top of page

LA AGO 2024 ELECTIONS

Welcome to the LA AGO 2024 Elections
Information about the nominees is provided below.
All Los Angeles Chapter members in good standing are eligible to vote.
You will need to log into your Los Angeles Chapter account to access the ballot.
Please vote only once.


ONLINE VOTING FOR THE 2024 ELECTIONS
IS NOW CLOSED


For help at any time you may email laago@laago.org.

2024 - 2025 NOMINEES

DEAN

sean.jpeg

Sean Coburn O'Neal

Sean Coburn O'Neal was born and raised in Long Beach, CA. He began musical studies with the piano at age 10, and then with the organ at age 16 – since 1993, his teacher/mentor has been James Walker.  Sean has received various musical honors and awards from various musical organizations, most notably having been awarded the first-place performance prize in two regional American Guild of Organists competitions:  Arizona, 1995 and Hawaii, 1997.


Sean is a frequent recitalist, both locally and around the United States, having been featured at the national AGO convention in Denver, CO.(1998); has performed in other prestigious venues around the U.S. such as St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral (Seattle, WA), Grace Episcopal Cathedral (San Francisco, CA), St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral (San Francisco, CA), First Congregational Church (Los Angeles, CA) and at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles (Los Angeles, CA). In June of 2000, Sean was featured on the national public radio program "Pipe Dreams" and in September

of 2001 was the featured soloist with the Long Beach Symphony in a performance of the "Organ Symphony" by Saint-Saens.  Sean has the distinction of having served as music director for the most recent consecration of Los Angeles diocese bishop John H. Taylor in July of 2018, and conducted the 80-voice choir for that service.

 

In addition to playing the organ, piano and choral conducting, Sean has been a pipe organ builder for nearly 30 years in the Southern California area, and is the owner of O’Neal Pipe Organs, Inc. of Signal Hill, CA. Sean is currently the Director of Music & Organist/Choirmaster for St. Cross Episcopal Church in Hermosa Beach, CA, and is currently the Interim Dean for the Los Angeles Chapter, American Guild of Organists.

SUB-DEAN

hurd.jpg

James Hurd

James Hurd was born in Texas and raised in Topeka, Kansas. He received his Bachelor of  Music from Washburn University with Departmental Honors with a concentration in organ performance. His Master of Music degree in organ is from the American Conservatory of Music (then located in Chicago). He earned a DMA in organ performance from the University of Southern California. He as recently retired from the faculty of El Camino College where he taught organ lessons and organ classes, beginning and intermediate piano and lectured in music appreciation. He is currently organist for the First Baptist Church of Palos Verdes and organist/director of Music for St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Redondo Beach, California. He is a past Member-at-Large for the LA Chapter.

SECRETARY

karla.jpg

Karla Devine

Karla Devine is the director of music ministry at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Lakewood, CA, where she is organist and director of the adult and children’s choirs. She teaches music at Circle of Love Preschool in Manhattan Beach and teaches piano in her home. Karla received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Eastern Michigan University, where she studied with Erich Goldschmidt. She did graduate work with Eduard Müller in Basel, Switzerland, and with Heinrich Fleischer at the University of Minnesota. Karla has worked on the planning committee for several national and regional conferences for ALCM, and has served as regional vice-president of ALCM for two terms. She is currently the artistic director of the concert series, Classical Crossroads, in Torrance, and serves as secretary of the Los Angeles Chapter, AGO. In 2014 Karla started a singing group in Manhattan Beach for seniors (with or without memory issues), which meets once a week. And she is on the board and volunteers for Ten Thousand Villages in Redondo Beach, a Fair Trade non-profit.

TREASURER

doug.jpg

Douglas Herbst

Douglas Herbst is a graduate of California Lutheran University where he majored in music and management. He is a Certified Public Accountant specializing in homeowner associations since 1986 and currently serves over 800 HOAs. His first organist positions were as assistant organist at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, North Hollywood, and organist at Valley Lutheran Church. He was organist for 18 years at the former First Lutheran Church of Los Angeles. From 1981 to 1998 he was a frequent guest organist for noonday recitals and Sunday services at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. He served as auditor for the Los Angeles Chapter from 1998 to 2002 and has been treasurer for the past 22 years.

MEMBERS-AT-LARGE (voting for 3)
Listed alphabetically by last name.

zach.jpeg

Zach Neufeld

Zach Neufeld is highly regarded as a composer, keyboard collaborator, organist, conductor, and lecturer. As a pianist and organist, Zach has performed with organizations such as the LA Phil, Pacific Opera Project, UCLA, Cal State LA, the Morgan-Wixson Theater, and Pasadena Opera. Zach is on the music faculty of the Windward School in Los Angeles, where he teaches music theory and assists with the choirs and musical theater productions. He is the organist at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. He is equally at home in a jazz setting as in an opera production or choir classroom, and regularly plays keyboard with jazz combos in the Southern California area. He earned a Ph.D in composition from UCLA and a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from the University of Redlands. His choral setting of the Preces and Responses is published by Paraclete Press.

peery.jpeg

Charles Peery

Charles Peery has been a working church musician since the age of 15, having served Anglo-Catholic, Episcopal, Baptist, Methodist, UCC, and Christian Science churches. He studied piano, organ, choral music education, harp, and composition at Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Chuck has sacred organ, choral, handbell, brass, and orchestra music in print with four different publishers in the US. He taught a full career in public school music in Cincinnati, Ohio. After retiring from teaching in 2004, Chuck and his husband moved to St. Louis, MO where he had several church jobs and worked for MorningStar Music Publishers for 11 years. He also served as dean of the St. Louis Chapter of the AGO and was on the executive committee for a span of 10 years. He retired as Choirmaster/Organist at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Webster Groves, MO. in 2020. Since moving to Palm Springs, Chuck has played organ, piano, and harp for recitals, services, dinners, wine tastings and other celebrations. In October, 2023, he became Music Director at St. Paul in the Desert Episcopal Church, Palm Springs.

simms.png

Joseph Simms

As an LA Chapter member, Joseph Simms has anonymously attended most LA AGO monthly recital events for over 40 years. He now believes he has the time and inclination to volunteer in service for the chapter. He attended Arizona State University, where he majored in music and studied organ performance with Nadine Dresskell. He later studied with Ronald Thayer (protege of Alexander McCurdy). Mr. Simms has served as music director for St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, Los Angeles, and St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Cathedral in Reno, and as organist at St. Therese Catholic Church, Alhambra. He is retired from work as a clinical psychologist with the California Department of Corrections.

WIlson.jpg

Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson is familiar to members of the LA AGO as the wine steward, often seen at happy hour before dinner meetings. He holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Whittier College and Occidental College respectively. He is currently Director of Music at Calvary Presbyterian Church in South Pasadena, and has been Interim Director at Pasadena Presbyterian Church and Claremont United Methodist Church. Mike’s primary assignment is at the Walt Disney Concert Hall where he is appointed Conservator of the Organ.

bottom of page