Past Dean’s Columns

March 2018
The Celebration Continues!

Andrea Handley

Since last September we have been celebrating our 60th anniversary as a chapter. We honored our past through a worship service to begin our season, where we featured music written by members of our chapter, and heard... Read More ...

February 2018
New and Improved Chapter Directory!

Andrea Handley

Finally, we have posted the long-awaited and hot-off-the-press updated chapter directory!  Find it from the home page of our website by clicking on the About Us tab.  Please note that we have streamlined this process now and will be updating the directory regularly... Read More ...

January 2018
Dean's Column

A very happy new year to you all!  If you’re a typical organist, you’re heaving a bit of a sigh of relief at this point, having a mountain of extra rehearsals and services for another Advent/Christmas season behind you. Welcome, “Ordinary Time”, in more ways than... Read More ...

December 2017
The 60th Anniversary Fun Continues

Andrea Handley

We have now had two incredible programs in our 60th anniversary season. Scroll down – after reading this, of course – to see a review of Janette Fishell’s thoughtfully planned and beautifully executed recital at Millar Chapel on November 10, and then read... Read More ...

November 2017
Thoughts on History

Andrea Handley

After the wonderful opening program of our 60th anniversary season in September, I went home thinking about the role of ‘history’ in our lives. As I looked around the room that day, I saw people who have just recently become part of my... Read More ...

October 2017
Two Successes as we Begin our 60th Season

Andrea Handley

Our 60th anniversary season is off to a wonderful start. First, we had an inspiring worship service at First United Methodist Church of Evanston this past Sunday evening, which you will read more about as you scroll down. It was filled with evidence... Read More ...

September 2017
60th Anniversary Season Kick-Off!

Andrea Handley

Well, we’ve said goodbye to another summer, schools are starting, choirs are starting, and we’ll all be in full swing hurtling toward Christmas before we know it. And our 2017-18 North Shore 60th Anniversary season of programs begins this month, too!

We are very... Read More ...

July 2017
End of a Season, Start of Another

Andrea Handley

We’ve completed our last program of our 2016-17 season, had our final board meeting saying goodbye to retiring board members and welcoming new ones.  And we have a fantastic season to look forward to next year – our 60th anniversary as a chapter!

We... Read More ...

June 2017
Happy Summer!

Andrea Handley

Happy summer! Finally, after enduring cold and windy weather for what felt like forever, we have some gorgeous sun and perfect temperatures.  Appreciate, because as we all know, soon enough we’ll be sweating and turning on the AC….

We have four new board members... Read More ...

May 2017
To-Do's from the Dean

Andrea Handley

Several reminders from the Dean this month:

  1. It’s time to vote! The Dean’s Column last month included bios of all of the candidates for office for this coming year, as well as a link to vote. Having neglected to include a deadline, it appears... Read More ...

April 2017

Andrea Handley

If you like Rubik’s cubes, you’re going to love this Dean’s Column…

This year, the task of our nominating committee should have been quite simple: to find four candidates for board positions.  Three positions are three-year terms, to replace the retiring board members this year... Read More ...

March 2017
Smorgasbord of News!

Andrea Handley

This month’s Dean’s Column is a smorgasbord of important news items for our membership:

  1. Plans for the Chicago area memorial service for Dick Enright are evolving. The service will be Tuesday, May 9, at 7:00pm at Fourth Presbyterian Church (126 E. Chestnut, Chicago).  See our... Read More ...

February 2017
In Memory of a Special Founding Member

The board of the North Shore Chapter has begun planning our next season of programs. It’s always an exciting thing to have a blank slate and brainstorm about programs that will meet the needs and desires of our membership. And this year’s planning is particularly exciting as next season will... Read More ...

January 2017
Ordinary Time, Take 2

Andrea Handley

We had a wonderful Epiphany party last night!  (Read more in the Recent Event Review.)  Also take particular note of the Other News section this month – there’s a lot of important information there about various items.

My husband, the preacher, has always been... Read More ...

