Category Archives: Dean’s Message

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

Dean’s Message October 2022

The Toccata and Fugue in D Minor intrigued me from the very beginning, as I think it would any young organist. Best as I can recall, I learned it when in 7th or 8th grade. By that time, I was steeped in theater organs, having tagged along with my dad and the rest of the ATOS crowd as they restored instruments, hosted concerts, and held chapter meetings. These meetings always included open console, where members and their kids would play well into the evening. And so, I did: Maple Leaf Rag, Edelweiss, a few others, and finally – the T&F – all stops on, and all trems off! After all, it was October, with the trees blushing in vivid colors because the New England cold snap kissed them once again. Halloween would soon follow, with bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving, and neighborhood trick-or-treating. The caramel apples sticking to my mittens made for a fuzzy mess, but the rest of the night’s revelry was a wicked good time!

skeleton playing pump organ

Likewise, we are delighted bring you our joint program with the Olympia chapter, Fright Night! on Monday, October 17th, 7:00pm at Spanaway Lutheran Church. I will be joined by Tim Drewes, Dennis Northway, Sheila Bristow and Glenn Guhr in a spooktacular evening of ghoulish organ music, art songs, pumpkin carols, and the silent movie “Haunted House,” starring Buster Keaton, accompanied at the organ. We hope you can join us in celebration of the organ’s place with all that goes bump in the night!

Note the wonderful line-up of upcoming chapter and community events listed to the right of this column. Looking ahead at chapter meetings:

  • Monday, November 14: Celebrating Margaret Sandresky Wesley Home Gardens, Des Moines. Hear about the life and compositions of this fourth-generation female composer, presented by Wyatt Smith.
  • Monday, December 19: Christmas Party 2022 Pacific Lutheran University. Share a favorite Advent or Christmas piece on the Lagerquist organ. Christmas refreshments following.
  • Monday, January 16: New Year, New Music St. John’s Episcopal Church, Gig Harbor. Bring music to share/demonstrate, with particular emphasis on practical preludes and postludes.



Dean’s Message September 2022

The weather has been glorious all day this August 30th, quintessentially Pacific Northwest, belying our soggy reputation, at least for a season. The transition to Fall is just around the corner, and the Drewes family almanac indicates that there is more beautiful weather to come. Seriously! Because of my gardening interest, I do tend to geek-out on the statistics: trends in soil and air temperature, length of day, and yes, precipitation. September is often a gracious month of fair, not quite sweater weather – perfect for a picnic among colleagues and friends.

We hope you can join us for our Opening Potluck Picnic on Saturday, September 17th, in the beautiful garden of David Dahl and Loi Le. Social time is from 4:30 – 5:30, with food served at 5:30. Always an occasion of convivial conversation, I look forward to catching up with what everyone has been doing over the summer, and what people are anticipating for the months ahead. Thank you, David and Loi, for inviting us, once again, to your lovely back yard!

Looking ahead, we encourage you to check out our event page here: You’ll see both chapter and community programs listed. In our programming, we strive for compelling performances as well as opportunities for our members to contribute and share collaboratively. It is not too early to consider what you, dear reader, might play at our Christmas Party on Monday, December 19th, at Lagerquist Hall, Pacific Lutheran University. Ahead of that, we hope you can come to our upcoming chapter events:

• Monday, October 17: Fright Night, at Spanaway Lutheran Church. (A joint program of the Olympia and Tacoma chapters.)
• Monday, November 14: Celebrating Margaret Sandresky, at Wesley Home Gardens, Des Moines.

Finally, one more plug for the TAGO Scholarship Program. The application process is still open, and the required essay and audio recording must be received by September 30, 2022. For more information, please see our website.


Dean’s Message August 2022

August is here, a reminder that summer is two thirds over! For the Drewes family, it’s been a great one so far – camping, hiking, and of course, the Seattle AGO National Convention, which was just superb. And now, even while anticipating another getaway before the summer is over, I find myself on alert as September approaches, with all its attendant duties resumed, wonderful even if hectic at times.

Gardening helps me appreciate the measure of time. At our house, the garlic has cured, the second planting of peas has popped through the soil, as has the first planting of beans. We’ve been eating blueberries for a month, and strawberries are finally taking off. We are too hot with this heat wave, but the tomatoes, basil and peppers are basking in glory. Even the notoriously fussy carrot seeds have sprouted. Successive harvests are coming, and by September, plans for the over-wintering garden will have begun.

