Dean’s Letter

September 27, 2021

CFAGO members,

Our chapter’s plans have been in probably the same amount of flux as all of our churches’. Our board meetings in the summer were looking optimistically at revitalizing the chapter program offerings and at bringing in a guest organist. However, as soon as August came, the COVID situation took another turn of concern, forcing the board to reexamine the tentative plans we were making for this program year.

That being said, our recent board meetings have decided to offer programs, acknowledging that for some, in-person gatherings are not in the cards yet. We have decided against an in-person opening banquet as had been customary pre-COVID. Instead, we had looked at making the Spooktacular such an occasion at Orlando Lutheran Towers. As many of you might be aware, the Towers is working on fixing the organ. Coupled with the limitation of guests, it is not feasible to have our annual Spooktacular at OLT this year.

Fortunately, All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Winter Park has been gracious enough to host us this year, albeit a week earlier than usual. We will offer the Spooktacular on October 19th at 7pm. This earlier date is to accommodate the All Saints’ schedule as well as avoid the days when most of us have choir rehearsals.

All participants and attendees to this Concert are encouraged to wear a “friendly” costume, as been our custom over the past few years.

Last year’s concert, which was pre-recorded and available on YouTube, had a low viewership. In light of all the time and effort that was put into presenting a virtual concert, we will have the Spooktacular solely in person. The board and I understand that for some, in-person gatherings are in some people’s comfort level yet. However, we would prefer to offer in-person opportunities rather than assume the comfort level of chapter members.

If you are interested in playing for this concert, please contact our Sub-Dean, Charlene Cranmer. In order to make sure we can arrange practice time, it would be extremely helpful to have participants finalized by October 11th

Looking further into the program year, we are looking at at least two additional offerings. Tentatively set for 21 February, we are looking at having a virtual workshop on hymn arrangements. The clinician, Vernon Williams, is based out of New Jersey and only offers this workshop on Zoom.2022 marks the 200th birthday of Caesar Franck. To commemorate, we are looking at having a Franck concert in early to mid-March at The Cathedral Church of St. Luke. This program would be a members’ recital of solely Franck organ pieces. Confirmation of this date will be determined shortly.

There are two recent developments that chapter members should be aware of:

1) We have two open member-at-large positions. Since I was elected dean last year, I have appointed two members due to resignations, as is allowed in our bylaws. Given that I would be appointing four of the six members-at-large, I think it appropriate to have a chapter election to fill these two vacant positions, in lieu of me appointing more members. Therefore, if any members who like to put their name forward for consideration, I invite you to email me. It would be ideal to have an election completed so that any new members might be installed at the Spooktacular. In order to make this feasible, I’m asking names be submitted to me by October 14. This would allow a reasonably quick turn to form an election, which would be available for membership voting over the course of the weekend and early week.

2) Our website is in the process of reimagining. We are looking to have event dates/times/places on the front page of our website. A third party has been contracted to give the website a new look as well as assist in reorganizing and making the website easier to manage. Our yearly directory is available only through the website and behind the members’ area. Some may recall receiving an email months ago with a password to enter the members’ area. If you have forgotten this password, please contact anyone on the board.

We are keeping the directory behind a password so that random people do not have access to our address, phone numbers, and emails.

We now have at least some type of a roadmap for the fall semester. Hopefully, the COVID situation and the restrictions that we are all under will be gradually lifted, making programming easier to make more than a month or so in advance. 

Michael Petrosh, Dean