Category Archives: Articles

New Organ at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Gig Harbor

New Rieger/Pasi organ at St. Johns Episcopal Church

Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Gig Harbor, Washington, is pleased to announce that it has commissioned the distinguished organ builder, Martin Pasi of Roy, Washington to install the Rieger Organ fabricated by the Rieger Orgelbau, Schwarzach, Austria into the sanctuary of Saint John’s church. The instrument was originally built for the Recital Hall at the State University of New York at Purchase, New York. Thanks to the wonderful generosity of Judy and Stan Stearns, the organ will assist in the prayers and praises of the community of Saint John’s. The organ was originally installed in 1981, and the initial installation and tonal finishing was overseen by, then Rieger employee, Martin Pasi. Mr. Pasi , after the installation of that instrument, continued to reside in the United States and now leads the firm of Pasi Organ Builders. The firm of Pasi Organ Builders, Incorporated, since 1990 has completed some 26 new instruments. The specification of the instrument originally was:

  • GREAT
  • 16′ Bourdon
  • 8′ Principal
  • 8′ Gedackt
  • 4’ Octave
  • 2′ Blockflöte
  • 2 2/3’ Mixture Major
  • 1 1/3′ Mixture Minor
  • 1’Scharff
  • 8′ Krummhorn
  • POSITIVE
  • 8′ Rohrflöte
  • 4′ Octave
  • 2’ Superoctave
  • 1 1/3′ Quinte
  • 1’ Octävlein
  • PEDAL
  • 16′ Bourdon
  • 4’ Octave
  • 16’ Fagott
  • 8′ Trompete

As part of this installation in its new home, Mr. Pasi and his team will be building some five new stops. A Trompette will be created for the Great division; the original 1’ Scharff stop will be replaced by a 4’ Flute, and the 1 1/3’ Great mixture will be replaced by a 2’ Principal. The Krummhorn will be placed on the Positive division replacing the 1’ Octävlein. As there was no 8’ flue line in the Pedal division, the 8’ Trompete will be replaced by an 8’ Principal-like Salicional, or a Gemshorn. The 16’ Fagott will also be new and built by Pasi Organ Builders. In acoustical preparation for the instrument, the carpeting will be removed from the floor and replaced by a wood floor. The final specification , then, will be:

  • GREAT
  • 16′ Bourdon
  • 8′ Principal
  • 8′ Gedackt
  • 4’ Octave
  • 4’ Spitzflöte (New pipework)
  • 2’Octave (New pipework)
  • 2′ Blockflöte
  • 2 2/3′ Mixture Major
  • 8′ Trumpet (New pipework)
  • POSITIVE
  • 8′ Rohrflöte
  • 4′ Octave
  • 2’ Superoctave
  • 1 1/3′ Quinte
  • 8’ Krummhorn
  • PEDAL
  • 16′ Bourdon
  • 8’ Gemshorn (New pipework)
  • 4’ Octave
  • 16’ Fagott (New pipework)

Tacoma AGO Member Paul Fritts Named as Donor by UW School of Music

The organ builder and artist Paul B. Fritts has generously endowed the first Faculty Fellowship in the School of Music, with a remarkable $1.5 million gift that will provide support for the organ performance degree programs. The Paul B. Fritts Endowed Faculty Fellowship will fund instruction from outstanding organists who are noted for their exceptional scholarly and professional contributions to the field.  This gift establishes one of the largest endowments in the School of Music.   

picture of Paul Fritts
Paul Fritts, organbuilder

Leading his team at Paul Fritts & Co. Organ Builders, Mr. Fritts, a native of Tacoma, has designed, built, and reconstructed over fifty renowned organs over the past forty years, with his creations located in churches, universities, and residences across the country and abroad. His high level of craftsmanship and the beauty of his instruments represent a career-long dedication to reclaiming the best practices of organ building in the 17thand 18thcenturies in Northern Europe, a high point in the history of organ composition and performance.  The University of Washington is fortunate to house a remarkable example of his work:  the Littlefield Organ in the Walker-Ames Room in Kane Hall (pictured below), which debuted in 1990 and has been the location of numerous organ concerts over the past thirty years.

