January 2016 Newsletter


January 2016


In This Issue


By Kari Miller

This is the season for list-making. Everywhere we see lists of the year’s best or worst in books, movies, music, restaurants, fashion trends, news stories, what-have-you. There are lists of the most popular, the most influential, the most original and the most unusual. There are the sad lists remembering celebrities who have died during the past year and the optimistic lists proposing resolutions for the New Year. Whether one finds these lists annoying, entertaining or thought-provoking, one thing is for sure - they are unavoidable.

This may be high season, but we live with our lists all year long. We have shopping lists, wish lists and bucket lists. And, if you are like me, you also have your to-do list, whether it is neatly recorded in a notebook, hastily jotted down on the back of an envelope (my favorite), entered into your smartphone or just floating around in your head. According to the experts, keeping a to-do list keeps us focused on what we need to do, helps us plan how to do it and reduces our stress levels by making us feel like we have things under control. The same experts also tell us that most people don’t do very well in actually completing the tasks on their to-do lists, or, to put it bluntly, to-do lists often do not work. Luckily, the pundits also offer insight into why our to-do lists are ineffective as well as advice for improving the outcome.

First, the list should not be too long. An unrealistic, overambitious list will only set you up for disappointment. Prioritize the items on your list and tackle the most important tasks first. Don’t clutter up your list with things that can be quickly done (just do them!) or with things that will happen anyway. You may want to make several coordinated lists, such as a master to-do list (this could be updated monthly), a must-do-today list and a weekly list. Uncompleted tasks from the daily list should be forwarded to a new list or reevaluated.

The tasks on the list should not be vague, complex or open-ended. Be specific. Large tasks can be broken up into manageable pieces which can be readily accomplished and crossed off. Instead of “learn the Widor Toccata” maybe “practice Widor for a half-hour today” or “work on first two pages of Widor” would be more useful. If you know when in the course of the day a task needs to be done or how long it will take, make a note of that on the list. But don’t allot things too much time or the dreaded procrastination factor might kick in!
Finally, learn to be flexible and self-forgiving. The most common reason for failure to get through the items on a list is simply the need to attend to other tasks - those unexpected, unscheduled things that pop up on a daily basis to make our lives full and interesting.

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Upcoming Event

Pianist's Introduction to the Organ


Please help spread the word!

This is a free event - AGO membership is NOT required.

Members, Friends and All are invited to join the Greater Hartford Chapter of the American Guild of Organists for a “Pianist’s Introduction to the Organ” workshop. This free event, which includes a complimentary lunch, will be held on Saturday, January 23rd, 2016 from 9:30 to 1:30 at St. James’s Episcopal Church located at 1018 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford.

The day is especially designed for adult pianists who find themselves in transition from playing the piano to playing the organ. With our local churches encountering a shortage of organists, pianists are often called upon to lead a congregation with little or no experience at the organ. If you or someone you know is skilled at the piano keyboard but intimidated or confused by the organ console, this workshop offers an opportunity to learn some of the basics in a friendly, hands-on setting.

To reserve your place or for more information, contact Vaughn Mauren at
vmauren@gmail.com or 860-521-9620 by January 15th, 2016.

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Pedals, Pipes and Pizza

Do you know a young pianist who would be interested in learning about the organ in a fun, hands-on session with other kids? 'Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza' is a great event that does just that. Young pianists get an introduction to the organ through fun, informative presentations and hands-on sessions. 
This free event will be at two churches in Glastonbury starting at First Church of Christ, Congregational (2183 Main St.) and ending at St.James' Episcopal Church (2584 Main St.). 
The date is Monday, February 15th (Presidents' Day) from 9:30 am - 2:00 pm. There is no fee for the event, and a free lunch is included. Registration is required (see link to form below). Please help spread the word to your pianist-choristers. Any questions, contact Mary DeLibero at (marydelibero@comcast.net).

Registration Form Link (you can copy and paste to give to others):

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Election of Officers Preview

Election of officers for 2016-2017 will take place at our next Annual Meeting on May 23, 2016. Members of the Nominating Committee are Cheryl Wadsworth (Chair), John Parsons and Eugenia Sullivan. They will submit a slate of candidates, one for each position on the Executive Board. This year the position of Secretary needs to be filled as well as the Member-at-Large position. The Secretary performs the important task of taking minutes at meetings. If you would like to be considered or would like to recommend another member, please contact Cheryl Wadsworth by Jan. 15 at jrcrwadsworth@att.net or 860-233-1622. After the slate of candidates is announced in March, additional nominations may be made by petition of at least five members in good standing and should be received by the Secretary no later than 30 days after the slate has been announced.

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GMChorale Auditions for Spring 2016  

GMChorale (Greater Middletown Chorale) invites experienced singers to audition with Artistic Director Joseph D'Eugenio for their next concert on May 1, 2016, to include Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass accompanied by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.  GMChorale rehearses at Cromwell’s Bethany Lutheran Church, just off I-91 and Rt. 9. To schedule an audition, please call Margie Livengood at (860) 633-6198 or email her at margielivengood@aol.com.

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Auld Lang Syne (Organ Solo) - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Happy New Year!
Enjoy this performance of "Auld Lang Syne"
by Mormon Tabernacle Organist Andrew Unsworth

The Tool Box

By Mike Foley

Many organs are now fitted with electronic relay systems that see old and rather massive cables replaced with ones with but 6 or 8 wires. These are often referred to as “Data” cables and needless to say, the few and tiny wires are broadcasting a lot of information. Remember to treat these rather innocent looking cables with respect as, despite them being state-of-the-art, the fact is that they’re also quite fragile. Running over them with the console dolly or people stepping on them is a no-no. If yours is a mobile console, be absolutely certain not to roll the console so far that you hyper extend the console Data cable.  Disconnecting (breaking) even one of those few wires will see the organ go dead or play all kinds of unwanted things. 
It’s the age of electronic wonders and our new relay systems are no exceptions. However, if you damage your data cable it will be a wonder that the organ works. Your tech has more info.

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View Online Calendar to see chapter and other local events

Event Calendar
Submit your event with our online form by clicking on the button below or from our chapter website.
Submit Event
Job Listings are now available on our chapter website. To post a job opening, contact kari.magg@snet.net   
Job Listings
Chapter Board

Dean - Kari Miller

Sub-Dean - Peter Niedmann
Secretary - Amy Vinisko
Treasurer - John Coghill
Registrar - Mark Child
Ronald Coons
Mary DeLibero
Vaughn Mauren

Newsletter Editors
Edward Clark
Joan Pritchard

Job Listing Service
Kari Miller


Amy Vinisko

Copyright © 2015 Greater Hartford Chapter American Guild of Organists, All rights reserved.

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