August 2022 – Spreckels Organ Society Member and Benefactor Updates
by Gordon Stanley, VP, Spreckels Organ Society
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is quoted as saying, “the only constant in life is change”, and that certainly describes things here at Spreckels Organ Society. Having shared Spreckels Organ Society Vice President, Gordon Stanley's interview with Copper Magazine here previously, Gordon offered some updates on organization activities, members and our many benefactors.
Gordon Stanley / Recording Updates: In parts 3 and 4 of the Copper Magazine article, we referenced the addition of new recording equipment acquired thanks to the generosity of members of the Spreckels Organ Society Board of Trustees. In the 12 months since the article was published, we have received all of the Merging Technology – Pyramix equipment, and have embarked on the journey of learning its rather complex operation. Additionally, we have purchased new stands, new cables, and spent an additional $15,000 in DPA microphones and mounts. These upgrades will extend the quality of our recordings, and give us the opportunityto produce immersive audio (5-channel, 7-channel, and Dolby Atmos object-oriented sound) recordings.
Spreckels Organ Society is in the final phases of establishing relationships with two music publishing companies, and these will be announced once the contracts are complete. Needless to say, these agreements will greatly expand the reach of our recordings, on both a national and global basis. Spreckels Organ Society is also examining the idea of offering keepsake live recordings following our special event performances.
In the summer of 2022, Spreckels Organ Society renewed our partnership with the American Guild of Organists to award four educational scholarships to up-and-coming student organists. We have expanded our Education Outreach committee to include new members, and a new and energetic committee chair, Elisabeth Jacobson. As a K-8 school teacher, Elisabeth's expertise will help us to ensure that our programs are aligned with state teaching requirements. We plan to test new program content this fall, which will be fine-tuned prior to seeking grant funding. Arts and education grants enable us to expand sharing the gift of live music to students throughout all 42 school districts in San Diego County.
San Diego International Summer Organ Festival:
This year marked our 34th annual Summer Organ Festival. The theme, “A Tribute to Women in Music”, featured women musicians and composers, who have historically experienced second-class status in the ranks of professional musicians. Like other arts organizations who are still suffering the lingering effects of the COVID pandemic, this summer's attendance has been somewhat lower than previous years. That said, our audiences have been warm, generous and grateful for the return of live music. They have also been very receptive to this summer's theme. Media and social media coverage has been substantial, with live radio interviews, news articles, and feature stories. This exposure will go a long way towards restoring our Summer 2023 audiences.
This summer we hired an office administrator to work alongside our past president and other trustees to update our behind-the-scenes processes. We have migrated to online banking, updated our membership and board software systems, and reorganized our 2nd floor House of Hospitality office - all with the goal of improving office management efficiency.
Members and donors are already beginning to reap the benefits of these automation updates. Spreckels Organ Society has evolved to a rolling 12-month membership renewal program. Members who join or renew in August may sign up for automatic renewal, or maintain the current manual renewal process, with automatic renewal reminders sent the following August, either way. For most, this will eliminate membership renewal reminders during the holiday rush. The new software makes donation management more seamless for our members, including the automatic distribution of tax documents and acknowledgments. This technology also allows our membership committee to launch smaller, more focused campaigns, which in turn allows our members to focus their giving in the areas they choose to support.
In addition to the future focused initiatives mentioned in part 3 of the Copper Magazine article, Spreckels Organ Society will be experimenting with new members benefits, special memberships focused on our out-of-state and international donors, and seasonal giving campaigns focused on continuing our drive to fully funded endowments. These endowments will be among the most important activities for Spreckels Organ Society over the next 5-10 years, with the goal of fortifying our future, and ensuring that the vast majority of our day-to-day contributions go directly to fund music programs.
Greatly Expanded Volunteer Opportunities:
In an effort to provide clear job expectations for our essential and valued volunteer members, Spreckels Organ Society trustees have committed several months to the completion of clear and comprehensive officer, chair, volunteer and committee job descriptions for more than 30 specific areas. There has never been a better time for dedicated individuals who wish to contribute their treasure, time, and talent to join us. Volunteer opportunities will soon be published here, on our website, where interested individuals can review and apply. All applications will be vetted by volunteer members of the personnel committee. Qualified applicants will be contacted by the appropriate committee chairs, with invitations to join our ranks. New volunteers participate in a Spreckels Organ Society Volunteer orientation, are invited to join as supporting members, are eligible to participate in exclusive volunteer/society member events, and are welcome to join other committees, as well as stand for election as an officer involved in the governance of the society.
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