About Us

CACAGO is a chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Originally chartered as the Arkansas Chapter on April 3, 1929, and rechartered as the Central Arkansas Chapter on November 18, 1957, CACAGO is driven by the Mission Statement of the AGO:

The mission of the American Guild of Organists is to enrich lives through organ and choral music. To achieve this, we encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music; inspire, educate, and offer certification for organists and choral conductors; provide networking, fellowship, and mutual support; nurture future generations of organists; promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles; and engage wider audiences with organ and choral music.

2016-2017 Officers

Mike Metzler, dean


Captain Mike Metzler is the General Manager of the Little Rock Harbor Service and serves as Director of Music and Organist of First Lutheran Church in Little Rock.

Wayne E. Simpson III, sub-dean


Wayne Simpson is a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He graduated from Arkansas public schools and attended Henderson State University as a voice major. Wayne’s interest in the organ was kindled by Robert Ellis, the organ instructor at Henderson. Love of the organ led Wayne to seek out the only local organbuilder, Lecil Gibson. He worked with Mr. Gibson for six years beginning in 1977, before joining his business partner, Joe Nichols, in forming Nichols & Simpson, Inc., Organbuilders.

Jess Anthony, treasurer


Jess Anthony has worked as a Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH) Program Coordinator as part of the Arkansas Arts Council staff since 1995, managing the general operating support and collaborative project support grant programs, planning the yearly arts conference, and overseeing the state’s touring roster program for performers and visual artists. With academic degrees in humanities from Hendrix College, a BM and an MM in organ from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and a DMA in performance and literature in 1986 from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, New York, he has held several positions as organist and choir director in Little Rock and Pine Bluff churches since he moved back here in 1989. As part of his degree work at Eastman, Dr. Anthony’s doctoral dissertation was “Charles-Marie Widor’s Symphonies pour Orgue: Their Artistic Context and Cultural Antecedents.”

William E. McCandless, secretary


Before moving to Arkansas, Bill McCandless was a member of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of AGO, serving as Dean in 2008-2009. Bill taught music theory and organ at the University of Central Missouri from 1969 to 2006 and was chair of the music department during the last three of those years. From 1990 to 1992 he was president of the Missouri Music Teachers Association, the state affiliate of MTNA. Bill was organist and choir director at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Warrensburg, Mo., for 38 years. He holds the Bachelor of Music degree in organ and the Master of Arts in music from the University of Central Missouri. He earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University with a major in music theory and minors in organ and music literature. Currently Bill sings in the choir at Christ Church and substitutes for organists at churches in the Little Rock area.

Executive Committee

Barbara Lusk (2017)
James Cathey (2018)
Beau Baldwin (2019)

Committee Chairmen

Program: Wayne Simpson, Bill Fox
Membership: John Churchwell
Financial: Larry & Molly Kircher
Editor: Adam Savacool
Professional Concerns: Lynn Payette
Reporter: Betty Cohen
Educational Coordinator: Vernon Carey
Publicity: Betty Cohen
Telephone: Betty Anderson
Dinner Reservations: Robert Lindley