Out of blue, one of my very talented pianist friends sent me an e-mail highlighting the fact that there are so many great composers born in March: Vivaldi, Haydn, Telemann, Chopin, Ravel, Mussorgsky, Sarasate, Bartók, and more. Of course, as we all know, J. S. Bach’s birthday is this month, and in celebration there are Bach events/concerts everywhere. Seek one out! It’s a great way to celebrate our greatest composer for the organ. For many of us, Bach’s music is our “meat and potatoes.” My friend’s message went on to say that for people like us, who love Bach, “every month is a Bach month.” And so this year, I’m trying something new: to celebrate a great month of great musicians, I am planning to play and listen to as many March composers as I can. Spring is time for new things, and so I’m excited for new musical discoveries. The days are a little longer now, with a little extra light. It is refreshing and gives me courage to start something new. The dark-rainy winter will be over soon, and now is the time to open up some new boxes for a new spring! Something like…. Jeux d’eau on piano!
Category Archives: Dean’s Message
Monthly dean’s message, shows up on front page under calendar
Dean’s Message February 2017
Walking our dog is our only outside activity during the winter time. On our daily walks we are beginning to see little evidences of spring on the trees and ground. Spring is coming slowly, but surely. Spring is a time of beginnings, and it has me thinking about how we get our start in music. Have you heard about Orgelkids? It is an educational pipe organ curriculum and kit dreamed up by Dutch organist Lydia Vroegindeweij. Lydia enlisted the help of the organ builder Wim Janssen to build the first and only two Orgelkids kits in existence. A small two rank, 2-octave pipe organ, the Orgelkids kit empowers young children to assemble a working instrument in under an hour. An example of the organ can be found on YouTube, where an impressive young organist, Peter, age 7 plays. He is an active member of the Eugene Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and is an enthusiastic ambassador for this organ! His sensitive touch to the organ to create the most beautiful sound is amazing! He obviously knows the mechanism of the organ, and of course is very musical. When you have a minute, check it out. Projects of this type, and young musicians such as Peter benefiting from them, are all about new beginnings — an exciting next chapter in the story of the King of Instruments.
Dean’s Message January 2017
Greetings from Japan! Last night as the clock struck midnight, bringing in a new year, I sat outside listening to the bells ringing from all the temples around letting us know that 2016 had come to its end. We are starting a very new year! In the morning, we took bath with Yuzu oranges and ate a feast of elaborate food full of beautiful symbolism, just like the music of J.S. Bach.
New Years are times for new beginnings, and so I am looking forward to seeing all of you at our joint meeting on Saturday, January 21, 2017, 3 to 5 pm. This January event will be held at Epiphany Parish of Seattle, 1805 38th Ave, Seattle 98122. We will hear the 2016 Martin Pasi and 97 Noack organs. What a treat! Please, don’t miss this opportunity!
Dean’s Message December 2016
Here we are again playing Nun komm, starting the new church year! My grandma used to say people should get together and celebrate whenever possible. Yes!! I agree! We need to do that as much as we can!!! December is party time for our AGO. Please, join us!! We will celebrate Christmas on Monday, December 12. This time, the location will be at Paul Fritts’s residence. Like the Tietjen’s, there is a fantastic organ at his house. We will sing some carols and some of us will play Advent/Christmas repertoire. We will have a member supplied reception too, so if you can bring something that you would like to share with your friends, it would be wonderful and appreciated. See you there!
Dean’s Message November 2016
From super improvisers to the non-improvising among us, one of the things we all always enjoy as organists is playing hymns. With wind as the source of our instrument’s sound, the organ unites people’s voices in song. With the encouragement and support of the organ, even unconfident singers like myself can sing without embarrassment. The singing of hymns with the organ helps us all to focus into our own voices so that together we may sing as the congregational choir with beauty and meaning.
When missionaries brought hymn singing to Japan, they used reed to lead the singing. From that foundation Japan became one of the biggest reed organ countries. The famous piano and automobile maker Yamaha was started as a reed organ repair company! If you go to the classroom of any elementary school, a reed organ will always be somewhere so that all can learn and sing songs led by the organ. From my elementary age, I always thought the organ had a special kind of magic to teach songs to people.
This month we will learn about new hymns from two of our own members. I am excited! Organists always enjoy having an opportunity to sing. I am talking to some of my church friends about attending. I hope you can make it and that you might bring your friends, too!