Happy New Year! In this season of resolutions, new beginnings, and hope for the future, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to each member for your participation in Tacoma AGO programs in the last year. Our mission to celebrate, promote, and learn about the organ and its repertoire happens because of your dedication and involvement. This season, we still have five events remaining, and I am looking forward to meeting each of you there. Our next program will be a joint meeting with the Seattle Chapter, where you can catch up with people from near and afar! The featured instrument is one of the historic gems of the Pacific Northwest, the Hook & Hastings at St. Matthew Episcopal, Auburn. Cheryl and Tim Drewes, experts in American antique organs will introduce the instrument, showing it to its full potential. Please be there!! The program is a morning event starting at 10:30 a.m. and ending around noon. See you there!
On Thanksgiving weekend everyone in our neighborhood decided to decorate their houses at the same time, and with all the lights it looks quite festive around our house. And so it is that time of year again and time to celebrate together! Our annual Christmas Party will be at the Tietjen’s this year, when we will gather to enjoy music of the season next Monday. I hope to see all of you there. It is a time of year when music is all around and a great chance to share the wonders of the organ with the community. With a generous offer from the Seattle chapter, this year we are hosting “Organ in the Mall” on Dec. 15, 5-8 p.m. It will be a great opportunity to introduce the organ to Christmas shoppers who might have never seen an organ up close. For this to happen though, we still need some volunteers to play. The suggestion of the Seattle chapter, which has held similar events in the past, is to play something light, such as improvising on well-known Christmas repertoire. If you don’t improvise at all, you might purchase a book of holiday music, or just bring your organ book and sightread, or you can play what you might be planning for Christmas at your church. There are so many ways to show off our instrument, but doing so in a secular setting like this is an especially unique opportunity. Just do what you think is most effective! Be creative! Have fun!! And sign up on the Tacoma Chapter website to make this happen. Thank you for your support and participation, and an early Merry Christmas!
All Saints’ Sunday, Thanksgiving, Advent, then Christmas—WOW! For organists, this is certainly a hectic time of the year. It goes by so rapidly. Even in these busy, busy days, we are greatly blessed by the wonderful music to be made and enjoyed. In the midst of it all, be sure to make time for our next meeting, where we will study “hands-on conducting” with Don Dunscomb assisted by Curt Sather. In conversation at our last gathering, some of you mentioned to me that because you are not conducting a church choir, the next meeting won’t be for you. I said, “No, no, no! Please, come! Please do come!!!” Organists are normally good at sight-singing and are generally good singers. When I was a student, I always liked attending the conducting class that had many organists participating. This should be a fun event for singing and making music with friends, and it will offer a constructive learning opportunity for many of us, if not all. Bring a friend, and I’ll see you all there — Kilworth Memorial Chapel at University of Puget Sound. Parking is always available at night on the same street as the chapel.
Greetings all! Jon and I are hosting my friend Marc Fitze from Switzerland, who is playing a concert at my church today (Oct. 1). We haven’t seen him for over 15 years since we were all students together in Boston, but it feels like nothing has changed, even though many things happened since the last time we met. There is something about the friends whom I’ve met through music that is different from those friends without. Of course, I am not saying it is a better kind of friendship, but knowing where each other is musically, even when our paths were crossing, is so comforting and encouraging. In the middle of my studies at conservatory when I hung out with friends such as Marc, Jon and others, I realized that making the decision of growing through music through the whole of my life was the best decision I could make for my life, and I still think it was and is. What a gift to be able to live with music, to learn, grow and share!
A word of thanks to all involved with our first meeting of the year at the Paul Fritts & Co. workshop in September — a great kickoff for this program year! Not only did we have the chance to see and hear a new and beautiful organ, but we also met many new faces! So exciting!! Our next meeting will take place on October 16 at 7:30 at Christ Episcopal Church with a program on the hymns of the Reformation led by Dr. Samuel Torvend. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about this great body of hymnody in this 500th Anniversary year of Martin Luther.
Invite your friends, and see you there!
Naomi Shiga, Dean
May I say, “happy fall” already? The end of summer always leaves me with mixed feelings of wanting to spend more “summer life” time relaxing, recharging, but also being excited with the possibilities for the newness of things beginning again, new repertoire, new friends, new everything! To all of you, welcome back to the Tacoma AGO season of programs for 2017–2018! To those of you who are new to our chapter, a special welcome to you!! Our chapter is always looking for new learning opportunities and ways of sharing our knowledge, our music, and the fabulous instruments we have here in Tacoma. The planning committee and executive committee have been hard at work this summer planning for this season’s programs, and I know you will enjoy these meetings. Our first chapter meeting for the season will be on Monday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fritts shop (630 121st St. E., Tacoma, WA 98445). We will have an opportunity to see, to listen, and to play the newest Paul Fritts & Co. organ before it leaves the shop for its future home in Bloomington, IN. Please feel free to invite your friends and be there!