Operating Procedures to Govern the Cape and the Islands

Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

On November 9, 2023, the Executive Board of the Cape Cod and the Islands Chapter approved these Operating Procedures in accordance with the Recommended Operating Procedures, approved by National Council October 16, 2023, and in accordance and agreement with the National Bylaws of The American Guild of Organists, as adopted April 13, 1896 and amended through August 26, 2021.

Section I. NAME.

The name of this organization is the Cape and the Islands Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (hereinafter, “Chapter”), a subordinate unit of the national organization known as the American Guild of Organists.


The mission of the American Guild of Organists is to foster a thriving community of musicians who share their knowledge and inspire passion for the organ.


The membership of the Chapter consists of two (2) classes: voting members and non-voting members.

  1. The classes of voting members are:
    1. (1)  Regular voting member;
    2. (2)  Full-time student (need school ID).
  2. Non-voting members include:
    1. (1)  Honorary members;
    2. (2)  Chapter friends.
      1. (a)  The Chapter Friend category includes non-organists who support the Chapter and wish to attend Chapter events.
      2. (b)  Organists and choral conductors, whether or not currently active as performers, are not eligible to be Chapter Friends.
      3. (c) Chapter Friends do not receive The American Organist journal (TAO).

All Chapter members:

  1. may submit articles to the newsletter and to any other Chapter, publications, paper or electronic, and The American Organist;
  2. receive the Chapter’s newsletter, the Chapter Directory, and any electronic communications;
  3. may request listing in the Chapter’s Substitute List.


Dues for voting members are determined by the National Council of the American Guild of Organists, and are collected and reported according to instructions issued by the National Headquarters. The Chapter’s Executive Board sets the dues for non-voting members.


  1. OFFICERS. The officers of the Chapter are: Dean, Sub-Dean, Secretary, and Treasurer.
  2. DUTIES OF THE DEAN. The Dean is the Chief Executive Officer of the Chapter and has the following duties and responsibilities:
    1. Preside at all meetings of the Chapter and Board;
    2. Nominate the chairs of all standing committees for appointment by the Executive Board;
    3. Nominate, at a called meeting, a person or persons to fill vacancies;
    4. Create special project committees;
    5. Correlate the work of the officers and committees;
    6. Serve as an ex-officio member on all committees, excluding the Nominating Committee;
    7. Carry into effect all directions and resolutions of the Chapter and Executive Board and make such reports to the Chapter and Executive Board as may be necessary by the policies of the Chapter or Executive Board;
    8. Co-sign with the Treasurer contracts on behalf of the Chapter as well as all chapter accounts;
    9. Arrange for an annual audit of the Chapter’s finances within three (3) months of the closing of the fiscal year (October 31);
    10. Serve as the Chapter’s official representative to regional and national conventions (If the Dean is unable to attend, the Sub-Dean serves as the Chapter’s representative. If neither of these officers is able to attend, the Executive Board appoints a representative.); Remain in office for a term of two years with the possibility of nomination for re-election to a total of 2 consecutive two-year terms. Preside at Chapter events.
  1. DUTIES OF THE SUB-DEAN. The Sub-Dean has the following duties and responsibilities:
    1. In the absence of the Dean of the Chapter, exercise all of the powers and perform all of the duties of the Dean;
    2. In consultation with the Dean and the Executive Board, develop and execute programs for the year;
    3. Perform such other duties as are incidental to the execution of this office or that may be required by the Executive Board;
    4. Remain in office for a term of two years with the possibility of nomination for re-election to a total of 2 consecutive two-year terms.
  2. DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY. The Secretary has the following duties and responsibilities:
    1. Take minutes of the meetings of the Executive Board and general meetings of the Chapter and circulate them to all board members via mail or email prior to the next meeting (Such minutes are to include the names of those present and absent, and reports of officers and committees);
    2. Send an archive set of the minutes, including copies of handouts distributed at each meeting, to the Archivist and distribute records to other Board members;
    3. Conduct Chapter correspondence as necessitated by the duties of the position or the instructions of the Executive Board;
    4. Make such reports and perform such other duties as are incidental to the execution of this office or that may be required by the Executive Board;
    5. Remain in office for a term of two years with the possibility of nomination for re-election to a total of 2 consecutive two-year terms.

5. DUTIES OF THE TREASURER. The Treasurer has the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Keep accurate records of the financial activities of the Chapter;
  2. Report gifts made to the Chapter;
  3. Report expenditures from and deposits into the Checking and Money Market accounts;
  4. Provide a regular summary update at Chapter Board meetings;
  5. Provide an annual report of opening and closing balances in the accounts at the annual meeting of the Chapter;
  6. Co-sign with the Dean all chapter contracts and chapter accounts;
  7. Remain in office for a term of two years with the possibility of nomination for re-election to a total of 2 consecutive two-year terms.

