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United Churches of Olympia hosts world-renown organist Douglas Cleveland, Ph.D.

  • The United Churches of Olympia 110 11th Ave. S.E. Olympia, WA (map)

The United Churches of Olympia, 110 11th Ave. SE., Olympia, WA



Church Administrator: The Rev. Jill Komura, 360-943-1210,


1. DougClevelandOrganistC.jpg: Douglas Cleveland at Cathedral of Omaha, Nebraska

2. DouglasClevelandOrganistAParis.jpg: Douglas Cleveland performs at Chapel of Versailles, Paris



What:  World-renown organist Douglas Cleveland, Ph.D., will present an organ concert at The United Churches of Olympia. Dr. Cleveland grew up in Olympia and was a member at The United Churches of Olympia.

Date / time: Sunday, Oct. 23 at 3 p.m.

Location: The United Churches of Olympia, 110 11th Ave. S.E., Olympia, WA
Who / why: The community is invited to this organ concert in celebration of the church’s centennial of its federation of two denominations: United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church (USA).

Cost: Free, but free-will donations will be requested during concert.


On Oct. 23 at 3 p.m., world-renown organist Douglas Cleveland, Ph.D., will give an organ concert at The United Churches of Olympia. He will present works of Mozart, Bach, Jongen, Albright and Vierne. The church presents this concert, which is open to the public, as a centennial celebration of its federation.

As a child and teen, Dr. Cleveland was an active member of The United Churches of Olympia.

“The United Churches, my home congregation growing up in Olympia, was where I was first inspired to play the organ,” says Cleveland. “Judy Lewis, the director of music in the 1970s through the 1980s, and her husband Nick, helped me climb up to the old organ chambers to see the pipes, which were at the time hidden behind screens.  I was completely awe struck! Judy also took a chance on me and gave me my first position as assistant organist when I was a freshman in high school. As the assistant, I was fortunate to learn hundreds of high quality anthem accompaniments, and play occasionally when Judy was on vacation.  If it were not for those opportunities, I may not have become an organist!” 

Doug Cleveland’s background

Cleveland recently returned from a month-long concert tour of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Denmark.

Cleveland is currently the John Delo Faculty Fellow at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle.  He is also the Director of Music and Organist at St. Thomas Medina Episcopal Church. Internationally renown, Cleveland has performed throughout Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taipei, Scandinavia, Germany, France, Switzerland, Russia, Germany and in 49 of the United States and Canada.  He has performed with the Olympia Symphony, St, Louis, Chicago and National Symphony in Washington, DC.  He has won several competitions including the American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition.  He was educated at the Eastman School of Music (Bachelor's) Indiana University (Master's) and Graduate Theological Foundation at Oxford University (Doctorate)  

Concert details

The concert is free and open to the public, but free-will donations will be requested. A reception follows the concert. The United Churches is located at 110 11th Ave. SE (across from the state capitol building), Olympia. 

Celebrating through December

The church will celebrate the centennial throughout the year, designating one Sunday per month to focus on the history of the church. The next celebrations are Sundays, Oct. 23, Nov. 13 and Dec. 4. Monthly activities include hearing centennial moments from church members, historical displays, and more. The final celebration is Dec. 4, which is near the Dec. 6, 1916 date of the signing of the federation.

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Earlier Event: October 23
Rev. Jim Thoburn Installation Service
Later Event: October 27
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