American Guild of Organists, Baltimore Chapter
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.

September 2017 Issue

Dear Colleagues,

It’s all starting up again! The program year, the academic year, the rehearsals, the services that took a hiatus for summer, the meetings, the deadlines, etc. Sometimes it seems too daunting. Can I get all of this done? Will I survive the year? Will the choir make it through that big piece I want to program? Will my students succeed in their class or recital? We probably question it every year and every year we make it through just fine. But occasionally these worries create a distraction from our real purpose of making music.

As musicians, we wear many different hats. Sometimes you might forget which one you’re wearing in the moment. We have to be an administrator, mentor, fundraiser, motivator, teacher, encourager, educator, role model, and (somewhere down the line) a musician. It’s a lot to maintain. But then the choir does a great job on their anthem; your student makes it through their difficult piece; the congregation is singing their hearts out on a hymn; you’re holding the last chord of a successful recital; a parishioner tells you how deeply the music spoke to them that morning - and then it’s all worth it.

We are blessed to be musicians. We speak in a language beyond words that can move people to tears. We have the ability to elevate society through art and bring beauty into the world. We can inspire others to find the talent that is inside of them. We can turn a gathering of singers into a family that has one voice. We can use our God-given abilities to make the heavens vibrate with overtones and sound waves that will resound without end. Who wouldn’t want to be a musician? I hope that you find a moment every day, amidst the busyness, to be thankful for the gifts that you’ve been given and to be reminded of the joy that comes with music. And I hope that you are enthusiastic to share that joy with others. How very blessed we are to be musicians, and how very much the world needs the blessing of music.

Our first event this program year is a social gathering. Many thanks to Henry and Leigh Lowe for hosting us. Henry will give a demonstration of Hauptwerk, which I am eager to learn about, and our chaplain, Fr. Tom Malia, will lead a brief Installation of Officers. It will be a wonderful time to enjoy each other’s company. Be sure that September 24 is marked in your calendar, and make note of all the other great events coming up this program year.

Dr. John Walker has given us another insightful answer to a member’s query. We are running low on submitted questions, so keep them coming. It could be about organ repertoire, choral music, working with a choir, liturgy, etc. Any question is a good question.

If you haven’t done so already, please make sure that you’ve renewed your membership and that your information in ONCARD is updated. We are fortunate to have Sean O’Connor as our talented registrar and that he’s willing to create our digital (and also print) directory. He will input your information from the AGO records, so it is up to you to make sure that everything is current and that you’ve renewed.

I look forward to seeing you at the home of Henry and Leigh Lowe! Best wishes for the start of another program and academic year!

The September 2017 issue of The Pipe and Pedal is now available.

Louis Gephardt