December Deanery


By Peter Niedmann

Remember the childhood feeling of worry regarding Santa Claus’ “naughty or nice” list? Every December, you would think back over the previous year and do a self-evaluation of your behavior, and wonder how Santa would feel about it. Such a heavy and unsettling notion for a kid to contend with!

This time of year is full of lists. What gifts shall we give to our family and friends? Who shall we invite to our party? What food will we serve? To whom will we send a Christmas card?

And there are the lists on our desks at church. Which carols to sing? Which pieces to play? Which musicians to hire? Are the choir rosters for the program accurate? Did we leave out any concert series donors on that list?

I actually like lists very much. It’s probably my father’s influence—he has always kept a folded index card in his shirt pocket with his “to do” list. (I do the same, only electronically–emailing myself every couple days with a fresh “to do” list. It really helps.) I’ve got a list of anthems I want the choir to learn. A list of organ repertoire I want to learn. A list of pieces I’m composing to fulfill commissions. Lists of choir members. Lists of potential choir members. Lists of possible concert booking ideas for next season. And, of course, a list of AGO newsletter article ideas!

It may sound like a daunting deluge of information, but for me, it’s the opposite. Having everything itemized in writing, in various categories, frees up my brain and spirit.

And, I’m happy to report I just checked off another item on my list: “Write December Deanery”!

Merry Christmas!