The Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (KC AGO) hosted a very well attended and successful event entitled January Jubilee on Saturday, January 25, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Country Club Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri.
The event was planned as ‘A day of mind, body and soul inspiration for the part-time church musician’. Jubilee events are sponsored by, and partially underwritten by, the National AGO Committee for Musicians in Part-Time Employment.
The event was chaired by Paul Erickson, Director of Music and Arts, Parkville Presbyterian Church, and Mary Bronaugh Davis, Dean of the KCAGO chapter.
The $15 event fee covered a continental breakfast, catered lunch, worship service, and multiple workshop choices. A keynote address was given by Dr. Jan Kraybill, Principal Organist at Community of Christ (formerly RLDS) International Headquarters in Independence, Missouri and Conservator of the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant organ at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. Attendees that had not previously been a member were given a six month free membership to AGO.
The Workshop Presenters were:
Dr. Barbara Adler - Guest Faculty Member at Calvary Bible College, Organist at St. Mary's Episcopal
Paul Erickson - Event Co-chair
Dr. Anthony Maglione - Director of Choral Studies at William Jewell College, Director of KCAGO's Schola Cantorum
Dr. David Pickering – Assistant Professor of Music at Kansas State University
Dr. Ann Marie Rigler - Professor of Music And College Organist at William Jewell College
Ted Stewart - MM, AAGO Certification Director and Education Chair
Marian Thomas - MM, CAGO, Organist/Choir Director and Adjunct Faculty at Saint Paul School of Theology
The Workshops included:
Organ Literature 1: Accessible Yet Praiseworthy Organ Literature
Rivals or a Team? The Art of Collaboration in the 21st Century (Pastor/Musician, Musician/Choir, Organist/Praise Band, Staff/Congregation)
Organ plus One: Cultivating and Encouraging Instrumentalists From Within Your Congregation and From Without
Organ Literature 2: Advancing Steps for Sunday Morning
Hymn Playing for Beginners I: Adapting to the Organ from Piano
The Art of Practice: Unleashing Productivity and Creativity for a Lifetime of Music Making
Choral Workshop 1: Help! I’m Suddenly a Choir Director
Hymn Playing for Beginners II: Interpreting the Text as Only Organists Can Do
Conversations and Legacies: Exploring Late 20th Century American Organ Pedagogy Through Oral History
Unleash Your Potential: A Plan for Improving Organist Skills (Steps Toward AGO Certification)
Choral Workshop 2: Choral Music Magic
Recovering from the Worship Wars: The Church’s Voice of Song for a New Day
Results from this very successful event include: 36 new members to the AGO receiving 6 month free memberships, 91 Participants throughout the day, and over 130 individuals involved at the Jubilee including hosts, staff, and presenters!
Keynote speaker Jan Kraybill shared these observations:
As a presenter, an observer, a chapter member, and a former member of AGO’s national Committee on Musicians in Part-Time Employment, I am thrilled to report that today’s January Jubilee in Kansas City was a great success! Paul Erickson, who co-chaired the January Jubilee committee with chapter Dean Mary Davis, did a great job both of organizing the day and of getting the word out to chapter members and those unfamiliar with the Guild. The result was a fascinating and energizing mix of over 100 attendees and presenters who shared ideas and challenges throughout the day. I met students currently in the midst of degree work and retired members of our profession; keyboard musicians of various skillsets and styles; composers, choral directors, choir members, and clergy; and musicians serving in full-time and part-time positions in churches large and small.
After giving the keynote address during the opening worship, I had the pleasure the rest of the day to be a “floater” and observer of a portion of each of the workshops. I was very impressed with what I heard and saw. The high quality of the instructors and their class material made my only problem one of forcing myself to break away from one workshop to visit another! Each participant received all of the workshop handouts in the form of a 31-page January Jubilee booklet, so that even if one had to make a difficult decision between two or three workshop options in any one time period, we all left with all of the printed class resources. Having these in hand also provided an impetus for conversations with other attendees. The resulting “buzz” in the hallways and during lunch was exciting!
I am certain that this day, in which 36 new AGO members were welcomed into our chapter, is the beginning of a new and important step along our musical journey together. Thanks to all of the sponsors and to the AGO national organization for giving the Greater Kansas City chapter the opportunity to host one of the three January Jubilees this program year.
Comments from exit evaluations completed by attendees included:
"No AGO in my immediate area. This was like a breath of fresh air in January!"
"It is great to network and share stories and know others have had similar experiences."
"It was my great pleasure to meet Jan Kraybill. Her opening presentation was superb."
"I got helpful information on all of the workshops. My only regret was missing some of them I couldn't attend. I wish that this would be an annual event."
"The low price was a helpful motivator!"
"Loved the preprinted booklet with the materials to ALL of the sessions."
"Thank You! I would be interested in attending a similar event in the near future to avail myself of information presented in workshops that were held simultaneously with the ones I attended."
"Great job! Very hospitable environment."
"It was a full day, but we could use even LONGER sessions."
"Could not have been surpassed! Thank you."
"Too many good offerings overlapping! I couldn't choose!"
"This was so much more than I ever expected. There was not a single thing I attended that was not very worthwhile and which I wouldn't gladly attend again. I wanted to go to everything!"
"Choral workshop and Dr. Maglione were AMAZING. So wonderful to hear with a real choir!"
"I hope KCAGO does this every January."
"Fabulous! I learned so much and appreciate the effort the KCAGO chapter invested in this event."
"Would have been wonderful if every session could have been video recorded."
"I enjoyed meeting so many new people in my profession. It is motivation to improve."
"The keynote was so inspiring it brought tears on."
"Great idea and very welcoming to pianists."
Many Congratulations on a Job Well Done!!