Category Archives: Articles

Welcome to New Member Noel Channon

Noel Channon is moving from Lynnwood to Bremerton and has recently joined the Tacoma Chapter. Noel holds BA and MA degrees in organ from New Mexico Highlands University. He is currently the organist at Messiah Lutheran in Seattle where he also teaches organ lessons.

He notes that his house in Bremerton will have two grand pianos, a harpsichord, and a virginal. That sounds like an offer to host a party in the post-COVID world!

Please extend a welcome to Noel when the opportunity arises. We are happy that he has joined and look forward to his participation.

September 2020 Opening Meeting

Our September meeting will feature our own Dr. Wyatt Smith discussing Bach’s Clavier-Übung III followed by a group question-answer session.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, this meeting will be by Zoom on September 21 at 7:00 PM. Closer to the meeting time we will send an announcement that contains a Zoom link. The Zoom link will be added to the online calendar at the same time.

2020 Officer Election

As required by our bylaws, the August newsletter published a slate of proposed officers and board members as follows:

  • Dean: Sheila Bristow
  • Sub-Dean: Cheryl Drewes
  • Secretary and Webmaster: Thomas Clark
  • Treasurer: Sandra Tietjen
  • Member at large: Michael Menne

Because it is unlikely that we will have any in-person meetings in the next several months, your board has opted to manage the election on our website (hopefully without any Russian interference!).

In order to vote, you MUST log in to our website using the login form at the bottom of the menu column on the left. If you have not previously established a password, please follow the instructions.

Once you have a password, use the email address that you used to join at the AGO national site, and you password, to login. After logging in, you will see a ballot on the right column of the main page under the calendar. In the interest of simplicity, we are presenting the entire slate for a yes or no vote. In the unlikely event that a majority of members disagrees with the slate, we will repeat the election with a checkbox for each candidate.

The election will be open for two weeks. Please vote! We need a quorum to make it official.

St John’s Episcopal, Gig Harbor, Capital Campaign

After facing an extended period of deferred maintenance on the Parish’s building and grounds, the community of Saint John’s Episcopal Church has embarked on an ambitious capital campaign to address those identified needs. As part of that campaign, lighting will be installed in one of the parking lots, the bathrooms will become handicap accessible and the narthex of the building will be demolished and rebuilt. In rethinking the entrance to the church via an extended new narthex, it was decided that area in the nearly back half of the Sanctuary could become a flexible space for Baptism, gathering and fellowship. To open this space up, it was necessary to remove the current pipe organ. Hence, the desire to find a new home for the instrument at NO CHARGE whatsoever. Not as part of the Capital Campaign, a donor has come forward to provide a different and fine, instrument for the space. Once the contract is signed, information on the new instrument will be announced! Stay tuned!

A description of the current organ, including stop list, is attached.


Subdean’s Message August 2020

Dear chapter members,

During this season of social distancing, most of us are trying to figure out ways to adapt much of our lives into an online modality. It is a challenge, both for individuals and for organizations!

I serve as organist & choirmaster at an Episcopal parish, where we’ve thankfully decided to live-stream rather than pre-record services. No video editing added to my “other duties as assigned”; I get to work with my (carefully spaced) staff singers; and I wear JEANS on Sunday mornings! However, as the months have rolled by, I’ve realized the need to strengthen the congregation’s connection with me, and with the organ. The rector and I settled on a series of “fireside chats”, featuring hymn preludes. I play the chorale, talk a bit about the structure of the prelude, then end with playing it in full. It has been a truly humbling experience; there is nothing like a one-shot take in front of a camera, with ad lib public speaking, to reduce my performing skills by 50%! However, the goal is connection, not perfection. That has been reached, and my efforts are appreciated. On my August to-do list: start memorizing repertoire…

The guild is also working on adapting. On the national level: if you missed the online Organfest, or want to revisit some performances, archived recordings are available. Also on the national website is this Covid 19 response page which has a wealth of resources for guild members, artists and teachers, and musicians in religious institutions.

On the chapter level, your board is working on ways to adapt chapter programs to an online format. Please save Monday, September 21st, for a recorded presentation from Dr. Wyatt Smith, followed by a live Q & A. And, we have a postponed election to take care of—please look for information on electronic voting next month. Here is the proposed slate:

  • Dean: Sheila Bristow
  • Sub-Dean: Cheryl Drewes
  • Secretary and Webmaster: Thomas Clark
  • Treasurer: Sandra Tietjen
  • Member at large: Michael Menne

Lastly, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our outgoing board member, Cooper Sherry. Cooper’s creativity, wit, and dab hand at hospitality have been a real asset to the chapter. The end of his term coincides nicely with a long-planned sabbatical sojourn to Holden Village. Cooper and his family will be living there in the mountains for six months, beginning in September. Thank you, Cooper, and congratulations!