The old year now has passed away;
we thank you, O our God, today
that you have kept us through the year
when danger and distress were near.

Until this year, I have found the German chorale Das alte Jahr vergangen ist very perplexing. The text, which is a prayer of thanksgiving, has a melancholic bent to it which Bach so masterfully conveys in his setting found in the Orgelbüchlein (BWV 614). Take a couple minutes to listen to this recording and follow along with the score ( We all can relate to the recurring chromatic gesture in the accompaniment. 2021 was a year of ups and downs, risings and fallings, essentially moving in tiny steps along the way. Yet again, most of us are pondering what 2022 might bring. My New Year question for you is this: How can the Clearwater Chapter of the American Guild of Organists remain relevant and engaging in 2022?

A familiar concept we became accustomed to in 2021 was “supply chain disruptions.“ It has finally caught up with the organ industry. Our members recital originally scheduled for February 6, 2022 will now take place on April 24 (the second Sunday of Easter). What an exciting opportunity to dedicate this new instrument with your favorite Easter prelude or postlude!

Our Musical Twelve Days of Christmas has been a success. As of this writing on the fifth day of Christmas, the five videos published thus far have a total viewership of nearly 350. Thank you again to all performers for such wonderful recordings. Invite friends and family to tune in to our YouTube channel each night at 5pm thru January 5 (

Best wishes for a healthy and musical 2022,
Shawn Thomas, Dean