Category Archives: Dean’s Message

Monthly dean’s message, shows up on front page under calendar

Dean’s Message May 2022

Yesterday I had the pleasure of joining fellow chapter members for an organ tour in Seattle. It was fascinating to hear four wonderful trackers in four very different rooms, played by a number of organists! I also appreciated getting info on a lot of organ building details. Many thanks to David Dahl for his organizing efforts, and to Kyle Haugen, Tim Drewes, and Tom Clark for hosting at their respective churches.

As the program year winds to a close, stay tuned for news of a closing social event–and also watch your inbox for a slate of officers. As always, if you have ideas or suggestions for chapter events, please pass them along to any board member (I’ll continue to serve as past dean, so you can certainly send them to me). Happy spring!


Dean’s Message April 2022

As the pandemic wanes I’ve celebrated every little “new” reason to leave the house: in-person rehearsals! Libraries! Trader Joe’s without a line! And, finally, concerts. During March I’ve managed to attend Seattle Opera–twice (a full production and an artist recital)–plus a Seattle Symphony concert. This week I also made it to the Tacoma Art Museum (FYI free every Thursday night). The pandemic has fostered an incredible flourishing of art experiences and education available online, but that is not a replacement for experiencing art in the physical world.

Our March meeting featured lovely performances on the beautiful instruments at Spanaway Lutheran, plus an opportunity to chat with fellow guild members over a glass of wine. I am so grateful to all the folks who helped out with planning, playing, and hosting–particularly Cheryl Drewes. Next month’s meeting will feature an organ crawl in Seattle on Saturday, April 30th. Please watch the website and your inbox for details!

Dean’s Message March 2022

Dear chapter members,

You’ll receive this on “Fat Tuesday”, the day before Lent begins. I grew up in a non-liturgical church, and despite decades of service in multiple denominations, I’m still not deeply embedded with the church year. While I recognize that my job is to help parishioners enter into a season of deepening devotion, I am personally quite distracted by preparations for Easter and a finally-full spring concert season! However, there is certainly value in trying to prioritize simplicity and quiet as means for gradual transformation.

Another aspect of the season lies in its etymological roots, with “Lent” being derived from “spring season”, or the lengthening of days. Sowing is part of that season, and part of transformation. On a musical level, I’m trying to sow seeds for the future through practice, education, and professional connections. The AGO can help with all of those things, and I hope to see you at our March celebration of Franck at Spanaway Lutheran! There is also literal sowing to do be done, and I intend to put more time into what my family calls “yardening”. This year’s crop: sunflowers.

Dean’s Message February 2022

Anyone in the music business during the pandemic has learned that yes, you must still make plans, but not too detailed or distant–and always be prepared to pivot! Your chapter leadership has programs tentatively planned through spring, but we are finalizing them on a cautious schedule. However, please mark your calendars for the following chapter meetings; we will have the usual Covid precautions, but still warmly welcome you!

Bach’s St. Matthew Passion

Mon, Feb 21, 7:00 PM

St. Mark’s Lutheran by The Narrows (sanctuary)

Presenter William White is the Music Director of Harmonia Orchestra & Chorus, and a frequent pre-concert lecturer for Seattle Symphony and the Chicago Symphony. Will is also one of the commissioned composers for the 2022 AGO National Convention.

A Celebration of César Franck

Mon, March 21, 7:00 PM

Spanaway Lutheran

Sheila Bristow, Cheryl Drewes, Tim Drewes, and Wyatt Smith will perform a selection of works by Franck in honor of this centenary year.

Dean’s Message January 2022

One of the things I love about being part of a community of organists is the wide historical range in solo repertoire. A recital can include works from the 16th through 21st centuries, a much greater span than represented in the average symphony concert. I’ve gained a greater perspective on the 21st-century end of things by serving on the New Music Committee for the 2022 AGO National Convention (in Seattle July 3-7!). It has been fascinating to see the work of established organists who are also fine composers–and the work of established composers whose musical lives have been organ-adjacent. Part of the committee work included individual tutorials with the latter, on registration, etc., and I hope that work will bear fruit in a stream of future organ music. In the near future, please plan to attend the convention and enjoy the many fine performances and workshops! As a chapter member, you will receive 15% off the current registration fee by using the Discount Code SEATAC22. The registration page is at

If you are hankering to savor some new organ music before July, there are two opportunities this month. On Monday, January 10th at 4 PM, there will be a webinar presented by AGO National on women composers. Information is available at And on Friday, January 15th at 7:30 PM, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral is presenting the annual Flentrop organ recital. The program will feature Cathedral organists John Stuntebeck and Michael Kleinschmidt, and includes a commissioned work by Rebecca Groom Te Velde. Please see the accompanying article for information on attending as part of our January chapter meeting. Hope to see you there!