Archives for November 2017

Mid-Atlantic: Pedal Technique

Greetings from the Mid Atlantic AGOYO! Continuing in our series on transitioning from piano to organ, here is an article written by one of our board members, Peter Bayer, about pedal technique. The Pedal of the Organ is another keyboard like a manual, but instead of having two hands wherewith to play it, one has two feet. The two feet generally work best if they are treated as a unit, as if they were one hand with two fingers. The primary motion of the feet should be a pivoting motion from the heels, while the legs above the heels remain relaxed, only coming into motion in order to facilitate large movements. Therefore, good posture is of utmost importance for good pedal technique. The back must be straight, and one must sit … [Read more...]

Great Lakes: Career Benefits of Degrees and AGO Certifications

Whether you would like to pursue a degree in performance or church music, there are several reasons why an organ degree will benefit your career as an organist: Formal organ study. Taking consistent lessons, enrolling in music classes, and studying alongside other peer musicians is a phenomenal growing experience. (Studying music in college is awesome!) Experience. A degree will provide you with valuable performing and teaching experience. This is your opportunity to hone your skills and learn from your mistakes! Take advantage of this time to be a student! Efficient practice. As organists, we have to learn music rather quickly. Whether learning an anthem for Sunday morning or getting ready for a recital, organists need experience in … [Read more...]

Support the AGO on #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday, November 28, is a national day of philanthropy. To celebrate the occasion, we ask that you consider making a gift to the AGO Annual Fund. Our ambitious goal is to raise $24,000 in 24 hours. We are both making a commitment to contribute to the Guild on Giving Tuesday, and we encourage you to do so as well. The Guild is poised for great things in 2018. Contribute Now At our National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., July 2-6, we will roll out a completely new, three-year strategic plan that is designed to provide greater support to our chapters and members than ever before. But first, we will start the year by helping to fund January Jubilees in Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio. In the spring we will … [Read more...]

Southeast: Five Ways to Combat a Little Bit of Christmas Rage

This one is best read from the ​source … [Read more...]

December 2017 TAO Cover Feature

The New Organ at Pilgrim Lutheran Church Carmel, Indiana Buzard Pipe Organ Builders by John-Paul Buzard View an enlarged cover View a Stop List Pilgrim Lutheran Church’s former building was located on land that the State of Indiana purchased to create a new entrance ramp for I-465; their parking lot was purchased by another institution. The congregation was therefore able to relocate and erect a new building without the need for fund-raising, although the process occupied more than ten years. Early in their planning process, Pilgrim’s organ committee selected Buzard Pipe Organ Builders for their hoped-for new organ in what was then their hoped-for new building. Imagine my delight and surprise when many years following our … [Read more...]

Southwest: How to interview and audition: prep, questions to ask, questions to be prepared to answer, choosing audition pieces based on where you’re auditioning…

Greetings, friends! As part of the Southwest Region’s ongoing theme of professional development, I wanted to post today about an issue that many may consider an awkward topic: how to know when it’s time to leave. This is a bit of a difficult topic for some of us and it’s one that we often don’t even consider until we’re starting to wonder why we haven’t left yet. My goal is to get you thinking *now* about these things so that, if/when the day comes, you’ll be ready. A few weeks ago, I was looking through Facebook and noticed a post by an older gentleman asking for opinions on how one should know when it is time to “hang up your shoes.” There were several great responses in the comments that followed, but I was concerned at the lack … [Read more...]

West: 500th Anniversary of Reformation: its significance to music history

Good evening, and greetings from far away in the West! As many of us are aware, this year marks the 500th year since the traditional beginning of the Reformation. Although we may not all be celebrating it in our congregations, we must acknowledge the role that Martin Luther played in sacred music. Many great compositions come from the Lutheran tradition, from J.S. Bach to Paul Manz, and many more. Are you celebrating Reformation Sunday this year? Are you going to sneak in some Bach? Go all out with choir and brass, or maybe your church is just going to pass? Tell us in the comments below. I’m certain some good ideas will surface. Luther's Impact … [Read more...]

Mid-Atlantic: An Introduction to the difficulties associated with moving from Piano to Organ

Greetings from the Mid-Atlantic Region! We will talk this year about moving from playing the piano to playing the organ. Many exciting topics await exploration, so make the 28th of each month your day to check back here! It happens inevitably in the pianist’s career that he or she will, at some point in time, be asked to play the organ. The request comes most often from those who do not understand the niceties of technique, touch, and coordination associated with the various instruments in the keyboard family, and it is assumed that if one keyboard looks like another, than it will be an easy enough affair to transition from one to the other. Indeed, certain gifted artists within living memory have successfully attempted this feat. The … [Read more...]

Great Lakes: Creating a Strong Resume/CV; differences between a CV, Resume, and  Cover letter

Good afternoon from the Great Lakes region, everybody! We wanted to talk about making yourself look good on your resume, CV or cover letter. Having a well-crafted resume is a real asset to getting into your dream school or landing your dream job. So what's the difference between a resume and a CV? CV stands for "curriculum vitae," or course of life. As the name suggests, a CV thoroughly lists any and all academic or professional work you've done. Length is not an issue; if you've done a lot of stuff, list it all! Many academic institutions may ask for a CV because they want to see the full breadth of your musicality and your personal achievement to get to know you as a person. On my CV I have all of my music jobs I've held, schools I've … [Read more...]

Southeast: Homosexuality and Conservative Churches

Working In a Church You Wouldn't Attend       ​ In the last three years I’ve been employed by five different churches in four denominations: ECUSA, UMC, ELCA and PCUSA. These moves have been for one of three reasons: enrolling in graduate school, completing graduate school, or for a better opportunity/salary. I haven’t always agreed with the churches I’ve served, whether it be theological or political issues, and that’s okay. Church musicians often struggle with separating their beliefs from the beliefs of the churches they serve. My hope is that, in an increasingly polarized society, we can serve in churches that don’t necessarily preach what we want to hear. 1. You’re not alone. Most churchgoers do not agree with every belief of their … [Read more...]