LETTER FROM THE DEAN:
Dear Chapter Members,
As the vaccines continue rolling out and infection rates begin to drop for the first time in many months, I find myself hopeful that the "other side" of the pandemic is not that far away.
Thank you for visiting the Greater Hartford
Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO)
The American Guild of Organists was founded in 1896 as an educational and service organization and is headquartered in New York City. Under the leadership of the National Council, a network of volunteer officials at the regional, district and local levels directs the activities of
the guild. The guild is divided into nine geographical regions; the
Greater Hartford Chapter belongs
to Region I (New England) and is one of the largest and most active chapters in the region.
Michelle Horsley, Dean
I find myself asking more and more about the lessons I'm learning during this and how we are called to be of service to one another in times like these. What will the "new normal" look like? Will our churches, synagogues, and concert halls be re-populated at pre-COVID levels? What needs to change? Will systems of leadership be adapted into more inclusive, creative, efficient structures? Will our relationship with online presence and social media be valued in new ways? On the other side, who do we want to be?
Within our chapter - and presumably within every organization - we've been exploring totally new ways to meet our mission. In December, we hosted a series of videos which featured local organists sharing seasonal favorites, entitled December Gems. In January, we held several "ShopTalk" interviews, which explored music directors' responses to the pandemic, from both logistical and interpersonal lenses. If you haven't watched these yet, I encourage you to view them below.
As I write this to you, I'm in the process of putting together next month's online programming, which will be a series of virtual organ crawls. I'm taking my cameras, camcorders, and (in some cases) flying drones into several noteworthy instruments in our Greater Hartford community. Some of these organs are regularly featured in performances and others are hidden gems. I can't wait to share these with you! If you have an interest in being a part of these, please contact me at HartfordAGO@Gmail.com.
In March, we will be featuring videos of our very own Jolidon Organ Scholars. These are students who have been awarded organ lesson scholarships through the Marjorie Jolidon Fund.
There is lots more in the works, including an upcoming Regional Competition for Young Organists, an unveiling of the new GH-AGO website, collaborations with other AGO chapters and local music organizations, as well as monthly social opportunities to connect with each other and share ideas.
Onward and upward,
Jolidon Scholars Concert:
A curated online recital, featuring organ students who are or have been sponsored by the Jolidon Fund of the Greater Hartford AGO.
VIRTUAL ORGAN CRAWLS:
Several local organists take cameras into their organ chambers and share their instruments, answer questions with a live online audience.
SHOP TALK: Interviews with Organists/Choir Directors
A collection of interviews with local organist /music directors. We’ll discuss their response to the pandemic and their strategies for hosting Zoom choir rehearsals, choosing music for online collaborations, what they’ve learned about navigating through technology during this time, and the mishaps they’ve experienced along the way.
Chapter members are invited to submit short video submissions of their favorite organ selections for the season, which are compiled and shared via YouTube.
Greater Hartford Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, You Tube Channel
Dean: Michelle Horsley
Secretary: Noah Smith
Treasurer: Bob Bausmith
Registrar: John Parsons
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