All posts by Thomas Clark

Graduated with a music degree from Duke in 1977.


Paul, the scholarship application was taken off the website because there is a committee working on new guidelines. The committee is chaired by David Dahl.  When they finish their work, the application will be updated.  Unfortunately, the one Collin found can’t be accepted.  It was probably discarded because the application process is not currently active.

I will update the scholarship page to reflect this information. Sorry about the confusion.

On 09/23/2017 06:05 PM, Paul Tegels wrote:“>

Hi Naomi, Una, Tom, and Sandy,

I have a new private student, Collin Whitfield, currently organist at Mason Methodist. At the end of August, I told him about the Tacoma AGO scholarship, and that he could/should apply, but that I didn’t know when the application would be available.  He has filled out an application for the scholarship, and I have filled out a teacher’s recommendation. I don’t and didn’t see the application link on the website, so when I asked him how he got to it, he said he simply googled it and it came up (
I guess my question is whether the chapter is accepting applications for the scholarship, and if so, whether the application of Collin Whitfield was received.
Thanks all!

Members Recital Opens 2017 Program Season

Paul Fritts demonstrates the organ’s mechanical action

Paul Fritts, founder of Paul Fritts & Company, talks about a “warm, live room” in describing First Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, IN, the destination of Opus 41, a large 2 manual organ undergoing final touches in the Fritts Organ Shop in Parkland, Washington.  While the room itself is inviting, and a good acoustical home for an organ, the climate is not.  The very cold winters, and hot, humid summers have the potential to make the wooden organ parts swell and contract, and even crack.  To reduce this effect, the wood used in the organ is cooked–heat treated in a vacuum for varying periods, depending on its intended use, greatly reducing the potential for being altered or damaged by a changing environment.

Hand carved pipe shades with gold leaf

The aesthetics of the organ are also important, and carefully considered with respect to how the organ will appear when it takes its place at the front of the church.  The width of the pedal towers, for example, is compared to the space in between them, and those ratios compared to architectural ratios found in the church.  The pipe shades are carefully and intricately carved, and have been painted with gold leaf to enhance the visibility of the detail.

Three Members Perform Varied Repertoire

Paul Tegels performs during members recital

On Monday, September 18, the Tacoma Chapter of the AGO met to see the almost-completed organ and to hear a members’ recital.  Paul Tegels, organist at Pacific Lutheran University,  opened the musical portion of the program with an echo fantasia of J. P. Sweelinck, and continued, with Haydn pieces for a musical clock, and pieces by Franck and Krebs.

Member Curt Sather performs

Curt Sather, organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olympia, added music of two Bachs–chorales of J. S. Bach and a movement from a C.P.E. Bach sonata.  Demonstrating the versatility of the organ (and the organist) Curt included pieces from A Quaker Reader by Ned Rorem (born 1926).

Member Naomi Shiga selects registration prior to performing

Naomi  Shiga, organist at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Tacoma, and current dean of our chapter, introduced the program, and concluded the musical portion with Bach Allein Gott and Fugue in C Major.

“This chapter is so fortunate to have so many talented organists and organ builders.  It’s unusual.”

–David Dahl, Organist Emeritus, Pacific Lutheran University

The Chapter is indebted to Paul Fritts for graciously hosting this program and providing an introductory talk.  Many thanks also to Karen Bredberg for providing refreshments for this opening program.

Additional Photographs

Recital Program

The recital program is attached below.  Note that page 2 includes a stop list, with indications of which stops are currently playable.




Update: Bruce Newsick for April meeting

Una, thanks for looking into this.
I saw we move on to somebody else.  I am offended by several aspects of this:
1.  I think it is inappropriate that Bruce would refer you to his agent for an AGO program.
2.  The idea that he would accept a cut-rate fee of $500 for 1.5 hours, and provide a cut-rate service (“not playing much”) is REALLY offensive.  In an age when churches are dying out, and organs with them, Bruce, and other professional organists should be doing everything they can to encourage interest.
I am very much in favor of organists being paid a fair wage, and a fair fee for recitals.  But I would expect that Bruce would accept a reasonable, normal AGO fee for a program in which he doesn’t have to travel and there are essentially no expenses.
Let’s move on.

National Lutheran Choir Commemorates 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

National Lutheran Choir to Commemorate 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation through music with fall concert tour to Pacific Northwest

From September 28 through October 1, the National Lutheran Choir will embark on a concert tour to select cities in Washington and Oregon. Commemorating the worldwide anniversary of 500 years since the Protestant Reformation, the Choir will present two separate programs of sacred choral music and beloved hymns. Performance venues include Pacific Lutheran University’s Lagerquist Hall (Tacoma, WA), Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral (Seattle, WA), Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (Portland, OR), and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Salem, OR).

Una Sancta, a concert program aimed at illuminating Luther’s understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit—“it calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church…”—will be performed in Tacoma, WA in conjunction with Pacific Lutheran University’s “Re-Forming” anniversary series, as well as in Salem, OR at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Music Series. Program highlights include J.S. Bach’s motet Der Geist hilft, the “Kyrie” from G.P. da Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli, “Agnus Dei” from Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir, and choral music from renowned composers Eriks Ešenvalds, Kenneth Jennings, Charles Marie Widor, Kim André Arnesen, and Moses Hogan.

This performance will take place at Pacific Lutheran University on September 28, 2017.  More information is available in the Tacoma AGO calendar.

Jesus Christ: Yesterday, Today, Forever is an evening of song commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation featuring the National Lutheran Choir leading a massed choir of local singers. Presented in the tremendous acoustics of the Episcopal Cathedrals in Seattle and Portland, this program features a unique assembly of hymns and choral repertoire woven together to celebrate the rich treasury of music expressing the journey of the ever-reforming Church. Highlights include Martin Luther’s famous hymn tune EIN FESTE BURG, a multi-choir setting of Psalm 136 by Heinrich Schütz—commissioned for the 100th anniversary of the Reformation by the Lutheran Church in Germany—and hymns and repertoire from Korea, France, South Africa, Norway, Hungary, Latvia, and the United States.

This performance will take place on September 29, 2017 at St. Mark’s Cathedral.  More information is available in the Tacoma AGO Calendar.

About the National Lutheran Choir

Dr. David Cherwien

The National Lutheran Choir is a 64-member vocal ensemble based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. Under the direction of nationally known conductor, composer and organist Dr. David Cherwien  and formerly at First Lutheran Richmond Beach in Seattle, the National Lutheran Choir’s artistry is rooted in its mission to strengthen, renew and preserve the heritage of sacred choral music through the highest standards of performance and literature.

Founded in 1986, the National Lutheran Choir sings a sacred and spiritual story rooted in the Lutheran choral tradition. In addition to concertizing, the National Lutheran Choir enjoys frequent broadcasts on public radio and curates a YouTube channel with thousands of views of selected performances and concert streams.