Director of the School of Music, Professor JoAnn Taricani, declared that she is “delighted to welcome this endowed faculty fellowship and its organists to the university as a companion to the beautiful Littlefield Organ that was built by Mr. Fritts.  The organ program has always brought distinguished students to our campus, and this gift will allow our great legacy to continue into future generations.”  Professor Emerita of Organ, Carole Terry, who taught organ at the university for forty years, echoed that “I am elated by this news and by the wonderful gift from Mr. Fritts.” 

This article is reprinted from a press release issued by the University of Washington.

A Members Recital: Bach’s Birthday Brew

In anticipation of Bach’s 336th birthday, The Tacoma AGO Chapter will present a pre-recorded virtual member’s recital on Monday, March 15th.

We invite you to join us, and encourage you to perform in this celebrative program. Choose a favorite Bach work you’ve always wanted to learn and share, or have already recorded for your virtual church service. Organ, piano, harpsichord, and other instruments are welcome. Video is preferred, but if that is not possible, feel free to submit an audio recording.

Sub-Dean, Cheryl Drewes will manage the repertoire list, and will also compile submitted recordings into a cohesive presentation to be published on Youtube, a few hours in advance of our March Zoom meeting.

Use this link to sign up and enter the name of your piece. All participants will receive email after March 1 with instructions for uploading your piece.

Deadlines

Signup: February 15, 2021

Submit recording: March 1, 2021

University of Washington Organ Faculty Endowment Fund

A letter from the Seattle AGO Chapter

Monday, December 28, 2020

Holiday Greetings, chapter members!

As the year draws to a close and the future opens beyond, we want to reach out and remind you of the opportunity to help build the organ program at the University of Washington by doubling your gift with our chapter matching funds, and to take advantage of this year’s special $300 charitable deduction available to all filers, even when taking the standard deduction.

At our last chapter event, several of our teen student members were actively engaged with young graduates of the UW program. They are looking forward to future learning opportunities and I was reminded of my own youthful search for the best program to continue my education. Without the UW program, we will lose the opportunity to teach our local young the best ways to make music with the king of instruments. Those local students are in the best position to share the joy of organ music with their friends and relations.

The faculty endowment fund now being established by the University of Washington will permanently fund organ instruction, building and protecting the program for the future. As the endowment grows, the organ program will grow with it, drawing the world’s talent to our region.

At this time, Seattle chapter members can donate through OnCard by signing in to the AGO website with the instructions provided there. Click on “Make a Contribution” and scroll down to “UW Organ Faculty Endowment”. Your gift is fully tax-deductible.

Your friends who are not Seattle chapter members can still obtain chapter matching funds donating by check payable to Seattle Chapter AGO and mailed to:

Seattle Chapter AGO
c/o David Nichols
2928 Kennewick Pl NE
Renton, WA 98056

For questions regarding the donation process, please contact David Nichols, chapter Treasurer, at ago@hqsw.com or 425-793-6369.

2020 Virtual Christmas Party

We warmly invite you to our Virtual Christmas Party, a merry time of socializing, music, and sharing! While we can’t meet in person, we can enjoy each other’s company over a glass of wine, cheese, chocolate, and other seasonal treats – even – a bowl of smoking bishop! As well, we would like to include a few performances, either on home organ, piano, voice, or another instrument. You are encouraged to sign up for a slot . Not a performer? How about sharing a recipe, a seasonal poem, an anecdote, or tradition? We hope you will join us for an evening of convivial conversation and good cheer!

Use this link to sign up to contribute a musical performance, a poem, a recipe, or something else. If you sign into the website first, your information will be pre-filled in the signup forms. There are further instructions on the next page.