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.

Anderw Herbruck

Nathan Costa

Sarah Simko
Rick Abdoo

Registrar, Membership
Substitutes List
Pete Townsend
Class of 2019-2022
Board Member
Joseph Balistreri

Board Member
Gerald Furi

Board Member
Roman Lizak

Class of 2020 – 2023
Board Member
Joanne Vollendorf Clark

Board Member
Edward Maki-Schramm

Board Member
Jeremy David Tarrant

Class of 2021 – 2024
Board Member
David Wagner

Board Member
Mary Zelinski
Board Member
Melvin Machamer

Committee Chairs & Support
Roster Editor
Dalos Grobe
Dr. Wm. Jean Randall
Rev Randall Engle
Newsletter Editor
Andrew Herbruck
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David Stewart
Glenn Burdette
Chuck Storey

Dean: 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.   Andrews 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.    

SubDean: Nathan Costa Nathan Costa has served churches and schools for over 20 years, most recently as assistant director of music and liturgist at Christ Church Cranbrook. Prior to moving to Michigan in 2018, he worked in liturgy and music in Roman Catholic and Episcopal parishes in San Diego, Delaware, and Maryland, and at St. Andrew’s School, an Episcopal boarding school in Middletown, Delaware, where for 17 years he served in teaching and administrative capacities, including as organist / choirmaster, teacher of Latin and Greek, and academic dean. During that time, Nathan has served the AGO, in San Diego as an at-large member of the board and on the planning committee for the 2017 Pipe Organ Encounter, and on the program committee in Delaware. Nathan received a B.A. in Classics from Yale University and M.A. in Liturgical Music (Organ) and in Theology (Liturgy) from St. John’s University School of Theology in Collegeville, Minnesota.  He is currently teaching at Cranbrook School.
Secretary: Sarah Simko Sarah Simko is a Doctoral Candidate in Organ Performance at the University of Michigan. Ms. Simko studies with Professor James Kibbie. She is the Adjunct Faculty Instructor at Madonna University. During her time at the University of Michigan, Ms. Simko served as a Research Assistant for a team headed by Dr. Kibbie and Dr. Daniel Forger from the Department of Mathematics. This collaborative project focused on how the brain processes music, through detailed study of the Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Sonatas (BWV 525-530). Recorded rehearsals and performances of the Sonatas were processed using big data analysis techniques. In conjunction with this work, Ms. Simko has given coaching sessions on these Sonatas. This project will conclude in Summer, 2019.Ms. Simko is the recipient of a Graduate Award from the Presser Foundation, to be used to create a comprehensive set of recordings of organ music by living American female composers. The goal of this project is to expand the accessibility of a rich, and overlooked body of repertoire.
More information, including purchasing information for this series of three CDs, can be found under the "Living Voices" tab on this website. Ms. Simko has held many positions in leading churches in the Detroit area. She currently serves the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit, as their Interim Associate Organist. Ms. Simko has given recitals at such notable venues as Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Methuen, Massachusetts; St. Paul’s Cathedral (Anglican), London, Ontario, Canada; Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church, Detroit; the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Episcopal), Detroit; Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor; among others.
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. 

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Class of 2019 – 2022
Board Member:  Joseph Balistreri Joe Balistreri, a native of Detroit, Michigan, earned his Masters in Organ from the University of Michigan. His organ performances include an AGO convention, university conferences, and orchestral collaborations. The American Organist Magazine has described Joe’s playing as “especially moving.” The Diapason Magazine hailed his “impressive technique and bristling enthusiasm.”
Joe is the Director of Music for the Archdiocese of Detroit, serving as a resource and community facilitator for parish musicians and clergy. In this role, he serves as Episcopal Music Director at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, directs the Archdiocesan Chorus, and oversees the Cathedral Cultural Series.
In his spare time, Joe enjoys cycling, cooking, surveying architecture, Detroit politics and composing. Joe is particularly proud of creating the St. Jude Recital Series, a community-building, fundraising series of organ recitals supporting the restoration and upkeep of the 75-rank Pilzecker organ of St. Jude Church, Detroit.
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: Roman Lizak My name is Roman Lizak, and I am a proud member of the Detroit chapter of the American Guild of Organists. I serve as the organist at Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Church in Redford, and I have been playing organ since I was in the Second grade.
Class of 2020-2023
Board Member: Joanne Vollendorf Clark
Board Member: Edward Maki-Schramm  Dr. Maki-Schramm is the Organist/Choirmaster of Christ Church Detroit and leads the Community Chorus of Detroit as Artistic Director and Conductor. At Christ Church, he founded and directs the Detroit Choral Festival and Detroit Vocal Ensemble in combination to his weekly duties leading choral services. Dr. Maki-Schramm also serves on the AGO National Committee for Finance and Development.
Dr. Maki-Schramm received his MMus and DMA from the University of Michigan and his BMus from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. He has performed organ recitals on world-renowned, historic organs overseas and is recognized as an authority on European organs, currently leading sought-after, curated organ tours of his design. He was the first-place winner at the Jean and Broadus Staley Organ Competition in Organ Improvisation hosted by the American Center for Church Music and was the selected organist to perform the Grammy Award-winning recording of William Bolcom’s “Songs of Innocence and Experience.”

