|Newsletter of the American Guild of Organists
Evansville, Indiana Chapter
A MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN
In preparation for this newsletter edition, I have been thinking about the purpose of the American Guild of Organists. I suppose I could get out the copy of the national bylaws and quote that word for word, but allow me to indulge in some independent brainstorming. What is the purpose of the AGO? The simplest answer would be that the group exists in order to promote the organ. Fine, but what makes us different from other such organizations, say, for instance, the International Double Reed Society? Perhaps we have a higher purpose, because the organ is a church instrument. Well, no. The AGO is allied with church organizations, but is not a religious organization itself. The organ was actually considered profane in its original incarnation, and even today, it is not expressly a church instrument. The ranks of the American Guild of Organists include not only Christian church musicians, but synagogue organists, academics, secular theatre organists, performers, and others. I think the answer may lie not in the “organists” part of the title, but instead in that second word, “guild”. Guilds have existed for centuries, as organizations of people devoted to certain crafts (e.g., guilds of woodworkers). I think that is what we are – we are members of an organization, who gather together in community to share our skills, learn new things about our craft, and develop our talents, and enjoy the company of like-minded people. Many of us are church musicians, which means that we do dedicate that craft to a higher purpose. Thus, we will be spending much time this year focusing on developing our skills as church musicians. Did you know that Martin Luther was a member of a musicians’ guild? He was a “card-carrying” member of a guild of Meistersingers, who gathered together to sing and share songs. Even though the Meistersingers were not expressly a religious organization, when Luther began writing German hymns, he relied on those skills as a songwriter in order to craft those wonderful new vernacular religious expressions. Perhaps Luther can be an example for us all. This year, let us be a true guild, one in which everybody can learn and share, gathering together to improve our craft.
A FRENCH BARBECUE?
HOLY NAME CATHOLIC CHURCH
511 2nd ST.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2004
Our first AGO chapter activity of the fall will be an opportunity for socializing, good food, friendship, and even a little entertainment. After a catered barbeque dinner, students from the University of Evansville Chapter of the AGO will present a multimedia extravaganza on their recent trip to France this past summer. They had a wonderful time not only playing some magnificent instruments, but also seeing some incredible sites. I can attest first-hand from having joined them on part of the trip, that there were multiple digital cameras and recording devices present. Knowing those technology-savvy college students, we should be in for a treat!
The dinner will be catered, but you are invited to bring a side dish, salad, or dessert. Make your reservation to Neal Biggers: 812-424-7382 (H), 270-826-2096, x307 (W), firstname.lastname@example.org, by September 8.
Directions from Evansville: Head south on US41 across the bridge. Take exit 81B (US-60W/ Green St.), proceed for 1.5 miles into downtown Henderson, and turn left on 2nd St. The church will be on the left.
6:00 Social time and snacks
UPCOMING EVENTSaturday, October 9, 2004
CHURCH MUSIC WORKSHOP
UNIVERSITY OF EVANVILLE
The planning committee has been diligently working on this event, which promises to be beneficial to us all, so be sure to mark your calendars! (More info here.)
All position announcements made known to us are now posted on the chapter website, www.evansvilleago.org Please refer to the website for the most updated information.
CHORAL DIRECTOR: East Side Christian Church in Evansville is taking applications for a part-time choral director for an established choir. Requires participation in a Thursday evening rehearsal and one 9:30 Sunday morning service, with some other duties. Position begins in September. Send resume to Dr. Linda Parker, East Side Christian Church, 2001 Bayard Park Drive, Evansville, IN 47714. (Posted 7-14-04)
ORGANIST - for Aeolian-Skinner organ St. Lucas UCC in Evansville IN. Part time Sundays and holidays, one Sunday service, adult and children's choirs, weddings & funerals. Organ is recently refurbished, 3 manuals, 34 ranks, available for teaching. Salary negotiable. Send resume to Music Search Committee at the church address: St. Lucas United Church of Christ, 33 W. Virginia St., Evansville IN. 47710, or email: email@example.com. Phone: 812 422-5528. (Posted 7-14-04)