Church Music Associations, Guilds, and Societies
A guide to church music associations, guilds, and societies with an online presence.
- American Choral Directors Association (ACDA)
American Choral Directors Association provides the professional network and resources you are looking for. Be a part of an inspiring community of thousands who share your love for the choral arts.
- The American Guild of Organists
The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. The Guild serves approximately 14,700 members in approximately 300 chapters throughout the United States and abroad.
- American Institute of Organbuilders
The American Institute of Organbuilders is a professional association made up of pipe organbuilders, organ maintenance technicians, and those in allied professions supporting the pipe organ industry. The AIO’s objective is to advance the science and practice of pipe organbuilding by discussion, inquiry, research, experiment and other means, and to disseminate knowledge regarding pipe organbuilding by such means as lectures, publications and exchange of information.
- Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America
APOBA provides a simple way for people to take advantage of the expertise of the top people in the field, many of whom bring the experience of several generations who have preceded them. Currently there are 30 member firms, both builders and suppliers, across North America.
- Association of Anglican Musicians
The Association of Anglican Musicians is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of musicians and clergy serving in the worshiping communities of the Episcopal Church and the larger Anglican tradition.
- Association of Lutheran Church Musicians
By sharing the knowledge, experience and passion that honor our heritage and inspire our future, ALCM nurtures and equips those who lead music in worship. ALCM offers practical education programs and diverse resources through conferences, publications and fellowship to serve musicians of all types – from paid professionals to volunteers. By connecting servant leaders to one another and by cultivating their musical gifts, ALCM supports worshipping communities in the proclamation of the gospel.
- Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries
The Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries (formerly UU Musicians Network) supports music and worship arts professionals, leaders, and those they serve through advocacy, education, and inspiration. Since 1985, we have been connecting Unitarian Universalist music leaders throughout the United States and Canada to the resources they need and to colleagues who bring new insights to their work. Through enthusiastic online discussions and a robust annual conference, AUUMM provides resources for musicians who wish to create transformative worship.
- Association Nationale de Formation des Organistes Liturgiques (ANFOL)
National Association for the Training of Liturgical Organists. The purpose of ANFOL, as it appears in its statutes, is to assist in the training of organists in their liturgical ministry. ANFOL, recognized in its area of privileged partner of the Episcopal Liturgy Commission since 1995, therefore maintains a regular link with the Church which provides it with support and recognition.
- Australia and New Zealand Association of Bellringers (ANZAB)
The Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers was formed in 1962 to promote the art of change ringing in our two countries. There are currently around 500 members who ring at more than 65 bell towers throughout Australia and New Zealand.
(Society for the promotion of church music; New Apostolic Church; Germany)
- Cantus Firmus
Cantus Firmus is a charitable trust based in Suffolk and Essex, UK. Their aim is to enrich the worship, mission and spiritual lives of Christian worshipping communities and individuals through the use of the creative arts, and especially of music.
- Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
The Council is the representative body for all who ring bells in the English tradition with rope and wheel. Founded in 1891, the Council today represents 65 affiliated societies, which cover all parts of the British Isles as well as centres of ringing in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, South Africa and Italy. These societies in turn comprise the members of the local companies of ringers in their areas.
- Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians
Furthers the mission of dialogue, reflection, deliberation, resource exchange, mutual support, and ongoing professional development for cathedral musicians in particular, and as a model for the Church-at-large.
- Church Music Association of America
The Church Music Association of America (founded in 1874) is an association of Catholic musicians and others who have a special interest in music and liturgy, active in advancing Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, and other forms of sacred music, including new composition, for liturgical use. The CMAA’s purpose is the advancement of musica sacra in keeping with the norms established by competent ecclesiastical authority.
- Church Music Institute
The Church Music Institute (CMI) is dedicated to the advancement and stewardship of the best sacred music for the use of Christian congregations. Using proven practices, CMI trains new generations of clergy, musicians and laypersons for leading worship through workshops, courses and conferences across the country. CMI also houses the most extensive online library of choral and organ music anywhere.
- Church Music Publishers Association (CMPA)
The Church Music Publishers Association is an organization of publishers of Christian music which has a strong spiritual dimension who come together to share mutual areas of concern regarding copyright information, education, administration, and protection, facilitating public and industry awareness in these areas, and to develop continuing personal and professional relationships.
- Christian Music Trade Association (CMTA)
Established in 1993, the Christian Music Trade Association is a non-profit organization that exists to build community and cooperation among Christian and Gospel music industry leadership in order to address mutual issues and to maximize Christian/Gospel music's impact on culture. The CMTA supports and promotes all styles of gospel music including pop, black gospel, hip hop, rock, country, southern gospel and more.
- Dansk Organist og Kantor Samfund
The Danish Organist and Cantor Society (DOKS) was established on 17 November 1905 as an organization for the most highly educated church musicians from the Danish music conservatories.
