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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.

November Dean's Message

I’ve been a member of AGO for more than 20 years, and until I became Dean, I never fully realized how truly valuable is The American Organist. When it comes in the mail, it is really easy to put it aside or to only glance at the Table of Contents or to examine a single article which attracts the eye. I did that for years. However, just look at a sampling of informative articles which are to be found in the October, 2014 issue:

A comprehensive list of all AGO’s educational activities on page 5.

A most interesting and provocative analysis of what younger organists want in an organization like AGO is to be found on page 7. We have struggled with getting younger organists into our chapter, and here are some cold hard facts we need to be considering. Furthermore, the letter on page 10 gives a truly useful perspective on this matter.

Check out the professional certification examination results for 2014 on pages 16-17, and notice that two successful people are from our own area: Mark Biales took the Colleague examination and passed, and, Beverly Roecker took the Service Playing examination and passed. Most hearty congratulations to both of these our colleagues!

Two new organs are described and pictured on pages 42-44 and were made by Reuter. Did you know that the largest freestanding organ in the Pacific Northwest was made by the same company and is at University Presbyterian? Extra credit if you who which of our members is the Principal Organist there (JoAnn Stremler) and which of our members maintains that organ (Rene Marceau).

The AGO/Quimby Young Organist Regional Competition rules are given on pages 58-62. On the bottom of page 58, you will note that our chapter member Carl Kishline is now the Regional Competition Coordinator for the entire Western region. NOTE: Our Board has voted to again be a part of this program, and chapter member Richard Lind has agreed to chair this effort and will be assisted by David Spring.

A practical review of the basic playing technique of touch is given on pages 66-68.

Practical suggestions for dealing with difficult situations and difficult people are found on page 70.

As you can see from the above, The American Organist really does present a lot of relevant and practical information. I urge you to do what I now do—thumb through the entire issue when it comes, glance at everything, and read what is of special interest to you.

Carl Dodrill, Dean

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