From the President — December 2016

[one_third] [/one_third] [two_third_last]It is a privilege for me to serve as the newly installed leader of the group entrusted with such an incredible cultural gem, the Kotzschmar Organ. It is a force of both nature and of humankind’s creative genius.

As many of you know, Ray Cornils has been our municipal organist for the past 26 years. He announced his upcoming retirement earlier this year, and there is now one year to go — one year to appreciate all that he brings to the vibrant musical and cultural landscape in Maine. Luckily, that means two (2) more Christmas with Cornils performances: one right now (December 20th 2016) and one more a year from now in December 2017.

It is FOKO’s job to care for the organ, to keep presenting relevant performances for the public, and to employ and manage the municipal organist. Since Ray has given us a long lead time for his retirement, now 12 months away, we can be very thoughtful about who we hire, and how we describe the job.

Last month we created a search committee, consisting of FOKO board members and “at large” community members. We have now had two meetings in which we have been looking at the job description with the thought that it needs to reflect our needs 10–20 years in the future. It is akin to a strategic planning process. There is nothing more important in front of us than this process of hiring a new municipal organist. We are giving it the thought and effort that you, our audience, expects.

We went through the incredible renovation/re-building project a few years ago. The result is that the Kotzschmar has regained its place in the elite level of world class large pipe organs. With a thoughtful process of re-visioning and then filling the role of the municipal organist, we will be ready to wow audiences with local and international talent for years to come. Stay tuned!

Tom Cattell

Board President, Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