Penny Weedon is pleased to announce the formation of SOCKET: The Society of Organ Clubs, Keyboard Entertainers and Teachers. At the moment, it exists as a website, but Penny hopes it will establish a presence at keyboard events as time goes by. Penny started it in response to the many reports from those involved with keyboards and organs that they were experiencing hard times, especially with falling audiences at clubs and problems with recruiting club committees. In line with her series of articles "So Are We Doomed?", she hopes the SOCKET website will provide a forum for discussing the problems, solutions and undoubted opportunities in the organ and keyboard world.
Penny is really keen to receive input to the site. "I really don't want this to be just the thoughts of Penny W", she says. "Please visit the site and send me your thoughts and ideas via the "Contact" page. I'm looking for advice articles, queries, gripes, hallelujahs, anything and everything from anyone who works within or enjoys our lovely keyboard and organ world."
So far, the site includes suggestions for finding new club members, an article on converting a van to live in if you are a touring musician, links to other useful sites and the Organ Society Database, where Penny hopes to list every single club that meets in the UK along with the night of the month upon which it meets. This will help organists in putting together tours, the only viable way of keeping costs down. Penny would be really grateful if organ clubs could contact her to confirm the night of the month when they meet.
"Just to get the creative juices running, here are some contentious issues I'd love to hear from you about," Penny says. "These are all questions which have been posed to me in the past: Stage dressing - is it necessary? Does the venue matter? How can you give atmosphere to a venue? Do political and religious venues put people off? Should we consider meeting during the daytime? Are free tickets for visitors unfair to paying audiences? Should artists be expected to change their programmes more often, or offer choices of show? Should clubs co-operate in offering tours? Should we have a clearing house for allocating dates and bookings to clubs and players? Should clubs have screens and/or mirrors? Should we find another name for organs? What publicity works? Do we need committees? Should we advertise for committees? Are fees realistic?"
Back to news...