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The Dean’s Message April 2014


Dear Members and Friends,


Thank you to everyone who participated in and helped in the preparation of the Bach recital! It was a wonderful evening. I left the recital with some new ideas and am grateful for the presentation of Bach’s music. Thank you!


As a result of writing about the AGO Code of Professional Standards for last month’s newsletter, I have been thinking also about the AGO Code of Ethics. (It is included on page 5 of this newsletter for your convenience.) I recognize that

the vast majority of our chapter’s members are not professional church organists. However, I think there is value in and things to be learned from being familiar with the AGO Code of Ethics. I, for one, am quite impressed with the official Code of Ethics of this organization. Rule No. 5 states that “Members shall conduct professional activities with truthfulness, honesty and integrity, and shall maintain sensitivity in matters of a personal or confidential nature.” This statement reminds me of the Latter-day Saint Thirteenth Article of Faith: “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men. . . .” While we may not all be professional musicians or have the same religious affiliation, we should still apply these kinds of ethics to all of our dealings with others.


Recently, I was stopped in the hall at BYU by a high school student who was visiting. She informed me that she was preparing to sing for an event but did not have any vocal training. She wondered if I knew anything about singing that I could share with her, because she was concerned about injuring her vocal chords. I explained to her that even though I have had several years of voice lessons, have sung solos, and have conducted choirs, I am not a vocal professional. Knowing my background, she still wanted me to give her some advice. Seeing as I had been honest with her about my qualifications, or lack thereof, I felt comfortable sharing my limited knowledge with her.


This experience reminded me of another situation several years ago when I was approached about giving voice lessons. Can you believe that an individual wanted to pay me to teach them how to sing, even though they knew my limited background? Of course, I would not accept payment for such services, as I did not feel like that would be ethical. However, I was very willing to coach the individual with the little knowledge that I had.


I am certain that all of us have run into these kinds of situations. I am equally certain that our chapter members

conduct themselves with a great deal of honesty and integrity. I do not mean to imply otherwise. Nevertheless, I think it is healthy for all of us to periodically evaluate ourselves and see if there is some small way in which we might improve. I have recently looked at myself and found something that I could do better at. I invite you to do the same.

It is a pleasure to associate with all of you. Thank you for being such good people!


Most sincerely,




·        April 2014 Newsletter