Punishing Achievement

Issues to congresses, exams, and guild structure.

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Punishing Achievement

Postby JohnGouwens on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:40 pm

Since the establishment of the Carillonneur Member category in the GCNA, some level (widely varied, admittedly) of proficiency had to be demonstrated to become a member with full voting rights in the guild, certified as a Carillonneur Member. In my years in the guild (more than 30!), the dues assessed of Carillonneur Members has always been higher than that assessed to Student Members and Associate Members. The Student Member catagory was eliminated (not without some minor controversy) a few years ago, but more to the point, a decision made at the Yale congress in 2006 opened voting rights to Associate Members on all decisions except the advancement of Associate Members to Carillonneur Member status and on revisions to the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation. The merits of that decision could certainly be an interesting discussion topic here, but it is beside the point of this particular discussion. Associate Members now are permitted to vote on board elections and on any other matters aside from the above that may be put to a vote at a congress. My question is, why are the Carillonneur Members still paying more for dues? An Associate Member could at this point point out that if he or she takes the exam, it means a different letter next to his or her name, and paying more expensive dues, and not much else. What should happen? How about raising the Associate Member dues (currently $40 per year) to the same amount as the Carillonneur Member dues ($50 per year)? If not, why not?
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Re: Punishing Achievement

Postby JuliaLittleton on Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:22 pm

You have a good point about the voting rights. It seems that responsibilities should accompany additional rights, to be fair.

Perhaps the higher dues for Carillonneur members were originally instituted because Carillonneur members were considered to have more investment in the institution, partly because they were the only ones with voting rights, and partly because the status afforded by the certification meant something to them -- sometimes materially, if that qualification had anything to do with hiring decisions.

Then, too, a cheaper membership level would be a sweetener to a student or someone who began with only a passing interest in the carillon. When I joined, I was a poor student, and more expensive dues would have been a firm deterrent. But that could be an argument for a separate "Student" level of membership.
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Re: Punishing Achievement

Postby JohnGouwens on Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:04 pm

I'm sure you're right, that the difference in dues was considered a reflection of the fact that only the Carillonneur Members had voting rights. You probably remember the big survey we did in 2010 about examination and membership issues. I wrote the first draft of it, which was revised by the Ad Hoc committee, and I generated the reports that the software provided, organizing comments, presenting at the congress, etc. We certainly kicked the idea of resurrecting Student Membership around, and at one time, actually, the Associate Member dues was somewhere in between Student and Carillonneur (not by much, mind you). I'm not on the board, so I haven't been party to discussions of the matter, but I do know some of the factors that probably worked against the idea:

1) The definition of "student" could be a murky one - how about a 50-year-old carillon student who works at some other field full-time but takes lessons from a church carillonneur nearby.

2) We used to have people who were "Student Members" for 20 years or more. While they may not have achieved Carillonneur Membership, many hadn't taken regular lessons for years. Some thought the term was inappropriate by then, though I also know we had some of those former students who resented the implication that they didn't play the carillon when the Student Member category was eliminated and they found themselves "Associate Members."

3) One of the ideas kicked around for Student Membership (this might warrant a separate discussion, now that I think about it) was requiring a photocopy of a current student ID to prove they were full-time students (assuming college, presumably). I would suspect that some weren't interested in making the procedural matters of the guild still more complicated.

Really, though, ten more dollars a firm deterrent? I remarked at the time that numerous college students spend more on Friday night on beer & pizza than our $50 once-a-year dues. If we were talking about $95 dues (such as the American Guild of Organists), I'd see it differently. (Actually, I should go see how the AGO handles its Student Membership. They have it.

Hmm - I see a software problem here! When a comment gets longer, the line I'm typing keeps jumping out of sight. That's not good!! This jumping problem is happening in Internet Explorer, but not in Google Chrome. So, try Google Chrome if you have trouble. I just tested this problem with Mozilla Firefox. It also works fine, so either of those is a good alternative if you run into that problem.
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Re: Punishing Achievement

Postby FrancesNewell on Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:18 pm

Frances Newell testing. I'm over 50 and still learning. Hope i keep learning the rest of my life!
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Re: Punishing Achievement

Postby JohnGouwens on Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:46 pm

Of course, and we all support that. You'd better believe I'm still learning!
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Re: Punishing Achievement

Postby CarlSZimmerman on Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:02 am

Carillonneur membership still reflects a higher level of accomplishment as certified by the Guild. One might well argue that the benefit of having that accomplishment publicly certified on an ongoing basis ought to be worth the extra cost of that membership. On the other hand, the Guild isn't really doing anything yet to show carillon-owning institutions or potential carillon donors just how large the pool of available carillonists actually is.
Carl Scott Zimmerman
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - home of at least 36 bell foundries or bell sellers, 1821-1961.
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Re: Punishing Achievement

Postby JohnGouwens on Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:53 am

Or the supply of carillonNEURS! (Bwahahaha!)
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Re: Punishing Achievement

Postby JohnGouwens on Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:23 pm

Julia, please note that Dave's latest dues communication (e-mail) mentioned a sizable discount for full-time students (apparently without having to prove that they qualify). My counter-argument remains - a whole lot of college students spend more than $50 on beer and pizza on a typical Friday night, but I can understand offering the break, nevertheless. I'm shocked, though, that they are heavily discounting Carillonneur Membership for students.
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