Terri (Teresa) Hansen Koch

Terri (Teresa) Koch teaches piano at Rogers Adventist School and maintains a private studio in piano and flute in College Place, Washington, where she has resided since 1986. Additionally, she is involved in extensive accompanying for local school and community groups and is organist for the Walla Walla Pioneer United Methodist and College Place Village SDA churches.

Terri was born in Colorado and raised in Oregon, the only daughter of Elton and Velma McComas Hansen. Both parents were musical, her father being an accomplished oboist and her mother a pianist, and supported and encouraged her study in music. She started piano lessons at age seven.

She attended Milo Adventist Academy, where she studied organ with Alvida Brand Davis, a graduate of La Sierra College, now university, for two years. After the Davises left at the end of her junior year, she decided in her senior year to pursue a music degree with organ as her performance area.

Following graduation from MAA in 1963, she enrolled at Pacific Union College, where she studied organ for one year before transferring to Walla Walla College, now University, to complete her study under Melvin West. She found study with West to be inspiring and a major influence in her development as a musician.

After graduating from WWC in 1967 with a B.Mus. in music education, Hansen began her career teaching piano and organ, first at Shenandoah Valley Academy in Virginia for three years, and then at Pioneer Valley Academy in Massachusetts for one year. She completed an M.Mus. at Andrews University in 1973. Piano teachers included Ruth and S. Clarence Trued and Bruce Ashton. During her graduate study, she studied organ with C. Warren Becker at AU, Robert Glasgow at the University of Michigan, and a Professor Böck in Vienna, Austria.

Terri met Terry Koch while they were both pursuing graduate study through an Andrews University summer quarter in Vienna. They married in 1971 and have since collaborated in teaching music wherever they have been.

Following their marriage, as they taught in schools in Maryland, Hawaii, and Washington, she continued private studio teaching while being a mother to their two sons, Brenden and Lorin. Additionally, she has accompanied school and community choral groups and served as organist for a number of churches wherever they have lived.

The Kochs would teach in Hawaii two times, the first time for five years. They then taught at Kirkland Junior Academy in the Seattle, Washington, area for three years before returning to Hawaii for four more years. During their last stay there, Terri served as a pianist and organist in a church with a congregation that claimed a dual Protestant church identity. She recently talked about the church, their sponsorship of musical theater, and other music activities:

The church was called Christ Church Uniting Presbyterians and Disciples of Christ. The two churches had been meeting in the same facility, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The leaders and members of each denomination felt they could better serve their congregations if they joined together. So the two groups became one, incorporating the beliefs and traditions form each denomination. Their pastor was a Baptist, the choir director an Episcopalian, and their organist a Seventh-day Adventist - truly ecumenical.

They produced a major musical each year in the room where the church was held. We did Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, and Jesus Christ Superstar. A small string group accompanied the productions, and I filled in with the piano.

They also had started a children's choir that flourished and became known as the Hawaii Children's Choir. I served as the accompanist and traveled with them when they and a handbell choir from the church toured in the People's Republic of China in 1985.

The Kochs left Hawaii when they accepted positions at Rogers Adventist School in 1986. Both were charter members of the International Adventist Musicians Association, with Teresa serving as its secretary treasurer for over twenty years, from 1987 to 2009.


Sources: Handwritten notes with biographical data by Teresa Koch for printed program at Walla Walla College, unknown date; Interviews/conversations, 2011; Personal Knowledge.