PipeChat Digest #435 - Tuesday, June 30, 1998
 
Crystal Cathedral
  by <rnickel@itol.com>
Re: Evergreen
  by "Vernon Moeller" <vernonm@ccsi.com>
Re: Applause
  by "Vernon Moeller" <vernonm@ccsi.com>
Re: Organ & Piano, Ensemble Pieces Wanted
  by "Thomas Haubrich" <haubt000@goofy.zdv.Uni-Mainz.de>
Organ Conventions
  by "Jenny Moon" <bfus7@central.susx.ac.uk>
Re:Weddings, Funerals, Applause, Worship
  by "Dick Beery" <dbeery@rbbsystems.com>
Re: Applause
  by "Emily D. Woods" <sesquialtera@hotmail.com>
Re: Applause
  by "Jenny Moon" <bfus7@central.susx.ac.uk>
Re: Applause
  by <DRAWKNOB@aol.com>
Re: Applause
  by "Emily D. Woods" <sesquialtera@hotmail.com>
Re: Applause
  by "Terry Charles" <tcorgan@ibm.net>
Re: Applause
  by "Stephen F P Karr" <karrlist@scescape.net>
Re: Applause
  by <DRAWKNOB@aol.com>
The Crystal Swan
  by <Oboe32@aol.com>
Re: Applause
  by <danbel@earthlink.net>
Re: Applause
  by <DRAWKNOB@aol.com>
Re: Applause
  by "Shirley" <pnst@itw.com>
Re:Weddings, Funerals, Applause, Worship
  by "Shirley" <pnst@itw.com>
Re: Applause
  by "Shirley" <pnst@itw.com>
church music lists
  by "Shirley" <pnst@itw.com>
 


(back) Subject: Crystal Cathedral From: rnickel@itol.com Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 09:22:39 -0500   I missed Dr. Schuler's slip ... did Fred Swann resign OR retire? What's the scoop here?   Bob Nickel    
(back) Subject: Re: Evergreen From: Vernon Moeller <vernonm@ccsi.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 10:09:23 -0500   Bruce said: >The other approach is when they ask for something like that, burst into >hilarious laughter and compliment them on their sense of humour; while >your laughing share with them how funny it is especially because it was >used at ALL FOUR of your sister's weddings for GOOD LUCK! hehehehehehe >(tears streaming down your face(s) ).   Thanks, Bruce, for a wonderful way to deal with this situation. I filed it for future reference.   Personally, I'd rather have to put up with playing undesireable music than having to accompany singers who can't, or at least shouldn't. In that situation, I occasionally find myself having to remind the congregation just who is in charge here, so "accidentally" hitting the sforzando toe stud just as the soloist croons a soft George Strait chorus is certainly one way to make a wedding moment truly memorable, especially for the soloist, as the sudden increase in volume makes her drop her sheetmusic and dive for it, while accidentally stuffing the cordless microphone down the cleavage of her bridesmaid dress. Definitely a Kodak moment, if you ask me.   Not that I've ever had the guts to do that, mind you, but I have sped up a couple of choruses, just because I felt sorry for the congregation's ears. In one case, the soloist treated me like dirt at the wedding rehearsal, blaming my tempi and volume for her obvious vocal inadequacies (her real problem was that she had resonance where her brains were supposed to be), and asking the pastor if there was another organist available, so, come nuptials time, I forgot to reset the transposer when we got to her solo, heh heh heh. Short of massive injections of testosterone or smoking a carton of unfiltered Camels, there was no way she could hit some of those low notes. Don't you just love it when they open their mouths really, really wide, tilting their jaws down to their chests and *nothing* comes out? I'd almost pay my wedding fee back to the bride's parents just to see it.   \/\/\    
(back) Subject: Re: Applause From: Vernon Moeller <vernonm@ccsi.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 09:51:32 -0500   Greetings from steamy central Texas!   I, too, was raised in a church that punished applauders. Shoot, my folks would cut out my ice cream allowance for a week if I was ever caught applauding the choir or the organist. After all, the organist and choir director were "paid employees of the church," and therefore, their paychecks (meager though they were) should be "applause" enough, right? The choir also sat up in a loft behind the congregation, and if I tried to turn around to look at them, to see who was singing a solo, I got a pinched knee for my troubles (ouch! - I still have a limp!). Ours was a very devout church. "Our" church is now dead, gone for a good 25 years or so now, thank God! Outside the sanctuary, those old German folk were really fun, but just put 'em in a Sunday suit and stick 'em in the sanctuary, and they forgot they were human.   