The Detroit Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
Board of Directors
Click on name to send and email, click on image for a biography of member.

George Jonte-Crane

Andrew Herbruck
Dave Stewart
Rick Abdoo

Registrar, Membership
Substitutes List
Pete Townsend
Class of 2017 – 2020
Board Member
Glenn Burdette



Board Member
Richard Helderop

Board Member
w. Jean Randall

Board Member 
Carolyn Thibideau

Class of 2019 – 2021
Board Member
David Enos

Board Member
John Potter

Board Member
David Wigton

Class of 2020 – 2022
Board Member
Joe Balistreri
Board Member
Gerald Furi
Board Member
Joseph Rush

Committee Chairs & Support
Roster Editor
Dalos Grobe
Dr. Wm. Jean Randall
Rev Randall Engle
Newsletter Editor
Gerald Furi
- Open -
- Open -
David Stewart
Glenn Burdette
Chuck Storey

Dean: George Jonte-Crane
George Jonte-Crane currently serves as Dean of the Detroit chapter of AGO. He is winding up a 6-1/2 year stint at Berkley First United Methodist Church as organist and choir director and will be moving to St. Matthew's United Methodist Church in Livonia in the same capacity at the end of the summer.. He also serves Temple Emanu-El in Oak Park in the same capacity. He holds degrees in organ, piano and choral conducting from the University of Texas and recently received an honorary Doctorate of Sacred Music from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. Prior to moving to Michigan 15 years ago, he served churches in Orange, Beaumont, Austin, Dallas and Houston, Texas.

SubDean: Andrew Herbruck Andrew Herbruck serves as the director of Music Ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, a position he has held since 2013.  Prior to his appointment in Birmingham, he spent eight years as Director of Music at Grosse Pointe Woods Presbyterian Church.  He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan’s School of Music in organ and church music, studying with Dr. James Kibbie.   Andrew’s background includes being the primary service organist, directing chancel, handbell, and youth choirs, managing the church's extensive concert series and overseeing all other choirs at First Presbyterian Church.  Andrew previously served one term on the Detroit AGO Chapter board as a member at large.    
Secretary: Dave Stewart
Treasurer: Richard Abdoo Rick Abdoo has been a member of the Detroit Chapter AGO for 26 years.  He has served as a board member, and as Treasurer for a total of eight terms.  Rick is a retired engineering supervisor from Ford Motor.  He holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, and has three patents.  Rick has been in business as Abdoo Organ Services, repairing, expanding and rebuilding pipe organs for sixteen years.  Rick presently is the Treasurer for the Detroit Chapter AGO, Citizens for Peace, and the Citizens for Peace Education Fund.  He was previously the Treasurer for the SuAnne Big Crow Boys and Girls Club.  He is experienced in accounting and reporting for his own business as well as non-profit organizations, using Quickbooks Premier for non-profits.
Registrar, Membership & Substitutes List: Pete Townsend Pete studied piano from an early age.  While in high school he spent $50 to purchase a tracker organ from small church about to be demolished.  He reworked the chest installing electric valves to become unit organ and built a 2 manual console from manuals and pedalboard salvaged from other instruments.  He taught himself how to play.  He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Wayne State University, and while there decided to formalize his knowledge and took 2 years of organ lessons.  During college also worked midnight to 6 a.m. on the first restoration of the Fox organ which was in total non-working order, to get it ready for the 1960 AGO Convention.  He plays at least once a month at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, and remains a true amateur organist. 
Class of 2017 – 2020


