The North Shore Chapter began the celebration of our 60th anniversary year on September 24th with a special service and installation of officers and board members entitled Through the Ages: A Service of Celebration Honoring the North Shore Chapter’s Heritage. It was held at First United Methodist Church in Evanston, a significant venue in the chapter’s history.
Carl Grapentine, of Chicago’s WFMT, provided commentary on the significant music, people, and remarkable history of the chapter. It was amazing to hear the stories and anecdotes that Steven Folkers, archivist, and Morgan Simmons had been able to bring to light to share at this event! The program was a veritable “who’s who” of North Shore history, featuring music of renowned chapter composers, such as Clarence Dickinson, Peter Christian Lutkin, Thomas Matthews, Morgan and Mary Simmons, Adrienne Tindall, and Austin Lovelace.
The tone of the program was set by the prelude, as we heard the strains of Widor’s Andante Sostenuto, from the Symphonie Gothique, played by Dr. William Aylesworth, a former dean. Currrent dean, Andrea Handley, welcomed everyone with thoughtful words of appreciation for the history and achievements of the chapter. Christine Kraemer of St. Luke’s Episcopal in Evanston expertly accompanied the choir and led hymns, as Brian Schoettler from First Methodist directed a community choir in the anthems and rousing hymn selections. Brian closed the program with his own postlude on “Praise to the Lord”.
Other participants included former deans, Jill Hunt and Leon Nelson, reading the New Testament reading and a Prayer of Remembrance, respectively. We were also honored to have Margaret McElwain Kemper, former dean and former President of the National AGO reading Psalm 150 and presiding for the installation of the board.
The enthusiastic participation in the singing was an inspiration to all. The capstone of the evening was an elegant reception in Glenna Hall, provided by Judy Kohl and Adrienne Tindall. The two amazing cakes, one with the chapter logo, the other with the national AGO logo, added to the festive environment. We were all so proud to be members of this wonderful organization, celebrating this gala year!
Kathy Roderer, board member