This last Sunday, at the UMC where I play, we had a soloist who had not sung a solo in the 3 years that I've been there. Seems she was asked to sing at a niece's wedding, and she was doing this solo to practice getting up in front of people. Granted, the song she sang was a bit dissonant in places (it sounded a bit like early Alban Berg, very Romantic, very chromatic in spots), but the 8:15 congregation ignored her - no applause. She was crushed. She had worked a lot on that song and thought she deserved some recognition - I did, too. At the 11:00 service, she got up and sang again, but this time, my wife was ready. At the end of the song, my wife, sitting in the choir, clapped two times, and that's all it took. The church burst into applause. The soloist was relieved to know that she could elicit applause like she used to when she was younger. I think she'll do just fine at the wedding.   I see nothing wrong with applause in a church, since most of the congregation is not educated enough to make an intelligent, unique-sounding compliment afterwards to a soloist. I've heard a few of them try: "Oh, John, your solo was so wonderful. You sounded so... so... (searching vainly for the right words and then finally giving up)... so wonderful!" It's an embarrassment nobody wants to repeat. So, for the audience, applause is just about as personal as they want to get and certainly a lot easier; I think most of them would rather leave the eloquence to others.   In instances where the absence of applause is all too evident, like at the 8:15 service mentioned above, I think the pastor, at his earliest convenience (like perhaps just before his sermon), should thank the soloist for such a stirring rendition of her solo, and remark to the congregation that it takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to stand up in front of a congregation to sing - it's definitely not everybody's cup of tea - and that (s)he should be commended for it.   One last comment on this subject: if you are the recipient of applause, for gosh sake, *acknowledge* it. When the congregation applauds, they don't expect you to swoon or to burst into tears - save that for debuts of concert artists. Just face them, give a little bow or a nod of the head, and then be sure to smile and mouth the words "Thank you!" clearly enough so that it can be seen by most of them. That's all they want, just an acknowledgement of their warm feelings for you. At that moment, they love you and you love them, and isn't that what church is all about: love? Ignoring their applause makes them think you're a snob, and you aren't, are you? If you are, they're liable to remember that when your raise comes up for discussion during the annual budget preparation committee's meeting.   Just a few thoughts - hope they help somebody!   \/\/\        
(back) Subject: Re: Organ & Piano, Ensemble Pieces Wanted From: "Thomas Haubrich" <haubt000@goofy.zdv.Uni-Mainz.de> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 15:54:24 +0200   >This is the only piece which I know to play by small organ and piano. >If you have other recommendable piece, please let me know.       Hans Haselboeck: Variations on a Folk song for organ and harpsichord (piano)   Padre Antonio Soler: Six concertos for two organs or two harpsichords, (or organ and harpsichord, or piano and organ, or harpsichord and piano:) :) :) )   Bernhardt Krol: Concerto "Max and Moritz" for two positive organs   Giovani Bernardo Lucchinetti: Suonata a due organi Concerto a due organi            
(back) Subject: Organ Conventions From: Jenny Moon <bfus7@central.susx.ac.uk> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 17:20:37 BST     Hello.   I am utterly jealous of you Americans:) You are for ever writing to the list with stories of what great fun you have had at the various conventions that you attend, in what appears to be vast numbers. You seem to have such fun meeting fellow enthusiasts, performers, builders and all the other types of people involved in the world of organs.   I am involved with several organisations, from the preservation and building of the pipe organ in England, to the performance side of things, but never hear of such events that attract such a wide spectrum of people. Perhaps people don't tell me on purpose:(). Is there anybody who can tell me of any annual, monthly or even weekly events that take place in our green and pleasant land that attract people from all areas of the organ world. I would love to be involved in the British version of the Denver Convention.   I am waiting for you informative replies:) (but not tonight, because I will be in the local watching England *beat* Argentina in the world cup:)   Jen. <bfus7@central.sussex.ac.uk>      
