I’ve just gotten back from Kansas City, Missouri.
The occasion: the 2018 biennial national convention of the American Guild of Organists.
It was a wonderful convention.
Highlights are numerous, but include Todd Wilson’s recital at the Community of Christ (Reformed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) Temple in Independence, Missouri…. James Higdon’s recital at KU in Lawrence, Kansas, followed by Edoardo Bellotti’s masterclass on the same campus…. the opening and closing concerts at the amazing Kauffman Center in downtown KC….
…and for some brilliant and insightful workshops, especially the one on Langlais.
…and yes, the gazpacho at Unforked in the Crown Center. Incredible stuff. I could have cried when I got to the bottom of my bowl.
…and the chance to meet so many colleagues, younger and older than myself, who have an interest in certification. I was deeply honored to be able to encourage several of them to take the plunge. I was just as honored to meet some long-time leadership and role models.
…and the two continental breakfasts I was honored to host, for certificated members and for professors of organ.
…and the reception for Indiana alumni. Best refreshments ever!
…and for the amazing BBQ dinner on Wednesday, and the astounding Art Deco majesty of the Music Hall. Not for nothing is KC called the Paris of the Plains.
…and for the honor of speaking at the national meeting, albeit under difficult circumstances–the scheduled speaker, my “boss” in the Guild and a good friend and colleague, was called home very suddenly. I was glad to step in but would of course have greatly preferred, for his sake, that the necessity hadn’t arisen.
…and for the pleasure of speaking with music publishers from the US and abroad, including the nice folks at Carus, Bärenreiter and Breitkopf und Härtel, and the great vintage bins, and the carillon guy (I loved trying out the digital carillon!), and the many other booths and vendors.
…and for the St. Cecilia Reception after the closing ceremony. What a delicious spread that was! (I mean, really: free wine, not to mention fig-jam-and-brie crostini, deviled eggs, crab cakes, and chicken-dijon puff pastries, and WHITE CHOCOLATE LEMON COOKIES. I only skipped the deviled eggs because, by definition, my church makes the best on earth.)
…and for the pleasure of some excellent company at the KC airport.
A slight drawback was a substantial layover in Philadelphia on the way home, involving me in no little expense for a dinner in the airport. Still, what the hell.
This morning at church I played all organ pieces that I have only just encountered this week. They included pieces by John S. Dixon, Al Fedak, and…wait for it…
no, really, wait…
Emperor Ferdinand III of Austria.
I love this industry.