Today is Election Day in America, and I know I wrote earlier that I was a political junkie, but even I will be glad to be out from under the barrage of political advertising on television, radio, newspapers, direct and electronic mail, and even social networks. There’s been no letup for months and months of campaigning and some people wish that campaigning would be limited to the 60 days before the election.
Well, guess what. I’m running for office, too! No, I’m not the change candidate — I’m in fact the incumbent after a two-year term as Vice-President of Region 4 of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM). You can vote if you are a member of this professional organization of choir directors, organists and pastors and live in the western United States or Canada. The extent of my campaigning was to submit a picture, bio and vision statement and yesterday, members were sent an email message with a link for online voting. (Yes, our election is completely electronic!)
Hey! it would be fun to actually make campaign promises for this job! How about this: If I am elected, I promise to push through a law mandating a fine pipe organ in every church! I promise health care and benefits to all! I promise to raise all organist salaries by 50%! I will outlaw all canned music in churches!
Sorry, just kidding, of course! As I recall, I didn’t make any campaign promises two years ago when I ran for office, so no one can accuse me of not doing my job! I was just pleasantly surprised to have won the election.
I thought you might be interested to see what kind of competition I’m running against this time:
Candidates for Vice-President:
Kathy Crosier (incumbent) and Omaldo Perez
Kathy Crosier started piano lessons at age four with her mother as her first teacher. At age thirteen she began organ lessons and was immediately mesmerized by “The King of Instruments.” She studied with French virtuoso, Marcel Dupré, after high school, then obtained a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California and a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College, both in Organ Performance.
This year Kathy will be retiring after nearly 35 years of service as Organist of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. In addition she has served as Chapel Organist of Iolani School, an Episcopal day school, for the last 18 years. Kathy is active in the American Guild of Organists, Hawaii Chapter, having served several terms as Dean; General Chair and Program Chair for two regional conventions. She has been a member of ALCM since 1987 and has played the organ at regional and national conferences. Kathy has a special interest in teaching organ to young children and continues to maintain a busy teaching schedule.
Vision: As an ALCM member for the past 25 years, I have found the organization to be an invaluable resource of creative inspiration, musical education and collegiality. I have learned so much from my ALCM colleagues at regional and national conferences, and through its professional publications. This past year I had the great privilege of co-chairing the Planning Committee for the Region 4 Conference in Thousand Oaks, CA and was happy to share my graphic skills for the brochure. I would welcome the opportunity to continue to give back to the organization which has given so much to me.
Omaldo Perez is the Director of Music Ministries at First Lutheran Church of Richmond Beach in Shoreline, WA. Omaldo has been at FLRB since October 2009. There he leads and prepares all the ensembles and is responsible for the liturgy and the hymnody. He created a concert series that averages ten concerts a year; and teaches musical rudiments to the children of the FLRB preschool.
He has been working as a musician in the Lutheran tradition since 2001 and became a member of ALCM in 2003. He has lived and/or served in churches in NY, NJ and AZ. As a singer, he performed regularly with the Wagner College Choir under the direction of his friend and mentor Dr. Roger Wesby, in Staten Island, NY. He is also a member of The Esoterics, one of Seattle’s premier choral groups.
Vision: Omaldo is enthusiastic about developing creative relationships and is always looking for interesting opportunities to collaborate with his fellow musicians. If chosen to serve in the capacity of VP, he will assist the president and focus on developing rapport with our region’s members as well as nurture ways in which to better connect our region’s musicians.
May the best man or woman win!