Baltimore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
Enriching lives through organ and choral music

Pipe and Pedal

The Pipe and Pedal is the monthly newsletter of the Baltimore AGO. For past issues, please visit our Historical Archives. If you wish to submit an article for the Pipe and Pedal, you may visit our submissions page.

October 2017 Issue

Dear Colleagues,

What a wonderful afternoon we had together at the home of Henry and Leigh Lowe! The weather was lovely (maybe a little warm), the company delightful, and the food delicious. Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed. Most especially, thank you to Henry and Leigh for graciously opening up their home to all of us, and thank you to Henry [photo to the right] for the explanation and demonstration of Hauptwerk. If you want a quick trip to England or Germany to hear an organ for an afternoon, just call Henry and see if you can come over to his living room. What a fascinating blend of technology and history!

A heartfelt thank you is also extended to our chaplain, Fr. Tom Malia, for his supportive and encouraging words during the installation of officers [photo lower right]. Effective ministry requires teamwork, and that happens when there is respect and appreciation on both sides – clergy and musician. We are fortunate to have a chaplain who sincerely supports our work and mission.

Our next chapter event is the Improvisation Workshop at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on Saturday, October 14th at 9:30am. You can read more about it in this newsletter. I encourage everyone to attend. The goal of studying improvisation isn’t to be able to create a French symphony on the spot, so don’t be scared away by that idea. The benefits of improvisation are that it opens our ears to a better connection between our internal hearing and projecting that to our fingers, it puts into practice all of the theory that we once learned without needing staff paper, and it expands our musical vocabulary and language. Who wouldn’t want that? Everyone can improvise, so leave your fear at home and come to the workshop.

Through the Peabody organ department, we have the opportunity to hear an informative presentation on “Culture Wars: 2000 Years of Conflict between Art and Mission in the Church” led by Jonathan Moyer, Peabody alum and former Baltimore AGO member. The event is on Saturday, October 7th at 10:00am in Griswold Hall at the Peabody Conservatory. You can read more about it in the newsletter. We all know the many debates and battles that we face in sacred work between culture, society, and ministry. This will be an enlightening discussion that proves to help all of us in this vocation.

Finally, to all of us working in the church, but especially our Lutheran colleagues, I wish a happy 500th anniversary of the Reformation. This isn’t a celebration just for Lutherans but for all of us, since we’ve all been influenced by this historic event. There is no doubt that Martin Luther created a revolution that has transformed the Church in these 500 years through his views on education, liturgy, and music. Likewise, the Catholic reforms of the Second Vatican Council also impacted the Church’s view of worship and liturgy. We must recognize that all sides have learned from and been influenced by the other. We share more hymnody and liturgy today than at any other point in time. This common mission and unity is certainly something to celebrate. Best wishes to everyone!


The October 2017 Issue of the Pipe and Pedal is now available.

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