"Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo," and this mid-size Michigan city will host a regional convention of the American Guild of Organists in 2013 (June 30 through July 3). AGO’s Great Lakes Region V includes Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, but you do not need to live within this region – or for that matter even be an AGO member – to register and attend. The Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo is our official convention home. It will position participants to enjoy the unprecedented experience of a “walking” convention.
An average distance of 2½ blocks is all that lies between the Radisson and the six splendid downtown churches surrounding beautiful Bronson Park, which will provide GREAT venues and SWELL pipe organs for our opening event and the first two days in Kalamazoo. During this time, you will have the option of returning to the hotel between events. On day three, we will travel 25 miles east to the famed “Cereal City” of Battle Creek, where once again our venues are within walking distance of each other.
Because our transportation costs are minimal, a single all-inclusive convention registration fee will cover attendance at all events, transportation to/from Battle Creek, daily courtesy van if needed, the convention banquet, two meals in Battle Creek, and two afterglow food receptions (with cash bar). Ample time is allowed for the three “lunch/dinner on your own” dining opportunities in downtown Kalamazoo. If you stay at the Radisson, a complimentary breakfast is included in the specially discounted AGO convention room rate.
Best of all, our program committee has taken advantage of low transportation costs to assemble an amazing array of artists and presenters. Highlights include an elective Choral Academy; attendees who wish to participate will rehearse daily with a nationally recognized choral conductor, Joe Miller, and sing in a concluding performance. The grand finale closing concert will feature the Western Brass Quintet and the majestic sounds of the largest of the four E. M. Skinner instruments gifted by W. K. Kellogg to Battle Creek venues, all of which will be heard during the convention.
As your host, AGO’s Southwest Michigan Chapter will proudly present ten major organists performing on twelve distinctive instruments by Casavant, Dobson, Létourneau, Wicks, Ott, Nichols & Simpson, and E. M. Skinner. An array of fifteen workshop choices as well as eight carefully planned sessions for exhibits will complete our convention offerings.