Bringing organ music on real organs to the public is a specific and important outreach goal of the Tacoma Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and by any standards that endeavor was successful on December 14, 2018, when members gathered for the second Organ at the Tacoma Mall event.
The event was co-sponsored by the Lincoln High School Key Club and Chamber Orchestra. When Seattle members Carl Dodrill and David Lepse showed up with a pipe organ in a trailer behind a van, members of the Lincoln High School Key Club were on site to move it into the mall and lift it into place.
Once assembled, Tacoma and Seattle AGO members put on a show for the public, featuring organ alone, and accompanying flute players and string players.
Kahty Eggleston, Tacoma AGO member and former dean in Colorado, and Satya Jaech, member of the Tacoma AGO board, opened the program with joyful Christmas music, while other members greeted the public and explained the organ.
Paul Tegels, Professor of Music at Pacific Lutheran University, brought two flute players, also from PLU, and accompanied them on seasonal music.
David Dahl, retired professor from PLU, probably never thought he would spend an evening playing a pipe organ in a shopping mall, but that is exactly what he did, improvising on familiar carols for half an hour.
The Lincoln High School Chamber Orchestra played two sets of seasonal music, including both Jewish and Christian traditions, accompanied by member Thomas Clark.
Member Karen Bredberg, skilled in both organ and cello, also played two sets, improvising with organist Thomas Clark.
The organ has a couple of pipes that can be removed for demonstration purposes; and, throughout the event, members of the AGO greeted the public, answering questions, demonstrating how a pipe works, all in furtherance of the continuing history of the organ.
Additional photos appear in the gallery below.