Board Member: Jeremy David Tarrant Jeremy David Tarrant has been on the music staff of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Episcopal) in Detroit, since 1994 and became and became Organist and Choirmaster in 2000. Since 2007 he has also served the Cathedral as Canon Precentor. He is the founding director of the Cathedral Choir School of Metropolitan Detroit.
Jeremy David Tarrant is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music where he earned the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in organ performance and church music in the classes of Robert Glasgow and James Kibbie. He was Visiting Lecturer in Organ at the University of Michigan for the 2020-21 academic year. 
An active concert organist, Jeremy David Tarrant has performed widely in North America and France. His debut solo recording of featuring Widor's Symphonie VII, was released in 2018 to enthusiastic critical acclaim. He is represented by Seven Eight Artists

Class of 2021 – 2024
Board Member:David Wagner David Wagner is well known as a solo performer on the pipe organ and as an ensemble musician.  He has presented solo organ concerts throughout the United States and Europe, including Washington National Cathedral, Galway Cathedral, the Church of St. Martin-in-the Fields, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, and the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia.  He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan where he studied with Marilyn Mason. In addition to his work as a solo performer, Wagner has also been organist and harpsichordist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Wagner is the recipient of the Palmer Christian award from the University of Michigan School of Music, for postdoctoral achievement in the field of music performance, and the Arts Achievement Award from Wayne State University.   As a classical music broadcaster, Dave Wagner has a national reputation and is heard regularly as the morning/afternoon host on WRCJ in Detroit. Other radio stations have included WQRS in Detroit , WGUC in Cincinnati, WTMI in Miami, WFLN in Philadelphia,  KMZT in Los Angeles, KTIM in San Francisco,  Classical Public Radio Network and Public Radio International
Board Member: Mary Zelinski Mary Zelinski is the Director of Sacred Music at St. Mary Queen of Creation in New Baltimore, Michigan. In 2018 Mary earned a Master of Sacred Music in Organ from the University of Notre Dame. In 2016 she earned a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance and Sacred Music from the University of Michigan. Mary’s musical interests include early music, the music of César Franck, and Gregorian chant-based works
Board Member: Melvin Machamer Mel Machemer, a Michigan native, has been involved in church and school music for 40 years. Mel earned his undergraduate degree from Concordia University Chicago (River Forest) and his M.Mus. in Organ Performance from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, studying with Kathleen Thomerson. This year begins his 34th year as Director of Church and School Music at Saint John Lutheran Church in Fraser, Michigan. He also served as Music Department Chair, Choral Director, and Dean of Chapel at Lutheran High School East in Harper Woods.  
Mel most enjoys using the organ to engage and uplift the congregation in the church’s song during worship.  He is also known for his outstanding choirs, whether children, high school, or adult groups.  Saint John Fraser’s performances of The Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival have been seen by capacity audiences for the past 14 years.  His select grade school group, the Choristers, were invited to sing at the closing service of the Lutheran Education Association National Conference in 2011.  Mel currently serves as the editor of the Children’s Choir Series for Concordia Publishing House for which his upper grade choirs produce the “demo” recordings.  Mel has been a member of the AGO for 40 years, once serving as Recital Chairman while in Saint Louis, Missouri.
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