursue theatre/musical theatre at the collegiate level for their college auditions, and is a company member of several Detroit-area professional theatres where she has worked as an actor, director, music director, and stage manager. Adriane holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Michigan.
Hiedi Higgins (Matawan, Michigan) - Director

Hiedi Higgins (Matawan, Michigan) - Director

Hiedi attended Oakland University and Central Michigan University. She started her relationship with AGM as a young child competing on Organ and Piano. Hiedi is the Convention Orchestra Director and assistant Score Room director. She has been teaching piano for 25 years and is raising four lovely children.
Suzanne Pennington (Romulus, Michigan) - Director

Suzanne Pennington (Romulus, Michigan) - Director

Suzanne Pennington has been an active member of American Guild of Music since 1989. She began her music studies on piano and organ at Wyandotte Conservatory of Music with Professor Arnold. She has worked as church musician, accompanist and Member of Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association for 19 years. Sue is an accredited Schaum Clinician and has conducted hundreds of teacher clinics around the country, including one for music dealers for NAMM. She has published teaching curriculum for keyboard classes using Schaum materials, in addition to the theory workbook series. She has maintained a full private studio in her home for 50 years.
Linda Tamburri (Welland, Ontario)- Director

Linda Tamburri (Welland, Ontario)- Director

Linda Tamburri is a versatile pianist who performs live with many groups including The Ashley Kennedy Trio (pop/jazz), Sabor Latino (Latin), Nu Klezmer Orchestra (traditional Jewish) and The Gail Davidson Band (jazz). Linda is music director at St. James Anglican Church (Port Colborne) and owner of the Ontario Conservatory of Music (Port Colborne and Welland) where she has taught piano, voice, guitar and theory for 35+ years. Her scholastic accomplishments include a Master of Arts degree in Ethnomusicology (York University, Toronto) and an Honours Bachelor of Music History and Theory (McMaster University, Hamilton). She is passionate about teaching, adjudicating, examining, performing and composing music. Linda has been a member of the AGM since she was a teenager and is thrilled to serve on the Board of Directors.
Nicole Tolentino (Chicago, Illinois) - Director

Nicole Tolentino (Chicago, Illinois) - Director

Nicole (Nikki) Tolentino grew up in Carol Stream, Illinois. She began taking private piano lessons with Perla Cudal in the fifth grade, and began competing in the National Conventions and eventually the Regional Convention in Detroit with the American Guild of Music a year later. From age eleven to age eighteen, she participated in several divisions of piano, voice, and keyboard. She began volunteering as a room monitor after she entered college, and then the following year joined the Board. She has since taken on the responsibilities of registration and ombudsperson. She now attends Northern Illinois University, pursuing a degree in vocal music education.
Barry Carr (Brechin, Ontario) - Past President

Barry Carr (Brechin, Ontario) - Past President

Barry has been involved with the American Guild of music since 1969 started competing at the age of 15 in the plectrum guitar divisions; studied at the National Conservatory of Music under the direction of Mark Peel for 8 years on guitar, bass ,guitar, classical guitar,steel guitar and theory. He has served as board member of the American Guild of music followed by three time as president. His duties over the last 45 years consist of Toronto Convention manager, Co-contest director judge, judges' liaison, Cadet Teachers Training Director, and, night time competition MC. He currently is teaching guitar, classical guitar, bass guitar, drums,keyboard and theory out of his house studio on a semi retirement basis. He thanks the American Guild of music for his success in motivating his students to perform to their best abilities. Also, for instilling good practice habits and dedication to attain their goals .
Perla Cudal (Carol Stream, Illinois) - Past President

Perla Cudal (Carol Stream, Illinois) - Past President

Perla owns and operates her own studio in Carol Stream, Illinois. She joined the American Guild of Music in 1983 and was elected to the board of directors in 1995. Perla is a very dedicated and valuable member. She holds the positions of being the director of practice rooms, and the banquet chairperson. Perla obtained her Bachelor of Music from Laperal Music Academy in the Philippines. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from Far Eastern University also in the Philippines. She is the Musical Director for Manila Central University Medical Choral Group and is a hall of fame awardee for her musical contributions in the Filipino-American Association of Chicago.
Joanne Darby (McCamey, Texas) - Past President