(back) Subject: Re:Weddings, Funerals, Applause, Worship From: Dick Beery <dbeery@rbbsystems.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 12:36:00 -0400   I have been observing discussion on the above topics on this list and others. My reason for being on this list the love of Pipe Organ Music along with many other forms of music. I love life and its many varieties of people and ideas. World travel has taught me the value of being tolerant and the joy of learning what different cultures enjoy as music. I am very accepting of all with one exception: I find it difficult to listen to people who are closed minded and can only accept one definition of music or worship.   1.Where is it written in the Bible that the pipe organ is the preferred instrument of choice for worship? 2. If God is infinite doesn't this imply an infinite number of ways of worshiping her ? We do God a big disservice when we make him a human. 3. Weddings are time to express joy at the union of two people. What my wife remembers from our wedding is that "Certain music" couldn't be played. How sad a memory. 4. Applause......I suggest you go to a gospel service and see how joyous and wonderful it makes you feel and Im sure God enjoys every minute of it. 5. Where does being an organist give you the right to decide what is "suitable music" ? 6. Jazz, Blues, African, Mexican......all types of music for all types of people.   As was stated by one person " I have been doing this for 32 years and that was the first time for applause and it was shocking" I would hope that people would loosen up and live and enjoy...Try something new and different. It can be very liberating....   Worshiping God is a joyous time and doesn't have to always include Bach. Try some Herbie Hancock for a change. -- Dick Beery, President RBB Systems, Inc. 8767 TR 513 Shreve, OH 44676 ph: 330-567-2906 ext: 225 fax: 330-567-3925 mailto:dbeery@rbbsystems.com http://www.rbbsystems.com  
(back) Subject: Re: Applause From: "Emily D. Woods" <sesquialtera@hotmail.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 10:04:06 PDT   Hello list,   I'm brand-new to this list, and I wasn't quite sure at what point I should attempt to contribute, but when applause in church was mentioned, I had to respond. The UMC that I attend doesn't have severe policies about applauding for the choir or organist, but it is extremely rare, so rare in fact that it's almost rude. Too often our church choir completes a difficult or uplifting piece, and is met with dead silence from the congregation. Our pastor almost always acknowledges them with a kind compliment and thank-you, but, while the organist is a paid employee, the choir members are not, and they deserve some sort of recognition for their efforts. I just don't quite understand why applause is looked down upon in church; but maybe that's because I'm still young... About responding to those who give you applause, however, I'm afraid I rather goofed last Sunday on that point. I'm the apprentice organist at my church, and while our music director/organist is in Denver, I'm responsible for the worship services. My first full service ever was June 28, and I was informed by my parents that the 8:30 congregation gave me a round of applause at the conclusion of the service. Being so relieved at making it through a service, I hadn't even realized that hand claps were coming from people other than the choir members...So not acknowledging your "audience" is not always snobbery...   Best regards from a newbie,   Emily Woods   ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com  
(back) Subject: Re: Applause From: Jenny Moon <bfus7@central.susx.ac.uk> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 18:26:46 BST     Hello again.   I'm sorry, I'm in a talkative mood tonight.   I have accompanied the choir as a payed organist on many occasions. These performances have always been in preparation for several weeks, sometimes months depending on the piece. The performances I am talking about are those during the Sunday morning services, you know the kind, the choir gets up to the front of the church, does there bit and then returns to there pews. I never once remember the choir being applauded and the vicar never makes a comment (nice or bad) afterwards. We get a small introduction from the lay preacher, telling the congregation to stay seated because the choir.....etc. I find this rather embarrasing and offensive. The choir gather twice a week for rehursals and spend alot of time in preparation, and I think the least they deserve is some recognition for the hard work and dedicated practice that has gone into it. What is wrong with showing this recognition by applauding. Not only would this make the choir feel as if they have achieved what they have set out to do, well, but it gives them the incentive to do it again even better, in turn, keeping the choir alive.   I have mentioned this to people several times and the general view is that the Holy Eucharist is not a place for clapping as if at a rock concert, or words to that effect. However, the Vicar encourages clapping at weddings when he has decalared the newly weds man and wife. Surely a wedding is just as much a time for quiet reflection as the Sunday worship is. The vicar is clapping to congratulate the newly weds, what is wrong with congratulating the choir on there achievements. It is only manners.   Jen. <bfus7@central.sussex.ac.uk>      
