Welcome!Welcome to the Southwest Michigan Chapter of the American Guild of Organists! Our chapter serves organists, choir directors, and organ enthusiasts in Kalamazoo, Portage, Battle Creek, Marshall, Coldwater, Schoolcraft, Centreville, Three Rivers, Sturgis, St. Joseph, Berrien Springs, South Haven, Paw Paw, Mattawan, and Richland.
The Bach insignia
We are very grateful that you have chosen to visit our website and sincerely hope that you will find joy and inspiration in its contents.
It is somewhat difficult to believe that June is already upon us — but the calendar on the wall (as well as the temps) don’t lie — summer is nearly here.
We end this program year in good shape — with financial health, a broader diversity of ages in attendance at chapter functions, and a slate of officers ready and willing to serve the chapter. You will have noticed that consistent themes of my messages this year were that of greater member participation in chapter functions and the personal outreach to others in the community. If I am completely honest, it seems I have failed in this aspect of chapter leadership because my messages did not motivate/inspire a greater number of our members to actually attend chapter functions or invite newcomers to check us out. This is a personal disappointment because I do honestly believe that each of us wants to see the organ (and organists) maintain a visible place in our artistic and spiritual culture — that said, I don’t believe we can be upset with a decline in interest if we aren’t willing to do our part in the promotion of our art.
I was excited to see six college-aged organists/enthusiasts at our April meeting and the opportunity they took to have discussions with those of us with more “experience.” I believe we have a responsibility to be mentors to the younger generation of organists and that those in out chapter eagerly desire these types of connections. I was also pleased with the free music exchange. The browsing was enthusiastic.
As many of us head into a period of greater rest and relaxation over these next few months, I do hope we can spend some time contemplating what the Guild means to us and how we can be more engaged in its mission. As always, if you have programming ideas or thoughts on how the chapter can grow and inspire others, please let a member of the executive board know — this is OUR chapter and each of us benefits from its success. Until the fall…
Dr. Stephen White, Chapter Dean
SOLI DEO GLORIA!