Board Member:  Glenn Burdette
Board Member:  Richard Helderop
Board Member: W. Jean Randall
Board Member: Carolyn Thibideau  M. Mus  University of Michigan  1980  B. S.  Mus. Ed., Oakland University 1974,  Organist and Music Director all of my adult life.  Currently Free Lance Organist and Director.  Pianist/accompanist.  Former principal trumpet in the Detroit Women's Symphony Haeberle Piano Award Chair: 2017 - current.  Retired Music Educator,  West Bloomfield Schools. Secondary and Elementary Choral and Instrumental music
Awards:  West Bloomfield Schools Teacher of the Year, finalist for Michigan Teacher of the Year National Exemplary Handbell Program  Also local awards.   Retired band director:  Our Lady of Refuge School. 
Member of Detroit AGO Chapter since 1970. Dean, Detroit Chapter  2010- 2013  Executive Board 2017-  present  Also served several past terms on the executive board.  1986 AGO National Convention in Detroit:   Program committee, chair of educational presentations.  
Class of 2019 – 2021
Board Member:  David Enos
Board Member:  John Potter
Board Member: David Wigton has been a church organist from the age of ten. He graduated from Oakland University in 1972. He then began full-time organ building as an apprentice at the Berkshire Organ Company in West Springfield, MA. Since 1977 he has been building organs in the Detroit area. The company's projects have included new, rebuilt and restored instruments, most of them with mechanical action. Mr. Wigton is a member of the American Institute of Organbuilders, who granted him the Master Organbuilder certificate in 1980. More information about the company can be found at
Class of 2020 – 2022
Board Member: Joe Balistreri of Detroit earned his degrees in Organ Performance at the University of Michigan. Recognized for “especially moving” interpretation (The American Organist) and “impressive technique and bristling enthusiasm” (The Diapason), his organ performances include American Guild of Organists and National Association of Pastoral Musicians conventions, university conferences, and orchestral collaborations. Joe was named one of The Diapason’s 2015 “20 under 30” in the organ and church music field. In 2016, Joe was appointed visiting lecturer of Gregorian chant and organ at the University of Michigan.
Since 2011, Joe is the Director of Music for the Archdiocese of Detroit, serving as a resource and community facilitator for parish musicians and clergy. He is also Director of Music at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, where he directs the choirs and leads the Cathedral Cultural Series (CCS). In these roles, Joe has had the pleasure of leading the Archdiocesan Chorus and festival choirs to Rome, collaborating with the Sistine Chapel Choir during their 2017 visit to Detroit, and hosting the world’s finest musicians for concerts and liturgies. 
Board Member:  Gerald Furi As of Pentecost, 2018, I completed 61 years as a church musician.  B. Mus. and M. Mus. from Washington University, St. Louis. Studied with Howard Kelsey, Rudi Kremer, and Anton Heiller. MSLS from Wayne University, Detroit.  Retired in 2008 after working with the late Fr. Bob Wurm for 28 years, at St. James, Ferndale.  Retired in 2011 after 32 years with the Farmington Community Library, the last 25 as Assistant Director and Chief Technology Officer. I still occasionally substitute for mainline churches (primarily RC, Episcopal and Presbyterian) as needed.   
Board Member: Joseph Rush Began music studies at age five and has been a church organist since the age of twelve. His early training in his native Pittsburgh was with John Lively (organ) and Mildred Gardner(piano).
He served at both Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and Third Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. In 1986, Mr. Rush relocated to Cleveland, where he earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Todd Wilson. He placed first in the Pittsburgh and Cleveland Chapters of the American Guild of Organists’ National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance in 1983 and 1991, respectively, and placed third in the Regional Competition in Chicago in 1991. A certified colleague of the American Guild of Organists.
Mr. Rush has performed at many prestigious venues, including St. Thomas Church, New York City, Trinity Church, Boston and National City Christian, Washington, DC. Since moving to Michigan, he has been Director of Music and Organist at Kirk in the Hills, Interim Director of Music at Christ Episcopal Church (Dearborn), and Associate Director of Music Ministries at the First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham. He is Director of Music and Organist at First United Methodist Church of Ferndale and is accompanist and vocab/instrumental coach at the Detroit School of Arts.
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updated on:  Tuesday, April 7, 2020 7:00 AM
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