(back) Subject: Re: Applause From: <DRAWKNOB@aol.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 14:33:45 EDT   In a message dated 6/30/98 12:06:13 PM Central Daylight Time, sesquialtera@hotmail.com writes:   << I just don't quite understand why applause is looked down upon in church; >>   At the heart of this matter is Divine Worship. As an organist/choirmaster I have always contended that what the choir, the soloist, or I do at the console is an offering to God and not meant to "please" or win the affection of those in the pews. Therefore, with that said, in worship I find applause to be disrespectful and a disruption to the integrity of Divine Worship.   However, I will admit that it feels awfully good to get applause at the conclusion of a well prepared postlude ;-)   John Gambill Organist/Choirmaster Lord of Life Lutheran Church (ELCA) Lancaster, TX (a 'burb of Dallas)  
(back) Subject: Re: Applause From: "Emily D. Woods" <sesquialtera@hotmail.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 11:59:57 PDT   Point taken, Mr Gambill. I quite understand the need for solemnity and "divine worship." Still, the desire to be recognized for diligent efforts is only human nature. At the end of a serene anthem, silence, I think, is the proper response, but I think appreciation for an uplifting spiritual or other upbeat type of anthem deserves something in return, especially, as Ms Moon mentioned, if the choir and organist have spent weeks or months in preparation for a truly inspiring musical worship. You mentioned postludes, so I'll offer a question and see what kind of opinions other organists have. Those of you who are church organists, does the congregation remain seated during the postlude? And if so, why? Our church organist, every week, provides us with an incredible postlude. However, unfortunately, few people stay in the pews long enough to hear even the first measure. Our pastor doesn't feel it necessary to ask that the congregation remain seated, and it's not really a point of debate, anyway, since our organist is too easygoing to push the subject. But I've heard of churches where it is traditional (maybe that's a bad word) or just viewed as common courtesy to remain seated until the worship service is concluded. Since I've been a member of the same church for all of my 17 1/2 years, I wondered what it was like in other churches. Also at my church, certain members (or should I say member, singular) of the congregation seem to have a real problem with interludes and free harmonization on hymns. This member was so miffed at the "concert" that the organist was putting on that he dropped a little hate note in the offering plate, addressed to the organist. I do not feel that interludes or free harmonization is to be viewed as a gratuitous "performance," and, to be honest, the interludes are useful as a breather between the last verses of the incredibly long hymns. Does anyone else have an opinion? By the way, if I'm just rambling about things that no one cares about, please let me know so that I can keep my mouth shut and just "lurk."   With warm regards,   Emily Woods Madisonville, Kentucky   ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com  
(back) Subject: Re: Applause From: "Terry Charles" <tcorgan@ibm.net> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 15:47:22 -0400   ""does the congregation remain seated during the postlude?"" Here most do not, MANY do and MANY come to the front of the Chancel to view the organist while listening to the playing of the postlude...   I know of only ONE other Church in "this" area (First Pres in Saint Petersburg (Florida) at which that is a regular part of each Sunday Worship experience...the organ is wonderful and played by a superb organist/accompanist.   ""Our pastor doesn't feel it necessary to ask that the congregation remain seated,"" Well, ours sometimes will go out BEFORE the prelude is to begin, settle 'em down and ask that they listen...(how else are they going to experience the Erzahlers anyway).   At Vesper Services, the Church attracts many from the pipe organ concert series, and they DO get a bit high on the DB meter sharing recipes, etc...our Pastor ALWAYS asks the group to quite down, etc and listen to the organ. Interesting is that they DO quite down and listening to every nuance is becomes educational as well as a worshipful experience. Again, IF he didn't - who would want to work up 20 minutes of prelude music if no one could hear it?   ""...common courtesy to remain seated until the worship service is concluded."" Well, we are participating in worship ... it is, however, a bit hard to ignore those who choose to leave by the FRONT exit while the last stanza of the hymn is played out, OR in the middle of the benediction. But then, they're folks - and folks will be folks won't they?   ""...certain members (or should I say member, singular) of the congregation seem to have a real problem with interludes and free harmonization on hymns."" I L O V E it! We encourage it...frequently. I remember Virgil Fox, concluding his concert here, played a little "recital" between the 3rd and 4th stanzas...suddenly we were aware of that marvelous point to begin again and you had to get your thoughts together! Tom Hazelton raised the floor an inch or two doing a similar thing...anyway, we surely do encourage it here.   ""I do not feel that interludes or free harmonization is to be viewed as a gratuitous "performance,""" There are always those who think otherwise and I pity that...for they, perhaps are most unfree and unharmonic in their own lives.   ""...if I'm just rambling about things that no one cares about, please let me know so that I can keep my mouth shut and just "lurk."" Hardly...keep those thoughts coming!   TC -    
(back) Subject: Re: Applause From: Stephen F P Karr <karrlist@scescape.net> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 16:53:25 -0300 (EST)   >However, I will admit that it feels awfully good to get applause at the >conclusion of a well prepared postlude ;-)   OK, how's this for a compromise? If you have an anthem that your choir has really busted their buns on, and you feel that they should get recognition for that (this will only work if you're not using the anthem as a psalm), you play a little bit in place of where the anthem would normally go (offertory or communion), and then have the choir sing their piece at the end, where it's "acceptable" to applaud.   -Stephen (who doesn't mind in the least participating in a well-deserved ovation for a choir, provided I'm not part of it)      
(back) Subject: Re: Applause From: <DRAWKNOB@aol.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 16:13:55 EDT   In a message dated 6/30/98 2:01:42 PM Central Daylight Time, sesquialtera@hotmail.com writes:   << At the end of a serene anthem, silence, I think, is the proper response, but I think appreciation for an uplifting spiritual or other upbeat type of anthem deserves something in return, >> Appreciation could better be shown by a kind word or, better yet, a monetary donation to the music department. Let's agree to disagree on this one :-)   <<Those of you who are church organists, does the congregation remain seated during the postlude? And if so, why?>> Very few in my church remain seated for the postlude... they are in a big rush to get to the donuts and coffee table :-) However, my choir will stick around -- usually.   <> Not at all! It is great to know that there are still a few young people in our country who are interested in church music. I took my first church job at 14 and have been playing and/or directing ever since -- I'm 31 now.   John Gambill Organist/Choirmaster Lord of Life Lutheran Church (ELCA) Lancaster, TX (a 'burb of Dallas)  
(back) Subject: The Crystal Swan From: <Oboe32@aol.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 16:17:43 EDT   Hi all, I've heard that Fred left because Mrs. Schuler was so annoying. She used to call him during hymns on the organ and tell him to turn off the mixtures, she also used to go up and re-register his settings. She was a royal one when it came to running things. She ran him into retirement. He endured long and hard with everything that went on. This is another unfortunate case of politics dictating a musician's life at a church. It isn't the musician that looses in these situations though! I think The Cathedral's loss is 1st Congregational's gain!!   -Pete Isherwood    
(back) Subject: Re: Applause From: danbel@earthlink.net Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 16:21:00 -0400   At 04:53 PM 6/30/98 -0300, you wrote: >>However, I will admit that it feels awfully good to get applause at the >>conclusion of a well prepared postlude ;-)   I think it feels awfully good to get applause at the conclusion of ANY well prepared and well executed prformance! :)   djb    
