April 2016 Newsletter


April 2016


In This Issue


By Kari Miller

I hope that many of you are able to take some quiet time right now. We all need to recharge and renew after the intensity of Holy Week. This may also be the perfect time to reflect a bit on how we handle the pressure of those “big” occasions. Do you relish the opportunity to display your talents, or are you filled with anxiety, dreading the extra scrutiny that comes with those big moments? Do you practice and prepare so meticulously and single-mindedly that everything goes off without a hitch but feels a little flat? Or are you so tense and worried about all the things that might go wrong that you feel like you are going to have a heart attack? Perhaps – I hate to say it – you are always disappointed with your performance on the big occasions, kicking yourself for not doing as well as you could have. Maybe you sometimes “choke”. Maybe you are just happy if you can get through without a major disaster. Whatever you feel, it deserves an honest look. If all is truly well and good, take time to congratulate yourself and enjoy your success before moving on to the next project. If all is not good, or less wonderful than you had hoped, you owe it to yourself to consider how you might make things better, easier or more comfortable the next time around.

I recently came across an interesting book which covers this subject in considerable depth. The stated mission of Performing under Pressure by Hendrie Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Fry is to “provide an easy-to-use playbook of pressure solutions – accessible strategies that individuals can use immediately to depressurize a situation.” The first section of the book explores the science and psychology behind pressure, including discussions of what pressure does to our brains, the difference between stress and pressure, common pressure traps and ways in which we inadvertently put pressure on ourselves (or others). The second section, the practical meat of the book, provides over twenty pressure solutions that can be applied instantly. Not every solution will be useful for every person or every situation, but there is a wealth of wisdom here, and probably something for everyone. There is nothing revolutionary, and many of the solutions might seem like simple common sense, but they are still strategies we would do well to explore in our high-pressure moments. Some solutions (I found these among the more interesting) involve a slight but significant shift in our thinking. For instance, the first solution, to “befriend the moment”, involves seeing the pressure moment as a fun challenge or an opportunity rather than as a threatening do-or-die situation. The final segment of the book deals with long-term strategies to strengthen the attributes of confidence, optimism, tenacity and enthusiasm, which the authors consider essential to success.

It’s food for thought. I’d be happy to lend the book if anyone is interested.

Back to the top

Next Chapter Event - The Art of Fugue

Saturday, April 9, 7:00 pm
St. John's Episcopal Church
679 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford
 $20 suggested donation. AGO members $10.
(Co-sponsored with St. John's Episcopal Church.)
This performance of Bach's Art of the Fugue features organist Rick Ericksen and dance interpretation by the renowned New York based dance company SYREN. Creative use of the church combined with lighting makes for a fascinating and unique concert experience. 

Added Bonus!

Chapter members are welcome to drop in during the following rehearsals for an up-close preview:

•    Wednesday, April 6th 6:30pm – 8:00pm
•    Thursday, April 7th 10:00am – 8:00pm
•    Friday, April 8th 2:00pm – 5:00pm, 7:00pm dress rehearsal

For full event details, visit http://www.reddoormusic.org/event/organ-and-dance-syren-modern-dance-ensemble/

Back to the top

Chapter Annual Meeting & Dinner


Monday, May 23, 2016 at 6:30 pm


Seasons Restaurant
Avon Old Farms Hotel
279 Avon Mountain Rd (Rt. 44),  Avon, CT
Directions: At the foot of Avon Mountain
on the southeast corner of Routes 10 and 44
6:30-7:15 Cash Bar/Appetizers (Antipasto Stations)
7:15-8:00 Dinner
8:00-8:45 Meeting and Dessert

Appetizer - Grilled Vegetable Bruschetta
Salad - Classic Caesar
Entree Options (choose one):
  1. Fillet of Sole with Seafood Stuffing
  2. Penne Pasta Tossed with Broccoli, Dried Tomatoes, Eggplant, etc.
  3. Kentucky Bourbon Sirloin
Dessert - Flourless Chocolate Torte, Coffee/Tea

Cost - $20 per person

This year you can make your reservation online. Click on the button below to fill out and submit a reservation form. Submitting your form will take you to a web page where you can select payment options. Information is included to pay by credit card, PayPal account or check. Reservations are due by Monday, May 16, 2016. No reservations can be honored after this date if payment has not been received.

