Vermont Chapter AGO

Burlington, VT

Artist of the Year

Congratulations to Vaughn Watson for being named

Artist of the Year 2016!


Performance and Venue will be announced when determined.

Vaughn L. Watson, of Addison, Vermont, is a native of Staten Island, New York. He began piano study at an early age with his mother, and later the organ. He graduated from Fordham University in 1983. From 1983 until 2002, Mr. Watson studied organ with Dr. William Entriken in New York City. He has also studied church music at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and conducting at Westminster Choir College. Further organ study was with Dr. Walter Hilse from 2005 to 2011. In June of 2009, Mr. Watson attained the Certificate of C.A.G.O. from the American Guild of Organists.   Mr. Watson currently serves as organist for three Catholic parishes of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, New York. These include the Catholic Community of Moriah: St. Patrick’s Church in Port Henry and All Saints Church in Mineville, and St. Mary’s Church in Ticonderoga, where he also directs the Adult Choir and teaches music in St. Mary’s School. In January 2013, he was appointed accompanist for the Champlain Valley Chorale in Ticonderoga. Previously, he served as Music Director/Organist at Maria Regina R.C. Church in Seaford and at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Fort Salonga, Long Island.   Mr. Watson has performed recitals at St. Peter’s Church, Grace Church, Park Avenue Methodist Church, St. Thomas Church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, all in New York City. In March of 2011, he performed in the annual Festival of Organists at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church in Plainfield, New Jersey. Mr. Watson has also performed recitals at National Conventions of the Organ Historical Society, in 2015 and in 2003.  Since relocating to the North Country, Mr. Watson has given recitals in the Hughes Memorial Chapel at Silver Bay, N.Y. the Essex Community Church in Essex, N. Y. and the Bradford Congregational Church in Bradford, Vermont. He is active in the Organ Historical Society,  and the American Guild of Organists. In June of 2014, Vaughn was appointed as Sub-Dean of the Vermont Chapter of the A.G.O.    

Congratulations to Dr. Susan Summerfield for being named as Artist of the Year 2015!

Performance: Sunday June 12, 3 pm

St. Michael's Chapel, One Winooski Park, Colchester, VT

  SusanSummerfieldDr. Susan Summerfield has a long career of performing and teaching music. She received degrees in music from Douglass College (Rutgers), Mills College and Stanford University, specializing in historical performance practice on keyboard instruments. She also studied organ with William Hays (Westminster Choir College) and, in Paris, with Pierre Cogen and Michel Chapuis. Before moving to the Burlington area, Susan was the Luther B. Marchant Professor of Music at Mills College where she taught for 18 years. Now at Saint Michael’s College, she teaches music history, theory and performance. She also serves as the Saint Michael’s College Organist. Susan has accompanied choirs for many years, including nine years as organist at the First Baptist Church, Burlington, working with Dawn Willis. She is currently the Collaborating Accompanist for Solaris Vocal Ensemble. Susan lives in Essex, Vermont.      

Congratulations to Jim Cassarino for being named as Artist of the Year 2014 !

conducting in walesA Vermont native, James P. Cassarino serves as Chair of the Music Program at Green Mountain College where he oversees a vibrant program that includes course work in music, and vocal and instrumental ensembles. He holds degrees in music and theology from Castleton State College, Ball State University, St. John’s University School of Theology/Seminary, and the Centre for Advanced Welsh Music Studies at the University of Wales in Bangor, Wales.   Prof. Cassarino has served as Music Director at Trinity Episcopal Church, Rutland since 2004. In Vermont he has held similar positions at St. Peter’s Church (Rutland), the Federated Church (Castleton) and Our Lady of the Snows (Woodstock). He has also served as Director of Music for the University Lutheran Church at St. Cloud State University, Director of Chapel Music at the College of St. Benedict, Organist for St. John’s Seminary, and Music Director at historic St. Mary’s Church in Newport, Rhode Island.   His recital will take place at Trinity Church, Rutland and will include music for organ, choir, brass, and woodwinds. Assisting artists will include colleagues that he has collaborated with throughout the years.


Congratulations to Mark Howe for being named as Artist of the Year 2013 !

MH at organ 04-12 Mark Howe has served as Organist and Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Episcopal) in Burlington, Vermont since 1999. A native of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, he grew up in Providence, Rhode Island and Springfield, Vermont.   At the Cathedral, Mr. Howe has been active in the Cathedral Arts concert series in addition to his normal duties as organist for at least two sung services each Sunday and trainer and director of children’s and adult choirs. He is a past member of the Board of the Association of Anglican Musicians, and has taught as a regular, visiting, or adjunct faculty member at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Yale University (Divinity School and Institute of Sacred Music), and McGill University.   As a recitalist, Mr. Howe has performed in many parts of Vermont as well as in other states in the northeastern U.S.; in the Chicago area; and in Canada, France, and Belgium. His Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in organ are from Westminster Choir College and Yale University respectively, and he holds a Ph.D. in musicology from New York University. His organ teachers were Harriette Slack Richardson, William Hays, and Thomas Murray.