- The European Choral Association
A network of organisations, choirs and individuals in the field of collective singing in Europe. Through our membership, we represent more than 2,5 million singers, vocal leaders/conductors, creators/composers, educators/teachers and managers in over 40 European countries, and reach out to more than 37 million people across the whole of Europe
- European Guild of Organists (Paris, France)
- Fédération Francophone des Amis de L'orgue
The Francophone Federation of Friends of the Organ (FFAO), an international association, was founded in 1983. Its purpose is to: to federate, while respecting pluralism, the associations of friends of the pipe organ and help them to work for the cause of the organ; bring together and listen to organists and organ lovers; disseminate all organological information through its website, and more.
- Gesellschaft der Orgelfreunde
(GdO; Mettlach, Society of Friends of the Organ; Germany)
- Gospel Music Association (GMA)
The Gospel Music Association’s Purpose is to expose, promote and celebrate the Gospel through musicand propel the Christian & Gospel music industry through education, advocacy, research, and preservation.
- The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America
A carillon consists of a series of at least 23 tuned bells, played from a keyboard that allows expressiveness through variation in touch. The player, or carillonneur, can play a broad range of music—from arrangements of popular and classical music to original compositions created just for the carillon. Carillon bells can be heard throughout North America, in cities, at churches, on school campuses, in public parks, and in many other places where people gather.
- The Guild of Church Musicians
The Guild was formed in 1888 and exists to encourage all musicians within the Church to attain the highest standards of music in the worship of Almighty God. Membership is open to anyone interested in church music and whilst the majority of members live in the UK the Guild has members living in all parts of the world.
- The Guild of Church Musicians in Australia
The Guild seeks to raise the standard of church music, acknowledging that all aspects of worship should be the best that we are capable of offering to God. Recognising that church musicians often function essentially as individuals, the Guild provides opportunities for church musicians to develop their skills through a range of courses and professional qualifications. Awards, certificates and diplomas offered by the Guild are designed to focus on the unique contexts of each church musician, and to attempt to build on their strengths, while recognising a range of ability levels and available resources.
- Handbell Musicians of America (HMA)
(formerly The American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, or AGEHR). Help and information about handbells and handbell music; links to web pages of bell choirs.
- Handbell Society of Australasia
The Handbell Society of Australasia (HSA) was formed in 1983 with a charter to encourage handbell ringing throughout Australia, New Zealand and neighbouring regions.
- The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland
The Hymn Society is a diverse group of people, all sharing an interest in hymns. There are about 450 individual members (and over 50 subscribing libraries and other institutions). Some have a special interest in words and/or music, there are hymn writers, composers, hymn book editors; many members are responsible for the choice of hymns in worship, others are hymn enthusiasts or simply enjoy singing hymns.
- The Hymn Society
The mission of The Hymn Society is to encourage, promote, and enliven congregational singing both in the United States and Canada.
- Incorporated Association of Organists
The IAO comprises over 4,500 members worldwide and is open to all lovers of the organ and its music. Whilst many of our members are indeed organists and/or choir trainers, our wide range of programmes (many of which are arranged by our 80 affiliated associations) have a wide appeal to all.
- International Federation for Choral Music
The International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) was founded in 1982 for the purpose of facilitating communication and exchange between choral musicians throughout the world. Through its diverse range of projects and programs since that time, the IFCM is fulfilling its purpose.
- The International Society for Studies of Gregorian Chant (AISCGre)
The International Society for Studies of Gregorian Chant (AISCGre) was founded in Rome in 1975; its main goal is the semiological orientation of Gregorian Chant as founded by Eugène Cardine. AISCGre focuses on research, teaching and praxis. AISCGre has approximately 500 members (individuals and institutions) in 26 countries. Everyday life happens in five geographic or linguistic sections. Collaboration among these sections finds various expressions, among others in the organisation of the International Congress of AISCGre.
- Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Hymnologie
(IAH; International Fellowship for Research in Hymnology) The International Society for Hymnological Studies (IAH) was founded in 1959, and in 1992 it became a registered voluntary association (e.V.) with headquarters in Heidelberg. It is an association that supports the cultivation of and research into the church’s Song on an international, interconfessional, and interdisciplinary basis.
- Kyrkomusikernas Riksförbund
(Sweden) The National Association of Church Musicians (KMR) is an association of church musicians and others who jointly want to work for the promotion of church music. The purpose of the association is to safeguard the members 'interests in connection with education and employment, to develop cooperation and strengthen the community between the members and to promote the members' church musical competence.
- National Association of Pastoral Musicians
The National Association of Pastoral Musicians fosters the art of musical liturgy. The members of NPM serve the Catholic Church in the United States as musicians, clergy, liturgists, and other leaders of prayer.
- National Network of Pastoral Musicians
The National Network of Pastoral Musicians is an organisation consisting of people around the UK who are committed in some way to church music. It is totally ecumenical and open to all.
