Kansas City: Day 2

Everyone has a different convention experience... this is mine!

8:00am: Tech & Planning

I'll be honest: this morning was less than glamorous. Even though I am away at the AGO convention, life back home moves along and Sunday waits for no (wo)man! So planning was the name of the game. (Yes... I should have done that before I left town. I know I know!)


In addition, I was finishing up yesterday's blog post and working on a promo video for Wednesday's Northeast Regional Meeting & BREAKFAST... Did I mention there's free breakfast?! You should come! We're going to show this video during the meeting to give people a taste of the 2019 Buffalo/Niagara convention. But what-the-hey, I'll embed it here, too!

3:30pm: Bach Vespers

Less than 24 hours later, we have the pleasure of hearing Spire Chamber Ensemble again! This time performing with the Spire Baroque Orchestra at Visitation Catholic Church, the performance was as bouyant as last night’s was ethereal yet no less moving. 

The first motet Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied  (Sing to the Lord a New Song), was jubilant. The athletic singing in no way got in the way of the soaring lines and generous phrases. 

Spire Chamber Ensemble at Visitation Church

Spire Chamber Ensemble at Visitation Church

Here’s my question: is there anything more transcendent than a perfect Bach chorale? Methinks not! 

6:00pm: Dinner & a meeting! 

I had the fun opportunity to sit down with a couple of our AGOYO members (that’s American Guild of Organists Young Organists) and talk about how we can best serve our younger (under 30 members) in finding community within our organization. I remember being a young organist, about 14 or so, and knowing only one other organist my age. He was such a source of inspiration to me but it felt like we were both missing out on the wider community. Not until I started my undergraduate studies did I find the joy of sharing in what you do with a whole group of people! AGOYO is in the unique position of being able to foster that amazing feeling for so many younger organists who might not have any organist peers in their area. 

7:00 Vincent Dubois @ St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church


This organ recital featured a world premiere (the convention is stock full of them!) by Cecilia McDowall titled O Antiphon Sequence. It’s seven movements “is structured on one of the seven notes of the diatonic scale in a ‘circle of fifths’ formation and each movement is a response to a short extract of the [corresponding] O Antiphon text.”


8:30pm: Douglas Cleveland @ Village Presbyterian Church 

There were two highlights in this wonderful program: David Briggs' Tierces from his "Four Concert Etudes" and Pamela Decker's world premiere of Seven Last Words and Triumph of Christ. 

I swear that after Mr. Briggs piece, you could see the organ smoking! Mr. Cleveland put it through its paces and showed off a remarkable technique and control. Now excuse me while I go find a copy of that...

The Seven Last Words and Triumph of Christ was performed with a quartet of contemporary dancers. Performing first in dark raspberry and then changing to brilliant white for the triumphant toccata, the dancers enriched the music and added depth and visual interest to the storytelling. 


(Hopefully) off to be early with me tonight... go to get ready for the 8:00am regional meeting tomorrow! I do hope you're coming... there are door prizes! (Including a free registration to next year's regional convention in Buffalo!)