The Special Projects Advisory Committee (SPAC) is tasked to make recommendations to the Executive committee regarding the use of invested Chapter funds derived from some of the National Conventions held in Boston. Special projects are considered to augment the normal Chapter activities. Grants can be made to anyone in the USA in the categories of: public concerts, radio broadcasts, research, publications, recordings, competitions, commissions, educational projects, and organ music libraries. Since its inception in 1977 with about $80,000 from the 1976 Convention, more than $185,000 has been granted to various groups and endeavors using the income from the endowment.
The five SPAC members this year are: Lee Ridgway (2021), Scot Huntington (2022), and Margaret Angelini (2023) , Robert Barney (2024), Louise Mundinger (2025)
2020-2021 SPAC Grants
The Special Projects Advisory Committee (SPAC) of the Boston Chapter has made a grant of $2,000 to the conference described below. Kola Owolabi, Professor of Organ at the Sacred Music Department of Notre Dame is the leader of this conference.
“Diversity and Belonging: Unsung Keyboard Stories,” is scheduled to take place in Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan from January 26-30, 2022. This conference is cosponsored by the University of Michigan and the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies/Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards, in collaboration with Sphinx-Connect. Conference planning committee members include the University of Michigan organ, piano, carillon, and harpsichord faculty and students, organ faculty at University of Notre Dame, and Westfield board members. Conference concerts will be free to the general public. The conference is available to registered attendees (free to students), and some events livestreamed and video-recorded. With lasting impact, this conference will model best practice strategies for organists to promote the pipe organ by addressing the underrepresentation of people of color and women in the keyboard world. Presenters will tell the unsung stories of keyboardists and composers of color—notable musicians who have been left out of most music history books and performance venues.
2019-2020 SPAC Grants
The recipients are listed below. Some of the projects were postponed because of COVID-19 and the money withheld until the project is rescheduled.
- $2,200 for the Cape Cod and Islands Chapter, AGO, Pipe Organ Encounter in July 2019.
- $1,000 for a grant to Steven Young for his project on the life and career of French organist and composer, Marthe Bracquemond. The goal is to complete a scholarly article about her career as a concert organist and analyze her organ compositions.
- A $1,200 grant to The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, PA for enabling live streaming of a concert by Ken Cowan. This was for a celebration of the 100th year anniversary of the largest church organ in the Philadelphia area.
- $1,000 (or more) to support a conference: “Diversity and Belonging: Unsung Keyboard Stories” which will take place at the University of Michigan in 2022. This will address the underrepresentation of people of color and women in the keyboard world. Presenters will tell the stories of these notable musicians who have been left out of most music history books and performance venues.
2018-2019 SPAC Grants
There were 10 applications for funding this year and the 5 recipients were as follows.
1. $1,500 to the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM) for their conference in July. Concerts by the Boston Camerata and the Lorelei Ensemble are open to the public and will partially be funded by this grant.
2. $500 for an “OrgelKids” case. This group from Oregon, started in 2016, needs a new case for their traveling organ kit.
3. $300 for our Chapter Organ Library to digitally transcribe cassette tapes from the E. power Biggs’s 1940-1949 CBS broadcasts housed in our Library.
4. $2,200 for the Cape Cod and Islands Chapter, AGO, Pipe Organ Encounter in July 2019.
5. The Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra presents 8 different concerts in their 1,200 seat Memorial Hall. The first features the Saint-Saens (Organ) Symphony No.3.and is expected to fill the hall. The Boston Chapter will take a ¼ page ad for $350 to be incorporated in all 8 of their program books reaching about 10,000 musical people during the year.
The five SPAC members this year are: Colin Lynch (2020), Lee Ridgway (2021), Scot Huntington (2022), and Margaret Angelini (2023) , Robert Barney (2024)
Respectfully submitted, Martin Steinmetz,
SPAC Coordinator and Assistant Treasurer of Library/ SPAC funds