Presented by: Alexander Meszler, MM
Location: Hyatt Regency – Learning Center
Secularity in the United States is on the rise. Though the organ faces many obstacles in the twenty-first century — a shortage of organists, financial troubles and declining interest in classical music, among others — no other issue is as all-encompassing and as serious as secularization. Moreover, no topic is as unaddressed.
To unpack this multifaceted issue, Meszler will summarize current trends in research on nonreligion and secularization to help understand their relationship to the organ. Secondly, he will highlight under-recognized secular uses for the organ throughout history. Finally, he will share examples of successful and unsuccessful uses of the organ in formerly Christian spaces today.
Despite secularization, religious institutions are and will remain an integral part of the organ’s identity; however, Meszler argues that to sustain and grow the place of the organ today, one must also embrace its secular potential.