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Schedule at a Glance

The Portland, Oregon Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) is excited to host "Let's Dance!": the 2023 West Region Convention of the AGO, July 10-13, 2023.  This page will be updated as more details about the schedule become available.

Monday, July 10, 2023

All times are Pacific Time

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Exhibits set-up

1:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Exhibits open

Registration open

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

RCYO Competition

First Presbyterian Church

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Concert: Cantores in Ecclesia

Duruflé  Requiem

Holy Rosary Catholic Church

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Evensong at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

9:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Exhibits Open

Cash Bar

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

8:00 am - 9:00 am


Meeting of district officers at hotel

10:00 am - 10:45 am

Keynote I: “Shall We Dance? An Invitation to Dance at the Organ”

Kimberly Marshall

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

Kimberly Marshall will welcome musicians to the convention with an overview of the organ’s long association with the dance. She will explore the secular origins of the instrument and then chart the historical course of organ music based on dance forms, complete with illustrations and musical excerpts on historical instruments.

11:15 am - 12:00 pm


“Sacred Dance: A Pathway to Prayer and Praise” - Jane Rickenbaugh

In this class we shall experience Sacred Dance as a pathway to prayer and praise. We shall learn historical dances from early Christianity and other faith traditions and explore how sacred dance can lead us to deeper wisdom.  Guided by sacred movement we will dance within our personal journey as we are encounter other sacred traditions.  People of all abilities are welcome.  Wear loose clothing.

“Choral Music for Diverse Faith Communities” - Paul Klemme

This choral music reading session will include music suggestions for faith community choirs of all sizes and abilities.  The pandemic has caused many programs to downsize and regroup.  This music packet will attempt to address this issue with recommendations for creative use of smaller resources, inter-generational combinations and supplemental instruments.

“Unequal Temperament: A New View” - Joe O’Donnell

A low-impact introduction to the whys and wherefores of tempering the chromatic scale, including aural demonstrations and visual representations. Low on theory and high on nerdy trivia, this presentation will give participants the opportunity to compare and contrast quarter-comma meantone tuning with equal temperament and other tuning systems.

12:00 pm 1:30 pm

Regional Meeting


2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Seung Min Oh

St. Mary's Cathedral

4:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Exhibits Open

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


"A Dance through Time”

Kimberly Marshall

St. Andrew Lutheran - Beaverton

In her program on Paul Fritts Opus 15, Kimberly Marshall will trace dance forms through organ music. Her program will include the earliest organ music from the 14th century, as well as Renaissance and baroque examples, ending with J. S. Bach’s magisterial Passacaglia in C Minor. 

9:45 pm - 11:00 pm

Exhibits Open

Cash Bar

Meet the Artists

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

8:00 am - 8:30 am


10:00 am - 11:00 am

RCYO Winner's Recital

First Presbyterian Church

11:30 am - 12:30 pm


“Singer Movement: The Conductor’s Friend” - Rodney Eichenberger

The session is designed to demonstrate the value of singer movement to improve tone quality, intonation, and phrasing.

“Hauptwerk Organ Basics” - Lou Paff

Learn about the basic concept of Hauptwerk organ technology, and see and hear what four local organists have done with Hauptwerk for home instruments from basic to advanced installation. A handout will include information about the many Hauptwerk sample sets that are available and some sources for obtaining Hauptwerk organ setups.

“Stories of Portland Chapter – AGO on the West Coast” - Walter Krueger

Portland was one of 3 West Coast chapters that appeared on the AGO map in 1911.  A chapter with a storied past that reads like a chapter book. A veritable history of the AGO in the Pacific Northwest! Anecdotes from The Diapason archives will be shared. Sights and sounds from bygone eras. 


Members’ Forum

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Box lunch at The Grotto

The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, is a Roman Catholic ministry of the Order of Friar Servants of Mary. The Grotto is a 62-acres sanctuary located in Portland, Oregon. It was founded in 1924 by Servite Fr. Ambrose Mayer. Explore the gardens on your own and enjoy the tranquility of this beautiful, natural area.

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Choral Worship

Capella Romana

The Grotto

4:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Exhibits Open

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Silent Movie with Live Organ Accompaniment 

"The Mark of Zorro"

Jonas Nordwall

Cleveland High School

10:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Exhibits Open

Cash Bar

Meet the Artists

Thursday, July 13, 2023

8:00 am - 8:30 am


9:30 am - 10:30 am

Keynote II: "Dance Inspired Compositions for Organ"

Pamela Decker

Sunnyside 7th Day Adventist Church

In this presentation the focus will be on dance-related influences—including elements such as rhythm, modes or scales, nationalities, history, and stylistic trends—in organ music by American composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  Works by Calvin Hampton, Gerald Near, Herbert Bielawa, and Pamela Decker will be among the literature that the keynote presentation will offer for analysis and stylistic examination and discussion.

10:30 am - 11:30 am

Master Class:

“Bach, Dance, and the Breath” - George Ritchie

The masterclass will focus on organ works of J.S. Bach.  Emphasis will be given to comments by his pupils and contemporaries about the fundamental importance of metrical structures, with an explanation of how those comments relate to the human breath, to dance, and to performance of the music.


“Seasoned Voices” - Ralph Nelson

Most church choir directors are both blessed and challenged with valuable choir members who are simply getting older every year. Since these choir members are often our most loyal members, we’d like to keep these singers involved in the choir for as long as we can. However, the problems of the aging voice often present real challenges for choir directors.  In this session, Ralph Nelson, Director of the Holladay Park Plaza Singers (a local senior center in Portland with a choir of 40 voices - ages 75 to 104) will look at tips and techniques for working with the aging voice.  Ralph will examine what happens to the voice as we age, and in particular, he’ll give suggestions and techniques for keeping aging voices healthy, and also for keeping a good sound in our choirs as the voices age. Specifically, he’ll discuss tips and techniques for dealing with warm-ups, repertoire selection, hearing loss issues, memory loss issues, and important aspects of communicating with an aging population.

“Baroque Basics: An Introduction to the Dance Rhythms of the Early Eighteen Century” - Anna Mansbridge

Baroque Dance, or La Belle Danse, evolved under the French King Louis XIV during the years from the mid-seventeenth century, and continued on into the eighteenth century.  Popular dances performed at court by the aristocracy, and in the theatre by professional dancers, included the bourrèe, sarabande, gavotte, loure, gigue, and of course the “Queen of Dances,” the minuet. In this workshop we will learn some of the basic movements of the Baroque technique, and experience how they are danced to the different musical types.

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm


Susanna Valleau

Holy Rosary Catholic Church

Using dance and movement as inspiration, Susanna Valleau's program will explore the breadth of colors on Bond's Opus 25 organ through the works of Margaret Sandresky, J.S. Bach, Ad Wammes and Florence Price.

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Concert: Commissioned Piece World Premiere

“A Kaleidoscope of Song and Dance”

Pamela Decker

First United Methodist Church

This recital program will culminate in the premiere performance of the commissioned work titled Passacaglia and Dance Variations, by Pamela Decker. This 10-minute piece develops from a haunting melodic ground bass theme (in a transformed Phrygian mode) and grows into an evolving procession of dances from many parts of the world, all with the presence of the melodic and harmonic implications of the primary theme. The premiere performance will present the organ solo work in tandem with dance interpretation by members of Oregon Ballet Theater. Leading up to the commission premiere will be dance-based works and lyrical, song-like pieces by American, British, and Russian composers. The chosen works display influences that trace back to origins in Spain, France, England, South America, Africa, and the United States. 

7:30 pm - 10:00 pm 

Meet the Artists



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