Dean’s Message December 2020

Dear chapter members,

As we’ve started the holiday season, I hope that you are finding ways to adapt your traditions to the reality of 2020 and celebrate anyway—as we shall do at our Zoom Christmas party!

You’ll be receiving this email on “Giving Tuesday”, when many worthy organizations are soliciting year-end donations. In the organ world, we have a local need for gifts in the coming year: an endowed professorship for organ studies at the University of Washington.

As most of you know, there are local schools at which to study organ, including our own Pacific Lutheran University and University of Puget Sound. However, the only school in the region to offer graduate studies has been the UW. Dr. Carole Terry was an amazing force behind the program for forty years; but every time a tenured professor retires, it is an opportunity for an institution to end that position, usually for budget reasons.

I studied with Carole for my masters degree. I adored her teaching; had access to wonderful instruments throughout Seattle; and was privileged to be part of a class which included stellar doctoral students from around the world. It is my fervent hope that this opportunity can be recreated for future generations of organists.

Right now, an endowment fund is being created in order to rebuild the program, and to make it permanent. The amount of funding needed is daunting, ranging from $1.5 million for a part-time artist-in-residence to teach undergrads, all the way up to $4 million for a national search level tenure track position. However, a foundational gift is on its way, and the Seattle AGO chapter has pledged $125,000 in matching funds as we move forward. This is not a Giving Tuesday plea, but a Giving 2021 heads up!

I hope you’ll consider being part of this opportunity, and more information will be forthcoming. Onwards!

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