The American Guild of Organists is the world's largest association of organists, organ builders and lovers of the instrument. The European Chapter is a chapter unlike any other, since its members live on four continents, not in a single region. The idea for its founding originated with some American organists stationed in Europe with the armed forces; many of the founding members are still chapter members today. We have over 140 members from Australia to Finland and China to Montana, so that most of our activity takes place during one exciting week starting on Easter Monday at our legendary Spring Meeting - the best-kept secret since organ crawls were invented!
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Dear European Chapter Members,
It would be quite an understatement to say that my first year as Dean of the European Chapter turned out not as expected. Started in good cheer, it developed wonderfully within the partly renewed Board. Soon plans were enthusiastically drawn up that had both an eye for tradition and for step-by-step renewal. We were eagerly looking forward to a Spring Meeting in Cologne, which promised to be brilliant. And then, all of a sudden, the world came to a grinding standstill . . .
Like everyone else, we initially stayed at home, learning to cope with new rules. Meanwhile, we also learn - by trial and error - to live with a less predictable future. In the past few months there was at times hope that relief from corona measures was imminent, but gradually we understood that the uncertainty might continue on for quite a while. This also means that we as a Chapter Board will have to adjust our plans for upcoming activities and attempt to draw up a corona-proof program.
The European Chapter is truly international. Our members live in several countries in Europe, Canada and Australia, plus several States in the USA. That makes us the unique and wonderful melting pot that we are. Simply superb !
In practice, this means that for meetings with more than a few members, most of us have to undertake a long journey, which is especially difficult in these times of corona limitation.
Fortunately, we have people on our Chapter Board with the talent and inspiration to develop initiatives in these corona times that will unite you Chapter Members (if necessary virtually) around our passion, initiatives that will allow us to experience the joy and connection that we long for so much - even if it has to be in a different, corona-safe way for the time being.
Let's inspire each other with our enthusiasm, our stories and experiences ! And of course, plans that we are not able to realize right away will be given an even more important place on our to-do list !
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