Since she attended her first AHS National Conference in Seattle in 1974, Pat has missed only one AHS National Conference since she attended her first AHS National Conference in Seattle in 1974. That year she assisted her beloved teacher, Lynne Wainwright Palmer, who chaired the Conference. That exposure to gifted and renowned, but outgoing and helpful harpists was enough to “hook” Pat.
Her service to the AHS began in her local Greater Seattle Chapter and then progressed through regional and national offices until she was elected President of the national organization in 1984. During her 5-year term, Pat initiated the AHS Endowment and helped build the membership to more than 3,000. She held a competition to redesign the AHS’ logo, resulting in the logo still in use. Also during her term, the harp was accepted by ASTA as a string category, and included in ASTA’s national competitions. Pat made presentations to ASTA and MENC conferences regarding the harp.
Pat’s service to the American Harp Society includes being a member or chairman of several national level committees, including Rules, Presidential Advisory, Executive, Nominating, By-Laws Revision, Salzedo Centennial, WHC Liaison, ASTA Liaison, and the ad hoc Strategic Planning Committee. She served as Co-Chair (with Molly Hahn) of AHS’ 28th National Conference held in Washington, DC in 1991. Pat is Chairman of AHS’ 39th National Conference, to be held in Tacoma, Washington, in late June and early July of 2010. She has performed at several National Conferences and has also presented workshops. Pat especially treasures the experience of performing an evening duo harp program with her daughter, Elizabeth, at the National Conference held in June, 2002, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Pat also has served in several leadership roles in the World Harp Congress, Inc. She was elected to WHC’s Board in 1990 and was elected as Secretary in 1993. In 1996 Pat was Chairman of the highly successful Sixth World Harp Congress, held in Tacoma. She was elected Chairman of the Board of the WHC, Inc. in 1997, replacing Ann Stockton, who had held that post since the founding of the organization. Pat continues as WHC Chairman today.
Pat’s professional career includes holding positions as principal harp and soloist with symphony, chamber, ballet, and opera orchestras, and bands on both the east and west coasts. She has especially enjoyed participating in harp duo and harp and flute work. Perhaps her greatest professional contribution, however, is as a teacher, with students ranging in age from 7 to senior citizens. Pat is harp instructor at Pacific Lutheran University and The University of Puget Sound (both in Tacoma) and maintains a large private studio as well. She founded and still directs the harp training program for the Tacoma Youth Symphony, and conducts a large student harp ensemble organized through the Community Music Program of The University of Puget Sound. Concerts presented by both the ensemble have a dedicated following across the region. Pat also routinely serves as a judge in regional and state music competitions, and in AHS National Competitions.