Category Archives: Articles

November Meeting at Christ Episcopal Church

On Sunday, November 10, Christ Episcopal Church in Tacoma is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Brombaugh organ with a concert performed by organist Kraig Scott at 4:00 pm. Before the concert at 3:00 pm in the Christ Church sanctuary, the Tacoma AGO is hosting an informal conversation with David Dahl, Minister of Music Emeritus, and organ builder John Brombaugh about the building of the organ. Mark Brombaugh, current organist at Christ Church, will moderate the discussion.

John Brombaugh

David Dahl, the founding father of the revival movement for mechanical action organs in the Pacific Northwest, was Director of Music at Christ Church from 1970 – 2010. It was David’s vision, together with support from committed members of the congregation, that inspired this organ project. John Brombaugh, internationally renowned organ builder, brought this vision to life in what we now know as his Opus 22. Today, organists from all over the world visit Christ Church to play this magnificent instrument.

Christ Church organist and Co-Director of Music, Mark Brombaugh, will continue the organ’s 40th Anniversary celebration with a Third Friday Concert on Friday, November 15 at 12:10 pm.

Silent Movie Night with Organist Tedde Gibson

David Dahl, Professor Emeritus of Organ at Pacific Lutheran University and member of the Tacoma AGO chapter, is justifiably proud of Tedde Gibson. Gibson is a native of Tacoma and, as he says, he “cut his organ teeth” playing theater organ at Pizza and Pipes, a University Place restaurant with a Wurlitzer organ. He also studied improvisation techniques with several local organists, including David Dahl and Mel Butler, and incorporated those classical techniques into his own style.

David Dahl, Mark Brombaugh, and a reflection of Satya Jaech on the bus headed to Seattle

On Monday, October 21, members of the Tacoma AGO chapter made their way to the Paramount Theater in Seattle to hear Tedde Gibson accompany “Within Our Gates,” a silent film that portrayed the racial situation in the United States in the early twentieth century.

Organist Tedde Gibson

Gibson played for 90 minutes, watching the film and improvising, as David Dahl put it, a “symphonic tone poem” that reflected and complimented the action on the screen, ranging from contemplative to whimsical.

What an honor to hear and see Tedde Gibson at work last night in this 1920 silent movie! We are so fortunate to yet have a theatre organ in a public space to witness surviving silent films. –Sandra Tietjen, Tacoma AGO board member

Following the performance, the audience was deeply appreciative, including our own members. “It was an unexpectedly intense and illuminating experience at the Paramount. It was a great way to hear a Wurlitzer as I’ve never experienced one before,” Mark Brombaugh later wrote in a comment that was echoed by other members. AGO board member Satya Jaech added, “Last night’s AGO program exceeded all my expectations. My stereotypes of theater organs and silent films were shattered, and in its place I now have profound respect and appreciation.”

October Meeting: Silent film with Organist Tedde Gibson

Grab your Orca card (if you don’t have one, you should get one) and meet us at the Tacoma Dome Station on October 21 at 4:25 for a trip to the Paramount Theater in Seattleto hear organist Tedde Gibson accompany a silent movie. Details of the meeting, including transportation arrangements and cost, are available in the calendar entry.

A native of Tacoma, WA, Tedde began playing piano at age four, studying with Gail Brooks and the late Dorothy Bade. He later studied pipe organ with the late Dr. Edward Hansen, former American Guild of Organists (AGO) president,  piano with Dr. Stephen Moore, and voice with the late Dr. Thomas Goleeke at the University of Puget Sound (UPS). He studied classical organ improvisation with Prof. David Dahl of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, and Dr. J. Melvin Butler of the University of Washington(UW) and St. Marks Cathedral, Seattle, WA. While attending UW, he also studied with Dr. Carol Terry. Tedde has also coached with theatre organist Jonas Nordwall of Portland, OR and the late Andy Crow of Olympia, WA.  Since moving to the Metropolitan DC area in late 2003, he has studied classical organ with Howard University professor and musicologist Dr. Mickey Thomas Terry. Mr. Gibson briefly studied at Peabody Conservatory of Music as a student of former AGO President Dr. John Walker.

He cut his theatre organ teeth as an organist at Pizza and Pipes in Tacoma, WA for 5 years until that restaurants’ demise in 1999. He performed extensively on the premier theatre and classical organs in Washington State prior to moving to the east coast.

 Mr. Gibson is a sought after silent film accompanist and has performed in Seattle, New York City, Detroit, Burlington, NC, Stone Mountain, GA, Jersey City, and Philadelphia, PA at the famed Macys/Wanamaker store which hosts the world’s largest playing pipe organ. 

Following the performance, Mr. Gibson will be available for discussion and questions in the theater bar.

Ars Organi Starts Fourth Year

Ars Organi, also known as the Organ Performance Group, is starting its fourth year on Friday, October 11 from 10 – noon at Christ Episcopal Church in Tacoma. This is an open group, and new participants are welcome.

Facilitated by David Dahl and Satya Jaech, Ars Organi is an opportunity for organists to gather, play their current repertoire, and receive teaching and feedback about their performance. Based on the model of a writers’ group, each participant has the opportunity to prepare a piece and play it for the group. David Dahl provides a rich commentary on performance style and historical background. Typically, four people perform at each gathering. This leaves ample time for discussion and questions.

Topics of conversation range from tempo ordinario, historically accurate registration, pedal technique for playing Bach and other earlier composers, to managing performance anxiety. The group is structured to create a safe and respectful environment in which to perform and to discuss topics related to the organ and organ performance.

Participants come from as far away as Vancouver, BC and Vancouver, WA. If you’re interested in finding out more about the group, please contact Satya Jaech ( or David Dahl (

Opening Picnic at Point Defiance

Grab your picnic basket and dust off those walking shoes! Our September program will be an opening picnic at Point Defiance.  Bring your family, friends, neighbors, and anybody who might be interested in the AGO.  Please bring enough food for you, your guests, and a little extra to share with visitors.

The picnic will get started at 5:00 PM, but if you’re able to get there early, we will meet at the picnic area for a walk on one of the park trails at 4:00. The trails originating at the picnic site are flat and considered an easy hike.

The Gig Harbor Viewpoint picnic area at Point Defiance has a water view, grills, a covered shelter, hiking trails, and bathroom facilities. More information, including a map, is available in the calendar entry.