Category Archives: Articles

Welcome Back Picnic

Our Welcome Back picnic is coming up soon–September 13, 4:30 PM, at the home of David Dahl. The calendar entry shows the address and a Google map. Here’s everything you need to know:

  1. Each person is asked to bring enough food to share with others. Please bring serving utensils if those are needed for your contribution. The Chapter will provide plates, utensils, cups, napkins, soft drinks and bottled water. You are welcome to bring a bottle of wine if you are so inclined.
  2. The picnic will be outdoors. A limited number of folding chairs is available. If you can easily bring one, please do.
  3. In the interest of the health and safety of all of our members, you must be fully vaccinated to attend this event. Masks are not required outdoors, but you must bring a mask and wear it in order to go into the house to use the bathroom.

2021 Tacoma AGO Scholarship Awarded

The AGO Tacoma Chapter Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce that the 2021 scholarship for organ study has been awarded to Elliott Turner of Puyallup. Elliott, a student of member Cheryl Drewes, is a composition graduate from PLU, but who came to the organ through gospel and jazz. He was recently named Music Director at St. Luke’s Memorial Episcopal Church in Tacoma’s North End.

The scholarship committee consisted of Mike Menne (Chair), Sandy Tietjen, DenDen Northway, and Satya Jaech.

Martin Pasi Completes Organ Expansion at St. John’s Abbey

Tacoma AGO member Martin Pasi was featured in a recent news report by Minnesota Public Radio about the work he has done to expand the organ at St. John’s Abbey Church in Collegeville, Minnesota. The expansion called for the addition of 2,600 pipes to the original Holtkamp organ built in 1961. Martin plans to move his shop to St. John’s in 2023.

Read the Minnesota Public Radio story.

When Music Sounds, a composition by Sheila Bristow

I’m grateful for the opportunity to write for Orchestra Seattle|Seattle Chamber Singers! My childhood violin teacher, Eileen Lusk, was a founding member, and I grew up attending OSSCS concerts. In college, I played violin in the orchestra, and I’m delighted to now be back onstage with the group as keyboardist.

Walter De la Mare’s poem “When Music Sounds” alludes to Greek mythology about the power of music. In each of the three verses, the music summons forth a different part of the cosmos: first, nature responds; second, naiads (water nymphs) arise; and finally, time itself sings.

Thinking about Greek mythology, I imagined a sylvan setting for the poem’s action, and the piece opens with a calm “forest” theme. As the chorus sings about bourgeoning plants, the string lines rise and become more complex. This is followed by the entrance of the naiads—whom I cheekily imagine rehearsing a water ballet. After the dance break, the chorus sings them up from the forest pool, accompanied by soft winds and strings.

In the final verse, time’s arrival on the scene is heralded by an ambiguous juxtaposition of keys and colors. However, the full chorus and brass “break into distant song” in the home key, then quickly taper off as the protagonist exits the scene. The piece concludes with a reprise of the forest theme, layered with a relaxed version of the naiad’s ballet.

When Music Sounds

Walter de la Mare, 1873-1965

When music sounds, gone is the earth I know,
And all her lovely things even lovelier grow;
Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees
Lift burdened branches, stilled with ecstasies.

When music sounds, out of the water rise
Naiads whose beauty dims my waking eyes,
Rapt in strange dreams burns each enchanted face,
With solemn echoing stirs their dwelling-place.

When music sounds, all that I was I am
Ere to this haunt of brooding dust I came;
And from Time’s woods break into distant song
The swift-winged hours, as I hasten along
.