The AGO has been important to all of us for a variety of reasons. It presents concerts and workshops, and it also gives us an opportunity to participate in them. Church work can be a lonely occupation (I have done it for 61 years). Much time must be spent alone at the organ and in researching choral music and attending to many, many other aspects of our jobs. We also must work with a variety of challenging people: clergy and congregations, who may have very differing opinions and tastes about what we are doing musically, and who do not hesitate to express them. The AGO brings us together, rubbing shoulders with colleagues, and sometimes giving us intellectual and emotional support when needed.
I studied piano and dance in Philadelphia as a youngster. I became fascinated with the organ when I discovered you could make a crescendo and a diminuendo on it with a pedal, something you could not do on a piano. I also experienced an exciting reed organ in an old house on a mountain top in the Berkshires! I went on to major in organ at Juilliard, Syracuse University, and the University of Iowa. Originally I thought I was going to be a dancer, but I ended up dancing on the organ pedals, and it sure has been fun!