January Message from the Dean

Happy New Year to all LexAGO Members and Friends!

A new year always reminds us that time marches on. We've barely had time to put away the Christmas stockings, when the demands of Lent and Easter come knocking on the door. A new year is also a time of reflection and taking stock.

Throughout this newsletter, you will enjoy several resolutions shared with me by LexAGO Members, near and far. I have also listed some highlights from our past AGO Program Year, which should help direct our focus into the new year ahead.

In 2016, we said "Goodbye and Thank you" to our outgoing 2014-16 Executive Committee, under the leadership of Dean Jane Johnson. For me, Jane represents the gold standard for AGO Chapter Deans. On more than one occasion, I could have made use of one of those WWJD wrist bracelets -- "What Would Jane Do?!" Fortunately, Jane is only a phone call, or text message, away. A new group of officers has been elected and hard at work ever since, planning quality programs and promoting membership and certification goals. I thank each of them for their contributions, efforts and friendship.

Last summer, a superb National Convention was held in Houston, attended by seven LexAGO Members. AGO HQ rolled out a new Mission Statement, Vision and Value Proposition. The Code of Ethics has been updated, and a Settlement Agreement reached between the AGO and FTC.

Locally, the LexAGO hosted its first Pipe Organ Encounter in 2016. Under the guidance of POE Director Zach Klobnak, twenty student organists from eight states, plus ten faculty members and countless volunteers, assembled in Lexington for a week of music, learning and fun.

As a result, several new POE students have joined our ranks, bringing our LexAGO membership to a high of 121. Keep in mind that membership numbers are fluid and can fluctuate. Dues must be paid annually, and it is incumbent upon the membership to keep up with individual payment deadlines.

Due in part to the influx of new members, our Chapter enjoys sound financial support, thanks to the leadership of Treasurer James Humlong, and to Brian Hunt, before him.

We have embarked on an ambitious program year, with a total of ten programs, workshops and recitals scheduled over nine months in three cities. While the 2016-17 program year is not yet half over, only one-third of our membership (34%) has participated in the programs held to date.

A new Kentucky AGO Chapter has been formed, and we welcome our neighbors in the "Heartland of Kentucky." I hope this year to revive the annual joint program with our neighbors in the Louisville Chapter.

In order to promote AGO Certification, the Regional Councillor for Education was brought in to conduct a workshop. Of our local membership, 12% are AGO-Certified, which matches the national average. Before and after the fall workshop, several members have indicated their interest in taking AGO Certification Exams. This is a worthy endeavor for the start of a new year, or anytime!

Our recent "Christmas Pipes" Concert raised over $400 for our POE Scholarship Fund. That money will help pay tuition costs for one or more local POE students next summer. It's not too late to consider donating to this worthwhile cause.

Looking ahead to Lent and Easter, I hope everyone will plan on attending the upcoming Organ and Choral Reading Session to be held on January 21. Details may be found inside this Newsletter.

Riding the momentum from our successful POE, as well as that from Lexington's 2011 Regional Convention, your Executive Committee has voted to submit an application in the coming months to host the AGO Great Lakes Region's 2018 January Jubilee. You will be hearing much more about this throughout the coming year. As with the 2016 POE, be thinking of ways you can volunteer and participate! Also, be sure to share any programming ideas you may have for 2017-18 with me or with other Executive Committee Members. After all, it's that time of year again!

Hope to see you on January 21,

--Larry Sharp

Sponsors for 2016-17

Thanks very much to the following for sponsoring our newsletter and website!! And thanks to Larry Sharp for making all of the arrangements.

  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • Beaumont Presbyterian Church
  • Good Shepherd
  • B. Rule
  • Rivierstad
  • D.C. Schroth Organ Builders

Be a Member! Join the Lexington AGO Chapter

Joining the AGO is easy and can be done online via the AGO National website. You can join as a chapter member, join as an independent member, or subscribe to the TAO magazine. Those who prefer not to join online can contact our chapter dean, Dr. Larry Sharp, agolarry@att.net or James Humlong, jdh1218@windstream.net.

Mission, Vision, and Values Statement

The AGO Mission statement has been modified as of May, 2016. The entire statement can be seen on the AGO National Mission, Vision, and Values Statement page.

The mission of the American Guild of Organists is to foster a thriving community of musicians who share their knowledge and inspire passion for the organ.

The vision of the American Guild of Organists is to engage, support, and uplift every organist.

© 2016 American Guild of Organists
Lexington, KY chapter