FROM THE DEAN:
My dear friends,
To say that I am weary is an understatement.
I cannot recall a time in my life that has been busier or more grief-filled. Usually Advent and Christmas come to an end and January and February seem blissfully empty. Not so this year.
Village Pres has roughly fifty to sixty memorials every year. I admit that, since it's such a large church, I usually don't have a close relationship with the deceased or the deceased's family. My role in their memorial is largely emotionally peripheral, though I always treasure what I learn about them during their services and am honored to be a part of the celebration of their lives.
These past several weeks, though, have been quite an exception. In January, our choir lost dear Ruth Johnson. 97 years young, Ruth was a pillar of our alto section, leading with grace and strong opinions for more than sixty years. She was a force. Not long after that, we were shocked by the death of a choir member's son, who suffered a cardiac event at the tender age of 21. And just a few weeks later, Mark Ball shuffled off of this mortal coil unfairly early. Our community is reeling. My heart is frayed.
There hasn't been a day since Mark's passing that I haven't been presented with thing after thing or idea after idea that have his fingerprints all over them. Particularly music. Our accompaniment hymnals have his handwriting in them, marking harmonies and circling repeats. I have pieces that he gave me with post-it notes on them reading, "Elisa! You will LOVE this!!" Mark's influence over my career and artistry is staggeringly thorough... I realize it now more than I did when he was with us.
In preparation for playing for Mark's service, I received permission to poke around his office at Southminster Pres in search of some of his favorite pieces that I knew I didn't have in my own library. I knew what I was looking for, and it took me a while to find it (he was fond of piles). I finally discovered a notebook that was full of his favorite pieces - success! In paging through them, I made a shocking discovery. There, amidst Bach chorales and Elgar character pieces, was a piece of music that had my handwriting all over it. Tempo markings, encouraging notes, even a smiley face: MY handwriting on HIS music.
Sitting in that lonely office, surrounded by piles of reminders of my friend, I was surprised to realize that he wasn't just in my life... I was in his. As simple as that sounds, I had forgotten it. In my focus about what I had learned from him, the skills I had gleaned from his sensitive mentorship, I had forgotten that I taught him, too. That I made him laugh, and sometimes challenged him. That I brought gifts to our relationship, as he did.
Ruth didn't just lead in our alto section. She enjoyed the company of her alto sisters, and they cared for her and taught her. Deb's son, who was mainly nonverbal, occasionally came to choir rehearsals with his mother, and afterwards would utter key phrases from the evening :"credo," or "dear Lord, show me the way." His life was enriched by our song.
And Mark gave so much to this community - most of us can recount so many stories and ways he enriched us. But we did that for him, too. He loved his singers, his conducting and organist friends, his students, and was constantly open to being inspired by those around him. His search for beauty was constant, and productive.
The realization that relationships go two ways feels significant to me lately. We give and receive; we learn and teach; we love and are loved back. How amazing that is! What a thrill! What an outstanding blessing!
The early and unfair passing of Mark means that I won't be quite right for a while. But the life of Mark - an existence enveloped by literally innumerable relationships, filled to the brim with creative energy and love and harmonies, all shared back and forth like electrons flying among atoms - that phenomenon is proof that our loved ones are never really gone. Our intertwined-ness is the web that weaves an embrace that is simply too tight to allow death to win. Not now. Not ever. Because the love lives on, and simply always will.
It always will.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Punch Bowl at 6:00 pm
Dinner at 6:15 pm
Dexter Kennedy in Concert
Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS
Sugar & Spice
Mixed Green Salad
Butter-Parsley New Potatoes
Tuscan Veggie Medley
Sweet Glazed Carrots
Water, Iced Tea, Coffee
Please call Nancy Ramirez at 816-436-9467 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by 9:00 pm Thursday, March 21. Nancy will confirm your e-mail reservations. Please call if you don’t get a confirmation. Remember, if you have a reservation (permanent or one-time) and miss dinner, you are still obligated to pay for your meal if you have not cancelled by Tuesday, March 26.
*** Please note: “Walk-in” Dinner Price ***
In an effort to assist our new caterer, and encourage timely reservations, the price for unreserved dinners will be $15. If you reserve your meal in advance, the price remains the same at $10.
Do any of you have young organ students? Might they be interested in meeting others their age who play? Does the choir director at your church know of prospective players? Let’s be proactive and identify these youth. How about inviting someone to attend the annual Super Bowl organ concert by Jan Kraybill? Followed by hands- on time at the console? Piano lessons are the perfect prelude to mastering the King of instruments. But students may need your intervention to get them interested. Invite players to be organ assistants on Sunday mornings. They will love it! It is so important to invest in our youth as musicians, be they organists, singers, instrumentalists or consumers.
--Stephanie Henry (Chair, Youth)
Ushers and Cooks and Coffee Handlers are all needed to help make the Bachathon XL the total experience it can be. Please send an email to email@example.com, or sign-up at our next Meetings on March 26 or April 6.
Ushers welcome folks at the door to the cathedral and offer them a program. They also carry an offering basket as people are departing to encourage an offering. Both are important. We need a minimum of two people at all times during the four hours, and several minutes before the first segment of music. Sign-ups will be available at our next AGO meetings. Our thanks to Ardeith Hopkins for organizing ushers again this year. She has got it down!
Cooks are needed as well. Bring your favorite cookies, cupcakes, brownies, pastries, nuts, chips, cheeses, party mix or other goody to the table in Founder’s Hall. We will include sodas, coffee and water for a bit of a snack and social opportunity. Hopefully, donations will be offered, too. All for a good cause, you know. Contact Nara Newcomer at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer. Also, please consider volunteering to be at the snack table to greet folks and assist as needed. Check with Nara Newcomer above to arrange a time to assist. You can also go to:
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/508054CABAB29A4FA7-bachathon to volunteer.
