Fall is here! Well, you wouldn’t know it as we waited out a summer deluge last Sunday following worship. Had I known folks were going to stick around an extra half hour, I would have programmed a longer postlude!

With Fall comes our season of programming. We are excited to host our September Soirée at the home of Bobbie Hoopes in just a couple weeks (see p.1). Board members are providing food and beverages. Please bring your significant other and/or your clergy. If you are so inclined, we will have an informal anthem reading session. Bring 20 or so copies of an anthem which is special to you and we will gather around the piano and sing. Do you know an organ enthusiast in your congregation or neighborhood? Bring them, too!

You’ll see our Advent recital series has already been scheduled. An easy way to support the mission of the AGO is by playing on one of these thirty-minute programs. These are not limited to a single performer for each recital. Two or three organists can split a program (don’t we all have 8-10 minutes of Christmas music in our back pockets?). Email me at if you are interested in performing.

A former classmate of mine recently polled her Facebook friends: I don’t know why, but I’ve never JOINED any professional groups. Why? I don’t know! But I think it’s time to be a joiner. What organizations are meaningful to you? Of course, a number of folks mentioned ACDA, AGO, NATS, MTNA—singing their accolades and raising their complaints for each. But one response really struck me: (Friend’s name), it’s easy to pick a non-profit to accept your money (Hint: they all will). It’s harder to decide which cause is worth putting our boots on the ground and getting involved in.

This resonated with me as I looked at our chapter calendar for the year. I believe the question we all should ask ourselves, is not “Why did I join the AGO?”, but instead “Now that I’ve joined, how can I get involved in the AGO?”. Join us on September 18 for food and fellowship. Invite a piano student you know or teach to come to the Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza on November 5. Bring a friend or neighbor to an Advent recital.

See you this fall.

Shawn Thomas, Dean