|Fred van Lieburg||Music & the history of religion; The Dutch Organists’ Association [Nederlandse organistenverenigingen] from 1890 to 2015
Het ORGEL 112 (2016), nr. 6, 28-35 [summary]
The Dutch Organists’ Association [Nederlandse organistenverenigingen] was established in 1890. Motivated to improve the social position of (professional) organists, it saw itself as a philanthropic movement without allegiance to any church or denomination. ‘Humanity has no religion’ was the slogan to indicate that organists of any denomination were welcome. During its first 30 years the Association remained limited in scope and grew but slowly.
The inter-confessional Association with its monthly journal “Het Orgel” - which had been published already since March of 1886 - could not easily escape competition from the confessional side: on 14 February, 1931, the Association of Organists of Reformed Churches [Vereeniging van Organisten der Gereformeerde Kerken] was founded. It was literally a confessional organists’ association.
An attempt in 1946 by the Christian Reformed Churches [Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerken] to establish their own organists’ association failed. In 1950 however the Association of Organists of Reformed Congregations [Vereniging van Organisten der Gereformeerde Gemeenten (VOGG)] was founded. And the released Reformed Churches [vrijgemaakte-gereformeerde kerken], of which the organists first remained members of the Reformed Organists’ Association [Gereformeerde Organisten Vereeniging (the Vereeniging van Organisten der Gereformeerde Kerken after 1945)], founded in 1973 their own association for organists: the Vereniging van Gereformeerde Kerkorganisten.
The 70s & 80s were years of rapid secularization. The ecumenical “Samen-op-Weg” movement within the Hervormde Kerk and the Gereformeerde Kerken gave rise in 2004 to the “Protestantse Kerk in Nederland”. The organists’ associations KNOV and GOV merged in 2009.