6. DUTIES OF THE MEMBERS-AT-LARGE. 5 At-Large members serve for a term of two (2) years with the possibility of nomination for reelection to a total of two consecutive 2-year terms. At-Large members will be given the choice of one of the following open chapter roles for their area of oversight upon election: Registrar, Membership Coordinator, Hospitality Coordinator, Chapter Life Coordinator, and Communications Officer.

7. DUTIES OF THE REGISTRAR. The Registrar is the custodian of the membership records of the Chapter, and as such, has the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. ReportdirectlytotheBoardperiodicallyoruponrequest,givingthe number of Chapter members and friends. A paper copy of the report is to be given to the Archivist.
  2. Compile a Directory annually, listing appropriate information about all members and friends (The Directory is also to include a list of Chapter leadership and terms, programs, dates, and locations of Chapter events, and the Substitute list. The Directory is distributed by mail.);
  3. ProducesandsendsbyU.S.MailtheimportantChapter communications to those not served by electronic means;
  4. Attends all Chapter events to assure free admittance to members and friends (This duty may require delegation on occasion.).

8. DUTIES OF THE MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR. The Membership Coordinator shall be responsible for activities focused on recruiting and retaining chapter membership. These activities will include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Developandadministeraprocessforidentifyingandrecruitingnew members and ensuring that they are registered in a timely fashion.
  2. Provide chapter membership information to prospective members.
  3. Recommend and implement steps to maximize retention of members.
  4. Serve as key contact person for members and prospects seeking information about membership categories, benefits, dues, etc.
  5. Helpensurethatcurrentmembersparticipateinthechapter’s social, musical, and professional development programs.
  6. Take an active role in new member onboarding to ensure that these members are welcomed cordially at meetings and become active in the life of the chapter.
  7. Provide information to prospective members that demonstrates the value of joining the chapter and direct them to the AGO website to join.
  8. Perform such other duties as are incidental to the execution of this office or tasks that the Executive Committee may direct.

The Hospitality Coordinator is responsible for providing or coordinating refreshments for meetings, receptions, workshops, etc., presented by the Chapter.

a. Solicitation of members for potluck
b. Set-up of refreshments, décor, and clean-up.

10. DUTIES OF THE CHAPTER LIFE COORDINATOR The Chapter Life Coordinator shall share stories and significant events from the lives of chapter members.

  1. Listbirthdays,retirements,deaths,andothersignificantevents in the Chapter newsletter.
  2. Interview new members and provide short biographical sketches of them to the Newsletter Editor.
  3. Encouragememberstosharestoriesandanecdotesfromtheir careers.
  4. Shall keep a copy of all Chapter programs and any Chapter publications.
  5. Keep printed and/or digital records of all chapter programs and supporting collateral, newsletters, and any published articles about the chapter.
  6. Provide chapter membership information to prospective members.

11. DUTIES OF THE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER. The Communications Officer shall be responsible for:

  1. Publishing chapter information including but not limited to, promotions of upcoming programs and events, special announcements, welcoming new members, member profiles, job listings, and any other newsworthy information deemed necessary.
  2. Knowing about distributing this information through online platforms such as Constant Contact, Mailchimp, etc. and should work closely with the chapter webmaster to support consistent messaging.
  3. Including in all communications the national branding utilizing the AGO logo.
  4. Promoting chapter events through various media. The AGO logo should be included in all media when promoting an event. To request the logo, please contact AGO headquarters.
  5. Maintaining and updating the chapter’s website to ensure that the following information is up to date:

12. DUTIES OF THE CHAPLAIN. The Chaplain is an appointed position and shall serve a term of two (2) years with an option for re-appointment to consecutive terms. The Chaplain shall perform those duties appropriate to the office.

13. EXECUTIVE BOARD. The Executive Board, comprised of members in good standing, is the governing body of the Chapter. It conducts the business of the Chapter when the full membership does not meet. Its actions are subject to review by the Chapter membership. The Executive Board consists of four (4) elected officers, and five (5) at-large members. All chairs of standing committees, all past Deans, and all district, regional, and national officers who are members of the Chapter may attend Chapter board meetings with voice, but no vote, as may other persons at the invitation of the Dean. All Executive Board members serve two (2) years with the possibility of nomination for re-election to a total of 2 consecutive two-year terms.


EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS. The Executive Board meets according to an annual schedule set by the Dean and approved by the Executive Board. Meetings may also be scheduled for such other times as are deemed necessary by the Dean. Regular attendance at the Executive Board meetings is expected. A majority of elected Executive Board members constitutes a quorum. The Board will, by majority vote, act on issues including but not limited to program events, calendar of events including elections, membership drives, expenditure of funds, scholarships to be awarded, and website content.