Joanne Darby (McCamey, Texas) - Past President

Joanne studied accordion for 11 years and received her bachelors of education degree from Ohio University. She attended Muskingum College for 2 years and studied music theory, piano, and voice. Joanne started teaching guitar in 1964 and entered students in AGM contests while teaching for former AGM great, Billy Steed. Joanne helped Billy organized the Guild from 1964 until his death in 1969. Joanne first attended AGM Regionals at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio in 1956. She competed through 1969 at regional contests that were held each August at the Muskingum County Fair in Zanesville, Ohio. Her first Nationals was in St. Louis in 1960. Joanne joined the board of directors in 1981 and was elected to the position of treasurer in 1990.
Lorelei Eccleston (Toronto, Ontario) - Past President

Lorelei Eccleston (Toronto, Ontario) - Past President

Lorelei started piano at the age of 8. Since that time, she has performed and competed all over North America. She has been solo artist and/or guest performer in several concerts and live-aid events in Canada and internationally. Lorelei also has worked as music director, choir conductor, and musician at Ossington Avenue Baptist Church for over 25 years. She began competing in the American Guild of Music Nationals at the age of 9. During her competitive years with AGM she won the North American Invitational Championship 6 times (the first time at 12 years old), and the All Around Award once. Upon retirement from competitions, she began adjudicating for AGM and was later appointed to the Board of Directors serving as President for a short term. Now a Past President, Lorelei continues active involvement with AGM as Membership Chair and Convention Choir Director. In addition to her musical career, Lorelei is an elementary school Principal at an inner city school in Toronto. She has 4 webisode commercials on Smart Steps for Parents with the Bank of Montreal. Lorelei is a busy mom to her 5 children: Tyler, Courtney Maxwell, Jenna and Lauren, and their dog, Lola.
Leonard Mostek (Omaha, Nebraska) - Past President

Leonard Mostek (Omaha, Nebraska) - Past President

Leonard became a member in 1969. He first brought his students to his first Guild convention in 1972 and was quickly voted to the board of directors in 1975. He served as president from 1981 and 1982 and again in 1988 and 1989. He served as contest director in 1979, 1980, 1983 and 1989. He participated for 25 years without missing a contest. Leonard was responsible for creating the All-Around Award in 1984 he was the initial creator and coordinator. He also was theory coordinator for a number of years. Leonard frequently adjudicates throughout the U.S. He obtained his degree at University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Omaha. He is the director of the Omaha Conservatory of Music where he has been teaching since 1963.
E. George Oisus (Ann Arbor, Michigan) - Past President

E. George Oisus (Ann Arbor, Michigan) - Past President

George graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors in Music and went to Wayne State University where he acquired a Master of Music. He has been teaching piano since 1967. George has performed in numerous venues such as Interlochen, Grosse Pointe War Memorial and the Mike Douglas Show, He is a composer having recently composed three separate compositions for the Pacifica String Quartet. He taught at Wayne County Community College from 1972-2000 and Michigan Lutheran College from 1968-1976. George was the director of the Association of Music Teachers in Michigan, where he held that position for 33 years and is currently retired.
Darren Peplinksi (Sterling Heights, Michigan) - Past President

Darren Peplinksi (Sterling Heights, Michigan) - Past President

Daren Peplinski began playing drums in 1969. Over the next dozen years Daren learned a variety of percussion instruments including rudimental snare, drum set, tympani and mallet instruments such as marimba and vibraphone. After several years of competitive playing, he embarked upon a successful career as performer and instructor, working the gambit of musical styles from classical to pop, theater to experimental, and all points in between. His students captured awards from many local and national music organizations including three NAIC winners and one All Around champion at American Guild of Music national competitions. Daren has a long affiliation with numerous music organizations including: Percussive Arts Society, National Association of Rudimental Drummers, International Association of Rudimental Percussionists, Experimental Musical Instruments, Drum Corp International, Music Teachers National Association, Music Educators National Conference and Michigan Music Association. Having competed, taught and adjudicated in the AGM since 1974, he joined the board of directors in 1999.

 

Join Us

The American Guild of Music provides our independent music teacher members with opportunities to:

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Attract New Students

Through our online directory, parents from your area can easily find you – including the information you’ve provided highlighting your expertise and experience.

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Encourage Current Students to Continue Studies

Encourage Current Students to Continue Studies AGM’s events provide our members’ students with the chance to shine, while having fun – inspiring them to want to practice and achieve more. It is great incentive for continue learning and building skills.

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Find Camaraderie and Collaboration

As musicians and educators, we recharge our batteries by learning new pieces and techniques - then sharing what we’ve learned with our audiences and students. Our member community and events provide a support structure to enable you to continue to grow and shine – just like you enable your students!



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PO Box 599, Warren, MI 48090 | 248-686-1975