Magazine article The American Organist

Chapter Newsletters-Truly Inspiring!

Magazine article The American Organist

Chapter Newsletters-Truly Inspiring!

Article excerpt

Whether published in hard copy or transmitted electronically, AGO chapter newsletters are valuable communication tools that connect Guild members with their chapters, colleagues, and communities. Jennifer Madden, the AGO's manager of membership and administration, reviews all chapter newsletters that AGO Headquarters receives, highlighting important information that enables us to update our national records and stay abreast of significant news and developments affecting Guild members at the local level. This month, I have invited Jenny to share her thoughts about some of the common threads found in the best of the newsletters.

JAMES E. THOMASHOWER

Executive Director

As Manager of Membership and Administration, one of my responsibilities is to review the chapter newsletters that are sent to AGO National Headquarters. When I first realized 1 had to do this, I was quite nervous. I had observed the mounting number of newsletters that were on the front desk in our office and I thought to myself, "I have to go through all of these? What a task! I'm sure they're all the same and merely mention dates of upcoming recitals. Is this productive?"

Well, I can easily say that this task has quickly become one of my favorites, and I find it truly inspiring! I had no idea of the amount of work that chapters are putting into the creation of their newsletters and the wealth of information that is provided. From the titles to the departments listed, each newsletter is a source of fresh content. They are mini works of art! I cannot possibly begin to acknowledge all the many ideas I have discovered by reviewing newsletters, but I will mention a few that I have found particularly creative.

1. Many chapters have given their newsletters catchy titles: For example, the Queens Chapter calls their newsletter Crescendo; the Dayton, Ohio Chapter: The Trumpetings; Prairie Lakes Chapter: Pedal Point; Merrimack Valley: Swell 2 Great. Titles like these grab the reader's attention.

2. The Dean's Column is an excellent way to begin a newsletter and provides an opportunity for the dean to give an overview of the newsletter or relay personal notes of encouragement to fellow members. The nine tips provided last fall by past dean Jason Charneski of the Greater Hartford Chapter for making rehearsals run as smoothly as possible were great!

3. Providing a section to welcome new members is a wonderful idea. Many chapters just list new members' names each month, but how about devoting an entire section to one new member a month? This can make someone new feel special and give other members a chance to know more about this person.

4. Always provide a list of upcoming events with plenty of advance notice. …

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