After three years of planning, the 2013 convention of Region VII of the American Guild of Organists brought 120 registered and no doubt additional single-day attendees to Austin, and though I wasn’t able to attend every event, it was a pleasure to hear Isabelle Demers and Scott Montgomery for the first time, as well as to hear Ken Cowan again, and to hear fine new works by Rachel Laurin, Michael Bedford, Thomas Pavlechko, and Paul Keith commissioned for the occasion. The works of Laurin and fellow Canadian Raymond Daveluy were new to me, and well worth investigating further.
The convention was also a welcome reminder that Austin is home to more beautiful and acoustically friendly churches than those in which Austinites regularly hear concerts. I particularly enjoyed working in the University Christian Church and am grateful to the people and staff of that congregation for their generous hospitality in hosting our three Evening Prayer services. Central Christian is another architectural and acoustical treasure that we were fortunately able to feature.