Dear Friends of the Omaha AGO,
What are the benefits of the AGO? I imagine we all have slightly different answers to that question. It seems to me there are three major benefits, and when we plan our chapter objectives we should try to balance them about equally.
The first major benefit is education. Chapter meetings can provide personal up close education, occasionally with master teachers. Practice techniques, organ construction, religion and the arts, the Italian organ, and lessons from fifty years of experience in the AGO are objectives that we have presented of the last two years. Our monthly TAO magazine provides material fro learning that we can peruse at our leisure. Listening to recitals attentively can teach us new ways to play music, and perhaps occasionally ways we don't want to play music. The Guild provides a certification process, where we can set goals, practice discipline, and receive acknowledgment for our attained skills. We also stive to educate the general public about our wonderful and sometimes quirky instrument, and that can be rewarding when we see others enjoying the organ we love.
The second major benefit is an opportunity for performance. Yes, many of us play regularly in church and have the opportunity there to perform for others. But, there is nothing quite like performing for one's peers to keep us on our toes. Our chapter over the years has proven to be quite non-competitive and sympathetic to differing backgrounds, training and goals found among out membership. So, our performances for each other need not be cutthroat, nerve wracking experiences, but opportunities to grow.
The third major benefit is an opportunity to get to know other organists in the area and learn about thier ideas, skill, and problems. We can encourage others and be encouraged by them. At our chapter social events we can relax an enjoy ourselves around people having a similar interest in the king of instruments.
So, I hope over the years you have gotten these benefits from the Guild and will continue to receive them as we move forward. Have a good year!