Dean’s Message October 2023

Perhaps at one of your piano or organ lessons, your teacher presented a composition and said, “I wrote this piece especially for you.” It may have been in your favorite style, or to perfect a certain technique, or a clever combination of both. Composers of all generations have been writing for their students: Bach, Beethoven, Kabalevsky, Bartok, and certainly more. One of my son’s piano teachers wrote a suite of pieces, each dedicated to a student, including Isaac. I know some of you have also written for your students and choirs. I can’t think of a more beautiful measure of support!

What got me thinking about all of this is our October chapter event, featuring the compositions of David Dahl in his collection, “Hymn Interpretations.” Several of us will each demonstrate one piece, as assigned by David, ever the consummate teacher. To Tim, he said, “I think this will be a good one for you.” David didn’t hint at why he assigned my piece, but once I saw the score, it was obvious, and made me smile. I expect the same for the others because David is always thinking about what would be most helpful or encouraging for the developing musician – and no matter what our age or experience, we are always developing musicians.

We encourage you to join us for Hymn Interpretations, at Christ Episcopal Church, Tacoma, on Saturday, October 21, at 10:30am. David will share a bit about each of his compositions, all of them uniquely attractive, and written with specific intention in mind. In hearing these gems, you most certainly will take home insights and ideas for your own interpretations of hymns, all accessible approaches. You might even be inspired to compose an original piece. Thank you, David, for sharing your gifts with us, so that we can make them our own!

On a related note, I encourage you to read Sheila Bristow’s article, “Back to School, for a look at the numerous educational opportunities available to us as life-long learners. There are both in-person and online options covering performance and music ministry topics. Remember also to check our website event page, which is growing longer with great events over the coming months, including our chapter’s new AGO lunch, the first of which is at Cactus Restaurant, Tacoma, on October 13, at noon.



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