Many people doing many different things is what makes Bachathon a success year after year. Our thanks to all who are playing, singing, accommodating, cooking, donating, and hosting. This is one of the high-profile programs we offer our city and towns each year. And, it takes a village to bring it off! You are what will make it XLent.
Chair, Bachathon XL
Schola Cantorum Singers Wanted
Bachathon XL is nearing, and our Schola Cantorum will be preparing Cantata 131 to sing in the 3:00 slot. There is still time to join the ranks of this fine group of singers, and we encourage our members to look to this opportunity as a learning experience, as well as a musically satisfying opportunity to sing something we probably cannot do in our local churches. Certainly, we would be ever so lucky to have the Kansas City Baroque Consortium accompany us! Well, this is that opportunity. How cool is that?
Rehearsals begin March 12, Tuesday evening at 7:00 in the choir room of Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway, KCMO, and will continue until Bachathon, Sunday afternoon May 5. The Tuesday of Holy Week is included, unless things are going well and that rehearsal is not required.
Rob Hobgood will direct. Rob is pursuing his Doctorate at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He has had loads of experience directing both church and community choruses. His professors gave Rob their highest commendations and enthusiastic recommendation. We are excited to have this opportunity to experience his fine leadership.
If you are interested in joining this adventure, please let us know by contacting Dale Ramsey at email@example.com. Scores are being thoroughly marked up and copied, so singers will have advance help in their preparations. We will have a copy for you, if we know soon that you will be joining us. The piece is moderate in difficulty—not at all like Bach’s more challenging pieces.
GKCAGO Election for 2019-20
It’s time for the annual chapter election. Voting members will receive a ballot in March the same way you receive your newsletter. Please vote before 9:00 p.m. on April 5, 2019. Paper ballots should be mailed no later than April 1. Results will be announced in the May edition of The Bombarde.
Nominees for GKCAGO Executive Committee and Board for 2019-20
Dean: Boyd Ahrens
Sub-dean: Mike Maiden
Secretary: MacKenzie Reed
Treasurer: Marjorie O’Konski*
Registrar: Dan Madura*
Auditor: vote for one; two-year term
Members at Large: Long Range Planning Class of 2022-23
vote for two; three-year term
Click here for the candidate’s biographies. Many thanks to the Nominating Committee: Dan Brown, chair, Nan Hulett, Debbie Lynch, Craig Smith, Chloë Stodt and we offer our deep appreciation to the chapter members that have agreed to serve on the chapter board!
Sunday, April 7, 2019, 3pm - Sacred Concert at Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS 66208 - featuring Faure's Requiem and Poulenc's G Minor Concerto; Will Breytspraak and Matthew Christopher Shepard, conductors; Elisa Bickers, organist
Thursday, April 11, 2019, 12:15pm-12:45pm - Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS 66208 - Second Thursday Recital Series: Featuring Rosi Penner Kaufman.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 7pm - Grand Avenue Temple UMC, 205 E. 9th St., Kansas City, MO 64106 - Temple Tuesdays Concert Series: Featuring Samantha Koch playing a solo recital of music with an Easter theme.
Placement Coordinator: John Schaefer firstname.lastname@example.org
Placement listings are available only to paid GKCAGO members. Become a paid AGO member by clicking on the Join Our Ranks link at the bottom of any page on the website.
Substitutes listed are members of the local organ guild. The people who hold AGO certificates have passed requirements of the National American Guild of Organists for various levels of service playing and choral conducting. However, the GKCAGO is not an endorsement agency for service provided by the persons listed here. To learn proficiency of substitutes, feel free to ask them for references. Feedback regarding the hiring of GKCAGO substitutes is welcome and encouraged. Please send feedback to John Schaefer email@example.com.
These substitutes have passed various levels of AGO certification requirements:
|Mary Bronaugh Davis, MA, CAGO
(c) (816) 456-0343
|Nancy Custead, CAGO, B.S. Music Ed org, piano||(816) 590-9414
|Barbara Eichenberger, BM, CAGO
|Stephen Kucera, CAGO, BM
|Linda Mann, BME, SPC
organ, piano (Weddings/Funerals only)
(c) (816) 289-9760
|Marjorie O’Konski, MM, MME, SPC
|John Pitchford, MM, SPC,
|John Schaefer, AAGO, ChM
org, dir, lit
|Claudette Schiratti, MM, AAGO,
org, dir, lit
|(c) (913) 530-0960
|Jerrold Tidwell, BM, MM, CAGO
org, piano, dir, lit
|(c) (301) 714-8030
|SPC = service playing certificate | CAGO = Colleague certification | AAGO = Associate certification | FAGO = Fellow certification org = organist | lit = liturgical worship | dir = choral director | piano = pianist|
The following have various degrees in organ or church music at the college or post-graduate level:
|Joyce Berg, MM
|John Deahl, MM
org, dir, lit, bass soloist
|Stephanie Henry, DMA Choral Music,
org, piano, dir.
|Sharon Hettinger, DMA
org, lit, dir, handbell
|(785) 842-2053 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ronald Krebs, BM, MM,
|(785) 843-2622 email@example.com|
|Sarah Lyons, DMA
org, piano, lit, dir
|(309) 333-8745 Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|MacKenzie Reed, MFA, BM
org, piano, lit
|Ann Marie Rigler, DMA
|Nancy Stankiewicz, BA
The following also offer their services:
|Edward Poston — KU student
|org = organist | lit = liturgical worship | dir = choral director | piano = pianist|
The absolute deadline for submissions to the Bombarde editor is the 20th of each month. Please email your information to email@example.com.