The Tiffin, OH Connection

I am back from a vacation to Canada with my husband. In total, I have traveled 12 days in July. We also had a major plumbing issue which resulted in me not being home much in between trips. I plan to post regularly for the remainder of the summer.

Tiffin, Ohio Location

One of the first people I met at the AGO convention was Joan McConnell. Her name tag indicated that she is from Tiffin, OH. This caught my attention immediately as I was born in Tiffin, OH.  I was surprised to see a Tiffin resident as most have not heard of Tiffin. Joan teaches organ and music theory at Heidelberg University in Tiffin. She brought two of her organ students to the convention.

Next, I met Paul Monachino who is the organist at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo, OH. Michael Gartz (my teacher) suggested I seek out Paul at the convention. I am glad that I did. I learned that Paul’s wife (she was not at the convention) was also from Tiffin. Our families lived close by to each other, perhaps on the same block. This during my childhood before my family moved to Michigan. My mom remembered and said that one of Paul’s wife’s siblings babysat me once.

Paul introduced me to Neil Kraft. It turns out that Neil played the electronic organ that is now in my living room many years ago when it was still in the Christian Science Church in Adrian, MI. Amazing!

I am probably more likely to remember the people I met and connected with than the music played at the amazing concerts. Have you made any unexpected connections lately?

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Heidi Bender writes about her experiences of learning to play the organ. She started on the adventure in 2009.

She also writes on her website Tons of Thanks, which helps people write thank-you notes. Heidi is also a cat lady who writes at The Joy of Cats.

10 thoughts on “The Tiffin, OH Connection”

  1. Yes, Heidi, I did make a connection with an old friend this summer. She was one of my grade and high school classmate’s. We were the only Missouri Synod Lutheran’s in the class!!! So, we have had a lot of things to talk about. So my connection wasn’t meeting someone I didn’t know like you did, but it was still a connection none-the-less. You traveled half the month of July!!! Good for you. Keep up the good work and someday I will come and listen to you play in a concert.

    • Hi Mary Jane,

      I only learned about Synods when I visited St. Stephen’s Lutheran last fall. I think they are Wisconsin. That’s neat that you reconnected with your class mate this summer.

      You are welcome to come over and listen to me play sometime


  2. Well Heidi, next week it will be 24 years since we left Tiffin.
    Nice to have good memories and also see how the connection continues.
    The organ has really added a lot of new knowlege for you.

    • Hi Mary,

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment! I think it is your first one. The convention was amazing and am very glad that I was able to go. More to come about it in future posts.



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