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!
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!
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!
When I first moved to Boston twenty years ago, my organ teacher, Yuko Hayashi, took Nami Hamada and me to Maine and Vermont to see the fall colors and some American historical instruments. Nami was my talented classmate back then; now, many of you know her as an intelligent, smart (and lovely) voicer at the C.B. Fisk organ building company. Nami and I proudly wore our newly acquired New England Conservatory hoodies on the trip and played many interesting instruments.
Cheryl and Tim’s fine concert/presentation last month on the historical organ at Spanaway Lutheran Church reminded me of the many warm memories from that trip with Nami. Fall is a time for warmth, a time to get sweaters out of storage, to strike a fire in the fireplace, and to sip hot cider. It’s also a time for fellowship. After the meeting, I talked to those in attendance as we gathered around the fine table of goodies prepared by Tom Clark, who is talented in music, in his work on the board, and with refreshments! (Thanks Tom for a fantastic reception!) In my conversations with many of you, we all agreed that we are so fortunate to live in an area with some of the finest instruments of all kinds in the country.
There are some great events coming up–AGO meetings and concerts alike. We missed some of you at our first gathering of the season, but I believe that we will see you at the next meeting! Don’t miss a thing—we’ve got great things in store!
Greetings! Here we are again in this beautiful fall season! We still have some summer days left, but for sure we can smell that fall is near. There are more fresh apples and pears than berries at the market, more dragonflies in the sky than butterflies, and for many of us a return to more serious music than the lighter fare of summer. Fall is a time for “back to school,” and for those of us in the AGO, our “back to school” is a return to gathering for monthly programs where we learn more about and celebrate the organ and its ever wonderful repertoire. We have some very exciting programs planned for this year, and you won’t want to miss even one! Many thanks to the program committee led by Una Hwang for all of their hard work. Please plan to attend as many events as you can, and if you think of any non-member friends who might be interested to join our meetings, bring them along! Also, a big, big thank you to Tom Clark who redesigned and is maintaining our chapter website. This is a great communication tool for members and non-members alike. If you are like me (not tech savvy) you might want to have some help, let an officer know, and we’ll find some help to guide you in the right direction so that you will be able to enjoy and appreciate all our website has to offer. See you all at our first meeting!