    The Nominating Committee shall consist of three (3) persons who are voting members of the chapter in good standing. Not more than one (1) may be members of the Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee is appointed by vote of the Executive Committee upon the
    recommendation of the Dean (see Section V.2.b). The Nominating Committee shall nominate one (1) or more candidates for each office and an excess of candidates for membership at-large on the Executive Committee in place of those whose terms of office are about to expire. The Nominating Committee shall present the slate to the Executive Committee. The slate of candidates shall be recorded in the minutes, published to all chapter members and announced to the general membership according to the schedule required in the National Bylaws. Additional nominations may be made by petition if each petition is signed by five (5) voting members of the chapter in good standing and submitted to the chapter Secretary within thirty (30) days of the announcement of the slate to the chapter membership. The slate of candidates prepared by the Nominating Committee and the names of any candidate duly submitted by petition are not subject to discussion or approval by the Executive Committee and may not be vetoed by the Executive Committee or any member thereof, including the Dean. (NOTE: In chapters of limited size a Nominating Committee of three members may be necessary, and this should be reflected in the Chapter Operating Procedures. In this case no more than one member of the Nominating Committee of three may be a member of the Executive Committee, and the Dean may not be a member of the Nominating Committee of three.) We have made this change in accordance with our current Operating Procedures
    The biennial election of chapter leaders, both Officers and members at-large of the Executive Committee, shall take place by May 31 of each year. Ballots including the chapter Nominating Committee slate and candidates nominated by qualified petition shall be prepared by the Secretary and distributed either by mail or electronically (in the form of proxies) or at a general chapter meeting. Sufficient care must be taken to ensure that either the mailed/electronic ballot or notification of the meeting at which voting is to take place reaches every eligible Voting Member. The ballots are to be opened and counted only in the presence of at least two chapter members in good standing including one member who is not currently serving on the Executive Committee. A plurality of votes cast shall be sufficient for election. Newly elected chapter leaders shall be installed at the next general meeting of the chapter. Terms of office begin on July 1.
  3. VACANCIES ON THE EXECUTIVE BOARD. Any member of the Executive Board may resign from their position; such resignation, submitted in writing, is effective immediately upon its acceptance by the Executive Board. Vacancies on the Executive Board may result from but are not limited to resignation or death of a member and removal of a member for failure to fulfill the necessary responsibilities. Such vacancies may be filled by appointment by the Dean. A person appointed to fill an unexpired term must meet all qualifications to hold office.
  4. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE. An officer or duly elected member of the Executive Board may be removed from office due to inability or failure to fulfill the required responsibilities only by action of the Chapter Executive Board as follows:
    1. AsimplemajorityvoteoftheExecutiveBoardauthorizestheDean(or other officer designated by the Executive Board) to send a formal written notice to the officer in question, stating that a removal action is pending before the Executive Board. In the event of such action against the Dean, the Sub-Dean acts as the Chapter’s executive officer;
    2. The officer in question has a maximum of two (2) weeks (or until the next Board meeting, whichever occurs later) to appeal the Executive Board’s decision; after that, action to remove said officer requires a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Board.


All programs sponsored by the Chapter must have the approval of the Executive Board. The dates and costs associated with the programs must also be approved by the Board. Any organization wishing to co-sponsor an event with the Chapter must submit a proposal to the Board, which must be approved for the event to take place.


The Executive Board has the power to appoint all standing committees and committee chairs. Chairs are nominated by the Dean, and each committee chair appoints members of that committee. The Dean will serve as an ex officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.

  1. ARCHIVES. This committee or individual functions as the Chapter’s historian and archivist and is to keep copies of Chapter recital programs, newspaper or magazine articles concerning the Chapter, Chapter publications, and other memorabilia pertaining to the Chapter. This material concerning the history of the Chapter is to be kept in a place that is accessible to all members by appointment with the Historian.
  2. HOSPITALITY. This Committee or individual is responsible for providing or coordinating refreshments for meetings, receptions, workshops, etc., presented by the Chapter through solicitation of members for potluck, etc., set-up of refreshments, décor, and clean-up.
  3. NOMINATIONS. This committee is to consist of at least three (3) Chapter members. The Nominating Committee nominates one (1) or more candidates for each office for the current Executive Board class whose terms are about to expire.. The slate prepared by the Nominating Committee must be submitted to the Board by the March meeting, recorded in the minutes, published in the Chapter newsletter, and announced to the general membership by May 1.
  4. PUBLICITY. This committee or individual submits information to local newspapers, Chapter newsletter, or The American Organist magazine regarding upcoming or recently held events sponsored (or co-sponsored) by the Chapter; the chair also notifies local Council of Churches, pins up posters, etc., to increase public and membership interest in such events, including job postings. The Committee also produces the periodic newsletter.


Following adoption by the Executive Board and approval of the Chapter, these Operating Procedures and any provision thereof may be amended at any time by action of the Executive Board. A majority of votes cast by the Executive Board is sufficient to amend any provision of or add to these Operating Procedures. Amendments or additions are to be included in this document and added in numerical sequence in order of enactment, complete with the date of such enactment.