- North American Guild of Change Ringers
Change ringing is a fascinating hobby which originated roughly 350 years ago in England. It has something for everyone — dashes of music, physical exercise, meditative concentration, a sociable team sport, and a little math (optional) all put together. Groups of people cooperate to change the order in which they ring their bells according to a precise pattern. Bell ringers are all volunteers, coming to ringing from varied backgrounds and interests.
- Ontario Guild of English Handbell Ringers
Formed in 1985, the Guild exists to promote handbell ringing in Ontario. The Guild's objectives are to bring handbell ringers in contact with each other for the purpose of exchanging ideas, to assist newly-formed choirs, to provide a forum for discussion, and the practical advancement of the Art of Handbell Ringing. The Guild is organized into eight areas, each with an Area Representative. We organize annual workshops and a biennial festival that usually attracts over 500 ringers! We promote groups' concerts and encourage new opportunities to showcase handbells to new audiences.
- Organ Historical Society
The Organ Historical Society began with an impromptu meeting of young organ enthusiasts who were interested in locating historic pipe organs in New York City. OHS membership has grown since 1956 from that small group to an international society of musicians, organbuilders, historians, scholars, and music lovers. The founders of OHS aspired to visit extant American “tracker” organs, create a comprehensive list with specifications, and share information with interested organ scholars. The OHS has far exceeded this aspiration in the six decades since, having created an online database of pipe organs with more than 60,000 entries; a historic organ citation program that has recognized more than 400 instruments; the world’s largest collection of pipe organ-related archives, books, journals, pamphlets, and other ephemera; annual conventions that take place in locations around the country; publications including a quarterly journal and award-winning scholarly books on the pipe organ; and an online store with organ-related books, CDs, videos, and sheet music.
(Denmark) The Organists' Association is a trade union for organists who have passed the education as a Church Musician with Organ and Choir Conducting (formerly Preliminary Organ Test). Education of SMEs takes place at the church music schools.
- Presbyterian Association of Musicians
The Presbyterian Association of Musicians believes that formative and collaborative experiences with God and neighbor nurture relationships and create community, and provide resources, conferences, publications, and a vast network of members who are engaged in worship, music, and the arts all across the United States and beyond.
- Pueri Cantores International: Federation of Young Singers
Singing for peace, worshipping God and experiencing community in a worldwide movement. Founded in 1950 by a French Abbé named Fernand Maillet the international federation of children’s and youth choirs grew up to more than 1000 members coming from 25 countries with regular federations and spread choirs and contact persons in 17 more countries. Every year girls and boys meet in different cities all over the world to sing for peace, praise the Lord and having fun to make music together. They generate a vivid community with a powerful cultural and spiritual impulse.
- Royal Canadian College of Organists
The Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO) is a charitable arts service organization and the national voice for the organ and its music in Canada. They support, promote, and celebrate, Canada’s organ music community by providing professional development opportunities, youth training programmes, promotion of emerging artists, examinations leading to certification, publication of Canadian organ and choral music, scholarships and bursaries, and several honorary awards. They also provide essential services such as educational resources, communications, and support for church organists and choir directors.
- The Royal College of Organists
The Royal College of Organists has supported and represented organists and choral directors for more than 150 years. With members in nearly 40 countries around the world, they work together to promote the best in organ playing and choral directing, to encourage anyone who is interested to learn more about this fascinating and versatile musical instrument, and to explore its history and repertoire. Their aim is to make the College an organisation which supports organists and choral directors of every age and all levels of attainment.
- The Society of Saint Gregory
Promoting study, understanding and good practice in the music and liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church.
- United Church of Christ Musicians Association
The United Church of Christ Musicians Association is a vibrant national grassroots organization of musicians and pastors (of any denomination) who are continually seeking new ways to worship, connect and uplift people through music and the arts. Every two years, we host a three-day national conference in the summer, each time in a different area of the U.S. It is filled to the brim with outstanding directors, clinicians, performers and worship experiences. It is a time for church musicians and pastors to learn, experiment, connect and grow.
- Worship Musicians Association (WMA)
Founded in August, 2009, the Worship Musicians Association (WMA) supports five key objectives: worshio - their members often create events where they can worship Jesus Christ together. Some of these meetings are informal jams, and others include established bands, all playing together for the joy of worshiping Jesus; helps musicians, worship leaders, worship teams, bands, pastors, churches, venues and fans find each other; fellowship - given that worship musicians have so much in common, friendships and relationships routinely form as a result of participation in their group. (Some of those relationships have even blossomed into marriages;) outreach - worship musicians have a powerful gift they can provide to their communities. Our members often find opportunities to volunteer through our group; education - dedicated worship musicians continuously seek to improve their skills, and our members are invited to share their knowledge with other members. "Sing to him a new Song; play skillfully, and shout for joy." Psalm 33:3