Operating Procedures to Govern the Cape and the Islands

Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

On February 22, 2018, the undersigned members of the Executive Board of the Cape Cod and the Islands Chapter of the American Guild of Organists do adopt the following version of the Chapter’s Operating Procedures. This document is in accordance and agreement with the National Bylaws of the American Guild of Organists, as adopted April 13, 1896, and amended through Spring 2017.

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. Regular voting member;
    1. Full-time student (need school ID).
  2. Non-voting members include:
    1. Honorary members;
    1. Chapter friends.
      1. The Chapter Friend category includes non-organists who support the Chapter and wish to attend Chapter events.
      1. Organists and choral conductors, whether or not currently active as performers, are not eligible to be Chapter Friends.
      1. 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. 
  • DUTIES OF THE DEAN. The Dean is the Chief Executive Officer of the Chapter and has the following duties and responsibilities:
    • Preside at all meetings of the Chapter and Board;
    • Nominate the chairs of all standing committees for appointment by the Executive Board;
    • Nominate, at a called meeting, a person or persons to fill vacancies;
    • Create special project committees;
    • Correlate the work of the officers and committees;
    • Serve as an ex-officio member on all committees, excluding the Nominating Committee;
    • 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;
    • Co-sign with the Treasurer contracts on behalf of the Chapter as well as all chapter accounts;
    • Arrange for an annual audit of the Chapter’s finances within three (3) months of the closing of the fiscal year (October 31);
    • 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.);

k.  Serve for a maximum of two (2) consecutive terms of 2 years each;

l.   Preside at Chapter events.

3.  DUTIES OF THE SUB-DEAN. The Sub-Dean has the following duties and responsibilities:

a.  In the absence of the Dean of the Chapter, exercise all of the powers and perform all of the duties of the Dean;

b.  In consultation with the Dean and the Executive Board, develop and execute programs for the year;

c.  Perform such other duties as are incidental to the execution of this office or that may be required by the Executive Board;

d.  Serve for a maximum of two (2) consecutive terms of 2 years each.

4.  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. Serve for a maximum of two (2) consecutive terms of two (2) years each.

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

a.  Keep accurate records of the financial activities of the Chapter;

b.  Report gifts made to the Chapter;

c.  Report expenditures from and deposits into the Checking and Money Market accounts;

d.  Provide a regular summary update at Chapter Board meetings;

e.  Provide an annual report of opening and closing balances in the

     accounts at the annual meeting of the Chapter;    

f.   Co-sign with the Dean all chapter contracts and chapter accounts;      

               g.  Serve for a maximum of two (2) consecutive terms of two (2) years         each.

6. DUTIES OF THE REGISTRAR. The Registrar is an appointed position with no term limit. The Registrar is the custodian of the membership records of the Chapter, and as such, has the following duties and responsibilities:

a.  Report directly to the Board periodically or upon request, giving the number of Chapter members and friends. A paper copy of the report is to be given to the Archivist.  

b.  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.);

c.  Produces and sends by U.S. Mail the important Chapter

     communications to those not served by electronic means;

d.  Attends all Chapter events to assure free admittance to

     members and friends (This duty may require delegation

     on occasion.).

7. 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.

8. 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 six (6) at-large members with two (2) members elected each year for alternating staggered 2-year terms. 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. At-large Board members serve for a maximum of two (2) consecutive terms of three (3) years each.


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.


  1. ELECTION OF OFFICERS. The annual election of officers is to take place at the annual meeting of the membership in June. A plurality of votes cast is sufficient for election. The election is to be concluded before July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year. The length of term for Officers is limited to two (2) consecutive  terms of two (2) years each.
  • ELECTION OF EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS. The duly-elected members of the Executive Board are divided into three (3) classes, each class having 2 members, and serving for 3 years. Therefore, every year, 2 seats will be open for nomination and election.
  • 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.
  • 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:

a.  A simple majority vote of the Executive Board authorizes the Dean (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;

b.  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 2 vacant At-Large seats will have at least one name for each position nominated annually. 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.

Note: The Cape Cod and the Islands chapter acknowledges with appreciation the opportunity to adapt some of these Procedures from the Operating Procedures of the New York City and Boston chapters.