During the national convention of the AGO, held this past month in the Twin Cities, we had a wonderful meeting of our region. After a roll call of chapters (Nashville won with the most members present!), I introduced the seven District Conveners and two Regional Coordinators for our region, and thanked them for their work, along with the Regional Nominating Committee.
Our region was well represented at the national convention, with the following people: Cal Johnson was installed on the National Council as Treasurer and Councillor for Finance and Development; Jonathan Hehn performed a Rising Star recital; and Herb Buffington was awarded Third Prize and the Audience Prize at the National Competition for Organ Improvisation. In addition, the following people from our region presented workshops and/or recitals: David Arcus, Joby Bell, William Gudger, Wilma Jensen, Roy Roberts, Herndon Spillman, Calvin Taylor and Charles Tompkins. We are very proud of the talented people in our region!
I was pleased to report that registration for the Pipe Organ Encounter (POE) in Charlotte this summer is full. The Macon, GA Chapter will host our region's POE in 2009.
Roy Roberts, Co-coordinator of the January 2010 Mid-winter conference in Sarasota, spent time promoting that event. (Please note that this will take the place of our usual summer convention next year.) The Greensboro, NC Chapter is preparing to host the 2011 summer regional convention. And, of course, Nashville is gearing up to host the 2012 National convention!
Along with reminding those present about the International Year of the Organ, Organ Spectacular, the Annual Fund, the Endowment Fund, and Officer Report Forms, throughout the meeting I intermittently drew names for 6 different prizes. In order to receive the prize, the winner had to answer a question. Appropriately, the last question was this: Name one person in the AGO who has supported you in the past year. John, who had just been honored for passing the Guild's Service Playing Exam, answered that there were not one, but two people - those who had helped him (with free lessons and monthly classes) to prepare for the exams. We could not have ended the meeting more perfectly than with that example of what the Guild is all about - education, striving for excellence, and mutual support and inspiration.
Region IV of the American Guild of Organists covers the Southeastern United States and Bermuda, including the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana. There are seven districts, 58 local chapters, and over 3,000 members. Our work supports the mission of the Guild: To promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members.