The TAGO board has also been planting seeds, cultivating ideas for a year’s worth of varied and engaging programs. I encourage you to join us for the first three:

  • Saturday, September 17: Opening Picnic Hosted by David Dahl and Loi Le in their beautiful backyard garden. Social time is from 4:30 – 5:30, with food served at 5:30. Bring a food item as you are able.
  • Monday, October 17: Fright Night Cheryl Drewes performs spooktacular organ music and accompanies the silent movie “Haunted House,” starring Buster Keaton. Spanaway Lutheran Church.
  • Monday, November 14: Celebrating Margaret Sandresky Wyatt Smith presents a program celebrating the life and organ compositions of Margaret Sandresky. Wesley Homes Gardens, Des Moines.

One more seed to plant: the application process for the TAGO organ scholarship is now open. The scholarship is intended to encourage young musicians to study organ by assisting in the cost of private lessons with a teacher who is a member of the TAGO. Applications, which require a written essay and audio recording, must be received by September 30, 2022. For more information, please see our website.

Cheers, and enjoy the rest of the summer!


Dean’s Message July 2022

Now at the beginning of my term as dean, I find myself so thankful as I think about the past two years. I was asked to be sub-dean near the beginning of the pandemic, and though there were challenges, the executive committee continued to give time, imagination, and creativity to bring events of the highest quality to our members, all via Zoom meeting that first year. As well, our presenters were willing to dive into the unfamiliar – after all, none of us were taught videography and broadcasting – to create stellar programs well suited to the novel technology. During the transition to in-person gatherings, everyone kept at it, for a fruitful and engaging two years. A huge thank-you to all: executive committee, presenters, and especially Sheila Bristow, for her positive, levelheaded leadership as Dean!

Looking ahead, the convention is very soon to begin. It is sure to be a wonderful week of concerts, workshops, and the chance to get reacquainted with colleagues near and far. I’m particularly interested in the  convention’s focus, “The Well Tempered Future” given that Tim and I have made church music our life’s work – so many decades – and now our son, Isaac, is following the same path. The landscape is different now, with both opportunity and promise, and it is so encouraging to watch the next generation, in their creativity and initiative, find their way!

In closing, I would like to recognize those on our executive committee who have completed their terms: Sheila Bristow, who will pass the baton and continue as member at large, and Satya Jaech and David Dahl, who both completed their terms as member at large and will remain actively involved in chapter events. I am delighted to introduce new executive board members Wyatt Smith as sub dean, and Jan Regier as member at large. Welcome, and thank you for stepping up!



Dean’s Message June 2022

This is my final column after serving two years as Dean and two years as Sub Dean. I had an inkling things might not be a cakewalk four years ago, when the newly-elected Dean moved out of the state–but that of course was nothing compared to the pandemic! Many thanks to Cheryl Drewes for facilitating online programming, and to those folks who created it. Helping the chapter continue in education and connection during the shutdown was a labor of love. I look forward to remaining on the board for one more term, and cheering on Cheryl and Wyatt Smith as the new Dean/Sub Dean team. Please give them all your support as well!

As I’m writing this I am also creating a packing list for a LONG overdue vacation. I hope that you have wonderful summer plans as well, but before digging out the luggage may I suggest a quick checklist of guild-related matters?

  • Make sure you have this Monday’s picnic on your calendar!
  • If you’re tidying your desk, console, music files (piles!), etc–jot down any ideas you’d like to share with the board regarding future programming/events.
  • I hope you already have this year’s National Convention in your book (July 3-7). Monday, July 4, is the “Tacoma Day”, and there are events scheduled from 9 AM to 4 PM at Christ Church, Pacific Lutheran University,Trinity Lutheran, and the University of Puget Sound. The current “day registration” rate for July 4 is $200 for regular AGO members; that day rate would of course also include the evening activities in Seattle (a cocktail hour concert with Carol Williams, and a theater organ concert/silent movie at the Paramount with Tedde Gibson). The convention steering committee is also seeking volunteers to help host the Tacoma events–if you’d like to lend a hand, let me know and I’ll get you connected up.

Hope to see you Monday!

National Convention schedule