American Guild of Organists
European Chapter

Farewell to "Dean Judy"

Judy Riefel-Lindel has been Dean of the European Chapter for 20 years, so it was with some disbelief and much trepidation that the news that she would be stepping down was received by members at the Spring Meeting in Warsaw this year. But, characteristically, she has taken care to see that the future is assured. Our new Dean is Johan Hermans; the names of other board members can be found under the tab "The Board". We print here Judy's farewell message.

Dear European Chapter Members,

You have read it correctly: After 20+ years of having had the privilege of serving as Dean and Membership Coordinator of the European Chapter, on July 1st, 2019, I'll be passing the torch to our Sub Dean, Johan Hermans. Brief introductions of all the European Chapter Board members who will "officially" begin their responsibilities this week at the start of the AGO year 2019- 2020, are in this newsletter (. Most of the names are familiar to you. We've done some rearranging of the line-up of members who have served on the Board for several years and have added new ones.

Three members of the Board are retiring: Judy (Riefel-Lindel), Dean, Charles Baer, Treasurer, and Ruth Ahrend, Member-at-Large. Your new Sub Dean will be Giorgio Parolini. Bernard Sanders and Barry Jordan will continue as Secretary/Newsletter Editor and Webmaster, respectively. Treasurer will be Betsy Mixon-Stemmler. Our four new Board Members are Ludo Vandersmissen, Katelyn Emerson, Axel Wilberg and Alissa Duryee. Ludo will take on Registrar duties, while the others are joining the Board as Members-at-Large. A warm welcome to our new Board Members! At the same time, may I offer a final "THANK YOU" to the Board Members with whom I've had the good fortune to serve, most of them for 10+ years. I'm positive the continuity we've been able to enjoy, as well as the wonderful "click" we experienced with each other, has helped us tremendously in leading the Chapter forward. I hope the new and remaining members of the Board will enjoy working with each other as much as we have. Respect, encouragement and support are the names of the game!

Judy new

To say it was a pleasure to be allowed to be the European Chapter Dean of the American Guild of Organists for over half of the 40 years that the European Chapter has existed, would be an understatement. It was quite thrilling, in fact, to be able to meet, work and correspond with an untold number of fascinating members of this Chapter ever since it was founded in 1979 by 10 Americans who were organists in American military chapels in and around Heidelberg, Germany. I had the good fortune to get to know personally almost every one of the enthusiastic founding members in the early 1980s. Also it was delightful working with all the AGO National staff in New York who have helped and supported us with their knowledge and positive input all along the way. For me, to have been able to play a role in the growth, outreach and development of the European Chapter was tremendously fulfilling. Music has such amazing power to connect and inspire! The Chapter today totals 140 members and is truly international. Our membership consists of 19 nationalities living in 15 countries in Europe, Canada and Australia, plus 22 States in the USA. Of the nationalities, Americans are still in the majority with 60 members in this American organization, followed by our German members numbering 30. English and French, Italians, Dutch and Belgians come next, on top of still another 12. In the end we come up with the unique melting pot that makes the European Chapter what it is: Simply Superb. I wish you all a healthy, happy, and prosperous future,
Judy