Here is a link to a marvelous educational opportunity for adults (age 19+) who are interested in learning more about the pipe organ and how to play the pipe organ.
Go to the section entitled Pipe Organ Encounter.
Pipe Organ Encounter (POE) is an educational outreach program during which nationally-acclaimed faculty members will perform recitals, lead workshops, and teach individual organ lessons.
The sessions are conducted in Rockford churches, so there is a definite emphasis on playing the pipe organ in liturgical settings.
I plan to try very hard to get the time off work to be able to attend this workshop. I know the Director of the POE, and he is a good Christian man and my favorite organist in the area at the moment.
I hope that perhaps some of you will decide to make the trip and attend this. It’s the only seminar of its kind in the United States this year. Students from all over the country will attend.
Just one thing–I want to make it very clear that yes, the organization (AGO) that is sponsoring this is the same organization that has blacklisted our parish because of an incident involving the dismissal of an openly-gay organist. This incident occurred several years ago, but because the openly-gay organist is still advocating the AGO boycott of our parish, the AGO remains committed to the boycott after all these years, and none of their members will agree to play in our church (except for the Director of this POE, I’m glad to say). I ask that you examine your consciences and seek the Lord’s will as to whether you wish to support this organization through attending their POE. Most of the monies will probably go toward the payment of the faculty, so at least the money isn’t being
pumped into the AGO.
Our current parish organist resigned the AGO and chose instead to be our organist. He still attends AGO concerts and is friends with many of the organists in the AGO. But he can’t be a member of the AGO and still play at our parish. I admire him for his courageous choice.
For me, the course is clear–yes, I will attend POE if I can get the time off because I am a good pianist who would like to at least try to learn to play the pipe organ well enough to be able to help out in my parish and in other Catholic parishes in our city. If I am unable to learn to play the pipe organ (I’m afraid that my feet are too damaged by surgeries and arthritis to play the peddles, but maybe I’m wrong about that), I can at least learn as much as possible about the pipe organ and the liturgical music. Also, through participating in the POE, I can become better friends of the various organists in the AGO and perhaps someday, through friendly persuation, I can convince them tolift their unfair boycott against our parish.
Hope to see some of you there in June!