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AGO Code of Ethics


Members of the American Guild of Organists are bound by the Code of Ethics and guided by the Code of Professional Standards.

Adopted by the National Council on October 23, 1933 as revised through April 16, 2007.

Preamble: The purpose of the American Guild of Organists is to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members. Voting members are entitled to enjoy the privileges and are expected to accept the responsibilities of membership in the Guild. Members shall be considered equally for Guild offices and participation in Guild activities. These are the rules that shall be considered binding upon all voting members in good standing.

RULE 1. Members shall promote good working relationships within the American Guild of Organists and shall respect the employment of colleagues. Members shall address differences between themselves and other members by following the procedures outlined in the Discipline.

RULE 2. Members shall not seek or appear to be seeking employment for themselves, a student, or a colleague, in a position held by someone else. Members shall apply for employment only for a position which the employer, with the knowledge of the incumbent musician, has officially and publicly declared vacant by the announcement of the vacancy.

RULE 3. In cases pending under the Procedures or in cases where the National Council has determined that a position has been made vacant by wrongful termination of a member of the American Guild of Organists, members shall not seek or accept regular or permanent employment for themselves, a student, or colleague at that Institution until the National Council is satisfied that differences between the Guild and the Institution have been resolved. Interim services may be provided for a period of 90 days.

RULE 4. Members shall obtain the approval of the incumbent musician before accepting an engagement for a wedding, funeral, or other service requested by a third party. In such cases, the incumbent should receive his/her customary fee, and the third party is expected to provide it. It is the responsibility of the guest member to inform the third party of this rule. Members are advised to protect themselves as incumbents in this regard by negotiating employment contracts which secure these fees and which provide some responsibility, oversight, and control as to choice of music, etc.

RULE 5. Members shall conduct professional activities with truthfulness, honesty and integrity, and shall maintain sensitivity in matters of a personal or confidential nature.

RULE 6. Members shall not discriminate against others on the basis of race, national origin, age, religious affiliation, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or medical condition (including, but not limited to, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

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