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.

October 2018 Issue

With the Chapter Social on Sunday, September 9, the Baltimore Chapter, AGO officially launched its program year at the home of Michael Gaffney. While a beautiful home, it also serves as a kind of ‘museum’ of keyboard instruments. Heartfelt thanks to Michael for opening his home and bringing ‘sunlight’ to so many on a rainy day. Sean O’Connor, with the help of several board members, exercised his supreme organizational skills resulting in a plethora of tasty delights and drinks. Thank you, as well, to our members for their contributions. It was a great occasion for catching up and sharing summer stories with friends while having the opportunity to play a variety of very interesting instruments. If you missed it, you will have the opportunity to attend the next event on Sunday, October 7, 3:00 PM, Evening Prayer and Installation of Officers at Shrine of the Little Flower Roman Catholic Church. Please see exciting details below.

The start of the program year brings with it a deep sense of enthusiastic anticipation along with anxiety leading many to feel “enthusianxious” for lack of a better term. These feelings are very real and predictable. Here are a few reflections on these feelings.

We are eager to welcome back the choir, though we understand all of the PR challenges associated with it. The responsibility we bear in our churches is significant; members have high expectations of us as worship and spiritual leaders, educators and teachers. It is a tall order but particularly so for the majority who are part-time. Finding time to do it all sometimes exhausts us; for most the bottom line is that there is never enough time. Accepting that we are engaged in unfinished work can provide a helpful, healthy resolution to tension between what we would like to accomplish and what we can accomplish. Setting attainable, realistic goals is critical to achieving success and maintaining good health. If over the summer that didn’t happen, it is not too late. Have a close look at your myriad areas of responsibility and set some realistic goals. Consider learning a few new organ pieces; selecting several new choir anthems or actively recruiting new choristers. Organize your weekly routine setting specific times for practice, meetings, score study, recruiting and pastoral care. While it is frequently not possible to stick to a schedule, it provides a place to begin which leads to developing better stewardship of your time. Above all, be certain to leave time for rest. Self-care is critical to maintaining a productive, positive outlook in our work. As our National AGO President Michael Bedford said in a recent article, “Don’t cheat the rest!” I send best wishes to all members as your program year charges ahead and hope you can attend the next chapter event on October 7th.

– Henry

The October 2018 Issue of the Pipe and Pedal is now available.

Louis Gephardt