Nominating Committee Report

The slate for election at the Annual Meeting on May 23rd, 2016 is as follows for next year:
  • Dean, Kari Miller
  • Sub-Dean, Peter Niedmann
  • Treasurer, John Coghill
  • Registrar, Mark Child
  • Secretary, Douglas Duca
  • Member-at Large term ending in 2017, Mary DeLibero
  • Member-at-Large term ending in 2018, Vaughn Mauren
  • Member-at-Large term ending 2019, Alan MacMillan
A member’s name may be entered for election for any office by petition of five voting members. Petitioners have 30 days from when the slate is announced to send the petition to Amy Vinisko, current Chapter Secretary—that deadline is April 1, 2016.
Respectfully submitted, GHCAGO Nominating Committee: Cheryl Wadsworth, Chair, Eugenia Sullivan and John Parsons

Member Milestones Sought

We would like to recognize and celebrate the anniversaries and achievements of our members. If you think you or someone you know should be acknowledged at the Annual Dinner/Meeting let us know. Send an e-mail to Kari at kari.magg@snet.net no later than April 30.

Webmaster Needed

We will be losing Amy Vinisko, our webmaster, when her term as Secretary ends this July. We are hoping that one of our members will step forward to take on this task. The Webmaster should be someone who is internet-savvy, but he/she does not need to be a technical wizard. The new webmaster will receive whatever training is necessary. Ours is a Wordpress site, designed to be simple for the layperson to maintain, and we have technical backup available.
The webmaster’s main duty is to keep the site up to date, posting and removing items as needed, in coordination with the newsletter editor, the Registrar and others. A good eye and attention to detail are required, and enthusiasm for the work of the Greater Hartford AGO will be appreciated.
If you are interested, contact Kari Magg at kari.magg@snet.net
If you have further questions about what the job entails, contact Amy Vinisko at lakesidemusic@hotmail.com
On a Friday morning last month Scott Lamlein hosted 40 homeschoolers, parents, and seniors for a demonstration of the organ at St. John's, West Hartord. This was to be an "overflow" crowd from a similar event two weeks previously, but as it turned out there were 20 at the previous event and double that this time. In addition to hearing Scott play Bach Toccata in D minor and Boëllmann Toccata, they got the full run-down on how the organ works, including touring one of the chambers, and five or so kids tried their own hand at it.  Lots of good questions, many smiles, oohs and ahs!  This was a great moment to share St. John's fine instrument and amazing building with some new folks. One mom and daughter stayed for an extra hour to closely study the architecture.

Open position for Organ Scholar at Trinity Episcopal Church in Torrington, CT

This is a great opportunity to work with a fine instrument as well as a music director with 60 years of experience (including teaching prizewinning organists at both high school and college level).
The organ scholar will assist by playing selected hymns, voluntaries and anthem accompaniments as skills, time and interest allow.
The position includes a small stipend. It does not include organ lessons.
If interested, contact Jerry Davidson at jfd112@gmail.com

Back to the top

The Tool Box

By Mike Foley

I got called to a church that had just recently finished some significant contract work on the organ [with another contractor]. There were problems, including dead notes and new tuning issues. Looking over the contract I was taken with the fact that it included little to no detail. All the pages of words essentially came down to:
  1.  The contractor would “fix” the organ
  2.  The payment schedule
Don’t let this happen to you. Regardless of how well you know the techs or how simple the repair, given the costs of organ work today be sure there’s lots of detail about just what’s being done and the materials to be used. Is there a guarantee? Is there a start date and -- just as important -- a finish date? Anything being subcontracted? Ask for a reference list including the last contracted job finished. Call the names on the list. 
What’s here is a mere start. Be sure to do your homework. Don’t end up with problems.

Back to the top
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 © 2016 Greater Hartford Chapter American Guild of Organists, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are a member of the Greater Hartford Chapter AGO.

Our mailing address is:
Greater Hartford Chapter American Guild of Organists
196 Terry Rd
Hartford, CT 06105

Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp