If you didn't catch the cover story of the Life
section of USA Today on Wed., September 6, you need to look
it up at your library or log onto usatoday.com and search for
"American Guild of Organists" Entitled "Who will
play God's Music?" and sub-titled "Churches' love
for organs hits a sour note: No organists," the article
quotes the AGO placement director in Twin cities on the shortage
of organists in that city. Those of us at the chapter picnic
had a good chuckle over one quote: "One organist in the
country might make $100,000 at a 'big steeple' church, and the
rest are lucky to earn $30,000." Oh? But the article does
describe the problem of many church's inability to find organists.
It talks about the contemporary music trend and describes some
educational efforts. Pipe Organ Encounters gets a special mention.
A related article focuses on pipe organ building in the U.S.
Articles like this, as well as well-publicized
installations of new organs, and programs such as Michael BaroneÍs
"Pipedreams," are good PR for the organ.
Another opportunity for PR is "Pipes Spectacular,"
an event initiated by National AGO and planned locally. We will
actually have our concert one week early, on October 7, because
of a schedule problem. This event has been planned to encourage
attendance by an audience other than the usual organ recital
attendee. Not your average organ recital, the concert will feature
dancers and choirs, and more! I am looking forward to seeing
what The YARD will do with the church space. We are fortunate
to have three of our most talented members playing, Anne Wilson,
Todd Wilson, and Tim Robson.
We need the help of every member to support the
concert and publicize it in your church. Use the sample copy
for your church bulletin. Please come to the Church of the Covenant
and bring friends!