The renaissance of the Kotzschmar Organ continues! Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better than the September 2014 re-dedication of the refurbished organ, we recently experienced our new organist, James Kennerley, who brought a level of thoughtfulness and energy that exceeded all expectations (and we had high expectations). So after a month of patting ourselves on the back, it is time to take an inventory. We have a world class instrument that is in tip top shape, and we have a new municipal organist who brings artistry, buzz, and connectivity beyond our traditional core audience. We have accomplished most of our aggressive goals. So a huge thank you is in order to our Board, Advisory Board, friends, supporters and donors.

By now you are sensing that there is something else – a goal yet to be realized. Yes, and this may be the most challenging goal: Increase the awareness, increase the audience size, and the level of support for the organ. We have to get our message out to an expanded audience. For our traditional concerts, we can count on 300 of our core audience to attend no matter what. But we firmly believe that this organ, and this organist, and this venue should draw a diverse audience of 1,000+. We will continue to honor the traditional organ music that we all know, best expressed by the music of JS Bach. But we will build and experiment to move that needle to a more healthy and sustainable attendance number. There are several way you can help.

First, attend our events. Do this even when you are not sure if your favorites will be played. The programming will be compelling, and the execution will be artistic and professional, whether it is James, or a gifted guest organist at the console.

Second, let us know what you are thinking. We traditionally had only limited abilities to connect with our audience. That will change for the better eventually, but in the meantime, reach out to us.

Third, be open minded as we look to broaden the following of the organ with interesting guests and creative collaborations. In Maine we are blessed to have access to a vibrant cultural
scene. You can depend on us for a 1st class performance with professional artists, who are putting on a live event for you. Bring a friend. I want to assure you that you can with confidence, tell them that they should set aside their pre-conceived notions. A Kotzschmar event is a worthwhile investment of your time.

Tom Cattell

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