I was excited to begin my term as Dean back in 2012 with a new Minister starting at my church and attending my first National Convention down in Nashville. It was all very exciting for the most part and meeting new friends, and spotting other friends from “The Fellowship” was good fun too. Six eventful years later and I pass the mantle of leadership onto Susan Ferre` for her turn to guide us forward. Susan has deep family roots here in NH and while living many other places all through her life; would always Summer back here no matter if she were in Europe or Dallas. Susan was Dean of the Dallas Chapter and brings not only that past experience, but her experience in promoting music and the arts with the very successful program Music in the Great North Woods.
We are not the same organization we were certainly when I was sworn in as Dean back in 2012. Believe me when I say that I wasn’t expecting all of this back in 2011, when first approached about succeeding Liz Black as Dean. The changes in the last 6 years may seem negative to some of us while others view them as part of the evolution of the wider AGO that began back in NYC in 1896, and for our chapter, in 1946. Evolution is a fact of the natural world. Our planet moves, shifts, grows, and subsides in a macro system that is mind-boggling. (Hawaii continues to grow as an island for instance due to volcanic eruptions that in the past few months have become very active. Yet when driving north on route 16 in Ossipee, you can pull over to a scenic lookout and learn about how a defunct volcano collapsed over 130 million years ago and gave birth to the Ossipee Mountains, the most circular Caldera in the world.) So it is with organizations such as ours. Maybe we don’t have the procedures we once had or it seems we downsized from 9 to 7 regions and shrunk? Yet while all that is a reality; I look at what our members are coming up with for chapter programs and the young talent we have had demonstrate their passion for learning this art. Chapter members continue to promote the organ in their local church be it chapel or Cathedral. YOC, a Home Organ, and Historic Austin, were all on NH Chronicle with-in the same year, or very close to it.
So it is time to hand over the reigns, and move into the role of “Past-Dean”. I have served with many talented and fine musicians and leaders who bring organization, corporate world experience, and plain old elbow grease to bear in working behind the scenes to ensure we meet the needs of our members today AND moving through 2018 and beyond. I look forward to now supporting Susan Ferre` and her vision for the chapter as we continue to promote the Organ and live out our mission statement in our local setting and throughout the state. It has been a great ride and I look forward to seeing you at chapter events during the coming years.
Enjoy your summer!