(back) Subject: Re: Applause From: <DRAWKNOB@aol.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 16:22:53 EDT   In a message dated 6/30/98 2:57:04 PM Central Daylight Time, karrlist@scescape.net writes:   << >However, I will admit that it feels awfully good to get applause at the >conclusion of a well prepared postlude ;-) OK, how's this for a compromise? If you have an anthem that your choir has really busted their buns on, and you feel that they should get recognition for that (this will only work if you're not using the anthem as a psalm), you play a little bit in place of where the anthem would normally go (offertory or communion), and then have the choir sing their piece at the end, where it's "acceptable" to applaud. >>   It would be ludicrous to swap the Postlude and Anthem... but I see the point you are trying to make... There's a difference. The postlude is played following the Benediction, therefore the service has concluded and worship is over -- thus applause is acceptable :-)   John Gambill Organist/Choirmaster Lord of Life Lutheran Church (ELCA) Lancaster, TX (a 'burb of Dallas)  
(back) Subject: Re: Applause From: Shirley <pnst@itw.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 16:12:28 -0400   At 09:51 AM 6/30/98 -0500, Vernon wrote: >One last comment on this subject: if you are the recipient of applause, for >gosh sake, *acknowledge* it.     If the applause is for a choir or group, I get out of the way, and let the participants' smiles be the acknowledgement.   --Shirley  
(back) Subject: Re:Weddings, Funerals, Applause, Worship From: Shirley <pnst@itw.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 16:23:38 -0400   At 12:36 PM 6/30/98 -0400, you wrote: >3. Weddings are time to express joy at the union of two people. What my wife >remembers from our wedding is that "Certain music" couldn't be played. How sad >a memory. >5. Where does being an organist give you the right to decide what is >"suitable music" ?     In light of this post, I thought I would give everyone an update on the Evergreen "crisis". I met with the bride's mom today. Turns out that the piece was sung for a lot of other relatives' weddings in this family. The mom questioned its appropriateness, however.   And guess what.   The bride is deaf.   Not gonna make a hill of beans of difference to the bride *WHAT'S* played or sung. Or half the guests, either.   A big issue made small.   To this individual poster: I feel sorry for your wife that the memories she has of your wedding day is of the pieces that couldn't be played. A shame, that..... she holds no memories of her father giving her away.... or of the joy of looking at her new husband for the first time.... or the joy in the words "I now pronounce you husband and wife." Nor does she have any memory of WHY she was married in a church in the first place. And I'd bet she didn't hear one piece played except the processional, anything during the ceremony, and the recessional.   And being a church organist, with training and experience behind me, gives me every right to decide what music is appropriate for *me* to play in a worship service, which is what a church wedding ceremony is, after all. If they want Evergreen bad enough, they can go find their own accompanist for it. It's the type of song that sounds better with guitar than church Moller anyway.   OK, so I have strong opinions on the subject. Leave it be, people. No need to try to change my mind or tell me how I need to "lighten up". It's not going to happen. This opinion comes from a philosophy that *I* hold that unless a piece brings a person closer to God, it has no right being in a worship service. I may be alone in this opinion on this list, but believe me, dear readers, that I am not the only organist in the world holding this opinion.   --Shirley  
(back) Subject: Re: Applause From: Shirley <pnst@itw.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 16:31:14 -0400   At 03:47 PM 6/30/98 -0400, you wrote: >""...certain members (or should I say member, singular) of the >congregation seem to have a real problem with interludes and >free harmonization on hymns.""   Yeah, I've gotten this lately, too. "I can't sing the harmony when you do that!" Geez. It's on one verse of one hymn, and when I do it, it's inspiring and uplifting. >""I do not feel that interludes or free harmonization is to be >viewed as a gratuitous "performance,"""   Never. We sang the Hymn to Joy on Sunday, and I played my own harmonization. The interlude has a snippet of Beethoven's 9th in it. And folks recognized and appreciated it.   My biggest problem I really have to start watching is speed. I take the hymns at generally a pretty fast clip.... it's when I stop singing with them I get into trouble.   --Shirley  
(back) Subject: church music lists From: Shirley <pnst@itw.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 16:33:06 -0400   Hi, folks -   At some point before my harddrive crash, I posted a list of addresses for various church music email lists. Now, of course, I no longer have that information.   If someone has saved that post, would you kindly forward it to me (pnst@itw.com)?   My thanks.   --Shirley