December 2016
A New Chapter Initiative

Andrea Handley

Your NSAGO board met last month, and discovered that our recent attention to rebuilding our efforts in the area of chapter scholarships dovetails beautifully with the recent national AGO initiative that I wrote about last month in the Dean’s Column – the Committee... Read More ...

November 2016
The 'New Organist' Initiative

Andrea Handley

My dean’s message this month is actually a message from Isabelle Demers – a request I received in an email from her a few days ago on behalf of the newly formed AGO Committee on New Organists:

Dear chapter deans,

Andrea Handley

In a few short days, we begin our 2016-17 program season with a long-anticipated and exciting program by Vincent DuBois, from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. This program is part of the 150th anniversary of the birth of... Read More ...

September 2016
Here We Go Again!

Andrea Handley

There is definitely a cyclical feel to our work, isn’t there? The major change that takes place in most of our lives in September has little to do with the liturgical year, as it falls right in the middle of ‘ordinary time’. But... Read More ...

July 2016
Tasks for the Summer

Hope you are all enjoying your summer. Not only travel, but hopefully a chance to practice more and plan some exciting things for this coming year at the organ!

Royce Eckhardt, Andrea Handley, and Lee Nelson

We just had our final board meeting last night till... Read More ...

June 2016
Happy Summer

Andrea Handley

Here we are at the beginning of what is, for most of us, a little lighter schedule for a few months. It’s always nice to have this bit of down-time, but it’s also nice that fall is also always exciting to look forward... Read More ...

May 2016
Election time!

Andrea Handley

It’s that time of year again!  This year, we are replacing 2 people who will be completing their 3-year terms on the board:  Lee Nelson and Royce Eckhardt.  Thanks to both Lee and Royce, who have added their ideas, energy, and humor to the... Read More ...

April 2016
A New Feature on Our Website!

Andrea Handley

Some of you may notice that while we have had a Calendar tab on the homepage of our website, it’s been pretty empty up till now. Well, no longer!  We’ve finally gotten up and running with the Calendar feature.  So when you click... Read More ...

March 2016
Five Fantastic Reasons to Play the Organ

Andrea Handley

Frequently as organists, we find ourselves being made to feel as if we’re dinosaurs in the musical arena. This article will make you feel good about the future of our instrument.  Statements such as: “The organ is probably in the best place it’s... Read More ...

February 2016

Some of you may have seen this picture; it’s made the rounds on Facebook again in recent months. While some of these things may not apply to you specifically, I think we can all agree that we could also come up with a few more of these!

I know I could... Read More ...

January 2016
Time to Breathe

Andrea Handley

We’ve all taken a deep breath, I’m sure, as we’ve finished our December madness and put away all the Advent and Christmas music for another year.  And we have a short time to breathe before a very early Lent begins this year! ... Read More ...

December 2015
December challenge

Andrea Handley

As we all face collectively hundreds of rehearsals, services and concerts in the coming week, I ask you all to consider adding one quick thing to your to-do list.  Invite a non-AGO friend or a non-active AGO friend to come with you... Read More ...

November 2015
Spring Cleaning Continues!

Andrea Handley

After responses from many of you correcting outdated or missing information (thank you!), we’ve just posted the new and improved chapter directory! Find it at the following link: or in the About Us/Member Directory section of our website.  You can... Read More ...

October 2015
A Message from the Sub-Dean

Sharon R. Peterson

North Shore Chapter members are invited to recommend students to play on Sat., Nov. 7, at the Getting Off On the Right Foot Master Class Maggie Kemper is teaching.  The event will take place at Presbyterian Homes’ Elliott Chapel, 3131 Simpson, Evanston,... Read More ...

September 2015
A New Season Begins!

Andrea Handley

The following is the Mission Statement found on the national website of the American Guild of Organists:

The mission of the American Guild of Organists is to enrich lives through organ and choral music. To achieve this, we:

August 2015
Spring Cleaning in August

Jay Peterson and I have been using these summer months to do some ‘cleaning up’ of our member roster information. We have several databases with regard to our membership – ONCARD, our local directory, and our email blast list. As we worked through each meticulously, numerous conflicts were apparent. We... Read More ...

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