PipeChat Digest #440 - Friday, July 3, 1998
AGO Convention Finale X-POSTED
  by "David Scribner" <david@blackiris.com>

(back) Subject: AGO Convention Finale X-POSTED From: David Scribner <david@blackiris.com> Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 01:08:31 -0500   The 44th National AGO Convention is now history. After this evening's closing program I really had to share with all of you some of the high-jinks that happened.   The title of the program was : The End of the Millennium (as We Know It) since this is the last AGO national before the new millennium. And the theme was that with the millennium coming up we are all going to run out of time so we will need to take short cuts to fit everything in.   To set the stage I need to explain that the program was at the Paramont Theatre which contains its original WurliTzer with a Master and a Slave console. The two consoles became important later in the program.   The program started with Michael Barone, of Pipedreams fame, playing an abridged version of the National Anthem totaling 8 measures, 4 at the beginning and 4 at the end!!   That was followed by what was titled "The World's Shortest Theatre Organ Concert" played by Robert Castle and Joel Kramer at the two consoles. Actually this was longer than some of the other parts of the program.   Following the presentation of the various awards Robert Castle accompanied the Laurel and Hardy silent "Big Business"   Following a very brief appearance on stage of Maggie Kemper, outgoing President and Ed Hansen outgoing VP the program continued with the appearance of the Mistress of abbreviated programming herself, Dame Gillian Weir!! Dame Weir appeared in what looked, from where I was sitting, like an over sized Tee Shirt and warm-up pants with a very long bedsheet train attached to the tee shirt. The end of the train was carried by Phillip Hann, the new AGO President. If that wasn't outragious enough, Dame Weir sat down at the WurliTzer and did a very abridged vesion of some M.essiaen!! The audience went wild!!   Then the group Chanticleer performed several sprituals and popular songs.   The next section was a "Star-Studded Salute to Improvisation". It consisted of 6 organists doing an improvisation in the syle of an Olympic Tag Team Event. The new Executive Director of the Guild was the time keeper and the improvisation started on one console and then went to the other, back and forth. But the most interesting part of it was the members of the two teams. Team one, on the Master console started with McNiell Robinson followed by Marie-Louise Langlais and Naji Hakim!! The other team started with David Hurd. Unfortunately I couldn't understand thru the crowd noise the names of the other two members of the second team. And it ended with Mcneill and Naji both at the Master console and David aand another of the members of his team at the slave console - 8 hands and 8 feet going at once. I doubt if that poor WurliTzer has ever had a workout as it did tonight! Of all of the team members, Hakin seemed to be having the most fun and did his section in a TO style. The audience LOVED the whole business.   Following the introduction and thank you's to the members of the Denver Convention Committee, David Higgs and Chantileer did the closing based on the Strauss "Also Sprach...." with the group singing A G O on the three opening notes and then David playing the massive chords while the audience did a "wave" across the auditorium.   Although there were many good, actually excellent performances during the course of the week, tonight's programs was worth the convention registration price alone!!   David