“It’s been a year like no other.” Like many of you, I’m sure, I’ve said this in one form or another more times than I can count over the last 18 months. It’s often been hard to remain hopeful during times of such loss, suffering, and uncertainty. Just like every other church, concert hall, restaurant, and business, the Houston Chapter of the American Guild of Organists was not immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and we were faced with the new challenge of how to move forward in a safe, yet engaging way. We adapted to the best of our abilities and were able to shift our focus, offering virtual content such as organ tours, recitals, and reading sessions to keep our community engaged and supported. I was so proud, not only of the people that made these virtual events happen behind the scenes but also of the overwhelming response from chapter members wanting to participate as well. There were so many submissions for the Members Recital alone that we had enough material for two full-length programs!
If there’s one thing that we’ve learned as a result of the last year and a half (or at least were painfully reminded of) it’s the power of music. Music is a rock for so many of us and I think many, myself included, didn’t realize how much we took it for granted. It has the ability to lift our spirits and bring hope and comfort even in the most challenging of times – things that people need desperately right now. I believe that we as a community are charged with doing everything in our power to preserve this most precious gift of music. So, with that in mind, the Houston Chapter decided to establish a new concert series that seeks to offer hope, encouragement, and inspiration to our community. Each concert on the inaugural season will feature not only brilliant musicians and performances but also music composed during or in response to challenging events and will seek to enliven and inspire. It’s my hope that you will take a close look at the season’s events and attend as often as you are able. I have no doubt you will come away feeling inspired and hopeful about the future, our future.
So, let’s make this a year like no other.
Dean, Houston Chapter